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Ghosting approaches - summary because of popular demand

(69 posts)
  • Started 5 years ago by whs
  • Latest reply from mikisu
  • Topic Viewed 34131 times

whs
Posts: 17584

Rick, I really don't know about "all the functions". There is really only 4 functions you need:
1. A proper imaging to an external device
2. A proper recovery procedure from the external device
3. Management of the space you allocate on the external device
4. The ability to write increments rather than full images all the time
As far as free programs goes, there is not a big selection. I found: (but I am sure there are more)
1. Macrium which looks pretty decent in it's free version (there is also a paid version)
2. Clonezilla which seems to be a bit more complicated to use
In addition to that you have the Maxtor Manager which comes for free with the Maxtor One Touch disks - which is a pretty good deal considering you can by a 160GB version for $47. That approach makes most sense if you need an external disk anyhow. Plus, the Maxtor Manager is really easy to use and it already comes with the recovery program disk. For comparison. a typical boxed program costs $50. But as ScottW said, there are deals available.

Posted 5 years ago
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Spacegold
Posts: 594

Anyone else have any leads on imaging freeware? WHS's four minimum requirements are pretty clear.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

This Link, courtesy of Scott who found it, describes a few more options. I have not yet studied them in detail and the webpage does not talk about prices. But it is worth investigating those too.

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
Posts: 6609

We have discussed this before and, so far, no one has found a free solution that covers all 4 of the functions that whs lists above. The free version of Macrium Reflect does not do incremental backups (#4) according to their website. I don't know about space management, #3, but the free version has a scheduler so that's a positive sign.

Clonezilla looks complicated, as whs points out. If you are willing to put in the time, it looks like you can create a recovery disc, so Clonezilla looks like it will do 1 and 2, but probably not 3 and 4.

DriveImage XML is also free and will create complete images, but not incrementals. The easiest way to make a bootable recovery disc is to just make a UBCD4win disc which includes DriveImage XML on it.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

To complete the discussion: The Maxtor does 1,2 and 3, but not 4. It does, however, do some light compression. A full image is about 20MB versus 35MB with Ghost.

PS: I just noticed that I have two times #4 in my numbering and cannot correct it any more. I hate that they took the Edit away from us and left such a short window. It's ridiculous - especially for someone like me who makes typos all the time.

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

Whs, ScottW,
Thanks !!
You know I use old Ghost in a low level environment with complicated command line to (HARD) Structure and Work with Hard Dives, Etc.. BEFORE applying an O/S.
Also use old Ghost to Image / Clone Partitions and Full HDs, Etc.. to Archive and Restore systems.
Have Developed my Own Boot CDs with the above programs and others to accomplish above complicated tasks.
------------------------
Anticipate a problem coming shortly as there appears to be NO universal program to low-level work with HDs per ScottW's posting concerning the differences in the new Ghost Versions and different archive extensions, compression methods, 64 bit o/s, 4-terabyte limits, etc., etc.. plus there doesn't appear to be a lot of free software available as you said in your post.
------------------------
A Builder is "dead in the water" without the necessary utilities to work with the Hardware.
Best Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Rick, you are too old fashioned. Go with the times. As ScottW said, most of the good programs can be had with a discount. One that looks really good to me (at least on paper) is Genie Backup Manager 8. What is good with Ghost though, the Symantec help lines work very well and the people are quite competent.

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@whs,
(LOL) No not old fashion, on the contrary, looking for complicated modern "New and Improved" software that will work with HDs, I.E. Master File Tables, MBRs, partitioning, wiping, Super Hidden Partitions, on and on ........... (LOL)
Best Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Hmm, I guess it is a matter of trying. Who knows whether all that stuff works.

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
Posts: 6609

whs, what compression setting do you use in Norton Ghost? You can't make a fair comparison of compression ability without trying all of the available choices in Ghost.

I did notice the typos, 1, 2, 4, 4. Anyone who can count should be able to figure it out. Also, it's amazing that your C: partition will fit in an archive that is only 20 or 35 *mega*bytes (MB). Sadly, another typo that can't be corrected.

Rick, I hadn't thought of it much but you are right. There are fewer tools today that work down at the bare metal hardware that can be run stand-alone. Back in the old-fashioned times that whs speaks of, there used to be a DOS utility or command line tool for just about anything you wanted to manipulate or diagnose. Now I'm racking my brain trying to think of ones to work on the sub-systems that you listed. :(

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

ScottW, It was not supposed to be a comparison. In Ghost I do not compress (recommended - if I remember right). Maxtor, however, does it without asking for input.
Damned, I hate those typos and the fact that I cannot correct them. It used to be easier around here. Well, the good old days.

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
Posts: 6609

whs, I don't know about your Ghost, v14, but on my Ghost v12, compression is recommended and the default as shown here:

I always use compression, except when backing up data files that are already compressed. For example music (e.g. MP3), pictures (e.g. JPG), and video (e.g. AVI) files are already compressed. There should be little time penalty, if any, on a modern system. A typical CPU can run compression algorithms much faster than a hard drive can read data and write it to an archive.

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

ScottW, You are right. In V14 it says "Standard" too. I thought that was "no compression". Thought to have read that somewhere in their documentation, but maybe I am mixing this up with some other program. Never gave it much thought, because I have ample space available. All my backup disks have 250GB and are dedicated to imaging. I would think that the time penalty you pay for compression is easily compensated by the time gain you make because there is less data written to the external disk.

Posted 5 years ago
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raphoenix
Posts: 14920

@ScottW, @whs,
I always compress and check all Archives for CRC Integrity.
Appreciate your understanding of the TOOLS issue as my stack of Boot CDs with a different tool found "here and there" is now about 1 inch high and the documentation is only from memory in many cases.
Regards,
Rick P.

Posted 5 years ago
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HappyPaul
Posts: 1

Hi:

I use Acronis True Image Home edition and am very happy with it. As the new owner of a NetBook with no Optical drive, I particularly appreciate how easy it is to create a bootable USB flash drive from the software.

Paul

Posted 5 years ago
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ScottW
Posts: 6609

A new member mentioned another free program that is available, Paragon Drive Backup Express. Using the previous scale, it does 1 and 2, but not 3 or 4. Here are the pros and cons that stand out to me:

Pros: Vista including x64 compatible, backup while Windows is running, comes with ability to create a restore disc.
Cons: no incremental or differential backups; cannot backup to CD/DVD; cannot backup files and folders; doesn't have a scheduler.

Posted 5 years ago
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Bartman
Posts: 1287

I'm thinking about buying the Maxtor One Touch to use strictly for an image backup (in case of crash, etc.).
I'm guessing 160GB would be large enough. Am I guessing correctly? Saw it at Tiger Direct for $49.95.
Sounded like a good deal. Any thoughts/opinions?

Posted 5 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

I paid 49.95 for my 250GB One Touch at Staples (on black Friday). I think right now they sell for $69.95. But 160GBs are tight. At some time my images (from Ghost) were 62GBs. I now have a 640GB unit on each of my desktops for the purpose. That may be a slight overkill, but they are 3.5 inch and hardly more expensive. I paid $70. The wife still uses the 250GB 2.5. inch unit with her laptops and loves it. It could not be easier to operate. But she does only file backup because her system setup is so simple and could be reinstalled in no time. Be aware that the USB powered unit needs 2 USB ports - one for data and one for power.

Posted 5 years ago
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LH
Posts: 20002

Or even 1 for for Data and 2 for Power :)

Posted 5 years ago
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Bartman
Posts: 1287

USB ports won't be a problem. I have 4 that I'm not using.

Posted 5 years ago
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