Best Boot Drive Imaging Software

vbimport

#1

Hey guys, would like a general consensus on what you think is the best to use to backup a boot drive to an external so that if anything goes wrong on the internal boot, I can just pop a new drive in there and image/recover it back over easily, no frills, high reliability… and of course free is always good as long as it works for this one purpose:

Acronis True Image
Norton Ghost
Clonezilla (free/open source)
G4L (free/open source)
BackupPC (free/open source)
Bacula (free/open source)
(Any Linux app, Ghost, ddrescue, etc…)

(If applicable, Windows XP Pro and will have many programs installed, and possibly large files, i.e., HD video files, going from a 1TB internal to a 1TB external)


#2

I stay away from using the word “best” in regard to most things, but all of the programs you listed will probably do the job just fine. I would add DriveImageXML and Easus Disk Copy to the list. Both are free.

http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/

http://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm


#3

I haven’t tried any of the open source software that you mention, but I would recommend Acronis True Image.

Unlike Ghost, True Image can still create a drive image from a bootable CD (I haven’t tried Home v11, but you certainly can with Home v10). Or if you prefer you can image any drive from within Windows, even your boot drive. And if you don’t want to create a full backup of the whole drive you can select just those directories that you want to backup.

Here in the UK the price is quite reasonable (<£30).


#4

“Best” is such a subjective concept.

Acronis True Image is certainly very good - I use it on one of my systems. ATI Home 11 can be used to image from a bootable CD/DVD by making an UBCD4Win or BartPE boot disc with the Acronis plugin. I simply image from withing Windows, however.

Macrium Reflect is also a nice product and very fast. I like it especially because of the FREE Edition which has enough functionality to be useful. For some reason you won’t find the FREE Edition on the Macrium site if you enter through the main page - you’ll have to google for it or use the link I provided.

I personally haven’t liked any Norton Ghost version since 2003.


#5

I’ve got one to add :http://ping.windowsdream.com/ .
Quote from their website :
PING is a live Linux ISO, based on the excellent Linux From Scratch (LFS) documentation. It can be burnt on a CD and booted, or integrated into a PXE / RIS environment.

Several tools have been added and written, so to make this ISO the perfect choice to backup and restore whole partitions, an easy way. It sounds like Symantec Ghost™, but has even better features, and is totally free.

Features include:

* Probably the best available Linux toolbox for rescuing a system;
* Backup and Restore partitions or files locally or to the network (MS Network Shared directory, NFS, FTP or SSHFS);
* Backup and Restore the BIOS data as well;
* Either burn a bootable CD / DVD, either integrate within a PXE / RIS environment;
* Possibility to Blank local admin's password;
* Create your own restoration bootable DVD (see the Howto Documentation);
* Partition and Format a disk before installing Windows (so to make sure your unattended Windows installation will happen on the right partition);

* Specific advantages PING brings you over DOS and Ghost :
      o Most network cards automatically recognized by the Kernel (unlike DOS);
      o Most CD/DVD readers automatically recognized by the Kernel (unlike DOS);
      o You don't have to run a Ghostcast server to receive images over the network;
      o More supported filesystems;
      o You can store an image on several CD/DVD (CD/DVD-spanning);
      o You can backup and restore BIOS settings too;
      o Much much smaller than WinPE / BartPE;
      o etc.

#6

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2169619]ATI Home 11 can be used to image from a bootable CD/DVD by making an UBCD4Win or BartPE boot disc with the Acronis plugin.[/QUOTE]

With True Image Home 10 you can create a disc image using a bootable CD created by True Image Home. Just to confirm, they have now removed this feature from v11? :rolleyes:

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2169619]I personally haven’t liked any Norton Ghost version since 2003.[/QUOTE]

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

No coincidence that 2003 was the last version that would let you create disc images from the bootable CD. And even though with later versions the bootable CD is only to restore images it takes far too long to boot, and all too often just fails to boot.


#7

Well i don’t think a (one) CD would hold the many gig image. I just keep up to date images on my HDD.

I’ve had better luck with O&O’s DiskImage than Acronis versions 7/8/10/11. Both apps have their pluses.


#8

[quote=Ibex;2170016]With True Image Home 10 you can create a disc image using a bootable CD created by True Image Home. Just to confirm, they have now removed this feature from v11? :rolleyes:[/quote] Hmmm… my mistake. I thought I remembered that the bootable CD made by ATI Home 11 could only be used to restore Acronis images, but it can also be used to create images (i.e. backup partitions/drives). I just tested it.

Sorry for the confusion.


#9

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2170026]Hmmm… my mistake. I thought I remembered that the bootable CD made by ATI Home 11 could only be used to restore Acronis images, but it can also be used to create images (i.e. backup partitions/drives). I just tested it.

Sorry for the confusion.[/QUOTE]

I can confirm that you can create disc images with a True Image Home 11 bootable CD. I got the version numbers mixed up in my previous post. Version 11 is the one that I have used and v12 is the latest version which I have not used.

[QUOTE=Bob;2170020]Well i don’t think a (one) CD would hold the many gig image. I just keep up to date images on my HDD.[/QUOTE]

Another advantage of Acronis True Image is that it will write image files straight to CD or DVD, and it can split large image files across multiple discs.


#10

[QUOTE=Ibex;2170186]Another advantage of Acronis True Image is that it will write image files straight to CD or DVD, and it can split large image files across multiple discs.[/QUOTE]yeah i know i just make images to one of my HDD’s. And was just giving you a hard time.


#11

[QUOTE=JMasterJ;2169370]Hey guys, would like a general consensus on what you think is the best to use to backup a boot drive to an external so that if anything goes wrong on the internal boot, I can just pop a new drive in there and image/recover it back over easily, no frills, high reliability… and of course free is always good as long as it works for this one purpose:

Acronis True Image
Norton Ghost
Clonezilla (free/open source)
G4L (free/open source)
BackupPC (free/open source)
Bacula (free/open source)
(Any Linux app, Ghost, ddrescue, etc…)

(If applicable, Windows XP Pro and will have many programs installed, and possibly large files, i.e., HD video files, going from a 1TB internal to a 1TB external)[/QUOTE]

I use good old Ghost 2003 and back up to DVD rewriteables. Never had a problem yet!


#12

[QUOTE=JMasterJ;2169370]Acronis True Image
Norton Ghost
Clonezilla (free/open source)
G4L (free/open source)
BackupPC (free/open source)
Bacula (free/open source)
(Any Linux app, Ghost, ddrescue, etc…)[/QUOTE]
DDRescue will be okish in linux but can be damaging to your drives without an improved script. Such as to control reading of bad sectors, retries, stop or other option you want.

Norton Ghost isn’t a good sector imager, i wouldn’t use it.

Acronis True Image is good for windows drive imaging. Version depending i heard they did one or a tool that can do sector imaging (not tried). Acronis True Image does hash images not sector based, so no good. Try find their sector based one and try that instead.

Not used or tried any of te others, unless they are known by different names.

For drive contents to be imaged or clone you need to read/write drive sectors. Google for hd sector image clone you wil find many to try or use. Do it now and practice on two drives that don’t matter for the data contents. Be better prepared, when needing to do it for real.


#13

[quote=pfloyd1;2170236]I use good old Ghost 2003 and back up to DVD rewriteables. Never had a problem yet![/quote] I’ve used Ghost 2003 for years (still use it on occasion).

The big drawbacks with Norton Ghost 2003 are:

  • Problems with some SATA setups have been reported
  • Is much slower to backup/verify/restore than some of the newer proggies like e.g. Macrium Reflect
  • Boots in DOS so you can’t use the system while backup/verify is going on

The third drawback can also be considered an advantage depending on your point of view.


#14

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2170354]I’ve used Ghost 2003 for years (still use it on occasion).

The big drawbacks with Norton Ghost 2003 are:

  • Problems with some SATA setups have been reported
  • Is much slower to backup/verify/restore than some of the newer proggies like e.g. Macrium Reflect
  • Boots in DOS so you can’t use the system while backup/verify is going on

The third drawback can also be considered an advantage depending on your point of view.[/QUOTE]

There is a patch to fix the SATA problem.
It may be slower, but for me it’s reliable.