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How to setup automated weekly ghost of running os (Read 44749 times)
El_Pescador
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #15 - Aug 23rd, 2006 at 12:17pm
 
Peach wrote on Aug 23rd, 2006 at 11:14am:
"... I have been through many huriccanes when I was younger and in my early 20's.  They were VERY unpleasant experiences..."

In my estimation, Saint Bernard Parish and Orleans Parish east of the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal (aka Industrial Canal) were subject to Category 3 hurricane forces which overwhelmed the levees there.  On the contrary, the City of New Orleans west of the Canal suffered much less from the storm itself than from a massive civil-engineering failure.  The deaths and property damage from flooding in the latter area was
due not only to the breaching of the 17th Street and London Avenue Canals, but moreover to the hardly-mentioned fact that several hundred feet on the western bank of the Orleans Avenue Canal was reduced in height from fourteen feet to seven feet in years past and nobody in authority seemed to cognizant of the fact until after City Park became a lake on the 30th of August, 2005!


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Rad
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #16 - Aug 23rd, 2006 at 3:38pm
 
glad we've got you some help.

got the little guy today, so i'm busy putting out forrest fires, following him around.
 
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Dan Goodell
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #17 - Aug 27th, 2006 at 6:11am
 
I happened to have on hand a spare laptop and a spare hard disk to fool around with, so here's a follow-up on my "concept" in msg #7 earlier in this thread.  It turned out to be rather trivial to setup.  I did a quick-and-dirty installation of the hard disk as follows:
    Partition-1:  4GB, FAT32, booting MS-DOS 7.1; additional files include ghost.exe (from Ghost 2003 CD) and pqboot.exe (from Partition Magic CD); autoexec.bat file shown below.

    Partition-2:  4GB, FAT32, booting Windows 2000; additional files include pqboot32.exe (from Partition Magic CD) and reboot.bat; scheduled task added in task scheduler to run reboot.bat at a predetermined time.
Listing of partition-2 reboot.bat file:
    pqboot32 /p:1
Listing of partition-1 autoexec.bat file:
    del test.gho
    ghost -clone,mode=pcreate,src=1:2,dst=c:\test.gho -sure -quiet
    pqboot /p:2
Without any user intervention, at the appointed time:
  • Windows runs the scheduled task
  • reboot.bat executes pqboot32 to shut down and reboot into partition-1
  • partition-1 boots to DOS
  • Ghost starts up, creates image of partition-2 and stores on partition-1
  • pqboot shuts down system and reboots back into partition-2
  • partition-2 boots back into Windows
Issues:
  • Windows task scheduler can't pass a parameter directly to pqboot32--hence the use of a batch file, reboot.bat, as intermediary
  • If disk not 'marked', Ghost pauses at the 'disk not marked' screen and waits for user input
  • del command deletes old image file to avoid Ghost pausing for confirmation to overwrite
Once the issues were resolved, the entire process ran completely unattended at the appointed time.

What makes this easy is the pair of pqboot files.  If you don't have Partition Magic, you'll have to find some other means of switching the active partition and rebooting.

But the concept works.

 
 
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #18 - Aug 27th, 2006 at 8:54am
 
Dan Goodell

Ah...excellent!

I haven't actually put it together yet myself, but I have been thinking about how to set up an automated backup routine for a non-tech friend--I was planning on having the first step be *manual* in that the person used Pqboot32 from a desktop shortcut to start the process.  But scheduelling so it's totally automated may be a better answer!

Your report shows that what I hoped would work does!

The freeware MBRWizard has both a 32-bit Windows version and a DOS version of its program--perhaps that could be substituted for those who do not have PartitionMagic's *pqboot* programs.  Looking at the command line switches, it has a */shutdown=#*, where # 1 forces an OS shut down, and #2 forces an OS reboot!  Looks like it should work similarly to PartitionMagic's programs.

When I've the time to work on this, I will post the results of my efforts as well--but may be awhile--have to complete several end of summer projects, and have a brief vacation coming soon  Wink !
 

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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #19 - Aug 27th, 2006 at 9:52am
 
very slick.
 
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Brian
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #20 - Aug 27th, 2006 at 10:14am
 
Even for a Ghost 9/10 fan, I have to agree that is slick.
 
 
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Dan Goodell
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #21 - Aug 27th, 2006 at 2:55pm
 
    The freeware MBRWizard has both a 32-bit Windows version and a DOS version of its program--perhaps that could be substituted for those who do not have PartitionMagic's *pqboot* programs.
Taking a look at MBRWizard, it looks like it would work.  Going from Win->DOS, it looks like the command-line:
mbrwiz /active=0 /shutdown=2
is all you would need.  Going from DOS->Win, you could use the
/active=1
switch, but it looks like there's no
/shutdown
switch in the DOS version??  Very strange!  It only takes about half a dozen bytes in a DOS program to generate a reboot, so I wonder why the programmer didn't put that in?

Oh, well, it's no big deal.  DOS reboot programs are a dime a dozen.  On the DOS side you can just use a combination of MBRWiz with a separate reboot program.

 
 
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #22 - Aug 28th, 2006 at 9:08am
 
Dan Goodell wrote on Aug 27th, 2006 at 6:11am:
I happened to have on hand a spare laptop and a spare hard disk to fool around with, so here's a follow-up on my "concept" in msg #7 earlier in this thread.  It turned out to be rather trivial to setup.

...

What makes this easy is the pair of pqboot files.  If you don't have Partition Magic, you'll have to find some other means of switching the active partition and rebooting.

But the concept works.



This is awesome!  I have licenses of Partition Magic 7 & 8.  I have seen their boot utility but never used it.  Thanks for the help!  I will work on this today, and let you know when it is working.
 

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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #23 - Aug 28th, 2006 at 9:31am
 
Very nice, Dan!  I suspect that there will be other uses of this same technique arising in the future.

I’m surprised, though, that “Windows task scheduler can't pass a parameter directly to pqboot32--hence the use of a batch file, reboot.bat, as intermediary”.  I have passed command-line switches to programs invoked by the Windows XP task scheduler without issues.  Is this a problem specifically with the PQBOOT32 utility?

Although it may be too obvious to mention, did you include the command-line switch outside of the quotes containing the program and path?  For example, the task invocation should be:
    “C:\Program Files\Partition Magic\pqboot32.exe” /p:1

    and not:
    “C:\Program Files\Partition Magic\pqboot32.exe /p:1”
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #24 - Aug 28th, 2006 at 9:38am
 
Years ago, I used Powerquest Bootmagic, which came with Partition Magic, which I think is the same thing .. to multiboot various flavors of Windows & Linux. Don't recall any problems. It was easier/simpler than I expected. I beleive it walks you thru the creation of a back-up/restore floppy prior to (during) installation.
 
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #25 - Aug 28th, 2006 at 10:36am
 
i included a link to this thread in the guide, on the page which discusses batch files:

http://ghost.radified.com/automated_batch.htm (~1/3rd the way down the page)

so any comments regarding lessons learned on this (cool, elegant) endeavor would be welcome.
 
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #26 - Aug 28th, 2006 at 11:41am
 
Consider:  It ought to be possible, using the same general approach, to boot into a Windows PE partition (rather than DOS) and launch Ghost 8.2 to perform a backup or restore operation on the Windows XP system partition.  The advantages would be improved access to USB and FireWire storage devices, plus network access.

See:P.S.:  Although this multi-boot technique is certainly clever, one must remember that it is a solution to a problem that can be avoided more simply through the use of Ghost 10.
 

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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #27 - Aug 28th, 2006 at 12:05pm
 
By the way, according to this post, PQBOOT32 will only reboot when run as a Windows XP scheduled task if the user is logged in.
 

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Dan Goodell
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #28 - Aug 28th, 2006 at 1:02pm
 
Pleonasm wrote:
"I have passed command-line switches to programs invoked by the Windows XP task scheduler without issues.  Is this a problem specifically with the PQBOOT32 utility?"


I did try a few ways, including
"c:\pqboot32.exe" /p:2
with quotes, but Task Scheduler still complained, "The task name may not contain the characters <, >,:,/,\, or |."  Substituting a batch file was easy so I didn't spend a lot of time fiddling with Task Scheduler.

"according to this post, PQBOOT32 will only reboot when run as a Windows XP scheduled task if the user is logged in."


Hmm, I found that post interesting, but for a different reason.  Scheduling a task requires setting a password, so I've always assumed that naturally meant you had to be logged in.  But I guess not, even if pqboot32 is an exception.

"one must remember that it is a solution to a problem that can be avoided more simply through the use of Ghost 10."


Agreed.  I mentioned that in reply #7, but it's worth pointing out again.  This 'reboot-to-use-Ghost-2003' technique will reboot at the appointed time, even if you happen to be using the computer at the time.  Scheduling a Ghost 10 task wouldn't pull the rug out from under you like that.
 
 
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Re: How to setup automated weekly ghost of running
Reply #29 - Aug 28th, 2006 at 4:31pm
 
Dan, concerning the problem that “This 'reboot-to-use-Ghost-2003' technique will reboot at the appointed time, even if you happen to be using the computer at the time”, one possible solution is to use the
A_TimeIdlePhysical
function within AutoHotkey to confirm that the PC has been idle for a specified duration.

For example, a continuously active AutoHotkey function could examine the keyboard/mouse idle time once every X second(s), and set an environmental variable to TRUE if the idle criterion has been achieved and FALSE otherwise. The batch file which is started by the Windows XP Scheduled Tasks facillity could then examine the status of this environmental variable, and only launch PQBOOT32 if the PC is in the desired state.

Well, yes – it’s yet another layer of complexity and another possible fault point for the entire process, but for the person who really wants to do this, this tip might be of assistance.
 

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