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Disk Imaging Software

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#51
spacesurfer

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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, 18 July 2008 - 10:28 AM.

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#52
Martin H

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

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#53
albator

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You could add http://www.macrium.com/ReflectFree.asp
Reflect is good, there a free and a paid version.

The linux boot disk for restoration is fast too.
:thumbup

#54
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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:
  • What is the maximum partion size which can be backed up?
  • What is the maximum amount of files (in MB or GB) which can be backed up?
  • How well can the software compress an image of a large partition (and does it matter how much of the partition is actually used)?
  • Is there an arbitrary limit on data size (which you have to pay extra to "unlock")?
  • Can the software do an image of a large partition which can be compressed and stored to DVD?

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#55
bj-kaiser

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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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#56
jaclaz

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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

#57
Lancelot_Real

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

Edited by Lancelot_Real, 29 September 2008 - 03:47 PM.


#58
jaclaz

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Here is another Disk image software:

http://www.partition-saving.com/


For the record #18 on first post. ;)


jaclaz

#59
Molecule

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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.
can the platonic solids be constructed by gaussian modulation of rotational action, rotational action itself being an artifact of intersection of two sphaeric actions--the tetrahedron for example

#60
jaclaz

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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

#61
IcemanND

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To my knowledge the only thing Ghost skips is the Pagefile and hibernation file.

using Imagex to capture a drive skips the following
\$ntfs.log
\hiberfil.sys
\pagefile.sys
"\System Volume Information"
\RECYCLER
\Windows\CSC
*.mp3
*.zip
*.cab
\WINDOWS\inf\*.pnf

As I have not used any other imaging software for more than testing I can't comment on the others.

#62
benaw

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does any one have any suggestions on how to image multiple computers quickly?

i was wondering if there was a way to store boot instructions on a DVD-RW that would boot into an imaging program and ideally automatically back up c: and store it on the same DVD??

#63
IcemanND

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ghost will allow you to image a machine to a cd/dvd but not the same one you booted from.

#64
benaw

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i'm just thinking of an office environment, using HDD imaging software to take a backup of user data, as well as programs and settings which i guess isn't as important. i have been looking in to ghostcast today. it would be good to take an image of each computer over the Christmas break surely there's something out there that can be deployed easily to back up all computers on the network to a single location and have it sorted by computer name. at this stage i'm pretty sure ghostcast will do it might still be a bit messy tho.

do you know of anything else i should look at?

#65
jaclaz

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New kid on the block:
ODIN
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=5871

http://sourceforge.n...jects/odin-win/

Stil in Beta, but promising....

jaclaz

#66
tguy

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HP Rapid Deploy would be another option as would Symantec's Backup Exec System Recovery, the next iteration of Livestate Recovery. See manufacturer's websites for details and pricing information.

#67
EarthJim

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And few words more about Acronis.
Today i was on their site, checking for smth new...and i found christmas discounts, it was not so easy but interesting. To see this offers you should put the cursor on snowflake, but it is not on each snowflake. You will need to find the right one))) very funny idea.
I've found 5% and 10% discounts :thumbup

#68
eyeball

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Just so everyone knows, i have tried PING and it is fantastic. I have imaged and restored my server 2008 box, an XP laptop and a vista Desktop - all flawless. Its easy to setup and easy to use. I would recommend it to anyone here :)

#69
spacesurfer

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To my knowledge the only thing Ghost skips is the Pagefile and hibernation file.

using Imagex to capture a drive skips the following
\$ntfs.log
\hiberfil.sys
\pagefile.sys
"\System Volume Information"
\RECYCLER
\Windows\CSC
*.mp3
*.zip
*.cab
\WINDOWS\inf\*.pnf


ImageX does not skip *.mp3, *.zip and *.cab.

It excludes *.mp3, *.zip, and *.cab from compressing them, thus saving time, but they are included in the image UNLESS YOU SPECIFY TO SKIP THEM.

It wouldn't be wise to skip *.cab as drivers might be in those files.
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#70
Molecule

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Terabyte's Image for DOS (and for Linux too) does batch file image Restores. Unattended. It can read and write images to and from NTFS systems.

It's the only one I found that doesn't require some kind of user intervention for a restore operation. Nice job, Terabyte!

Automatic restore allows me to insert bootable media, and then log off with a reboot. With a simple batch, this should restore the boot drive image. (restoring hybernation and swap files are optional, along with MBR, EMBRs, etc.) After restore operation, the DOS batch then shuts down the computer. Next time it's turned on, it's pristine -- without preservation of Microsoft's property on my HDD, namely M$'s arrays of Index.dats, IndexMyHDDforFREE.dats, Echelon.dats, Pentagon.dats, etc.

typographic care is obviously required, since the batch restore will automatically restore, hopefully to the boot drive (and not to a data drive - lol). Images can be in TB range -- I forget right now. Image for DOS can build an image from and restore to an NTFS drives, and it can write an image file to, and read it from an NTFS, FAT, or Linux drive.

I haven't done it yet (so this is theoretical), but am planning to use this on my w2k internet computer.
can the platonic solids be constructed by gaussian modulation of rotational action, rotational action itself being an artifact of intersection of two sphaeric actions--the tetrahedron for example

#71
kickarse

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I think you guys forgot one...

Free Ghost - http://www.fogproject.org

I've used it and it's nice, fairly easy to setup for a advanced user. But it's still in its infancy.
http://drop.io/wanderingit -- download DriverGeek (formally DriverForge) and FindHWIDS

#72
jaclaz

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A couple of additions:
Datarescue ddrescue:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=7783
Homepage:
http://www.datarescu...cue/v3/drdd.htm

SILinux dd for windows:
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=7786
Homepage (Japanese):
http://www.si-linux....hp?DDforWindows

Via Google Translate:
http://translate.goo...t...en&ie=UTF-8

jaclaz

#73
albator

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There also DiscWizard wich is a rebranded Acronis True image 10.
The software is free for Seagate/Maxtor Harddrive owner.

http://www.seagate.c...oads/discwizard

Edited by albator, 25 May 2009 - 04:56 AM.


#74
jaclaz

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New kid on the block:
CLONEDISK, by Erwan L., FREEWARE
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=8480
http://erwan.l.free.fr/clonedisk/

under development, a number of added (useful) features, like converting from RAW to:
  • VMDK (working)
  • VHD (will be added shortly)
  • VDI (in the works)

(several other nice apps on his site)

:thumbup

jaclaz

#75
jaclaz

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EASEUS TODO backup (thanks to Jotnar):
http://www.boot-land...?showtopic=8601

http://www.todo-backup.com/

jaclaz




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