IcemanND

Disk Imaging Software

101 posts in this topic

i was just looking for the same thing on which imaging and backup software i should use for my OS's.i realy like to see the result of your project iceman.

there is a product coming with WD external drives called LigeAgent from memeo which i guess worth looking at too.

Isn't that for MAC? :unsure:

jaclaz

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Which software in dos alows to copy whole partition with no gb limitation, and save it as an iso image.

I will be copying the windows os and boot drive c: partition.

Anyone know ?

Edited by exogenesis
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i know of none that will save an an ISO but I know of one that will run in dos and allow you to directly record to CD/dvd recorder - norton ghost 2003!

i've used that product for a long time until ImageX came out.

I still find that ImageX is much more useful than others.

And if I'm not mistaken, ImageX is still the only one that creates a file-based image of the whole partition or disk. The others, like True Image, can do file-based backups of files or folders but not whole partitions or disks. Acronis offers a sector-by-sector imaging as an option for whole partitions/disks - but this is really a sector-by-sector of the whole partition/disks (including free space) as opposed to just utilized space.

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Add to this list Acronis Echo. Echo replaces Trueimage.

Edited by mikesw
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The others, like True Image, can do file-based backups of files or folders but not whole partitions or disks. Acronis offers a sector-by-sector imaging as an option for whole partitions/disks - but this is really a sector-by-sector of the whole partition/disks (including free space) as opposed to just utilized space.

Trueimage can image partitions or whole disks, and only switches to sector based backups with filesystems it can't read (e.g. netware). The result is that a sector based backup can only be restored to the same size partition / disk, while file based ones can be restored to smaller partitions or disks, if the original had free space.

With windows and linux versions, and several free offerings, it's pretty good.

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Can you find where it says that specifically?

I do not believe it until I see it.

If it is possible, can True Image produce an image on the same partition that it is imaging? For example, my laptop has no partition, it's just drive C:\. With ImageX, I can image C:\ as c:\xp.wim. No need for another partition, external media, etc. If True Image can do this, then it is file-based.

Also, when restoring, does True Image overwrite files/folders and delete files/folders that is not on the image, or does it leave files/folders added after the image taken alone? If it can't, then it's sector-based since file-based only overwrites files that are in the image and leaves everything else alone.

If you can confirm the two above, then I will believe True Image is file-based and not sector-based.

And to argue that True Image uses a sector-by-sector approach, this is straight from the PDF manual of True Image 11 Home edition, chapter 3:

Backing up disks and partitions is performed in a different way: Acronis True Image Home stores a sector-by-sector snapshot of the disk, which includes the operating system, registry, drivers, software applications and data files, as well as system areas hidden from the user. This procedure is called “creating a disk image,” and the resulting backup archive is often called a disk/partition image.

and it goes on to say...

 By default, Acronis True Image Home stores only those hard disk parts that contain data (for supported file systems). Further, it does not back up swap file information (pagefile.sys under Windows NT/2000/XP/Vista) and hiberfil.sys (a file that keeps RAM contents when the computer goes into hibernation). This reduces image size and speeds up image creation and restoration. However, you might use the Create an image using the sector-by-sector
approach option that lets you include all of the sectors of a hard disk in an image.

So, it does a sector-by-sector image excluding free space, but the option "Create an image using the sector-by-sector approach" is for imaging free space as well. That's the only difference.

And let me add the following on page 17:

An incremental or differential backup created after a disk is defragmented might be considerably larger than usual. This is because the defragmentation program changes file locations on disk and the backups reflect these changes. Therefore, it is recommended that you re-create a full backup after disk defragmentation.

For a file-based, it doesn't matter where the file is located, but it would matter for sector-based. Hence, you can see that Acronis employs sector-based imaging for whole disks and partitions.

Well, the only reason for my post is I was considering switching over to True Image because I thought it was file-based, but I can see that it is still sector-based so I'm going to stick with ImageX.

Edited by spacesurfer
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Yes, Acronis uses sector based imaging and skips free space on all supported filesystems...

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What a project, reviewing that amount of software! As a novice to imaging software (burning stuff to CD/DVD is so much simpler), I would like to thank you for undertaking this large-scale comparison.

I would like to suggest 2 titles not on the list (Disk Imaging):

Also, may I make a suggestion on something to consider in the comparisons?

I tried to ask a retail clerk about various imaging software and how well they handle large hard disks/partitions. He didn't know much about it, except that some software has a max size (of data) at the retail price, you actually have to pay to "uplock" the software to handle large amounts of data!

Here are the questions (remember, I'm a novice), which I have about disk imaging software:

  1. What is the maximum partion size which can be backed up?
  2. What is the maximum amount of files (in MB or GB) which can be backed up?
  3. How well can the software compress an image of a large partition (and does it matter how much of the partition is actually used)?
  4. Is there an arbitrary limit on data size (which you have to pay extra to "unlock")?
  5. Can the software do an image of a large partition which can be compressed and stored to DVD?

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not one to dig out old threads, but has anyone come across a windows disk imager that can read the image data from "stdin"? Because that's the only way I could imagine to use UDPcast without having to save a temporary file on some harddisk.

I understand it is uncommon on windows to use "stdin", but there has to be something besides the windows version of "dd".

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I understand it is uncommon on windows to use "stdin", but there has to be something besides the windows version of "dd".

Maybe not what you want to hear, but there is a Win32 port of "dd" here:

http://gmgsystemsinc.com/fau/

That should support stdin and that can use lznt1 compression that is the same (or very similar to the) one that is used in NTFS compression, thus if not the "tightest" in the world, pretty much fast.

jaclaz

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OOOpppps sorry, i missed, it is already is #18 on first post, thanks for warning jaclaz

Edited by Lancelot_Real
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question on the above list re: preserving our index.dat files

Can anyone who has tested any of the above image programs confirm that an image restore operation did not preserve (did not carry forward) the personal data that was accumulated in the index.dat[amining] files, that are programmed into "our" operating systems for reasons that can be valide only to creepy Madison Ave. monopolists. (...or... who knows! maybe WE, the freedom lovers, are the real Al Qieda babies! lol!)

It is my suspicion that the "big-name" Microsoft-embraced brands, Norton, Acronis, etc., will do whatever it takes to preserve their embedded relationship with Mr. Big, which means their image restore operations will restore everything else, but their beloved datamining files on us. Thus, the Microsoft-protected index.dat files would not be restored back to original image, or "out of the box," condition. Instead, they would be carried forward, everything else was restored, giving the illusion a complete image restore.

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question on the above list re: preserving our index.dat files

Can anyone who has tested any of the above image programs confirm that an image restore operation did not preserve (did not carry forward) the personal data that was accumulated in the index.dat[amining] files, that are programmed into "our" operating systems for reasons that can be valide only to creepy Madison Ave. monopolists. (...or... who knows! maybe WE, the freedom lovers, are the real Al Qieda babies! lol!)

It is my suspicion that the "big-name" Microsoft-embraced brands, Norton, Acronis, etc., will do whatever it takes to preserve their embedded relationship with Mr. Big, which means their image restore operations will restore everything else, but their beloved datamining files on us. Thus, the Microsoft-protected index.dat files would not be restored back to original image, or "out of the box," condition. Instead, they would be carried forward, everything else was restored, giving the illusion a complete image restore.

Hmmm, NO.

A "dd-like" image is as byte by byte, 1:1 copy and is even "filesystem agnostic", in other words an imaging application can image also filesystems (like BSD or Linux EXT2/3, ReiserFS, etc.) that you cannot mount/access from your OS.

jaclaz

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