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FAQ: Hard disk imaging / cloning programs

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For personal use whole volume backup program, which do you recommend?

Ghost 9.0
3
18%
Ghost 8.0 / 2003
2
12%
BootItNG
2
12%
Image for DOS/Windows
2
12%
Acronis True Image
4
24%
Nero BackItUp
3
18%
Windows Backup (Windows XP Pro)
1
6%
Novastor Novabackup
0
No votes
Dantz Retrospect
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 17

FAQ: Hard disk imaging / cloning programs

Postby anandasim » Fri Sep 02, 2005 9:47 pm

This is a non comprehensive listing of backup programs. Moderators, feel free to enhance. Everybody, feel free to post personal use remarks.

Windows XP System Restore does not preclude making backups


Hard Disk Imagers / Cloners

Imaging means creating a backup file set of the hard disk or volume. You can store several Image Sets on the same destination hard disk. You need to have prepared the destination hard disk with a filesystem. Some of the software allows compression of the destination file set to save space.

Cloning means to take two hard hard disks and make a 100% copy of the source to the destination hard disk. You do not need to prepare the destination hard disk. Depending on the software, you can have different sized hard disks, the destination size must be equal or larger than the occupied space of the source.

The list below was created some time ago and has been updated. Now, there are so many choices, we might have to detail the features each product has to create a matrix.


A further list here

More Traditional Backup Programs
Moment in time programs


Clever file and folder copy programs

Not every program can save to every destination

Backup Destinations
  • CDR
  • DVDR
  • Internal Hard Disk in removal tray
  • External Hard Disk on USB / Firewire connection
  • IPOD or MP3 player with hard disk
  • Across a network to another PC


Taking heed of AB's comments, there's a change to the poll title and a clarification:
Some programs can only make a copy of the whole volume. Others are better used to make selective folder and file backup.

We do both whole volume backup (because it is comprehensive and takes a while, sometimes regarded as "scheduled downtime") and on a more regular basis, selective file and folder backup of our data - (which takes less time and the machine can possibly be in use on tasks which do not "step" on the data being backed up.) :)[url][/url]
Last edited by anandasim on Fri Oct 26, 2007 7:46 pm, edited 27 times in total.
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Postby aussieboykie » Fri Sep 02, 2005 10:39 pm

Ananda

Good list, but the question is unanswerable unless it becomes "if you had to choose only one of these". Backup strategies typically include both images of partitions (e.g. Ghost, BootitNG, Image for DOS/Windows, etc.) and selective backups of files and structures (e.g. Second Copy, XCopy. etc.). Personally I'd not be comfortable without both.

Regards, AB
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Postby Stephen » Fri Sep 02, 2005 11:53 pm

Ananda

Excellent list - I myself use Ghost as it integrates into the corporate Symantec product suite LiveState which lets you do LIVE backups and image browsing across networks including servers etc. It also allows restores back onto 'Bare Metal' machines in the case that your PC completely crashes. Upon restore you can also change the Hard Disk Controller type that you are restoring to eg. To a different RAID controller etc.
Cheers, Stephen
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Postby gto-pontiac » Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:32 am

i don't use any program to back up my data. i just drag the file to the Nero and burn. so its going to be a bit of cahlenge for me to make a how-to.
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Postby anandasim » Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:37 am

Ok gto, understand. Leave it then, when the need arises one of us will respond.

Maybe wombat wanted something simple like drag file to cd and burn - you know how many people I have seen have a burner but have never burnt a file in their life?
:wink:
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Postby gto-pontiac » Sat Sep 03, 2005 1:56 am

anandasim wrote:Ok gto, understand. Leave it then, when the need arises one of us will respond.

Maybe wombat wanted something simple like drag file to cd and burn - you know how many people I have seen have a burner but have never burnt a file in their life?
:wink:


like my mum she got a super drive in her laptop and she comes up to me "can you burn this file to CD?" the file is in a USB stick about 700MB big and she have no idea how to, i have told her milions of time how to but i'm the one who end up burning the disk. :lol:
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Postby Stephen » Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:23 am

gto_pontiac wrote:
anandasim wrote:Ok gto, understand. Leave it then, when the need arises one of us will respond.

Maybe wombat wanted something simple like drag file to cd and burn - you know how many people I have seen have a burner but have never burnt a file in their life?
:wink:


like my mum she got a super drive in her laptop and she comes up to me "can you burn this file to CD?" the file is in a USB stick about 700MB big and she have no idea how to, i have told her milions of time how to but i'm the one who end up burning the disk. :lol:


Maybe time to make a backup script for her - Anything in My Documents or on MYUSB Stick - Do a double click on an icon and hey presto - All Backed up
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Postby gto-pontiac » Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:25 am

Stephen wrote:Maybe time to make a backup script for her - Anything in My Documents or on MYUSB Stick - Do a double click on an icon and hey presto - All Backed up


i don't know how to write a script for MAC OSX 10.4
for Windows may be.
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Postby Stephen » Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:34 am

i don't know how to write a script for MAC OSX 10.4
for Windows may be.


lol :)

Yeah Mac's are not in my portfolio either - TCP/IP is OK Still Rusty though.

Hardest job ever was configuring a friend's iBOOK in Japanese to connect to the net here whilst she lived with me for 3 months.
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Postby gto-pontiac » Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:36 am

thats not that hard :lol:
well if you could read Japanses like me :lol:

lets get back to the topic
(modoretors are going off topic not the user hmmmmm)
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Postby Allen-H » Mon Nov 14, 2005 9:56 am

I personally use a Prog called Karens replicator to back up to an external hdd. Ok so it will not back up files that are in use at the time, but neither will a lot of paid for backup programmes at least replicator is free :lol:
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Postby Paul » Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:18 pm

This may be of interest. I thought it about time someone put it all together for everyone to learn.

How to Backup

Feel free to update it.

cheers, Paul
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Postby Allen-H » Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:49 am

Thanks for that helpful explanation, As I found out to my loss, the replicator programme that I was using was not that good and I lost most of my stuff the other week. It is only now that I am getting back to anywhere like normal
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Postby Paul » Sun Feb 12, 2006 4:52 pm

If you just want to upgrade your hard disk, it seems the disk manufacturers have software to copy your data over for you.

Maxtor / Quantum
Seagate

cheers, Paul
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Postby Allen-H » Mon Feb 13, 2006 1:14 am

Thanks for that Paul
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Postby anandasim » Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:44 am

Interesting twist to NAS (Network Attached Storage) which seems to be an upcoming market once home users figure out how to connect their machines together.

Seagate's Mirra - continuous backup at home
As well, they provide some web storage service when you are away from home.
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Postby newman » Wed Mar 29, 2006 8:13 pm

Paul wrote:If you just want to upgrade your hard disk, it seems the disk manufacturers have software to copy your data over for you.

Maxtor / Quantum
Seagate

cheers, Paul


FYI the Maxtor / Quantum link doesn't want to work today.
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Postby Paul » Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:02 pm

Working now, albeit a bit slow.

cheers, Paul
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Postby Stephen » Thu Mar 30, 2006 12:12 am

anandasim wrote:Interesting twist to NAS (Network Attached Storage) which seems to be an upcoming market once home users figure out how to connect their machines together.

Seagate's Mirra - continuous backup at home
As well, they provide some web storage service when you are away from home.


This is becoming a 'very' big market. aka Maxtor One-Touch Backup

Shame I don't need what I already have though... :D Just Kidding..

This would be the same as using my 160Gig Seagate USB Enclosed hard drive and using VSS (Volume Shadow Copy). Oh VSS can only do entire drives so individual folders would be nice indeeed. Oh then again FS Mount Points and PushD and PopD and Subst hacks can achieve this.

And BTW VSS is included in Vista and works as a 'Point-In-Time' backup and not a fully sync'd every second of the day type solution. It is included as part of the core OS in Vista just as it is in 2003 Server.
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Postby newman » Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:01 pm

A lot of what you guys are talking about on this thread is beyond by current level of understanding, so forgive me for asking now what might be a stupid question:

Occaisionally I've needed a program that would allow the contents of one drive to be copied onto another - let's say I have XP running on a box on a 20GB drive, and I buy a 120GB and rather than doing a full reinstall, simply copy everything from the 20GB to the 120GB, then making the new drive the c: drive. All other hardware remains the same.

I've only wanted to do it twice, so rather than paying full retail for a program like Ghost, is there a freeware/GPL program that'd do it?
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Postby anandasim » Thu Mar 30, 2006 9:11 pm

newman wrote:Occaisionally I've needed a program that would allow the contents of one drive to be copied onto another - let's say I have XP running on a box on a 20GB drive, and I buy a 120GB and rather than doing a full reinstall, simply copy everything from the 20GB to the 120GB, then making the new drive the c: drive. All other hardware remains the same.

I've only wanted to do it twice, so rather than paying full retail for a program like Ghost, is there a freeware/GPL program that'd do it?

I believe Paul (above) has already answered that question:
Paul wrote:If you just want to upgrade your hard disk, it seems the disk manufacturers have software to copy your data over for you.

Maxtor / Quantum
Seagate

For example, MaxBlast does this:
MaxBlast 4 is a one-step, ATA/IDE hard drive installation utility. MaxBlast 4 makes hard drive installations and upgrades hassle-free for novices and professionals alike by automatically identifying, partitioning, and formatting any IDE hard drive, making it data-ready in about one minute. This version of MaxBlast is used on systems with already existing Windows installations to copy all your data to the new hard drive in order to use it as a boot drive, or additional storage drive.

HDClone (free edition) mentioned above also claims to do this:
The Free Edition of HDClone offers all necessary abilities to copy a complete hard disk onto another, larger hard disk. This can be utilized to migrate an existing installation to a new hard disk as well as for data rescue.
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Postby newman » Fri Mar 31, 2006 2:43 am

Duh! <bang head on wall!> Didn't twig you'd made the hdclone a link. I just thought you'd coloured the text. Double duh!! :oops:
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Postby anandasim » Fri May 12, 2006 10:56 am

New twist to backup stores.

The folks at <strike>http://www.digiland.com.au</strike> http://www.dgalifestyle.com.au/media/media.html sold me a Netdisk enclosure - ads for it are appearing in various mags, rags and the green guide. It costs a little more than a no name USB enclosure but it's well made, good value - it's an NDAS - networked drive (stick it on your router) but appears to the system as a local disk. It doesn't use TCP/IP (several advantages).

And for bare metal recovery of a PC, you can connect it directly as a USB2 drive.

If you get tempted by one, tell them Ananda sent you.

Update: rsser notes in their forum that they have not updated their software freebie in the stock he bought.
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FACQ Hard Disc Imaging/Cloning programs.

Postby Pino » Mon May 15, 2006 12:16 pm

For anyone interested, there is an excellent comparison review of Norton Ghost 10 and Acronis True Image 9 in the January 2006 issue of PC World
(probably available for reading in one of your local municipal libraries. That's where I read my issues) Summing up the test review, PCW states that although Ghost 10 is a simple effective way for less-tech-savvy users to back up all their data on their PCs, True Image is the most powerful imaging suite available, and easier on the wallet. If you're really interested in getting a real good back up program, I urge you to read the article.
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Postby Stephen » Wed May 17, 2006 8:11 pm

anandasim wrote:New twist to backup stores.

The folks at http://www.digiland.com.au sold me a Netdisk enclosure - ads for it are appearing in various mags, rags and the green guide. It costs a little more than a no name USB enclosure but it's well made, good value - it's an NDAS - networked drive (stick it on your router) but appears to the system as a local disk. It doesn't use TCP/IP (several advantages).

And for bare metal recovery of a PC, you can connect it directly as a USB2 drive.

If you get tempted by one, tell them Ananda sent you.


I had looked at a networkable enclosure from Maxtor though the price to add a network connection I thought was a little over the top.

So I have gone into a full on NAS box http://www.freenas.org/ (I havn't installed it yet, waiting for a free PC to set it up)
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Postby Stephen » Thu May 18, 2006 1:52 am

I have not looked into this any further other than the information contained in an e-mail to me from Amazon Web Services.

http://www.jungledisk.com/
http://altexa.com/index.php

Both of the above are using the Amazon S3 Simple Storage Service

Amazon S3 WHOLESALE Pricing

* Pay only for what you use. There is no minimum fee, and no start-up cost.
* $0.15 per GB-Month of storage used.
* $0.20 per GB of data transferred.


No doubt services such as S3, flickr, MS Live Drive, Google G-Drive, Omnidrive and <insert your favorite storage service here> are definatly becoming viable solutions for backup once you get past the perception, security and other concerns of using an online service for data archiving.
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Postby anandasim » Thu May 18, 2006 10:37 am

Stephen wrote:I had looked at a networkable enclosure from Maxtor though the price to add a network connection I thought was a little over the top.

So I have gone into a full on NAS box http://www.freenas.org/ (I havn't installed it yet, waiting for a free PC to set it up)

FreeNAS appears to be way on the other end of the spectrum in required infrastructure (PC required) and skill level (sysadmin).

With this Ximeta Netdisk NDAS, you do the following:

1. Put in a hd and plug in the power and the IDE cable (or you could get "ready to go" ones).

2. Use a network cable to connect the Netdisk to the switch / router.

3. Go to each PC and do the following:
a. run the setup program
b. type in two unique id numbers for the Netdisk
c. automatically reboot a couple of times.
d. choose to mount the emulated disk as a drive letter.

That's it.

No TCP/IP address issues (it uses it's own protocol LPX - I reckon it's like Novell's IPX/SPX), it just works.

You can buy multiple units to RAID 0, RAID 1 or aggregate.

After hours, you can take the unit offsite if you want.

When you need to and if you haven't got a network running or have a bare metal recovery situation, you boot up BartPE and recover using your #put your fav Windows cloning program here# since this is a USB2 (and a pretty good PnP one) device.
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Postby gto-pontiac » Fri May 26, 2006 2:00 pm

well i'm looking for a cheap NAS as well as one that can do RAID.
one that i just can plug and go.
anyone use NAS with RAID??
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Postby anandasim » Fri May 26, 2006 2:49 pm

From what I can see Stephen's post on freeNAS is cheap but you need a PC and some Linux sysadmin skills. Of course, the PC you choose needs to have a hardware RAID controller.

This Netdisk NDAS (which isn't regular NAS) is low cost, can be RAIDed if all the client PCs are not wireless. And doesn't require a PC. And hooks in as a PnP device driver. But it doesn't offer user rights management. And it doesn't hide the filesystem - the client PC sees it as FAT32 or NTFS.
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Postby gto-pontiac » Sun Jun 11, 2006 6:44 pm

another question about hard drive imaging
since i've downloaded the vista and i would like to try it but i don't want to losse my XP system so, this is what i'm thinking right now.
i do a C drive backup to a external HDD and format my C drive then put Vista and play with it then re-format the HDD againe then put the backed up C drive XP system back in to my C drive???
is that possible??
or should i just use vista?
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