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Portable HD imaging programs?...

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Last response: in Windows 7
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September 4, 2010 2:32:51 PM

I recently received a new laptop from my work. I would like to image the hard drive in it's current state to an external fat 32 drive, so that I can make whatever changes I want to the system (likely including reformatting and re-installing windows 7), then re-image the drive back to its original state when I give it back to my IT dept. I would like to find a software that I can use to make a bootable cd/dvd that I can use to restore the image.

Most of the free disk imaging programs seem require installation (I wanted to use paragon). If I install a backup program (actually it probably already has too much security applied to allow me to do this), then it will be on the drive when I restore the image.

Is there any solution short of buying a new drive?
a b $ Windows 7
September 4, 2010 2:46:07 PM

Paragon should let you create a rescue CD. You boot from this when you need to restore an image. But if you don't have Administrator rights you won't be able to use it.

Having said that, you say that the IT department have set security levels on this computer. Don't mess with it - it's not your computer it belongs to the company who have lent it to you and it doesn't sound like you really know what you are doing (else you wouldn't be asking this question in the first place).

In many companies (certainly the one that I used to work for) misuse of company equipment in the way that you propose would be grounds for dismissal. If you want a laptop running Windows 7, rather than what the company have lent you, then why not buy one for yourself.
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September 4, 2010 4:11:55 PM

As I indicated, Paragon requires installation. I am looking for a portable app that I don't need to install. I know that I could always remove the drive & image it in another cptr. Of course at that point I might as well just purchase another drive Which in the end , may be the best route.

I have searched about and have not really found a portable mirroring SW, which is what I am looking for and hence the reason for my post.

I suppose I could simply buy another laptop & let this one rot in the closet for 4 years, but it seems like such a waste. If I had reasonable IT policy where I work then I could perhaps work with the system as delivered. Quite frankly, if they wish to dismiss me then they can. I doubt this would be a concern as I make money for my employer as opposed to simply trying to be an obstruction to company commerce as my IT dept likes to be.

Also, if I was so inclined, I could buck the system, and force IT to give me my system disk and let me set up my computer as I wish, but it is simply not worth the effort.

As for your assertion that I have no idea what I am doing because I am looking for a portable drive mirroring app, I would assert that other than a few suggestions or running xml as a portable app this is an area not so well explored. If it is so obvious an answer, why not simply recommend the drive imaging app that can run as portable.

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a b $ Windows 7
September 4, 2010 4:37:02 PM

glasswave said:
If it is so obvious an answer, why not simply recommend the drive imaging app that can run as portable.

Basically because I am not prepared to help you misuse your company's property.

There are several applications that would let you do what you wish, i.e. boot from a CD and image your disk but as an ex-IT support guy (one of those people you seem to detest) I'm certainly not going to help you thwart your company's policies.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 4, 2010 8:45:32 PM

"I would like to image the hard drive in it's current state to an external fat 32 drive, so that I can make whatever changes I want to the system (likely including reformatting and re-installing windows 7)"
If you were as smart as you think, then you would know that what you are proposing in the above statement is not possible. I won't bother explaining why.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 4, 2010 9:04:42 PM

Jonmor68 said:
"I would like to image the hard drive in it's current state to an external fat 32 drive, so that I can make whatever changes I want to the system (likely including reformatting and re-installing windows 7)"
If you were as smart as you think, then you would know that what you are proposing in the above statement is not possible. I won't bother explaining why.

If I was to say that some imaging software will split the image into multiple files of different sizes would you change your mind?
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September 5, 2010 3:29:33 AM

Ijack said:
Basically because I am not prepared to help you misuse your company's property.

There are several applications that would let you do what you wish, i.e. boot from a CD and image your disk but as an ex-IT support guy (one of those people you seem to detest) I'm certainly not going to help you thwart your company's policies.


Fair enough, thanks for your suggestions. I don't detest IT people, it's just the environment where I work has made it hard to do & learn the things I need. The idea of imaging my drive & then reformatting it was actually suggested to me by one of our IT guys who is as frustrated with our IT environment as I am.

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September 5, 2010 3:32:47 AM

Jonmor68 said:

If you were as smart as you think, then you would know that what you are proposing in the above statement is not possible. I won't bother explaining why.


I am aware of the fat32 file size limitation if that is what you are referring to. I am not pretending that I am a techno guru, I am just trying to get suggestions as how to accomplish a task.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 5, 2010 6:42:39 AM

glasswave said:
The idea of imaging my drive & then reformatting it was actually suggested to me by one of our IT guys who is as frustrated with our IT environment as I am.

Well then, why not ask him how to do it? Or even ask him to do it for you.

Just be aware, whatever you do, that it will be pretty obvious to the IT guys, when you return the computer, what you have done. (Well it will if they are any good at their jobs; my colleagues would have spotted that sort of thing immediately they started up the PC.)
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September 8, 2010 5:12:20 PM

Ijack said:
Well then, why not ask him how to do it? Or even ask him to do it for you.

Just be aware, whatever you do, that it will be pretty obvious to the IT guys, when you return the computer, what you have done. (Well it will if they are any good at their jobs; my colleagues would have spotted that sort of thing immediately they started up the PC.)


I didn't want to bother him with things outside of his job description. Also, our IT guys tend to use commercial sw for that sort of thing and I would prefer to use freeware. I was just interested in finding out what people were using.
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a b $ Windows 7
September 8, 2010 5:34:37 PM

Well, it's a bit difficult - if you're not willing to work with your IT people - to know what to suggest.
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