[Dirvish] Article on Dirvish in Sys Admin magazine

Eric Mountain em-dirvish-1 at nerim.net
Tue Dec 14 14:29:59 PST 2004

On Tuesday 14 Dec 2004 21:09, Steve Ramage spake thus:
> I can't speak for Macs but afaik there is no way to do a full drive
> restore using Dirvish / Rsync. Reason being is that newer versions of
> windows have virtual file's that don't exist themselves but are stored
> elsewhere in places you don't see. 

Found this interesting since I wasn't aware of this, so I started hunting 
around.  From what I have found, the "virtual" data is the physical 
configuration of the disks, i.e. the Logical Disk Manager database, which 
according to http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/help.html#docs is stored at 
the end of the physical disk.  Aside from that, (*) mentions the "critical 
operating system files" which I guess are real files.  Is there anything 
else?  I guess NTFS Alternate Data Streams are not backed up?  They aren't 
virtual per se, but hard to see...  I don't suppose rsync would copy them 
since I don't know of an equivalent storage method on *nix - is there one?

(*) Link broken up for legibility: 

> Futhermore I can't see of a way to 'copy' the files back to an NTFS medium.

Wouldn't it be possible to rsync back the other way after booting from a 
Windows Live CD?

> You could probably do this with Windows 95/NT (on FAT16), possibly
> Windows 98 & ME, but I don't think you could do it in 2000, or XP or
> above, imho.

Well, you'd still have a few issues with those "system" files that Windows 
expects to find in specific places on the drive.  IO.SYS and Co spring to 
mind, though a good old "sys c:" would fix those issues on the older OSes.  

The MS link above describes a bare metal restore procedure for W2k3 Server.  
At first glance, it doesn't look like there are significant equivalents for 
e.g. XP.  They're even still using floppies to boot store the ASR and boot 
from!  Wonder if they couldn't use USB keys instead?  I'm sure many servers 
don't even come with a floppy drive any more...  (then again, they may not 
have USB either...)


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