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Java Developer, develops using windows. how to protect from computer environment crash

 
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Hi,

I develop java applications, in a windows pc.

We do our best but sometimes things happen like: harddisk crash, virus, adware, registry corruption, etc.

How do you prepare for these, making sure that you will easily recover everything and continue your work?

For the data, I use a backup in the cloud. I have no issue with that. All my codes are backed up.

But what I am researching is how to save stuff like:
windows settings, system settings, software installed stuff

I recently had my c:/ reformatted because my registry got corrupted (either due to overheat or an adware that i manually fixed/removed myself).

I therefore lost everything that has got to do with Windows, and all the software in that windows system.

Now, I would need reinstall all software, etc. What I am try to avoid here is the waste of time.

I am looking at cloning my system harddrive regularly.

How do you guys do, deal, avoid, or prepare for such?
 
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Jesus Angeles wrote:
How do you guys do, deal, avoid, or prepare for such?


Short answer: Dump windows and switch to Linux! I run Ubuntu

Long answer: In one of my previous complanies, we used Symantec Ghost. It lets you take a 'snapshot' of your system. Whenever you want, you can restore this back without having to install all the software. In fact, if you wish to do so, you can have the same image installed on a different machine with the same hardware configuration! (Of course you need to also think about licensing legality) If you google, you might get more solutions on these lines
 
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Another solution is to turn your development environment into a virtual machine on vmware / hyper-v / virtualbox / kvm / EC2 / Azure / or whatever other virt suits your licensing and hardware.

They all support the concept of snapshots, where they can save entire machine state at some instance of time.
Keep a snapshot of a new clean windows installation + dev software on some hard drive, and if your VM gets its registry or something corrupted, create a new VM from the snapshot.

This solves some of your problems like registry corruption and adware, but it does not solve host machine's hardware problems such as drive corruption. The answer to that is redundant backups of the snapshots themselves.
 
Jesus Angeles
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Maneesh Godbole wrote:

Jesus Angeles wrote:
How do you guys do, deal, avoid, or prepare for such?


Short answer: Dump windows and switch to Linux! I run Ubuntu

Long answer: In one of my previous complanies, we used Symantec Ghost. It lets you take a 'snapshot' of your system. Whenever you want, you can restore this back without having to install all the software. In fact, if you wish to do so, you can have the same image installed on a different machine with the same hardware configuration! (Of course you need to also think about licensing legality) If you google, you might get more solutions on these lines



Thanks guys.

Maneesh, How long does it take when doing a 'snapshot' using Ghost, lets say, 5 gigabytes data, the rest unused in hdisk?
 
Maneesh Godbole
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Sorry Jesus. It was years back and the actual ghosting was handled by our IT Ops team.
 
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Jesus Angeles wrote:
Now, I would need reinstall all software, etc. What I am try to avoid here is the waste of time.



Given the fact that most applications and OS's are constantly updating, any backup will quickly be out of date and will need some measure of tweaking to running once restored. Add to that the possibility that a backup could preserve the preconditions that lead to the crash in the first place and I don't see the sense in keeping a backup.
Starting with a bare hard drive, I can have my development environment up and running in a few hours and my computer will be in a known, stable state. I only back up data. Stuff I can afford to lose goes on a USB hard drive. Stuff that I cannot afford to lose I burn to DVD, make multiple copies and stored with trusted family members. Cloud? Forget it. Your data is not yours.
 
Jesus Angeles
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Joe Ess wrote:

Jesus Angeles wrote:
Now, I would need reinstall all software, etc. What I am try to avoid here is the waste of time.



Given the fact that most applications and OS's are constantly updating, any backup will quickly be out of date and will need some measure of tweaking to running once restored. Add to that the possibility that a backup could preserve the preconditions that lead to the crash in the first place and I don't see the sense in keeping a backup.
Starting with a bare hard drive, I can have my development environment up and running in a few hours and my computer will be in a known, stable state. I only back up data. Stuff I can afford to lose goes on a USB hard drive. Stuff that I cannot afford to lose I burn to DVD, make multiple copies and stored with trusted family members. Cloud? Forget it. Your data is not yours.



I agree 100% on the cloud being not ours. I really dont care about it, as long as I have a back up, and that it is not easily readable.

The cloud data backup I have, use my (not sent through the network) encryption key. It is not 100% (murphy's law?), but it would be very hard to make use of my data if anyone gets a hand on it (which is yes, as any employee in that company with sufficient authority can read my data - but is an encrypted data).

It serves my purpose (worst case scenario, like fire). I am at peace when I do my jogging/run, as I know, even my house burns, my data is not lost (not that the data is more valuable than the house, although it could be, e.g. business files).

The only problem is if my harddisk crashes 100% and the cloud company for some reasons also evaporates into air, at the same time.

Another reason I use internet backup instead of just burning it into a DVD and put in a safe, if that my safe is not the kind that protects such materials; otherwise, that sounds better. Oh, I think there are external harddisks that are actually housed in a fire-safe, and designed exactly for this purpose.

Another good reason for the internet backup system I am using, is that I can backup like daily painlessly. I just start it before I sleep. It backs up only the files changed.
 
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It amazes me that no one has created a Windows clone of the Mac's Time Machine backup system. No user intervention after setup, and seamless. It's saved my butt on more occasions than I'd care to recall.

Is there something about Windows (no, I'm not begging the question) that prevents this approach? Or has it already been done but no one knows about it?
 
Jesus Angeles
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Bear Bibeault wrote:It amazes me that no one has created a Windows clone of the Mac's Time Machine backup system. No user intervention after setup, and seamless. It's saved my butt on more occasions than I'd care to recall.

Is there something about Windows (no, I'm not begging the question) that prevents this approach? Or has it already been done but no one knows about it?



I also want to move to mac or unix, but we use windows at work, and my mind kind of is used to the windows ui and intuition thing.

I want to do so because, some java packages can be very long. Windows simply cannot handle it. It complains when copying it. And sometimes ends up with a garbage folder path. (known issue on filename/path limitation).

If there is such a cloning thing in Windows, everybody probably turned it off already for being a pain to use.
 
Joe Ess
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Bear Bibeault wrote:It amazes me that no one has created a Windows clone of the Mac's Time Machine backup system. No user intervention after setup, and seamless.



Windows 7 Backup appears to be fairly simple to use. One creates a backup and indicates how often subsequent backups should take place. It can restore entire drives or individual files. I don't have Windows 8 handy to see what it has for a backup application.
 
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