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  1. #1
    3 Star Lounger
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    Imaging computer

    Would like to image my computer to be able to rescue my software if I encounter a melt down.
    I know Norton's Ghost is a Great program for that, but the $70 price tag is a little out my reach at the moment.

    Anyone know of a free or low cost program that will do a GOOD job and is fairly easy to use.

    Thanks for your help.
    Richard Spring

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    This same question has been repeated often in these forums. Check out the Security and Backup forum.

    The 2 most discussed apps are Acronis True Image Home (paid, but less than $70) and Macrium Reflect (free and Pro editions). Another commonly disussed app is TeraByte BootIt (not free)

    Don't stop at one Image. Remember any updates since your image was created must be redone, and added apps, etc. I recreate an Up To Date Image whenever a change takes place with my PC or a couple time a month, whichever.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  3. #3
    3 Star Lounger
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    Thanks Ted:

    I have been looking at Macrium Reflect but was not sure how good it preformed.

    I plan on imaging the computer to a 1 Terabit external hard drive.
    Should I partition the drive or just name each "save" with a different name?
    Richard Spring

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I just name each Image a similar name, but append a date to the Image. If there is something special, such as SP1, etc. I may add it to the name, but otherwise I use something like: CompleteHD_Image_TedLaptop_(date). I also have 2 partitions, C Drive for OS apps, etc and D Drive for ALL data. When I create an Image, I always image both partitions. I also back up data separately much more often.

    I also save all my Images to an Ext USB HD (1 TB) with no problems.

    Step by Step instructions for Macrium Reflect These instructions were created by mercyh on the old Lounge, the images are at the bottom. I also created similar instructions for Acronis True Image Home
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    Hello RSpring,

    As another testimonial to Macrium Reflect Free, I have imaged and restored several partitions on several machines without any errors, or other difficulties.

  6. #6
    5 Star Lounger
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    I use Macrium free and in some cases the paid version extensively. It is quite simple and just plain works. One thing you need to test for any backup program. Burn the recovery CD and boot your computer with it to make sure your computer boots and the drives are recognized.

  7. #7
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    Like the OP, I'm looking for a good imaging program. Most of the ones I've looked at claim to permit a bare metal restore to dissimilar hardware, which is a capability I want--specifically, to image a couple of XP machines, and then, in case of a catastrophic loss like fire or flood, restore to new Windows 7 machines. If anyone here has had that experience, I'd appreciate any information you could provide. Is the process as simple and problem-free as the software vendors claim it is?

  8. #8
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    Thanks one and all.
    Will give it a try.
    Richard Spring

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    Unless you're talking about just saving/restoring data, I doubt you'll be able to image an XP machine, then restore it to a Win 7 one without resulting in converting the latter machine to just XP.

    Zig

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen Glendower View Post
    Like the OP, I'm looking for a good imaging program. Most of the ones I've looked at claim to permit a bare metal restore to dissimilar hardware, which is a capability I want--specifically, to image a couple of XP machines, and then, in case of a catastrophic loss like fire or flood, restore to new Windows 7 machines. If anyone here has had that experience, I'd appreciate any information you could provide. Is the process as simple and problem-free as the software vendors claim it is?
    I do not understand the premise, Image 2 XP machines, then if a failure occues restore these to new Win 7 PC's. Does not make sence. Image the Win 7 machines so that if they fail you can use the image to restore. Remember the images will include all apps and drivers from the Imaged machine. These would general be used to restore the same machine if a major failure occurs.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  11. #11
    New Lounger
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    Let me slightly edit my statement above. I failed to make myself clear.
    Like the OP, I'm looking for a good imaging program. Most of the ones I've looked at claim to permit a bare metal restore to dissimilar hardware, which is a capability I want--specifically, to image a couple of XP machines, and then, in case of a catastrophic loss like fire or flood, restore THE IMAGES FROM THE DESTROYED XP MACHINES to Windows 7 machines NEWLY-PURCHASED TO REPLACE THE XP MACHINES. If anyone here has had that experience, I'd appreciate any information you could provide. Is the process as simple and problem-free as the software vendors claim it is?

  12. #12
    5 Star Lounger
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    Again, I believe you will convert your new computers to (only) XP machines.

    Zig

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Perhaps you want to convert the newly acquired machines in the unlikely situation you mentioned to XP. If that is the case most 3rd party Imaging apps will have this capability. In Acronis you would need the plus pack (according to Acronis). I believe the pro version of Macrium Reflect can also do this although I have no experience with Macrium. But as Zig states, doing so will take a brand new Win 7 PC and change it to a brand new PC with a very old XP OS on it. Plus all the drivers would have to be checked and most likely new drivers found for XP on the new hardware.

    The other problem is unless you reimage when changes take place on the XP machines, the Images you are creating in the unlikely event both PC's are destroyed will be very out of date, and would require much updateing once you have restored those images to new PC's, that is assuming all the updates would still be available for download. XP SP2 support is done, I believe this month. XP SP3 support is still available, but will that still be the case if this happens.

    The better senario, I think, would be to see if the 2 PC's you presently have are Win 7 compatible and by running the Win 7 Upgrade Advisor and begin the process of migrating to Win 7. Then if the catastrophy you mention occurs, the Image will be of a much newer OS that is much more compatible with the new hardware you propose.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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  14. #14
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    Appreciate the info, Zig & Ted. My wife & I run a small tax & accounting practice. All data is thoroughly backed up, but I would of course like to create a level of protection which would allow us to get back up & running VERY promptly, should we experience a catastrophic loss during our busy season. I'll check out the Win 7 upgrade scenario.

    Thanks again for the good info.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen Glendower View Post
    Appreciate the info, Zig & Ted. My wife & I run a small tax & accounting practice. All data is thoroughly backed up, but I would of course like to create a level of protection which would allow us to get back up & running VERY promptly, should we experience a catastrophic loss during our busy season. I'll check out the Win 7 upgrade scenario.

    Thanks again for the good info.
    Windows Home Server is great for a small business such as yours. It is easy to setup, can backup up to 10 PCs, can easily share files, and much more.

    Joe

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