Classic Mac OS Software (Discussions on Applications) > Pro Tools by Digidesign

The Monte Method

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Hi guys,

I have been delving into the Avid knowledge databases and forums recently looking for information on PTIII setup for NuBus systems -I'm currently upgrading my Pro Tools I system (442) to a Pro Tools III complete rig that I got recently from a donor in France. While doing a search I came across a mention of a so-called "Monte Method" a way of using FWB Hard Disk Toolkit's "Device Copy" function to do a block-by-block copy for back up of a full installation with auths. Yes, it works with PACE auths too (!).

Obviously, this immediately reminded me of our efforts at backing up with ASR to have a fully authorized backup install. Sorry guys, apparently this one had already been solved...almost 20 years ago xD And yes, it is much easier than the ASR can even use this method to backup to a CD-ROM if you keep the partition under 650mb.

Most threads mentioning this are from the 1999-2000 period. The particular thread I first came across was this one:

After some research, I came across several other topics mentioning the "Monte method", all referencing the original source as daw-mac newsgroup but with no complete information on the procedure. They all sort of implied not to post the procedure in the Avid forums but to go to daw-mac instead. Daw-mac archives are not available -as far as I know- but after some intensive research I found it  ;D

Here is the MONTE METHOD explained:

Hi Jerome,

Below is a post I made some time back. It contains statements concerning
the procedure made by others on this list. The procedure was originally
created by Monte (AFAIK). I have taken several posts and merged them into
what's below in an attempt to more clearly explain how the Device Copy is

I, in no way, am responsible for this and take no credit for it. If there
are others that feel they need to add to or take away form what's below
please feel free to chime in. I will say that because of this procedure I
will never lose another PACE key! It's also just a great way to backup
boot drive or any other drive.

Here it is.........

Steinberg's not going to be very happy with this post and neither is PACE,
but I really don't give a fat baby! The basic principal here is to use a
separate mechanism, either another drive, or CD-ROM, MO removable,
FWB's Hard Disk Toolkit has a function called Device Copy which will
a Disk Image file of your precious System drive, PACE keys and all to the
backup drive. If anything gets screwed up on your System drive (lost
directory problems, etc.), you reload the pristine image in a few minutes
and get back to work.

I suggest a small partition around 300 meg or so. Make sure this
is the first partition on the drive. Partitions are assigned from the
inside of the platter first and then works out for the next and so on.
want the first partition to hold the system because the inside part of the
platter has much faster access speeds than the outside part of the
And because you're partition will be small it will also be very fast.

Install a clean system onto that, then install a clean version of all the
apps etc. including Pace keys. Now's a good time to do use Speed Disk...
use optimization and 'wipe free space' so that the unused end of the
partition backup file is easier to compress during backups etc. Once you
have a good system, back up blocks 0 to N of that drive to a file using
device copy (pick N from looking at the partition table... N is one block
less than the starting block number of the partition immediately following
the 300MB partition). In this way, you have a file that contains an image
of block 0 through the small boot partition, and that contains all the
stuff and your system.

You can now deauthorize all the Pace stuff to get your keys back on floppy
and then restore the partition using device copy and you're up and
Repeat this procedure until you have regained all your key disks. You do
need two drives to get this to work, because when you restore to the
from the backup file, FWB wants to unmount all the partitions from that
device. If you made a bootable CD-ROM that contains a system, FWB and the
backup image, you could boot from that before you use Device Copy. BTW,
since it's a CD, it's actually a bit faster to do the recovery: press 'c'
when you're booting to boot from CD-ROM right after the crash.

I've used the above technique to regain all my PACE keys and as a result
Steinberg and PACE will never get any of my hard earned money because my
system crashed and I needed another set of keys. In fact, if any of you
have ever lost all of your installs you also know that some companies
big bucks for a new disk.

T-Von (with a lot of help from my friends at daw-mac)

I am telling you guys, it was such a weird feeling finding out about this one....specially after all the ASR hassle  ;)

- MusicWorks

This is an extra description of the method found in the Avid forums:

He (and now I) suggest using a Disk Image to back up your hard drive, AND ALL OF THE FLOPPY AUTHORIZATIONS that are on it! The files are invisible, and cannot be copied by traditional drag and drop methods, but they ARE there, and do get copied in a brute force bit for bit method like a disk image.

The first step in the Monte Method, is to partition your main hard drive, so that a small partition (750MB?) can be created for your system folder, and any copy protected applications. The reason you make a partition, is so that your disk image doesn't have to be enourmous - you'll only need an image of the partition. You'll want it to fit on a removable media.

The rest of the HD, (the second partition) will contain non-copy protected applications, and even files from the applications on the smaller partition. This second partition has no authorizations, or hidden data, so it can be backed up by traditional drag and drop Finder copy methods.

I use Hard Disk Toolkit to make, and restore my disk images. Make sure you look at the HD info first, so you know the precise size, in blocks, of the image you'll be making. You'll want to make a disk image of all the small header files, and the partition, so basically you make a Disk Image of blocks 0 to N, where N = the highest block of the parition. You can simply look at the starting address of the second parition (the one without the copy protected stuff, and without the system) and subtract 1.

Hard Disk Toolkit tells me that on my hard drive, the second larger parition starts at block 844416, so I make my disk image of blocks 0 through 844415, and get the first partition, and all the formatting and directory info from the hard drive into the image.

Once, you've made the image, deauthorize your software, so the authorizations are back on the floppies, and then load the image you made (which includes authorizations) to the hard drive, wiping out the old unauthorized versions. Perfect.

The best part about this, is that once you have your system set up just perfectly, you can optimize the partition, and the directory (with Disk Warrior) and then make perfect, clean, working disk images. Then when anything starts crashing, or acting strange, you can just restore the image, and everything is perfect, and ready to go in a manner of minutes. This is a major advantage to OS9, and one of the big reasons I'm not switching.

I started with a clean virgin install of the system, and then the software, launching it only once (or twice) to get all the preferences set correctly, then I optimized, and made the disk image. Its perfect, and a known software state with a minimum of corruptions or decay. I've even done dry runs of disk image replacement. I can go from scratching my head at a bug, to a clean install and reboot in under 10 minutes. That means that when I have a deadline, I can KNOW that nothing in the software can slow me down more than 10 minutes. Hardware can break, and I've toyed with keeping a backup computer, but this is THE answer to software trouble.

- MusicWorks

MacOS Plus:
  This is quite intriguing if it works with PT3.x/4.x because I lost a v4 auth due to corruption that resulted from a system freeze.  I'd like to be able to experiment with building the optimal hardware/software environment without fear of losing any more auths.  Anything else you may learn and document about configuring PT Nubus would be of great interest to me, as you may have seen in this thread I started recently:

  Also, there doesn't seem to be anything for pre-5.x PT hosted in the Members Downloads here.  Whatever you might come across for older Pro Tools or Digidesign installers of any sort, please try to get them uploaded.  For the ones I have I will try to do the same when I have some time.  You can see the current list of all my disks in the posting I just mentioned.

I am a PT legacy collector myself...let me know if there are any specific things you are looking for. I have amassed everything I could find, having contributed Pro Tools 1.0 original floppies (ProDECK 1.1 and ProEDIT 1.1 complete set, available in the garden) as well as 2.03.

Pretty sure I have every single version of PT, that is except the elusive Avid-only PT 3.3 of course ;)

In terms of original software, I own version 1.1 through 4.0.1. Actually I am thinking about using the monte method described here with a primer PT 4 install I am preparing for the PTIII NuBus system, complete with Sound Designer II, MasterList CD, DIN-R and Peak/Deck auths.

Please find attached a *very* curious .sit called "CopyAuthorizationFloppies". It includes everything you need to create proper images from floppies with authorizations (and then use a copy of that image to authorize the hard disk). Haven't tried it yet, but is legit.

You have quite a collection there!!! I have had a Pro Tools I system (442 interface) for almost 5 years and I LOVE it. It's a simple 4-channel non-TDM configuration, given the almost impossible task of finding the SysAxe card. I have given up on the SysAxe (only way to have a more than 4 channel Pro Tools I system) and thats why I am upgrading to a PT III core system.

More than happy to share PT stuff  ;D

 The .sit with all necessary tools to copy authorization floppies was downloaded from the original Opcode Users website ;)


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