Using PING

Choose to boot on the CD you've burnt with the PING ISO.

If you don't see the option in your boot sequence, you'll probably have to modify your BIOS settings.

Note that a PXE Server is needed to boot from the network.

The Linux distribution is starting.
Press ENTER to go on.

If you don't want to use our menu-driven wizard, press x and ENTER to get a shell. The root user account has no password.

Read the warnings carefully and press ENTER to proceed.
Choose what should happen at the end of the backup or restoration process. You might want to get a shell to access the log. The command line instruction is "vi /tmp/x.log".
You can backup to and restore from a local partition or a network drive.

These illustrations will start with a local backup.

All connected hard disk drives, USB mass storage devices included, will be scanned and all available partitions should be enumerated here, with either a NTFS label, either first found directories.

If you want to restore an image to the workstation, check the first option.

Otherwise, select all partitions you want to backup. Be aware that you should leave at least one partition unselected, as PING won't store a partition onto itself.

An Exception: if you've got only one partition, you'll be able to select it, and the script will suggest splitting the partition into two partitions. Although this works, you may want to repartition the drive before running PING.

Now, choose where to store the image.

In our example, we had the C: part on /dev/hda1 and a D: part on /dev/hda5 (which Windows always stores in an extended /dev/hda2 partition). We'll store an image of C: on D:.

If you've prepared a \Partimage directory on your destination partition, enter it here.

In our case, we had not, and so we entered the root directory (and our first image will be stored on D:\).

It's a good idea to have everything stored in a dedicated directory.

Here, you'll find the list of available images. They are stored in the directory we've just chosen. Choosing one image will restore the computer with it, thus erasing all your hard disk.

Apart the images themselves, you'll always find 2 special choices, obviously necessary to let you ask for an image (or blank Windows administrator password, if needed.)

In our example, we had chosen the D:\ directory, and D:\ was empty. That's why you can see a "System Volume Information" directory, present on any NTFS partition. (We should have created a D:\Partimage directory and chosen it for the example to be clearer - sorry.)

Now, let's explain what should have happened if we had chosen to store the image onto a Network Share rather than a Local Partition...
Remember where we were...

When choosing this option, the script will try to get an IP through DHCP. If this fails, you'll have the possibility to give manual parameters, as in next screenshots.

Give your IP address...
...and your netmask...
...and finally your gateway.
We need to know where to save the image.

Give the IP of the computer you've shared the PartImage folder on (as explained in the prerequisites).

Now, the name of the share.

Example: \\mydomain\temp => the share is called temp.

Now, the user name on the network.

It might also be a local account (eg.: administrator).

(You'll be asked for the password afterwards, and it won't be displayed when typing it.)

All connected hard disk drives, USB mass storage devices included, will be scanned and all available partitions should be enumerated here, with either a NTFS label, either first found directories.

If you want to restore an image to the workstation, check the first option.

Elsewhere, choose all the partitions you want to backup. You can choose all of them.

Now, the directory path, from the share to the PartImage directory.

Example: if you created C:\PartImage on server Billy, and shared it, then your resource should be \\billy\partimage. So, IP is Billy's IP, share is partimage, and directory is nothing.

Example: if you created C:\temp\PartImage on server Billy, but shared the temp directory, then your resource should be \\billy\temp\partimage. So, IP is Billy's IP, share is temp, and the directory is \partimage.

Here, you'll find the list of available images. In the example, "T1" and "T1_Bis" are two available images. They are stored in the directory we've just chosen. Choosing one image will restore the computer with it, thus erasing part of or all your hard disk.
  • The Create_New_Image option is obviously not an image, but a choice permitting to create a new one out of the system you've booted on.
  • Do not confuse it with the Backup_Local_Hard_Disk_Drive option, which will only make a big zip of your disk (which is rarely useful).
  • If you need to blank the password of your local administrator, choose Blank_Local_Admin_Passwd.
  • Finally, the Partition_And_Format_ANY_Computer is used to prepare a disk for the installation of Windows, by making a 20-Go C:\ partition, and a D:\ with the remaining. The C:\ is ntfs-formatted, but not the D:\. This tool is generally useful to admins needing to install Windows XP through an unattended RIS setup. The answers .SIF file has no option to permit a 20-Go C:\ part to be created on the fly...
  • Note that partitionning, be in Partition_And_Format_ANY_Computer or in the restoration of an image you've created can be customized through a hda.part / sda.part file. Go to the Annex for details.
We're back again to common trunk of the documentation, whether you chose to store the image onto a Network Share or onto a Local Partition.
Finally, tell the wizard how will be called your new image.

On your storage computer, the script will create a new \PartImage\System_20070624 directory, and store everything in it.

Finally, choose the compression method you prefer.

gzip is faster, bzip2 is more efficient.

That's all.

BIOS, MBR, then, the partitions.

When the process is over, we get the shell we asked for.
On the directory we've stored the image into, you should get this kind of directory listing if you use the dir command in the Windows Command Prompt.
File Descriptions:
  • bios stores a copy of your bios settings, and will be restored too. If you don't want to restore or store your BIOS settings, delete this file.
  • hda stores the first sector of the first hard disk drive. The file might be called sda if SCSI or S-ATA. The Master Boot Record (MBR) should be inside.
  • hda1.000 and hda1.001 (or sda1.000 if SCSI/S-ATA) are the partimage image files of the first partition of the first hard disk drive. Delete these files if you don't want this partition to be restored.
  • hda1.first_sectors (or sda1.first_sectors if SCSI/S-ATA) stores the 20 first sectors of the first partition of the first hard disk drive. They will be restored before the partimaged image, to ensure any boot sector stored in a partition rather than in the MBR will be restored. The LVM structure of a partition (Linux-context only) is also stored here.


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Summary


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