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  1. #16
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I tried EaseUS Todo V3.5 and had a very poor experience, so I haven't tried the new version yet. Others have said they had problems with Acronis, but my experience is that I have had good success with both Acronis TIH 2010 and 2011 (haven't tried 2012, and have no reason to upgrade at this time). As I have stated on many occassions, I have restored from my Up To Date Images more often than most others here in the Lounge, except perhaps Fred or DrWho, . I like to "play" with my OS and PC and assorted apps.

    I guess the bottom line is you try them until you find an app you like and which works for you then that's the app you stick with. In my case I like Acronis and I have chosen it. I have tried others (Macrium and EaseUS) and still use Acronis. These apps are just like all other apps in that no one app fits all uses. All our systems are set up differently with different hardware and different software combinations, so different apps will work differently.

    Darn, that's a lot of differents. sorry.
    Last edited by Medico; 2012-01-10 at 04:18.
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  2. #17
    Lounger Super Sarge's Avatar
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    I have actually the default one that comes with with my W7 64 Bit Pro, it works quite well. However the one I use the most for restores is Macrium Reflect

  3. #18
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    I still think drivesnapshot.de is a win, though I hadn't looked at macrium. Can't seem to find a free version, though - just a trial.

    It's hard not to be fond of snapshot - as I said before it's so darned tiny. And has, so far as I can tell, every feature Macrium lists quite possible, except possibly vbs scripting. But I'm old school, and batch file or powershell scripting is just peachy for me Macrium's personal use version seems to be $45+vat (which means, as it's a UK company, it is charged at 20% tax on top). So $54? having just found it's in the UK, I feel I ought to support my fellow countryment



    Anyway, snapshot is 39 euros. Current exchange rates put that at $49.70. Plus any conversion fees. Really, it's basically in the same price bracket. You can pay a little more for a bootable CD if you wish, or download and build your own tools.

    I wish I could find something this neat to image linux drives for linux users. (drivesnapshot will image linux drives if you're running windows, of course).

    I think some people may be put off by the fact it's just this guy and his program, rather than a corporation. *shrug* ymmv - but I've been using iterations of it for some years now, and it's run on everything, and always worked. I tried acronis once, last year thinking to beef up backups and was er...horrified by how rapidly it crashed my machine. It didn't stay long... - I was wrong. I spent five minutes adding drivesnapshot to the windows scheduler instead, and plugged in an external USB drive. And it's been backing up on schedule quiet as a mouse, ever since.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by britlion View Post
    I still think drivesnapshot.de is a win, though I hadn't looked at macrium. Can't seem to find a free version, though - just a trial.
    britlion,
    Hello....Macrium Reflect is a good backup program , which now is in version 5. You can get the Free version Here ...just remember to burn the "Recovery disk " try to do both Linux and the WAIK WinPE (The plain jane Linux wouldn't boot my OS's) .... and test it ..to make sure you can boot from it. If you don't ...when your OS \ HD crashes ... your "dead in the water" Regards Fred
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-01-11 at 04:23.
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  5. #20
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    Thanks for all the advice guys. However, Fred and Clint have convinced me that it is almost certainly beyond my capabilities to get imaging to work.

    It is probably too late to return the WD drive now, so I will download Macrium Reflect and make the odd image Ė without being able to test it - in the hope that if itís ever needed the boot disk problem will have been resolved and that the image is OK. At least it should be possible to back up my data files and photos to the drive and access them as required. A 2 TB drive to store what fits on 2 DVDs may be somewhat excessive, but at least the drive will be there for use with the next PC when this one expires.

    The major problem is the need for a boot disk. The main reason for buying an external drive now - apart from the desire to avoid any more horrendous experiences reinstalling Windows Ė was the fact that my DVD Writer has ceased to function correctly. It stills plays prerecorded DVDs, and I can access files on old back-ups without trouble, but it refuses to recognise a blank DVD as other than a CD. I can load up the files to burn to the disk, but after a minute or two it aborts.

    Writers seem to have a life of c2-3 years, and this one must be that old, so I bought a replacement, which proved to be a SATA drive, not IDE, now renamed PATA. I took it back to exchange, but they were out of stock and I had to accept a refund. Extensive searching on the web reveals that they are no longer being made, suggesting all PCs now come with SATA connections. And where I did manage to find one in stock, it listed under requirements a Pentium 4 processor. This PC mentions only Ďgenuine Intelí and Iím fairly certain it is Intelís cheaper model. So for the last few months I have been transferring my backups to the laptop in batches via a USB stick Ė a laborious business.

    So, unless the boot disk will fit on a CD, or can be produced on a Vista machine to boot XP, Iím stuck.

    The other stumbling block is testing the image. Fred advises buying another HD of the same size and brand for this. Where can one find a 120 GB drive these days? 250GB seems to be the minimum, at least on the Dell site. Then there is the question of the actual switch. I am not even sure which is the HD, although suspecting itís the box like structure in one corner of the casing.

    Opening up the PC and judging how difficult replacing it will be must wait till the weekend, but on past experience, doing anything inside the case is difficult due to the cramped conditions. Even adding memory was tricky due to part of the cooling system overhanging one end of the memory slots, and the need to keep oneís fingers of the main part of the memory. Furthermore, this is a critical part of the whole PC, unlike replacing a DVD writer or adding memory, and Iím not confident about managing it properly, especially as itís not a once only operation. Every new image would entail removing the existing drive, inserting the replacement, testing the image, then presumably restoring the original drive if restoring is a cut & paste operation rather than copying.

    There are also a couple of minor issues raised by Clint. He mentions putting a text file on the desktop after creating the image and before restoring it, but fails to mention WHICH text file and its function. He also raises the possibility of having to alter the BIOS, something else of which I know nothing.

    All things considered, it doesnít look as though the new drive will get much use before I have to replace the PC
    Last edited by georgelee; 2012-01-12 at 05:44.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    Thanks for all the advice guys. However, Fred and Clint have convinced me that it is almost certainly beyond my capabilities to get imaging to work.

    The major problem is the need for a boot disk. The main reason for buying an external drive now - apart from the desire to avoid any more horrendous experiences reinstalling Windows – was the fact that my DVD Writer has ceased to function correctly. It stills plays prerecorded DVDs, and I can access files on old back-ups without trouble, but it refuses to recognise a blank DVD as other than a CD. I can load up the files to burn to the disk, but after a minute or two it aborts.
    I only have used True Image, but instead of having TI writing to a DVD or CD, it also did it for a flash drive and then I used that drive, several times, to boot computers who had no DVD drive. Maybe that can happen with Macrium too.

    Also, the size of the boot disk is very small. It will fit a CD without any issues.

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  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    Thanks for all the advice guys. However, Fred and Clint have convinced me that it is almost certainly beyond my capabilities to get imaging to work.


    The major problem is the need for a boot disk.


    So, unless the boot disk will fit on a CD, or can be produced on a Vista machine to boot XP, Iím stuck.

    The other stumbling block is testing the image. Fred advises buying another HD of the same size and brand for this. Where can one find a 120 GB drive these days? 250GB seems to be the minimum, at least on the Dell site. Then there is the question of the actual switch.

    Opening up the PC and judging how difficult replacing it will be must wait till the weekend, but on past experience, doing anything inside the case is difficult due to the cramped conditions.

    All things considered, it doesnít look as though the new drive will get much use before I have to replace the PC
    georgelee,

    Hello...sorry if i was confusing.and i apoligize ... I will try to explain

    1. If you download Macrium Reflect 4.2.3638 (does not have the "Cloning" option) and install it you will be able to "Burn the Linux" recovery disk to a CD.. The later versions (5) do not work for me with the Linux recovery disk option... had to ues the "WinPE" option which involves a 1.7GB download.

    2. If you can't get a duplicate HD that size ...it's not a problem go... for the larger.

    3. Remember the reason to replace the HD was to test the Image (recovering).... without risking your original OS ....

    4. I have done scores of recoveries with Macrium and Acronis, with several versions of Macrium Reflect...both have never let me down,even once! As far as being cramped for space ....welcome to my world...see screenshot..If i can help you get through this just post back and we all will try our best to do so.. don't give up! Regards Fred
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  10. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just Plain Fred View Post

    1. If you download Macrium Reflect 4.2.3638 (does not have the "Cloning" option) and install it you will be able to "Burn the Linux" recovery disk to a CD.. The later versions (5) do not work for me with the Linux recovery disk option... had to ues the "WinPE" option which involves a 1.7GB download.

    2. If you can't get a duplicate HD that size ...it's not a problem go... for the larger.
    Thanks for that Fred, it's fairly reassuring. However, how can I obtain Macrium v4?

    Google found an old entry offering M4, but it installs M5 now. Perhaps I must look for another free programme which allows a recovery disk to fit on CD, as I don't wish to pay for anything until I have ensured it will work for me.

    Looking at the features of the free version, unlike the paid version, it omits files and folders from the image, so presumably one must remember to back them up separately, then restore to the original drive at the end.

    Your photo was interesting - my PC is kept on the lower shelf of the computer desk - but I was referring to the cramped conditions inside the PC case, not external space.

    Regards
    George

  11. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    Thanks for that Fred, it's fairly reassuring. However, how can I obtain Macrium v4?


    Looking at the features of the free version, unlike the paid version, it omits files and folders from the image, so presumably one must remember to back them up separately, then restore to the original drive at the end.
    Georgelee,
    Hello...you can get Macrium Reflect FileHippo...Just pick the version that you want... from the right side of the screen...

    Also if you do a "Full Image" it will include everything. Just can't do a "stand alone" File \ Folder backup with the "Free"..All Files and Folders and the complete OS will be backed up no matter which "Free" version you choose.... After the Image is made you then can "Browse" (mount) the Image and copy anything out of it, Or restore the complete OS. Regards Fred
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-01-12 at 13:50.
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  13. #25
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    Progress Report

    I downloaded what was supposed to be Macrium Reflect 4.2.4093 as recommended by Fred, but itís labelled Macrium 4.2 build 3638 Ė presumably an earlier version. It wanted to download v5 and a slew of updates in the 4.2 series, which I ignored.

    Created the Linux recovery disk, whilst noting they said the alternative, with the funny name, was likely to be more successful with XP. However, that is too large to fit on a CD, and as explained previously this machine no longer has any means of creating DVDs.

    Thatís it so far, apart from trying to decide which is the PCs hard drive.


    Haberdashers Hall 001.jpg
    This one should be easy to remove, appears to be held in place soley by four screws in the base, so easy to remove, but label says 200 Watts output, so unlikely to be the drive.
    Haberdashers Hall 002.jpg
    This is probably the target, but impossible to remove. There is one screw fixing it to the base, but removing it makes no difference. Deciding it was probaly just a frame holding the actual drive in place, I removed the single screw at the top of the assembly, but still no movement. So far I have not unplugged any of the cables entering at the side, not feeling that is going to make much difference when everything feels so solid, and fearing not getting them back correctly.

    Hopefully soneone can give some guidance on how to proceed - or perhaps it is designed not to be replaced.
    Last edited by georgelee; 2012-01-15 at 18:52. Reason: Inserting 1st photo also repeated much of the texr.

  14. #26
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    George,

    The top photo is your power supply, the lower photo likely your HD. It got installed SOMEHOW - it wasn't welded in.
    There are 2 screws on the top of the drive, as shown (it's actually the side of the drive). Unscrew these, and slide the drive to the left (back) out of the cage. It's possible there are 2 more screws underneath (on the other side) of the drive, as well; if so, it won't slide back when the first 2 screws are removed & you'll have to figure how to get to THOSE screws. It may involve removing the metal cage from the frame to get to the other screws, or there may be a way to remove the panel under (on the far side of) the drive. There may be access holes on that panel, as well, allowing you to get to the screws. Good luck.

    P.S.:
    Every new image would entail removing the existing drive, inserting the replacement, testing the image, then presumably restoring the original drive if restoring is a cut & paste operation rather than copying.
    That seems a little excessive, though making sure it works ONCE is a good idea.

    Zig
    Last edited by Zig; 2012-01-15 at 19:09.

  15. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post

    I downloaded what was supposed to be Macrium Reflect 4.2.4093 as recommended by Fred, but it’s labelled Macrium 4.2 build 3638 – presumably an earlier version. It wanted to download v5 and a slew of updates in the 4.2 series, which I ignored.

    Created the Linux recovery disk, whilst noting they said the alternative, with the funny name, was likely to be more successful with XP. However, that is too large to fit on a CD, and as explained previously this machine no longer has any means of creating DVDs.
    Georgelee,
    Hello...Macrium Reflect provided in the link should allow you to download the older version that i suggested 4.2.3638 ...from "FileHippo" see screen shot... The Recovery Disk can fit on a CD ...If for some reason it doesn't you need another CD. ( might have to be erased\ formatted, or is no longer viable) As my recovery disk for that program 4.2.3638 only uses about 8MB out of a possible 700MB (Its the Linux Version you need for that version) And have done this many times with a CD. Regards Fred

    PS: See Hitachi Hard Drive Photo
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2012-01-15 at 20:23.
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  16. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by georgelee View Post
    Haberdashers Hall 002.jpg
    This is probably the target, but impossible to remove. There is one screw fixing it to the base, but removing it makes no difference. Deciding it was probaly just a frame holding the actual drive in place, I removed the single screw at the top of the assembly, but still no movement.
    George,

    In your post #25, that's a regular Dell Dimension minitower case from the mid-2000's. The second photo is indeed your hard drive. The hard drive is attached to the bracket (the perforated steel part), and the bracket is anchored to the chassis. To remove the hard drive you must first remove the drive+bracket assembly, then detach the drive from the bracket. The "top" screw you removed holds the drive in the bracket, so removing it was premature. There's no harm in that (so don't bother putting the screw back in), but it's not going to help you get the bracket out.

    The bracket is anchored at four points: two finger tabs hook into the back side of the front panel, one screw holds the bracket to the case side (toward the bottom of your photo), and a second screw comes in from the outside, through the bottom of the case (on the right, in your photo). This illustration from a representative Dell manual should make it clear how the bracket is attached:

    dimension-drive.gif


    With the computer on its side, remove the two screws, then swing the computer around 180 degrees (from the orientation in your photo) so the front panel is toward your chest. See those two vertical, free-standing U-tabs on the bracket? Grab those tabs and pivot the bottom of the bracket (where you removed the interior screw) away from you, swinging it toward the rear of the tower. Once it is loose, you should be able to unhook the two finger tabs from the slots in the front panel. Carefully remove the two cables, and then you can remove the drive from the bracket.

    Installation is the reverse. With the bracket angled, hook it onto the front panel, then swing it in place so you can insert the screws. Note the two cables are keyed and will only go in one way.

    FTR, note this tower can take two hard drives, but you'd need a second bracket. (The brackets are identical, with no difference between the first and second brackets.) The manual illustration shows how the second bracket piggybacks on the first, with its finger tabs hooking into those two free-standing U-tabs on the first bracket.

    FWIW, the Dimension 4600-4700 series cases came with both brackets, even if one was left empty. The Dimension 2400-3000 cases were identical to these except they only gave you one bracket, so if you wanted a second hard drive you had to find the extra bracket second-hand somewhere.
    Last edited by dg1261; 2012-01-16 at 06:47.

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  18. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinto Tech View Post
    I too used Drive Snapshot some years ago - to get me out of a hole on a robot machine that ran NT4 SP3. It did exactly what it said on the tin, but if I recall correctly (it's a while ago now), I had to enable some OS extras to configure a schedule.

    Nonetheless, an excellent little program that may be worthwhile looking at again.
    I've had a look at macrium as well now. Not bad for personal use; and if you want imagine backups on your own computer, almost certainly the one to go for.
    Anyone doing anything in a professional market - ie on a windows server - will find drivesnapshot much cheaper than macrium, though. The macrium server version is quite expensive, it turns out!

    Scheduling drivesnapshot is pretty easy - you just use the windows own scheduler. I've seen things far more fearsome than that

  19. #30
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    Zig,
    Many thanks. Your PS was very reassuring, as I had assumed it should be done after every image, probably because I religiously checked 1% of every folder when backing up to DVD, even though any corrupted files found were invariably from corrupted originals. Despite beginning to think it was wasted time, I was still reluctant to rely entirely on the burning process.

    I had come to the conclusion that the outer cage must be glued or welded in during assembly, but a new posting has revealed the secret – there is a screw from outside the PC case.

    Fred,
    So I have your recommended version after all. No idea why I thought it should be Macrium 4.2.4093, must have written it down somewhere – perhaps I’m becoming senile.

    dg1261,
    I’m unable to express how grateful I am for your diagram, it should be plain sailing now. It is really amazing that you could identify the tower from 2 views of part of the interior, considering they must all look pretty much alike.

    Thanks to all.

    George

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