|FAQ Entry Author||Philip Freidin|
|FAQ Entry Editor||Philip Freidin|
|FAQ Entry Date||2001/06/07|
Q. How can I backup a Windows NT4 system, and get all the registry stuff saved too
The solution that I use for highest quality backup is to use a program called Drive Image, from Power Quest. You exit NT, and boot from the Drive Image floppies and then make image files of disk partitions.
-- It can make and restore FAT and NTFS partitions.
Since it can only write to a FAT partition, which is a limitation of the underlying OS (DrDOS or MSDOS), you run into the following problem: FAT file systems can't be over 2GB. A NTFS partition with 20GB size, and 6 GB used can't be imaged, because you can't have a FAT partition big enough to hold the compressed image.
My solution is my NT OS install partition (which is also where the registry is scattered about) is 2GB, and I install all programs to another partition, so that I don't run out of space. There will still be a "Program Files" directory on the NT system partition, as some programs insist on being on the same drive as the NT OS, but with care, you won't run out of space. Another thing that helps is to put the NT4 Swap file on another partition, as there is no real need to back it up when imaging the NT OS partition.
So: 2GB partition for NT OS, can be FAT or NTFS
Some possible work arounds I haven't tried:
There are loadable device drivers for MSDOS that are supposed to be able to read/write NTFS partitions. I have not tried this. I dont know how they get around the 2GB file system limit that is in MSDOS. see:
At one time there were some addons to MSDOS that supported windows networking. If this could be added to the boot floppy for Drive Image, then maybe the image could be written to a network drive on another machine and avoid the need for 2GB FAT partition on the machine being backed up.
Wouldn't it have been great if the guys at MS had rubbed a few neurons together and not created an OS that was basically incapable of creating a reliable backup image of the OS. It's not like there wasn't 30 years worth of experience to draw upon from all the OS's that other companies have written, none of which have basic flaws like this!
Here's another link
FPGA-FAQ FAQ Root