Friday, February 19, 2010

Decrease the Size of a ShadowProtectedDisk

Yes Shadow Protect is AWESOME however it has an annoying chink in the armor that even Livestate had covered back in the day.

That is to say Shadow Protect lacks the ability to restore to disks SMALLER than the orginal. This could be a major problem at times... It could be instant fail for a DR exercise with a limited hardware budget for example.

There is hope however! You just need to dig deep into your bag of super-nerd tricks and come out with a combination of solutions.

So your backup is too big to fit on your new disk? Make the backup smaller then!!
  1. Restore image to a disk that is large enough for the backup
  2. Make the partition on that disk smaller
  3. Backup the smaller image

Simple no?
Ok here's what I would do if I had a Hyper-V server built and waiting...

  1. Open Hyper-V
  2. Edit the settings of an existing VM that you've got sitting doing nothing or create a new one
  3. Create a new Dynamically Sized VHD that is as big as the backup image requires
  4. Boot the VM from the Shadow Protect ISO
  5. Restore the Backup image (30 - 60 minutes depending on image size and LAN speed)
  6. Shutdown the VM
  7. Change the settings so it boots from the Gnome Partition Editor ISO
  8. Boot the VM again
  9. Resize the partition using this funky free tool! (should take about 30 minutes depending on hardware grunt)
  10. Boot back into Windows
  11. Load Shadow Protect
  12. Create a backup of your new SLIM disk (30 - 60 minutes depending on image size and LAN speed)
  13. Bathe in your aura of WIN (15 - 120 minutes)

Total time for the job is 90 - 150 minutes depending on image size (and levels of WIN bathing)

Clearly in a DR situation this procedure does TRIPLE the time it takes to restore a ShadowProtect image. So the time it takes to set this up and shrink any images needs to be weighed against the time it would take to rebuild the server from scratch.

Also there's no reason this HAS to be done in a VM... If you've got plenty of BIG disks spare this would work just as well on real hardware (with the exception of RAID controller driver issues for both ShadowProtect and GPartED)

OR... if you restore to VMware:
Just make the virtual disk size as big as you need and specify it NOT to use all space up front.
Shadowprotect will be able to restore into the large disk, but it will not take up all the disk space on your host's hdd.


Or you could just do this;

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