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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

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