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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    System Restore Drive Imaging

    Hey Folks,

    Looking for recommendations on Drive Imaging software, for XP system back-up and restore. I need a plenary panacea, with which I can restore to full operation from a dead (or new) drive.

    A bit about my limitations: My machines are Compaqs, that come with the OS pre-installed and no media. System Restore is provided in a proprietary construct, utilizing a partition on the HD, to restore to the OEM-default installation. Whereas I've exercised the option to create back-up CDs from this, it leaves me with only the option to boot to their Restore util, that only provides recovery to 'factory' settings. This, of course, means cleaning out all the garbage "offers" etc. all over again, re-installing all my apps and utils, and reconfiguring the system. My nightmare scenario is having to replace (or wipe) the drive and be resigned to this short-sighted approach to system recovery.

    What I've been trying to find, then, is a solution that would image my configured system (preferably to DVDs - don't know that the systems can support another HD), then provide boot capability to minimalist utils (to mount a DVD and/or check/prepare the HD) and the back-up volume(s) to restore.

    A few years ago I used Ghost on another machine; but Symantec has introduced so much bloatware to NU that I no longer want anything of theirs on my system. I also checked out cMaxx, from PC Inspector, but it will not image Sata drives. Have also researched a few others and discounted them for (my) lack of trust in their methodologies (utilizing XML, Diskcopy, and the like, for imaging - concern with XML handling of binaries, etc., and limitations of file/disk/zip-copy on active OS files). The forerunner, for now, seems to be True Image, from Acronis, but that does not seem to provide a boot capability.

    Currently still rely on the Norton SystemWorks CD to boot out of sticky situations, but don't know how that will fare when/if Vista comes online. I suppose I could create a bootdisk using FreeDOS and hope it would suffice with the chosen utility (since I've not had positive results with WinXP_EN_HOM_BF, Bootvis, or the Linux solution) but I'm holding out hope for a turnkey solution... don't need the additional headache of futzing with getting the 'solution' to work. Not averse, mind you, to going the extra step(s) to get a reliable approach, but a one-click solution would surely be nice.

    Conversely though, if no such animal exists, does anyone have a tried-and-true (non-floppy based) boot solution, with recommended imaging recovery?


    Thanks for your insight,
    BobM.

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: System Restore Drive Imaging

    BobM,
    True Image WILL allow you to make a boot CD with access to the Restore Image program, in addition to other capabilities.

    If you go to the Acronis website ACRONIS and go to the page for True Image V 10, it will list the full features of this program.

    In addition, you can search here in the Lounge for "True Image" to see the positive comments about this program.
    BOB
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  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Drive Imaging

    Hello Bob. If you do search The Lounge as suggested by Bob (Viking) you'll see that I'm one of the dedicated TrueImage users. I switched to this product when Drive Image was taken over by Symantec. I've used TI to do several complete restores, quite successfully, however not since I acquired this new Dell earlier in the year. I don't know how closely the Dell mirrors the Compaq setup, but my Dell drive has, in addition to the Windows boot partition, two other smaller partitions which I believe to be one for diagnostics and another for restoration. I've made TI images of those two smaller partitions, with the hopes that if I ever need to replace my drive, I can first restore those two partitions and THEN my normal Windows drive partition. I echo the sentiment that if you're looking for a good backup imaging product, you can't go wrong with TrueImage.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Drive Imaging

    Bob,

    Thanks for the info. Will check further into this solution. Did catch Al's posts but none (per my search) addressed the boot issue.

    Good to know,
    BobM

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Drive Imaging

    Al,

    Thanks much for the clarifications and insight. Did see your other posts (from an earlier search)... this seems the most promising.

    Appreciatively,
    BobM.

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: System Restore Drive Imaging

    BobM,

    This is from the help section in True Image 10:
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Media Builder allows you to create a bootable media with Acronis products ( or other
    specified components) installed on your computer.

    If you purchased Acronis product on a CD, then that disc is already bootable.
    If you purchased Acronis product on the web, you can create bootable media using the
    Acronis Media Builder. For this you will need a CD-R/RW blank, several formatted diskettes,or any other media your PC can boot from, such as a USB flash drive, Zip drive etc.

    Acronis Media Builder also provides the ability to create an ISO image of a bootable disk
    on a hard disk. If there is a Microsoft RIS server in your local network, it's
    administrator can save the bootable data on your server as well. Then any networked
    computer will be able to boot ant program from the RIS package.

    If you have any other Acronis products installed on your computer, you can include these
    programs into the same bootable disk as well.
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
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  7. #7
    New Lounger
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    Re: System Restore Drive Imaging

    Thanks again Bob. Think I'll look into grabbing the CD version. - BobM.

  8. #8
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    Re: System Restore Drive Imaging

    Check out Gene Barlow's website at http://www.ugr.com
    There is a collection of newsletters here.
    You will find that Gene is very good at what he does, I have attended several of his presentations.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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