Inexpensive imaging software?

I have 4 home PC’s all running Windows XP with mix of PATA and SATA drives and am looking for an inexpensive backup/imaging solution I can use on all four. I don’t really want to install it on them, just run the program, from a CD maybe, and have it burn to a DVD or a second HDD every month or so and capable of making a bootable CD/DVD.

What I’m finding is I will need to purchase 4 copies of the same program and that makes even inexpensive solutions expensive:(

Does anyone know of a program that would fit these needs? I’m a retired service technition and have used Ghost in just about all of it’s versions. I own Ghost 2003 but it does not see my SATA drives.


If you plan on buying an external drive for your back-ups, get a WD drive. Then you can get Acronis for free (from the WD site), as long as at least one Western Digital drive is involved. That’s what I did.

Thanks for the tip. I have at least one WD drive, I’ll have to check on what I do have:iagree:

Get one of the 1TB or larger external HDD that hooks up to ethernet(sp) cable and it has back up software included on it. This would work well if the 4 computers are networked.


That’s the best Idea I’ve heard:iagree: I’ll start looking around for one. The PC’s are all networked on a 10-100 network;) I can think of lots of other uses for it too:bigsmile:

Good Luck with your project!

The tool DSynchronise can be installed as a Windows Service and “real time backup” (every 10 seconds) any desired folders to other folders (I.E. a network share) while your computer is running.

Advantage: Free
Disadvantage: Takes up lots of memory and cpu resources.

If you plan to use an old(er) computer as a NAS i suggest using FreeNas.

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2452894]The tool Advantage: Free
Disadvantage: Takes up lots of memory and cpu resources.

If you plan to use an old(er) computer as a NAS i suggest using FreeNas.[/QUOTE]

Thanks but I don’t really want to set up and maintain another computer:rolleyes:

As G-Ivan suggested I’m going to look at this later this morning.

It’s $289 here.

I worked on medium sized computers before retirement and and familiar with both NAS and SAN devices and the NAS sounds right for me IF it has the software mentioned:iagree:

Thought I would give you all an update;) Monday I bought the 2 TB Western Digital NAS and found out that WD Drive Image will not work for me because it requires one of the drives in each PC to be WD:(
So I went loooking around and found a program called PE builder that has a plugin that makes drive images. PEbuilder makes a bootable CD/DVD that runs Windows XT under a Linux shell. It boots the pc under Linux I think then has a stripped version of Windows XP. Then you run the imaging plugin to image to another partition, hard drive or over your network:cool: It requires you to have a Valid copy of Windows to make the bootable CD/DVD

It works on one of my 4 PC’s perfectly but on three it does not:sad: The reason is because there are no network drivers installed for my on board NICs. So then I found a program called nLite that allows you to modify your Windows CD to add drivers, remove unwanted features, make it autoinstalling and more. See it here.

Both of these programs are free to non commercial, private users:iagree:

I’ve been trying for two days to get the drivers installed for my Asys P5KPl-CM system board:Z

The procudure I’m following is to use nLite to add the drivers then burn a modified XP disk. Then run PEbuilder to make a bootable CD that runs windows. When working it loads network drivers and allows you to run the imaging program:clap:

That’s where I am. Anyone used nLite to add drivers:confused:

[B]UPDATE[/B] It turns out I only needed to put the nic drivers in the driver sub directory of the PEbuilder program directory. I didn’t need nLite at all. And it exceeds my criteria of inexpensive by being free to private users.

Life is good!