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Cruachan

Please suggest some hard-drive imaging programs

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Hello all :)With everything on my computer highly optimized/customized (not to mention FS9) I dread to think of the painful reinstallation of all my programs should something silly happen...like a hard-drive failure.I have only just come around to the idea of software that can take an "image" of the entire drive and save it to an external drive or DVDs.Im unsure which program to go for and thought I would ask you all on here since I like hearing from real users. Googling brings up Acronis True Image, Norton Ghost & Paragon most of the time - these any good?But what disk-imaging program do you use? Is it well-designed (reliable) & was it easy to restore files from the image? (if you have had to do so).Thank you :)

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We've used Ghost at work for years, though several versions.Found them all to be very good, clean and easy to use.The hardest part is building a boot CD for a complete rebuild, but the wizards help with that.The key with any backup process is that you must test the restore ahead of time to be sure you understand it completely and that it works as expected.If you just make backup images, when you need it something will be missing.

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One option I've used is XXCopy--a free utility that runs from a command line and can copy files between a master and slave easily. I used this when I replaced my old hard drive back in December, and it worked better than any imaging program I'd ever used, and effortlessly cloned my hard drive despite the master having different partition info. Only those programs keyed to look at hardware had to be reregistered, but fortunately I backup all my keys and had no issues with any vendor.Google "XXCopy" and you should easily find it.Regards,John

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I am a HUGE fan of Acronis True Image. I have images of my XP and Vista installations made before any apps and drivers were installed, so I can easily roll back to "clean" system state as needed. I also use it to cut point-in-time images for pure backup purposes. It's GOOD stuff I tell you! Good! -Greg

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Thanks to you all for replying so far. Interesting to read what you all have said! Didnt know there was freeware stuff out there! I am a little confused about something though http://www.nextgenerationrecords.co.uk/boa...con_redface.gifWhat is better: Cloning a drive or taking an Image of it?How are they different?Which of the options above copies the relevant system files so that when I restore I will not have to reinstall all my programs? I see that programs like Acronis let you do both (clone or backup).

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Hi Nevin,My vote goes with Acronis True Image Home. I have used all the versions since version 6 and have just updated to version 10 which is the most flexible yet. It's a doddle to use and, I know, will satisfy ALL your requirements.Mike

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...bye all...After restore ...Did you have problems to use FS2004 addons purchased ed licensed (as PMDG, Level-D, Cloud9, ActiveSky etc...)?My problem is with Drive Image....after I do a backup of my C: with all programs, FS2004 ADDONS...(activesky, PMDG, Level-D,etc. etc.) When I restore it, I must reactivate the FS2004 ADDONS, I must reinstall them and the consequence I must contact the Sofware House to resend me or the Links of reinstall or new file setup....Why?Ghost is better?ThanksLucio (from Italy)

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Hello Cruachan,Well...I bought True Image! After a lot of Googling into the alternatives I went for it and so far so good, nice interface and easy to use. Im still learning it though - for example I only just realised that you need to make the disk image while *NOT* in Windows so you need to use the Recovery CD you created and then use that to make the image. I guess things go a bit wierd if you try to image while Windows is still in use!

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Hi Nevin,"I only just realised that you need to make the disk image while *NOT* in Windows so you need to use the Recovery CD you created and then use that to make the image."The only time you will need to use ATI outside Windows is when you have to resort to using the Bootable Rescue Media Disk because Windows won't load, for whatever reason, either normally or in SAFE mode. This should be your number one priority - create this disk by selecting the Bootable Rescue Media Builder option. Once you have created the disk, make sure you test it then put it away somewhere safe. You may never need it but it will be there to bale you out in an emergency. It's possible that you may have to enter the system BIOS SETUP program at boot to ensure that your CD boots before your Primary HD. Otherwise I can assure you that all other operations take place from within the Windows environment. This afternoon I routinely backed up all the data on my 2nd drive, the drive used for archiving all my backups, photographs, sundry programs and utilities, etc. and this completed without incident (normal compression selected) in Windows, in 2 hours (>156GB).I am sure all you need is a little more time to familiarize yourself with the program. You will soon note that it is capable of so much more than straightforward drive imaging, e.g. selective folder backups and the ability to mount and browse your drive backup images, as you would do normally in Windows Explorer, to mention but a couple of its many features. This is one powerful utility. You won't regret your investment.Mike

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Thanks for taking the time to explain that Mike!Oh nice so I dont have to use the rescue disk and then make the image backup from there, I was not sure if I could image the drive while in Windows but now I am thanks to your clarification :)Yes its an impressive little program and I find the selectable file backup very handy, its managed to squash my entire AddOn Scenery folder (all 17GB of it) onto just 2 DVDs! Woot :)PS: I was not paying attention when I bought TI online and got Version 9.1....is there a big difference between this and V10?

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Hi Nevin,I knew you would like it ;)"PS: I was not paying attention when I bought TI online and got Version 9.1....is there a big difference between this and V10?"To be honest, I really only use it for imaging and cloning drives and occasional folder backups (very useful for backing up your FS installation which can grow to be quite large).I debated whether I really needed to update from version 9 but, in the end, it was a case of 'what the heck', and, since the cost of the upgrade to 10 was not that great, I just went for it. I never had any problems with 9 and was always diligent in installing the latest builds.The following link will tell you what has been added:http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/From my point of view, the ability to backup Application settings and e-mail sound interesting, but it remains to be seen whether I will actually use these features.Mike

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