Take a Mulligan with Redo Backup & Recovery

If you like the way snapshots work for virtual machines, you'll love that same physical system functionality with Redo.

Honestly, jaded old System Administrators are hard to impress but Redo Backup & Recovery might be the best 75MB bag o’ bits you’ve ever downloaded. Redo Backup & Recovery (Redo) is a live CD that contains tools and utilities to backup, restore, browse the Internet, edit files and more. With Redo, it’s easy to backup to local disk, USB drive, or network share. It’s so easy and elegant that it should be part of any System Administrator’s arsenal for system recovery, backup, restore and maintenance.

Redo is operating system independent, meaning that you can recover, backup, restore, and work with Windows or Linux systems with this single CD. It also features bare metal restore for those of you unlucky enough to need it but lucky enough to know about Redo. And, it’s free and licensed under the GPL.

This article focuses on Redo’s backup and restore facilities but you should explore the other utilities on the disk once you’ve downloaded and booted it. You’re sure to find something you can use.

The Basics

Download the 75MB ISO from the Redo Download page, burn the image to a CD-R, and boot a system from it. It’s really that simple. The Redo system boots to a miniature, but fully graphical, Linux operating system equipped with all the tools you’ll need to backup, restore, recover, or peruse a living, dead, or dying system. Redo automatically mounts your system’s partitions under /mnt.

Redo also mounts any USB-attached disks under /mnt, as well. And, yes, it works with virtual machines as well as physical ones.

Perusing Redo

On boot, Redo offers you three video modes from which to choose: Safe (default), Standard, and Enhanced. Select the one that works best for you but Safe will work with just about any video card. Figure 1 shows the Standard Video Mode selection which works well in most cases too. Enhanced video probes your video card and attempts to load specific drivers for maximum video acceleration but it really isn’t necessary. Try standard and if that doesn’t work, reboot and try Safe. Your experience with Redo won’t vary enough to annoy or impress you.

Figure 1: Inital Redo Boot Screen. Select Your Video Mode.
Figure 1: Inital Redo Boot Screen. Select Your Video Mode.

Allow Redo to boot up to the initial Home screen as shown in Figure 2. Figure 2 also shows that, upon first arriving at the Home screen, you might see the notice Offline. Don’t alarm yourself over this. It means that the Redo system is attempting to discover your network on its own and supply you with an IP address so that you can use network-based services such as network shares or the Internet.

Figure 2: The Redo Backup & Recovery Home Screen.
Figure 2: The Redo Backup & Recovery Home Screen.

If, within a few minutes of arriving at this screen, the status doesn’t change to Online, you can select the Network icon and manually configure your wired connection. If your system only has wireless (unlikely) or your wired network won’t configure correctly, click the Settings icon in the Navigation Menu and setup your wireless connection. If you’re using local disks for backup or recover, then you don’t really need to worry about network connectivity.

Figure 3 shows you a list of the Tools available on the Redo CD. As you can see, there are utilities for diagnosing and fixing a variety of problems. You also have Firefox available to you for researching any errors that appear in logs or on screen while you’re working.

Figure 3: The Redo Tools Screen with Applications for System Diagnosis and Recovery.
Figure 3: The Redo Tools Screen with Applications for System Diagnosis and Recovery.

Figure 4 illustrates how your local drives appear under /mnt, as mentioned earlier.

Figure 4: The Redo File Manager and Local Drives under /mnt.
Figure 4: The Redo File Manager and Local Drives under /mnt.

And, Figure 5 shows you how to customize your Redo experience by allowing you to change the language, time, date, display settings, sound configuration, and edit your network setup.

Figure 5: The Redo Configurable Settings Screen.
Figure 5: The Redo Configurable Settings Screen.

Next: Using Redo

Comments on "Take a Mulligan with Redo Backup & Recovery"

chdslv

It is nice to read about this Operating system. I have specially mentioned the words – operating system.

I have gone through many Linux “distros” and FreeBSD, OpenIndiana, etc and found that all of them are actually more than operating systems. They are ALSO systems with a collection of certain programs as the “developers” of these distros think that we need, and if anyone else makes a smaller “distro”, it is called a minimalist one.

The question is are we getting the “freedom” as said in the Open Source Community as it is understood? Or are we getting programs that we might never need too?

If we look at MS Windows, it doesn’t give us anything much, but a way to get connected to the internet, watch a dvd, listen to some music, write a letter using the wordpad and make notes using the notepad. Other than that noting else. If we are to read pdf files, we have to download a program from the internet. If we are to write a good letter, we have to download a free program, such as Abiword, LibreOffice, etc, and if we want to watch a presentation, we need additional programs which we have to download.

All these programs we download has the .exe extension and we are told how to use that extension to install that program.

If we need, and if we have the money, we would download or buy a program for MS Windows.

Now, for Linux based distributions, we can’t (and can) as they come with added plethora of programs, which we might use or not. We have .rpms, AURs, ,debs, etc and also tar.g2…

Most of the people don’t know how to use the tar.gz2, not like the MS Windows users know how to use the .exe extension.

Every website says that Linux is the kernal, meaning the base of the system. So, why not make one or more Linux distros like the MS Windows with the MINIMAL programs and let the user find out what he/she wants and download and install those?

Whatever Mr. Gates says, his MS windows is a MINIMALIST operating system! And it is massive like a cow (sorry, cows!) And it has nothing other than a dvd player, music player and note taker…what else?

So, how about making as many as anyone wants Linux based Operating Systems, but in a minimalistic way, and why not use the massive energy in producing, remastering, keeping and managing different repositories, etc and use that energy to produce more and more excellent programs?

I find the so-called minimalist distros like Crunchbang-Statler, AntiX Marek Edelmann quite enjoyable to work with. And play with too! I also found that, if a program installed using .tar.gz, such a program starts up faster than the ones installed using the Synaptic.

Actually, I learnt more about Linux using Crunchbang-Statler than using Ubuntu or OpenSuse or Fedora. It was lovely searching for programs, and finding out how to install them, and even uninstalling what I don’t want.

If anyone wants to check on any new “distro”, why should one HAS to download all other programs, one has in any other Linux distro, one already has? I have a feeling that lot of developers are sort of afraid that their “distros” would be so small then! Why should Linux distribution be like a cow like MS Windows? Sorry cows!

Reply

    Think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. As to MS being a Minimalist OS, well hare-dee-har-har! You must be either joking or you have never opened a new PC and turned it on in many years! Vista had enough inessential apps to choke a pig, and the present Windows 7 Home Premium has one heck of a lot more apps and mini-apps than you have listed! In Linux, if the distro gives you apps you are not in need of you can at least uninstall them with out the complete OS self-destructing. Try and uninstall Notepad, Games, DVD Maker or Windows Defragger (I can add a dozen or more apps to this list of a supposed ‘stripped down’ M$ OS) and you will find out in a hurry that you can’t. Try and force the situation and you will quickly learn what the acronym BSOD means.
    There is such a variety of Linux distributions,hybrids, forks, forked forks etc., that ALL users can find EXACTLY what they want. Distrowatch lists a ton of Mini-OS’, and bigger Distros come with Remastersys so any user can create the distro of his/her dreams. You can even start with just a Kernel of your choice if you are a real keener. Try ANY OF THE ABOVE with Microsoft!
    Long live Linux Freedom, a REAL freedom of choice in a world where corporate dictatorship is an everyday FACT that oft time impacts our lives in a very negative, irreversible way.

    From a man who spent 42 years at IBM and has seen it all,
    J. ‘Rockets’ Redglare

    Reply

      Right on Mr. Redglare! I spent 13 years at Digital Equipment of Canada, and many years working with PCs. “Windows sucks” isn’t just an expression; it’s a fact. Yet, so many are reluctant to even try Linux for fear they might find the Holy Grail of O/S’ (?!) Noobies always complain it’s “so different” yet it is not, and the learning curve isn’t that steep. The time a Windows user wastes trying to remove malware and defrag their drives could be better spent learning a new operating system, one that actually “operates”.

      As you say, distros come in every shape and size. Not only is Distrowatch a great resource for noobies, but Wikipedia helps a lot too!

      Reply
woohoo

it sounds and looks like this is an excellent tool: i can barely wait to burn it and use it on my friends’ Windows systems with viruses and whatnot :))

Reply
grabur

@chdslv bit of a deviation! Not sure I’d agree that a package installed using a package manager would be any slower than an uncompressed archive.

With reference to Redo, it would be nice to have a little more info about recovery from a backup.

What happens if your original physical drive is dead? Do you have to create partitions on a new drive – then recover – or does the tool take care of all of this for you?

Reply
mattwilmott

With reference to Redo, it would be nice to have a little more info about recovery from a backup.

What happens if your original physical drive is dead? Do you have to create partitions on a new drive – then recover – or does the tool take care of all of this for you?

I too would be interested in these abilities. For instance does it allow you to resize partitions on recover?

Reply
louisianaguy

Great article, but yes,,same concerns about paritions..etc.

Reply

I use redo daily, to image pcs, it works great. It will back up to a network drive, as well as a flash drive, I can create a pc, just the way the customers need it, and shazam, have 10 of them in an hour. It creates am exact copy of the disk or partition when reimaged, I really used to like Acronis True Image, but they do not make a business friendly version, and the price of redo is right. another great thing about redo is it you make a flash drive install from it, you can install whatever apps you may need. I use network-manager-openvpn and can actually vpn to work on bootup to whatever from where-ever I am. I give it a 9 out of 10, only issue i have with it is it will not restore to a smaller drive. but I can live with that. This software has saved me days of work, from the old way I used to do it. We also used it on Dell blades we had in the back, made one blade, imaged the rest, did 13 pcs in a day and a half.

Reply

Hello,
not working in a vista network..even i share a folder with full access permisions it didn’t find any share folder.. what can i do ? is it somewhere a manual for REDO ? thanks

Reply

Looks great but to me it is fraught with issues. V1.0.1 & V1.0.2 both are problematic in creating a USB boot device & mostly bomb out mid way in the process. It is then unclear whether the USB drive actually completed fully. It can take 10 or more attempts to sucessfully make a bootable USB.

Second issue is it’s not reliable, for instance I did a backup on a PC (SATA drives) & it worked fine, now when I attempt a backup a week later it fails, I select from & to (same as first backup) & it hangs & does not start backing up data – a reboot is needed. No backup commences, this happened five times so I reluctantly returned to my old faithful (never fail) Norton Ghost V15.

Redo looked to have great potential but for me it is too unreliable, unpredictable & can’t be trusted to backup/restore. This is a great pity! For a tablet (no keyboard) Rego is an essential (Ghost will NOT/ can NOT work) so I use it for this, but it can take many attempts to get a successful backup or restore. Fortunately so far it has worked on the tablet but seems to have issues with some hardware!

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