back to article Put Rescuezilla 2.5 on a bootable key – before you need it

A fresh release of Rescuezilla, a free Ubuntu-based rescue disk for imaging the drives of a sickly computer, is available. Rescuezilla 2.5 is a handy tool to have around, even if you are lucky and you never need it. The new version is based on the latest Ubuntu 24.04, updates several of its components, and also includes a new …

  1. pdh

    Alternatively...

    > Then you're prepared for almost anything short of total disk failure.

    Or you could just make sure you have proper, tested backups, in which case you're protected against even total disk failure.

    1. Alumoi Silver badge

      Re: Alternatively...

      Until your backups fail between tests.

      1. jilocasin
        Happy

        Re: Alternatively...

        that's why you always have at least **two** backups.

        backup to disk0

        backup to disk1

        backup to disk0

        etc.

        if the process fails during a backup, corrupting that set, you still have the other set to restore from.

        easy peazy lemon squeezy.

        1. Lon24

          Re: Alternatively...

          Yep, for rescuing the last gasp journal file that never made it to backup so you can diagnose the crash. Or indeed the backup file that won't restore.

          Those that haven't been there will...

          Not to mention an infected drive you wouldn't want to run.

        2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge

          Re: Alternatively...

          To avoid near-simultaneous media failure, use backup disc sets or backup tape sets made by different manufacturers, or, if by the same manufacturer, from different lots.

          This works well, until you or someone else fat-fingers a command, and/or or mislabels a medium, resulting in one corrupted backup, and one outdated backup.

          There will always be a need for recovery tools.

    2. katrinab Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Alternatively...

      Of course you should have proper tested backups, but restoring them isn't always the answer to your problem, and you should do other things besides having backups.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: have proper tested backups

        Which really needs either a spare disk to swap on the computer, or a sufficiently similar sacrificial computer to restore to.

    3. Just Enough

      Re: Alternatively...

      Or, you could have both. Because life isn't always about competing alternatives.

    4. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Alternatively...

      Or you could recognize what this tool is useful for, which is not exactly the same as the set of things a backup is useful for. Yes, there are some times where you might use either, such as if the disk gets corrupted. Of course, you might not have a backup that's fully up-to-date. A backup from Tuesday is wonderful and will rescue you from plenty of things, but before you restore it, maybe you want to use a tool to try to recover Wednesday's files. If you back up every night religiously, then substitute 8:30 for Tuesday and noon for Wednesday.

      Maybe, though, you are doing something else. For example, helping someone else who doesn't have backups. Then you might prefer these tools over a backup of your computer. Or maybe you want to restore your backups, and you need some software to make that fast. Or you don't need to restore a disk, but just fix a file, and rather than spending hours restoring your full disk backup then a bit longer catching things up, you just fix the file and go on your way.

    5. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "....proper tested backups..."

    ....does anyone have these today?

    Smartphones?

    Cloud?

    Let me know!

    1. Do Not Fold Spindle Mutilate

      Re: "....proper tested backups..."

      For file backup use Restic: https://restic.readthedocs.io/en/stable/

      It is not a track by track disk backup as a boot disk but is free open source file backup and works on unix, linix, and Windows. It does deduplication and file compression to local disk or to lots of clouds. I have not heard of anyone putting it on a phone but if you can get the phone's files to your workstation then restic can then back them up.

      Recovery works.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: "....proper tested backups..."

        If you want iPhone backups, I'd recommend iMazing.

  3. PM.

    I will try to keep this name in memory for a rainy day

    Thank you.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: I will try to keep this name in memory for a rainy day

      I've been saving for a rainy day. I want to buy an umbrella.

  4. xenny
    Pint

    photorec

    I'd really recommend this - it restores to other media so you don't risk further damage to anything remaining on the card and doesn't just find images. On a couple of bucket list trips, I've been bought a lot of beers for saving people's holiday photos.

    Has once required a sort of bash shell game when I noticed I was recovering a lot of pictures of a scantily clad lady who I guessed from his expression wasn't the lady officially accompanying the camera owner on this trip.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: photorec

      There is also a GUI-ified version, QPhotoRec knocking about somewhere if you have QT for it to use.

      M.

  5. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Bah!

    'nc' the block device to another computer with 'nc' listening.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: Bah!

      Gawd, that's a hair-shirt suggestion!

  6. Dostoevsky

    Hah! Suckers!

    My OS is in a RAMdisk partition, on a computer I never reboot! I don't need disk rec–

    *No bootable device found. Press F1 to retry.*

  7. Andrew Oakley

    Encryption by default

    Disk recovery tools are obsolete in the age of encryption by default. You can't partially recover an encrypted partition.

    1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

      Re: Encryption by default

      Not necessarily. If you can still at least decrypt the partition (even with bad sectors etc.), then recovery of lost files is pretty much the same process.

  8. Conundrum1885

    Tools

    I normally use Acronis here.

    Incidentally a forensic level clone is useful but not always effective especially on mechanical drives.

    Any sort of problem such as a partially shorted winding on the actuator arm or intermittent power will interfere with a clone.

    Running it in "Reverse Mode" ie last sector first normally catches these.

  9. STOP_FORTH Silver badge

    Old school

    That's all well and good, but stick Puppy and Slax on there as well.

    Had a couple of servers at a customer site infested with a virus that had dumped three million files on one machine.

    Because of timezone difference there was no way of re-installing as all the licence keys were generated by somebody working UK office hours.

    Couldn't even open the full directory from a lightweight Linux WM.

    Take lots of tools, as many as you can carry.

    1. Scorchio!!

      Re: Old school

      Easy2Boot. Whack as many ISOs as the USB stick will allow. I've got 14 including clonezilla, which I've just put on mine.

    2. An_Old_Dog Silver badge
      Windows

      Re: Old school

      Remember to also carry CD, DVD, and floppy diskette media versions of your tools, as well as a floppy with a program that chain-boots to CD, because some old BIOSes don't support booting from CD.

      If you're dealing with a FireWire-capable Macintosh, a bootable portable FireWire drive and Target Disc Mode are your friends.

      (/me remembers toggling in the DEC RIM loader via front-panel switches, then using that to read in the BIN loader from paper tape via Teletype ASR-33, then using the BIN loader to read in the paper tape with BASIC. Approximately 20 minutes from power-on to DEC 4K BASIC's "Delete trigonometric functions?" prompt.)

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