She got an email in her Facebook inbox from two of her friends. She clicked the link in the message and the rest was all badness. Does anyone remember NIMDA?
She called me at work in a panic. She did not know what to do and my wife used to be an IT Manager and a pretty big software company. Granted, this was years ago before we had kids, but she is no dummy in regards to technology. I told her not to worry, her laptop was backed up from our Windows Home Server. Since I really had no idea what kind of virus this was, I told her to disconnect the network router from the internet immediately. Since I was already on my way home and she was juggling our three kids, she waited for me to get home.
I asked her if she had any files that she modified since the last backup and if so copy them off to a thumb drive. She didn't, but for those of you who do have to do this, copy the files off and then when you are backup and running. Virus scan the files first and then copy them back to their proper location.
When I got home I plugged my wifes laptop into the network router with a network cable (you do not want to run a restore wirelessly). I put in the Windows Home Server Restore CD and rebooted the machine. Click any key to boot from CD. Waited a few minutes for the OS to load and answered a few prompts. Since I don't do this scenario very often, can't remember the exact steps, but there were only a few;
- Home Server prompted me for which computer that you want to restore, by default it choses the machine I was on.
- It asked me what backup I wanted. I chose the one from the the previous night.
- What volume (drive) I want to restore and to what volume you want to restore to. Chose the default.
- It warns me that this will delete everything on that volume (drive) if I chose to continue,. I chose continue
- Chose Next and it runs the restore
- About an hour later, I was prompted that the Restore completed Successfully and to click Finish To restart my computer from the restored volume.
- Rebooted and my wife's machine was back up and running.
What people fail to realize is that Home Server is not just a Network Attached Storage (NAS), it is a full backup and capable of restoring the complete drive, not just the files and directories that are backed up in the cloud by services like Mozy. Crashes Needn’t Be Fatal. Mozy cannot protect you from the facebook virus. In all cases where you use a NAS or a online backup service in the cloud and you have a hard drive fail or you have a really bad virus and you need to rebuild your system, you will either have to go get a new drive (in the case of a drive failure) and then reinstall your Operating System, all of your applications like Microsoft Office, Microsoft Money, all of your games, all of your third party software for your cameras, external devices, etc.... and redo all of your settings. The list can really be long and tedious.
Show of hands, how many of you have about 4-12 hours to set your machine back up from scratch? I DON'T!!!! I am not saying the cloud based backup solution is not something you should do. I do it, but this is a last resort. Not the first and only resort.
Windows Home Server is the first step in protecting your data. I know houses burn down, thieves will rob your house and possibly take your computers and your Windows Home Server, but this statistically happens less than virus, worm, trojan, hard drive failure, etc...
So, bottom line, Windows Home Server saved my butt one more time. Saved me a huge amount of time and headache. Saved me countless hours of lost sleep since our machines in our house are critical. Last, but not least, it saved me a lot of pain with my wife who would have been very frustrated while she waited for her computer to get back and running and since it is her machine she would have had to spend a lot of time getting it setup just the way she likes it, not the way I would set it up. Is any of this getting through?
Lastly, thanks Charlie Kindel and the Windows Home Server Product Team for creating such an amazing product. I am and always have been a believer in this product. Now, I am just that much more a DIE HARD FAN!
Community Lead (Windows Server Solutions Group)
Yeah, I am the guy who ran the beta for V1 of Windows Home Server