securing work environment - most underestimated feature of many modern motherboard

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Piotr
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2017/11/12 16:18:04 (permalink)

securing work environment - most underestimated feature of many modern motherboard

I would like to share with a nice method securing our work environment  against sudden crash of OS. 
Of course we should do backups both our work and OS but restoring take a time and can be tedious (in case of OS).
But there is other way on many PC (I'm not sure if it is also related to MACs).
 
It is surprisingly for me very underestimated and probably also missed. Probably because its name and associations. But in fact the idea behind it is taken from world of servers and virtualization environments.
 
It is related to feature in BIOS of many 'modern' (I guess not older than 5-6 years) motherboards.
It is named often as 'overclock profile' or 'game profile' etc...
 
While PC motherboard manufacturers probably created it for reason suggested by its name in fact it offers much more... It lets to define different hardware profiles for the machine. What means you could have on the same computer 2 different OSes (2 separate disks needed) with different hardware configurations : daily used and standby OS which can be started just by switching profile in BIOS. They cannot see each other so standby OS is not sensitive to any daily OS crash or virus infection. The secondary disk from profile 2 is not even seen in profile 1 (if it is intention and properly defined of course).
 
The most important advantages here is you can in case OS crash just reboot to BIOS, switch profile and got in minutes working machine again. Also you can use the secondary profile for less serious applications or for sharing the same machine with other person (2 different engineers can have 2 different  setups on the same machine), etc...
 
Preparation is simple. Need second disk (size must match at least size overall used by OS (usually 2 partitions). Next clone OS disk to new disk. Then in BIOS define 2 profiles where 1st cannot see disk 2 and 2nd cannot see disk 1, rest disks would be shared (of course sharing disks gives way for viruses). Or any other combinations proper for an application as needed without shared disk, etc What ever hardware can be disabled in BIOS...
 
 
 
 

Regards,
Piotr
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5 Replies Related Threads

    azslow3
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    Re: securing work environment - most underestimated feature of many modern motherboard 2017/11/12 17:12:19 (permalink)
    While many boards have BIOS profiles for overclocking (much longer then 5 years...), not many of them can disabled individual SATA/M2 ports. May be you can post a link to some which can?

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    #2
    Piotr
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    Re: securing work environment - most underestimated feature of many modern motherboard 2017/11/12 18:18:00 (permalink)
    I can confirm for sure what I am using in my 2 machines:
    ASUS_Z97-PRO_GAMER
    Gigabyte ga-z77x-ud5h
     
    I guess it would be all of lines sharing similar BIOSes from given manufacturer. The simplest method to check a motherboard if it supports such feature is to get pdf manual from manufacturer website and check there.
    I did it before my every buy.

    Regards,
    Piotr
    #3
    Jim Roseberry
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    Re: securing work environment - most underestimated feature of many modern motherboard 2017/11/12 20:55:58 (permalink)
    If you're in a zero downtime environment:
    You could put the boot boot drive in a removable bay... and have a clone of the boot drive (up-to-date) sitting on a shelf ready (if when necessary).
     
    Use a dual 2.5" removable bay (assuming SSD for boot drive)...
    You can have the spare boot drive sitting/waiting in the second bay.
    Just don't connect the second bay's power/data connections...
    If the worst happens, turn off the machine... and swap the two SSDs.
    Reboot... and you're right back to a properly functioning DAW.
     

    Best Regards,

    Jim Roseberry
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    #4
    fireberd
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    Re: securing work environment - most underestimated feature of many modern motherboard 2017/11/12 21:09:14 (permalink)
    I have a dual boot system (separate SSD's) with my Win 10 Pro "Production" system and a second Win 10 "Insider" advanced OS.  I have Sonar installed on both, although its just the basic Sonar on the Insider installation.  However, if there were a problem to the point such as the OS suddenly was corrupted, I can boot with the Insider installation and at least do a session recording.  Then later resolve the problem on the Production system and do whatever needs to be done to the recorded session, mixdown, etc. 

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    #5
    Piotr
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    Re: securing work environment - most underestimated feature of many modern motherboard 2017/11/13 02:01:11 (permalink)
    Jim Roseberry
    If you're in a zero downtime environment:
    You could put the boot boot drive in a removable bay... and have a clone of the boot drive (up-to-date) sitting on a shelf ready (if when necessary).
    [...]

    Sure, Jim, quite similar approach.
    When using BIOS profile disk is already physically connected in machine. No need to go to shelf or connect ;)
     
    All depends on preference. If somebody didn't like to enter the BIOS and select anything there probably would pick option with physical replacing. If (like in my case) somebody didn't like to go and connect anything just software switch she/he would prefer BIOS profiles.
     
    If you were using secondary OS not only as emergency recovery but for additional work in different environment (like me) I believe much more comfortable is option with profiles.

    Regards,
    Piotr
    #6
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