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  1. #1
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    Software to make bootable Image

    <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29> Loungers

    I am looking to make a CD to put into my laptop and have all the stuff that I use copied to the drive. Something like the recovery CDs I got from Sony with my laptop.

    The CD needs to be:

    1) Bootable, possibly with a format, or FDisk.
    2) Have some sort of CAB files with an extractor
    3) something that would put files in the place they need to be so that the PC will function like as if I did the install manually.

    Thanks for any leads.

    Wassim
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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    Let me make sure I understand the question. Do you want to "refresh" (synch) selected files on this laptop, or (like a recovery CD) COMPLETELY reload the laptop with OS, application software and data? If you want to completely reload, I'd quickly suggest an imaging program like DriveImage or (my now preferred) TrueImage. Of course, one of the problems with keeping an imaging system on CDs is the number of disks required to store everything. On the other hand, if you work out a system for keeping the laptop's duplicate (backup) image on another hard drive, the process would be simpler and probably faster. I believe we have some Loungers who DO use a USB external drive for this purpose. As we used to say in CB radio: "Come Back..."

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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    Hi Wassim, <img src=/S/hello.gif border=0 alt=hello width=25 height=29>

    I'm a bit confused as to what you're looking for here. Are you looking to make your own bootable, tailor-made recovery CD? I use Norton Ghost which does the job to my satisfaction.

    Alternatively, are you looking for a customised Windows installation CD?

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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    Sorry Al,

    Once again I've been pipped to the post by taking too long to complete my reply!

  5. #5
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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> Big Al

    Its the second option. Completely wipe out the drive and start fresh.

    I want to make a recovery CD, or set of CDs, so that I do not have to spend 5 hours partitioning and formatting my hard drive, installing Windows, then all of its updates, then all of the application software, and their updates, and then tweak the new installation to the way I like it, like install all the "My Favorites" bookmarks, and all the special settings you can customize in MS-Office, like, for example, the user dictionary.

    So can DriveImage, or TrueImage make a bootable CD, that can then install the stuff, or do I simply boot and then run Drive/TrueImage to make this happen?

    BTW who makes TrueImage?

    Yes, I use a 20 GB USB hard drive that was in my laptop, and I took it out and put in a 60 GB for my data files, for applications and OS, well I figure I can spend the 5 hours and tweak it a bit each time I reinstall, but now I am thinking of disaster situations where I don't have the 5 hours to spend, plus it ought to be a standard install, with all these tweaks, one can for get one or two as they go along through the process of installation.

    Thanks for your help.

    Wassim
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  6. #6
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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> Fish

    Please see my reply to Big Al.

    Also, can Norton Ghost make a bootable CD?

    I guess the question is, when you make an image of a drive, it would also copy the boot sector, and keep it as a boot sector onto the target media?

    I do have Norton SystemWorks 2003 Pro, which has Ghost, I'll check it out.

    Thanks again.

    Wassim
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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    Wassim,

    Yes, an image CD created by Ghost is bootable. You also have the option to include the Ghost program on the final CD to save having to carry it on a separate disk.

    When you create the image, everything needed to clone that image to another HDD is included. Drivers, updates, boot sectors, the lot. I know there are other programs that do the same thing, but I haven't used them and therefore can't comment.

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    Wassim, I want to be careful not to turn YOUR thread into a contention between products, so you'll have to decide which of the three (already) mentioned products best fits your needs. I think they all have relatively the same capabilities. In my case, as I said earlier, I have "evolved" over time from Ghost to Drive Image to (Acronis) TrueImage and am so far most satisfied with TrueImage.

    The strategy you're describing is often used by people to protect themselves, i.e. get the machine just the way you want it with OS, apps, drivers and so on, then make an "image" which can be used QUICKLY to get back up and running without having to go through all the installation and tweaking that we all tend to do. A job that would normally take several hours can be done in an hour or less (usually).

    As I said, I don't use an external USB hard drive but I think that would be a much better choice than CDs for both speed and convenience sake. Fish has already told you about Ghost, so let me say that Acronis TrueImage either comes in the form of, or you burn yourself if you download the product, a BOOTABLE "product" CD which you run. You can then either make an image or restore one from whatever location the image is stored on. In my case, my images are on another machine on my home LAN, so I boot the machine with the Acronis boot CD, and then start the restoration process. Once you get the routine down, it's quick and mostly painless!

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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    I also use True Image,,, but I use it to Clone my Harddrive to another Hard-drive to where I always have a Backup and can switch over very easily without any down time. Hard-drives are fairly cheap now days and much better for Backup. I re-clone my Drive about once a week. Just takes a few minutes of my time,,and very little at that because True Images "Clone Drive" is very fast.

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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    As this type of question has come up before I'll be brief. I'd like to warn you to be VERY cautious about feeling safe that any image you make with any of the suggested products. I've tried 5 imaging products (including the 3 listed the most in this post) and ALL of them failed to properly restore my computer!! <img src=/S/bash.gif border=0 alt=bash width=35 height=39> <img src=/w3timages/censored.gif alt=censored border=0>

    Until you've actually run the restore CDs you have no idea that all the marketing hype and product kudos actually work for you. I tried restore on 4 different computers (one brand new, others Win2K or WinXP all updated patches)and all failed in various ways. <img src=/S/bwaaah.gif border=0 alt=bwaaah width=123 height=15>

    I personally have given up on having any type of system restore, I just do data backups and when my yearly re-image date comes 'round again (as it usually does whenever Windoz decides to puke), I spend an entire day getting my system back to life. Computers are only getting more complex not simpler to use (I pity all the non-techie people who buy them)

    Deb

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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    Although your precautions are taken in all seriousness, you MUST be in the minority. I know hundreds of folks who use various imaging software products to backup AND restore computers. I myself have done the process, including restores, on HUNDREDS of computers of various make and brands. Wassim, the advice YOU should take away from this thread is to TRY the product, BOTH an image and a restore, in an environment that you can afford to test.

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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    I have to agree with Doc,,,I wished I had a dime for every Image or Clone I have made and used with complete success to restore a computer,,I would be very rich.
    I have been using True Images Clone Drive,, and it has saved my Butt more then once. Before that it was Drive Image which also worked quit well.

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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    <hr> I spend an entire day getting my system back to life<hr>
    I spend 5 min. changing over to my Cloned Drive which is an EXACT copy of my working Hard Drive. Another thing I did was when I had done a clean Install of WinXp Pro,,, had all my Programs reinstalled,,,and all new Drivers,,I cloned that Hard Drive and put it up in the Closet. So that way if I decide I want to start fresh again,,it's just a swap out away.

  14. #14
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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> Fish

    OK its time to check that animated tutorial of Ghost.

    I'll see what kind of result will I get, but for now, its strategy time.

    Thanks again for the helpful assistance.

    Wassim
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    Re: Software to make bootable Image

    Big Al,

    I think you responded to a thread or 2 I had back in early March or so when we were converting to Win XP and adding 2 big hard drives at the same time to replace a smaller 80GB drive on a system running Win Me. Part of our migration strategy involved the following:
    - use of Drive Image to make an image of the Data drive from the 80GB HD onto one of the big ones, where the old Data drive was set up as FAT32. This was a temp location on the first huge hard drive (call it HD-A)
    - use of Win copy to copy the entire folder system from HD-A (as FAT32) to new huge hard drive B (set up as NTFS).

    At the end of that process, we found that there were missing and corrupt files on HD-B. We've now had a chance to put the original 80GB HD back into the PC and check the files on HD-B. I found that of about 1000 data files (eg, doc, xls, ppt but not program files) I had migrated for myself, about 80 were corrupt or missing. In the missing category are folders that were just empty and had 5-10 files in them on the 80GB. That's an average of almost 1%. To me, that's unacceptable.

    Where would you point the finger in the above scenario? I've asked a few people and most point it at Drive Image. So, as it relates to use of Drive Image for making a bootable image, I'm wary. But I'd like to hear if anyone else has experienced any such things with any of the products since I'm looking into using one for a school I work at where I'd like to image all the PCs the same way from one master.

    There were also thoughts of not enough power at the time possibly being part of the problem. But those seem to have gone away so I'm not sure I could buy into that as the culprit.

    Fred

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