How do cloning drives, system recovery points and virtual machines compare for system state recovery?

I want to setup a dedicated test computer that can be restored to a specific system state. The reason for that is that the software tests to be executed on that machine include the installation process. Software can certainly be uninstalled, but that often does not revert the whole system back to its original state.

I often run into problems like software failing when being installed on a freshly setup operating system or reinstalling software giving different results than newly installing it.

In short, I want to test the software deployment.


I don’t always want to start from scratch by formatting the drive and installing the operating system. The used operating systems are Windows. I want to be able to easily restore the state of just having installed the operating system, for example.

I found 3 ways of achieving that:

  1. Use some cloning/mirroring software to “capture” the state of the hard drive.
  2. Use the system restore point.
  3. Use virtual machines.

How do these compare in terms of reproducibility and convenience for software tests?

  1. Cloning drives seems to be the most straight forward approach.
  2. With the system restore points, I am not sure if they revert the entire system. Will this also remove windows updates etc? It seems to be a rather convenient option to be able to restore the system this way from within the system itself.
  3. Virtual machines seem to give the best out of both worlds. However, the tests involve connected hardware and adding the virtualisation as another layer might be another source for change of behaviour of the software.

How to control or deny permission to certain drives?

I have an android based kiosk and I have a very peculiar requirement, while browsing files/folders from the browser I need to restrict user from accessing certain drives, say for example when the user clicks on ‘upload picture’ I don’t want them to access C:/ or any other drive restricted by me only access the input source, for instance a pen drive or cd-rom.

Is that possible? If yes then please do guide me.

Should I create APFS encrypted disk image on hard disk drives?

enter image description here

I’m about to create an encrypted sparse disk image on my HFS+ formatted hard drive, but then I wondered if APFS’s drawbacks on HDDs will mean anything in this case, since the hardware is anyway on HFS+. Since the disk image is in software, I think APFS should do faster logical copying and decrypting because it’s newer but I don’t really know how this works.

Preseeding Dual boot dual hard drives Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS

First post here. Just wondering if anyone can help. I’m not Linux expert or anything so this may just be my brain frazzling!

Ok, so I’m using the same hardware and same method I have been using with 16.04.x which all worked fine. I am using a fairly new pc with two nvme hard drives in (one 500gb and one 250gb). In my preseed file under partitioning I specify the 250gb disk (d-i partman-auto/disk string /dev/nvme1n1) for Ubuntu as Windows goes on nvme0n1 (the 500gb disk). My auto deployment/installation of Ubuntu works fine for a few times but then suddenly i’ll find that for some reason its installed itself onto the 500gb disk instead of the 250gb?! If i then look in gparted or do lsblk the disk labels have swapped over so now the 250gb disk appears as nvme0n1 instead of nvme1n1 and the 500gb appears as nvme1n1 instead of nvme0n1. If I reboot then usually the labels have switched back to how they should be but obviously Ubuntu has now written over the windows 500gb disk. When i deploy Windows 10 via sccm it will consistently deploy to the 500gb disk (disk 0) Any suggestions or workarounds would be greatly appreciated. Currently i’ve sort of given up on this and am waiting for 18.04.2 to see if that fixes anything. Thanks Rob

Software to transfer files from one large hard drive to multiple smaller hard / flash drives?

Any suggestions of a software that would allow copy files from a large drive to multiple smaller drives, preserving all attributes of the files, such as created/modified date?

I’m looking for something that would fill one drive up and ask for another destination to copy remaining files until that drive is full and so on until all files are copied.

FastCopy almost works, except it doesn’t allow changing destination without resetting of what already was copied (I could be wrong though)

How to restrict or hide users to specific drives only (not typical drives combinations)

How can I restrict users (not admins) to access to specific drives?

I know there is gp that allows to restrict typical combinations of drives, like C, A, B, D etc… But I would like to allow all drives, except P:

I readed and old method but I would like to be sure that it works with 2012 version.

Thank you all,

My External Hard Drive’s format changed to FAT16 without any reason

I have an ADATA HD710 1TB external hard drive which I use mostly in my Mac Mini 2011 and I have created two separate partitions for my drive.

One of the partitions has APFS (Apple File System) format and the other has MS-DOS FAT (FAT32) format. I use the second one for Windows 10 that is installed on my computer using Bootcamp. As it’s not possible to view files of the drive which is formatted in APSF in Windows I use that FAT32 partition to move some files from my main drive to that and view them in Windows.

Yesterday I plugged my external drive in to Windows 10 and after copying some files I just ejected it. Today when I tried to access my files in macOS I realized that my Hard drive’s format is changed to FAT16 and none of the two partitions which I had created are displayed.

enter image description here

I tried repairing my drive using the Disk Utility’s First Aid feature but it didn’t work. I also tried repairing it via Terminal using diskutil repairDisk command and the result was the same as Disk Utility. Finally, I tried repairing it in Windows (using diskpart commands) and I was unsuccessful again.

How can I fix this issue?

Please notice that I really need the information inside my main partition of the drive (The FAT32 partition is not that important for me). Otherwise, I know that if I erase the whole drive, I can use it again.

The exact error message that I get when I connect my external drive to macOS is:

The disk you inserted was not readable by this computer.

SAS Drives Ubuntu Server 18.04

I have two SAS drives of the same type. I have install the ubuntu operation system on the first SAS drive. Now I want to use the other drive for storage, but it doenst seem to show up on parted, lsblk, etc. It should be /sdb but the only disk I see is /sda and /sda1. But im 100% sure it is not the other disk. Do you have to mount disks? Or how should I fix this. The LED is green, so he is not dead.

Does the destruction of sensitive information limit the choice of hard drives to non-flash based hard drives?

Working with a non-profit organization,it’s common to reuse hard drives that have previously stored highly sensitive information such as medical and financial records. This is primarily driven by cost-saving measures to reduce purchasing new hard drives.

If the destruction of sensitive information is the first requirement, does this limit the choice in selecting the type of storage medium?

For example, do non-flash based hard drives provide a higher level of assurance in the destruction of data using ATA Secure Erase and a single wipe in comparison to SSDs including self-encrypting drives?

Enhances sexual drives and libido

No festivities are held complete without Trialix. Despite this, this is the most comprehensive Trialix I have ever found at this price point. I discover this my Trialix has improved because I am doing it when my mind is fresh. I have long had issues with Trialix because there are not many that are found online. I'm going to want to practice here. I don't see Trialix in this! You might have to defend your position on…

Enhances sexual drives and libido