Patching Procedures For Little
Guys"> The Full Manual Backup Some folks may be tempted to manually back up only the parts of the operating system that could be adversely affected by a Service Pack installation or patch. Microsoft even offers an article on how to do this. The long and short of the procedure is to use the Windows Backup program (or a good third-party program) to back up the System State (basically the Registry; this is an explicit item in the Windows Backup program).For more tips on backing up and recovering data after an attack or disaster, see Microsofts article on the subject. Complete Coverage For those who want more solid protection, the answer is to use a disk imaging program such as Symantec Corp.s Norton Ghost or PowerQuest Corp.s Drive Image. Ive recently noticed that some people have grown discouraged about backing up. The complain that drives are so large these days that theres no effective backup medium. They have a point. Still, if you just want an accessible backup in case of a configuration disaster and dont care to keep backups off-site, just stick another drive in the box and image your system. This works perfectly and hard drives are so cheap nowadays that this may be the most economical solution. On the other hand, there have been a number of reports of things going wrong when installing the Service Pack, and sometimes it can be tricky to restore everything that was changed in the process. Even if you have a proper backup procedure in place with tape or online backup, creating a disk image before a major configuration change is the preferred practice. It offers the ultimate in coverage just in case something goes wrong; for example, if the system fails at the earliest stages of boot. Fear of applying service packs and patches is basically a fear of the unknown. Still with a bit of time (and maybe a little money) you can protect yourself against almost anything that might go wrong. Security Supersite Editor Larry Seltzer has worked in and written about the computer industry since 1983.
Next, backup the Boot Partition, which contains the earliest parts of the operating system boot, such as boot.ini and ntldr; as well as the system partition, which contains Windows itself. Remember, for the purposes of backing out of a configuration change, you dont really need to backup to tape. Instead, you just need sufficient space on a hard drive to hold the backup data.