I have a Windows 2000 Advanced Server installation that is just completely hosed with malware applications that I have been unsuccessful removing. This Advanced Server is used to provide thin clients with access to a few windows app, but primarily to a DOS based app running on ANOTHER server (which is good).
I have come to the conclusion that I need to reload the OS from scratch.
What do I need to backup so that I can restore data without having to entering everything manually?
I want to reload the applications. That’s not a problem, but I don’t want to have to re-enter drive shares, user profiles, etc. Is there a best practices kind of document, a checklist, that I could use for what I need to capture BEFORE I blow everything away with a reformat?
Thanks in advance.
Well, it’s pretty difficult to give you a best practice document without knowing what tool you are using. If you don’t have or haven’t picked a tool for this then you need to. Otherwise you will end up doing everything the hard way (configuring most everything back manually).
There’s lots of tools out there that can capture profile settings, application settings, etc. I’m pretty biased towards Altiris software as I’m a software tester for the company, but it’s probably a good idea to get a list of different software out there and seeing what fits your needs the best.
Also, while you are at it, you should see if the software has capabilities for restoring your computer or applications to a good state. Having a backup/recovery system in place will save you from headaches such as this.
Anyway, once you’ve picked a tool for performing the task, find out from the company’s support or your sales rep if they can provide you with a best practices document or suggestions on what steps to take in your particular situation.
Since I mentioned Altiris, I should probably say which Altiris products would be helpful for your situation:
PC Transplant: Captures user and application settings and can migrate them to another computer or the same computer (if you are re-installing or upgrading Windows).
Software Virtualization Solution: Virtualizes your software so that you can revert your applications back to a default state (instantly repairing them). It also allows other cool stuff like: activating or deactivating applications with a single command, reverting to different versions of an app, and keep the apps from messing with the base OS.
Recovery Solution: Scheduled backups on your computers so that you can recover to a last known good state.
Anyway, like I said there are probably other products out there that can get the job done as well. I only mention Altiris since that is what I am familiar with and I really think we have great tools for this type of job. Now, I don’t want to sound like a salesman, so I’d still recommend you do your own research on what products can do what you need and which option has the best value for you.
I just want to emphasize the point that it is a good idea to have a tool for this as well as a backup\recovery plan. That is probably the only ‘best practice’ I can recommend for you at this time.