View Full Version : Recovering from a bad restore

02-18-2008, 11:38 AM
This is not a support request, but simply me sharing how I recovered from a failed restore on a Sunday morning 1 hour before show time. 8/

So why a restore 1 hour before show time? It wasn't intentional. Our volunteer for this past Sunday, didn't read the options properly and when prompted to start windows or restore tricaster, he choose restore tricaster. It didn't help that my wife helped confirm his choice (the tech-dir's wife would know best right). :foreheads
So we've done a restore, no big deal right. Well some where in the process the image restore was "stopped" and then canceled. A reboot later and I have a brick on my hands.
With no backup plan in place yet, we closed our 2 video venues, patched powerpoint direct to the i-mag screens, patched one camera to a dvd recorder and went for coffee. :caffeine:
Now here comes the resurrections story for the Tricaster. :goodluck:

Booting from a Ubuntu Live CD (yes I cracked open the tricaster and attached a CD-ROM), I was able to locate the partition images. Newtek has installed a mini Linux partition with an autorun script that does the restore.
Reading the autorun script I located the 3 steps required to load the restore.

I then opened a terminal window and became superuser (sudo su).
using disk druid I reloaded the MBR
dd if=mbr of=/dev/sda bs=1 count=440
dd if=mbr of=/dev/sda bs=1 count=2 seek=510 skip=510
Next step is to restore the partition images. The Ubuntu Live CD that I was using didn't have partimage installed, so I had to add Universe to the software sources and run apt-get install partimage.
Then use partimage to restore the image.
partimage -b restore /dev/sda1 system.partimage.*.000
Once this completed, I rebooted the Tricaster and and it was like new. The video partition was not modified so all my existing media was still intact.

Once rebooted I registered windows and all that other necessary stuff like tricaster patch 2 and my next job is to create a restore image of my "current" setup so next time this happens (I hope it never does) I can restore to the most recent configuration.

I will post those instructions later.

Please realize that this is a personal account of my recover procedure and not a Newtek supported instruction. If you choose to attempt the above, please be proficient in the flavor of linux you use and read all before attempting. The values I used may not be the same for your production series of tricaster. :tcicon:

Peter Awad
Technical Director
Lakeside Church
Guelph ON

03-09-2008, 11:08 AM
OK, here is the follow up to my TriCaster Restore Saga.

In order to make system recover / restores faster and easier, I have done the following.

Purchase an 8GB USB2.0 Flash Drive. The restore image should fit on this drive if you dont have a lot of other apps installed on C. I have Windows, Tricaster, Super, MP3Tag and FileZilla, which all fit on the USB drive if I flush the swap file. If you have more then this concider a 16GB Flash Drive.

Download a copy of Clonezilla. This is a mini bootable Linux with the necessary tools to backup and restore a complete image of C Drive on the tricaster. On their website is also the tool to load clonezilla to a USB Drive.

Once you've loaded CloneZilla to the USB Drive, boot the tricaster off the USB drive.
Load clonezilla and choose drive-image. Choose all the default options, except the one that says flush swap and hibernate files. No need to back these up as they are useless on the restored system.
When prompted to mount media for storing the image, choose nothing. this will allow you to backup directly onto the USB Drive.
Once Clonezilla is complete, remove the usb drive and reboot.
Preform a test restore of your USB Drive and document the steps you choose. This will be important for the other people who might use your equipment.

Remember to update the image file regularly (once a month for me) so you don't get a stale image that takes you too long to get back up and running.

Maybe this is something Newtek should concider implimenting into their "appliance" so that when we do have troubles, we dont have to restore to factory defaults and spend another 2 hours patching and updating the system to the most recent configuration.
I've tested my restore proceedure, and can go from first power on to functional system in 35mins.

Be sure to defrag before making your backup image, this will make the process go a lot faster.

Next step will be to purchase a SATA 500GB HDD and clone the whole drive. But this will only be used in a hardware malfunction as it wont have up to date media files on the D Drive.

Again remember to update your backup images or they wont be as fast a tool as you need.

Peter Awad

03-09-2008, 12:51 PM
Just to point out an alternative, albeit a paid solution - Acronis provides flexible clone/backup tools that are 'native' and make restoring pretty simple. I've been very happy with my purchase.

03-09-2008, 06:09 PM
Which version of Acronis do you use?

03-09-2008, 07:26 PM
Looks like the version I have installed currently is 7, but I think I may have a newer version (I upgrades from time to time when they run a special, but half the time I don't even bother installing it - duh!) I started using it back around 3 or 4...

03-09-2008, 08:16 PM
Sorry... I didn't mean which release but which one of the Acronis' you use:

"Home/Home Office"
"Echo Workstation"
"Migrate Easy"


03-10-2008, 07:37 AM
"About" simply says 'Acronis True Image' - the mail I get from them from time to time often mentions other products or combos, but I've never bothered as this has always done what I need it to do. (I 'update' it occasionally, but haven't 'upgraded' it.)

03-10-2008, 09:10 AM
"About" simply says 'Acronis True Image' - the mail I get from them from time to time often mentions other products or combos, but I've never bothered as this has always done what I need it to do. (I 'update' it occasionally, but haven't 'upgraded' it.)

Yep... I agree. Acronis gooooood. :)

I like lakesidechurch's idea too. I use Acronis to do a complete backup image to a fast CF drive with a SATA adapter and just boot from that in case of a hard drive failure. Yes I can run a full TriCaster off of a 16gig UltraIV drive. whoops. I let some PIZAZZ secrets out of the bag. :)

03-10-2008, 06:09 PM
Wimper and ye shall receive.

Thanks fellas.

When I 'unveiled' the TC here at work, it took off slowly, the boss like everything he saw right away.
But now everybody has a crackpot...er...great idea for a company show.

Over the next few months this little box will get hammered.
This kind of security is a big deal for me right now.

Thanks again.
Acronis it is then.

03-10-2008, 06:37 PM
Peter, first off, thanks for this thread. I just now read your first 2 posts. Like normal, I blow through the here and read the last thread or two. I didn't even know what "ACRONIS" was, so I moved on. :D

You are a brave man and smart too! I think I'll be looking at having a rear saver as well.

SBRANT, yeh, after leaking the news of our TriCaster before the official announcement I had planned, the interest was so overwhelming I had to hold off on the announcement. Thatís a GOOD thing!
As soon as things slow down from our regular work Iíll get around to following up with the initial leads and making that "official announcement".