We are in the planning stages of rolling out our own line of custom built systems. Developing this computer building division will help us gain a few more clients and offer a one stop shop for customers. Affordable systems for home users and business…blah blah blah.
OK now lets get to the cool stuff. My business partner presented the idea that we put our own logo as the BIOS splash screen. A novel idea I said. Then I thought of how I have always wanted a cool utility partition to do diagnostic work or for disaster recovery of files. You know instead of breaking out the Ubuntu CD/USB toolkit for Memtest86+ or downloading programs like chntpw, ddrescue only to have it all disappear at reboot. Which sucks especially if you weren’t finished with the process. Most power users dual boot to get the best of both worlds. Speed, open source and of course compatibility.
Basically the idea is to install Ubuntu Desktop on another partition that is 13 to 15 GB depending on Windows partition’s image compression. Yeah I know that sounds like a lot but here is what will be on it though. Boot screen with our logo that gives you the choice of Windows, MJNS Utility Partition (Ubuntu Desktop 10.10), and Memtest86+. Now Memtest alone is great to have because I have found memory to be a major issue in a few customer systems. On the utility partition we will have a slew of tools that are listed below. The most useful among them is partimage, gddrescue, photorec, ClamAV, TeamViewer, and chntpw. Then add the fact that the partition is a full OS with browser, office suite, and more.
We, along with most other IT shops, use Ubuntu to diagnose issues and recover data. It seems like a no brainer of course. Simply one of those things you think of then say, “WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THIS SOONER!” We plan to roll this out not only for custom built systems, but on any computer we reformat. The ability to restore the windows partition on the fly making the turn around time for reformats shorter than 2 – 3 days. A time frame which is sometimes hard to meet depending on our load while other times easy. I mean jeeeezzzzz it just makes sense.
- Partimage (Image/Restore partition for quick reformats)
- Teamviewer (remote controlled disaster recovery)
- ClamAV with ClamTK GUI (others can be added of course)
- CHNTPW (OMG I forgot my password….Again!)
- NTFS-3g/NTFS Progs (with ntfsundelete)
- Recovery programs (photorec,foremost,gddrescue)
- Bonnie++ (Disk Benchmarking)
- SSH Server
- Samba (For quick shares and drag/drop files)
- Filezilla (getting files from our support server)
- Google Chrome (cause its cool)
- Customized welcome music, possibly a video and our site as the home page…..BRANDING!
Most of these recovery, boot, utility partitions are closed with little and nothing as far as functionality, this will be far more robust. Testing to begin soon. Spoke to a friend about this and he mentioned that HP acquired out a small opensource distro and they plan to implement something like this in their new systems. I may be bugged or something, but its all good when its open source.