Drive Backup Software?

I'm looking for some sort of hard drive backup or imaging software that I can use in the following way:

Plug in an external DVD 16x USB burner then Boot to a CD on the PC. The software would load, and I could backup the hard drive to the DVD burner - maybe several media used.

Later I could plug in the external USB DVD burner, boot to the CD again and restore all the data from the DVD to the hard drive.

Does such software exist? I don't want to install anything to the OS.

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  1. I don't think any sort of boot cd exists that would allow you to burn dvds from it much less make an image.
    I'd look into norton ghost corprate edition (if you are doing this for work). You make a boot floppy using its little wizard that contains the correct ethernet drivers for the computer you want to make an image of. Then start a ghost cast server on another machine, choose dump from client, and accept. Then go to the client, boot off the floppy, connect to the session and off it goes. The image of the machine will be dumped to the server over the network. You can then take that image and make a bootable cd or dvd of it to restore the image back. Or just choose dump to client on the ghost cast server and dump it back over the network again.
    There are tons of other things you can do with ghost corp as well. It is a truely beautiful piece of software, lol. Especially if you are a tech for a company :)

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  2. If you motherboard allows you to boot form USB devices and it permits Ghost 2003 to recognize your external USB 2.0 enclosure then you should have no problem.

    If you can't boot from USB you can always boot Ghost 2003 from an internal CD for floppy, then use the external DVD+RW to backup/restore your partions.

    If your motherboard doesn't allow Ghost to recognize your USB 2.0 enclosure you can just use Ghost 9 to backup your OS to DVD+RW while windows is running. True Image will also let you do the same.

    You will however need an internal DVD-ROM to perform any restores, if Ghost can't find your external enclosure.

    I have one motherboard which lets Ghost see my external encloure and one that does not. So I use Ghost 9 to do live backups to an external DVD+RW and restore from an internal DVD-ROM.

    Plus I when I have to reboot to backup, I don't backup as often.
  3. I'm thinking of something like Knoppix 3.6 as a boot cd, I think a selective back up is going to be necessary, an image just isn't going to work as well. Ghost really isn't what I want. Maybe those silly Germans put a decent DVD Burning software package into Knoppix v3.6...
  4. I once forgot the admin password I had used when making an unattendes XP SP2 CD,I didn't think it was going to be a problem since I usually change it before rebooting, but I installed something that rebooted without asking.

    Worse I discovered I gave away my last Knopix CD. So I had to use a German Knopix DVD I had downloaded once. Took me 7 minutes to find and open up the answer file :)

    I am a little confused about why you would need/want to boot from Knopix to bakcup/restore individual files.

    It would make a lot more sense just to do that from withing Windows.
  5. Perhaps before people can choose whether to use TrueImage, Ghost, DriveImage XML, SyncBack, or any of dozens more, forgive me if I don't mention them all, it's important to know how you want to back up your data. Here's some points to consider:
    1) Are you happy with the image of your current drive and you simply want to image it again onto another medium, perhaps a drive or CD/DVD, and you're not worried about fragmentation. You could always defrag it after the image and then copy again to be safe anyway. This is for when you are in a hurry to get that backup done.

    2) You're NOT happy with the image and you want to do a file by file/directory by directory copy.

    3) You do not have a drive to image to locally, and you must image over the network - keep in mind, that the Windows directory, Program Files, and Docs and Settings directories are all locked and cannot be imaged using copy and paste in Windows Explorer. This would be for people whose CD/DVD isn't working or they just don't want to buy an external hard- or CD-DVD- drive. This is an important case as it's often much easier to gain access to hard-drives over a network.

    4) And then there is the issue of creating a bootable medium.

    With the above in mind, can anyone suggest which of the above products I mentioned or any of the other popular products can accomplish which of the tasks 1 - 4. And can any do all of them? And if there are techniques used by the backup process, like Volume Shadow Service - is this flexible or are there trade-offs? I think I want to understand the internals of these products so I don't buy something and wind up not able to do what I want or in the way I want to. Sometimes we can make sacrifices (such as in number 1, we just want a quick image), sometimes not.

    Just curious.
  6. Macrium Reflect. The have a pretty fully functional Free version that does exactly what you speak of and then some. Of note, to use it in that fashion you must install the program and then create a linux based boot cd using the program and it is very easy to do so.

    Also of note, are you sure about this considering the prices of usb and other types of large external drives? Macrium works find with those to fyi.
  7. :p Sorry, I only just noticed your reply. I had also thought of Macrium Reflect after reading about it. However, I decided to try out another tool first - Image for DOS. I wanted to make sure that I can do the cloning outside of Windows. Perhaps Macrium's products do the same. I wanted to avoid things like Volume Shadow Copy and such. Some products DO use this. But many companies build their own little OS into the CD's boot sector so you can boot up and get a menu of Backup and Restore. I have now run the Backup to 2 DVDs. Now I guess I will just remove the existing hard-drive and pop in a new one and then restore to the new one. I haven't done this yet since I want to validate my DVDs first. In my case, I can only have one drive on the PC I'm installing a new drive on. So I could use another XP machine I have with a network cable or I can just pull out the machine's drive and install a new one. My concern is that I won't have the right boot sector unless I copy it (like using MBRWizard eg.) but perhaps I needed to tell it this. Image for DOS recommends not doing backups to DVD and then to your drive. But they have other products for deployment. I will have to research this as I've never heard of anyone just using Image for Dos for backup to DVDs and then going over to another computer. I find it hard to believe that I have the MBR on those DVDs. Perhaps I need to tell it this. I think it the end it will work and at least the DVDs I have are bootable (from the first of the two). I'm not much use to anyone unless I come up with a good procedure so later on dudes!
    Thanks for the info.
  8. Well guys, I just downloaded TibView, installed it and then tried to look at a .tbi file but it said it's probably not a valid image file. Hah-hah, guess I need to start over again. ;) ???? Now I know why I wanted to use the other machine - it's so I can look at the files and directories FIRST, before I install it in another machine. So I now realize that I've answered my question. It's better to use a different machine (when you can only have one hard-drive) rather than remove your only drive - it could be a disaster if you try to install an invalid image to your machine. Later on.
  9. My files have a .tbi extension, perhaps TibView is looking for .img extension. ???? I don't want to chance a new hard-drive unless I can verify the files first. I wish I had a reader for .tbi image files - anyone know of a viewer for that extension? I get no list of files in the file list even if I open it with TibView using shell registration.

    Anyone ever use Image for DOS and deploy to a different computer. Did it go ok or do we need to use the deployment tools - like tbosbs32 - anyone use tbosbs32 - anyone have directions on how to use that? I would love to just use that tool to burn my image onto a new machine.
  10. I decided to simply pull the main drive out of my 2nd pc and make the empty, recently-formatted slave drive the master and tried to restore from DVD to that drive - it all went well until a dialog came up "The evaluation period has ended. To order the full-use version of IMAGE, visit" So it looks like I have to pay to get a "free trial" of it.

    Oh well, perhaps I'll order it but I really wanted to try it first. :pt1cable:
  11. There are many dependable backup solutions. Of course you can do a local backup and you could do an online backup. the issue is not with the software. it's the bus, that limits the speed. if you are backing up on a hard drive which is also in the system and it has SATA-II as well as your primary disc -- that's one, pretty fast, thing. If you are backing up via USB, that's another, and backing up to the Cloud -- is completely third. So don't look for fast software, rather check if the device you are backing up to is connected to your PC with a fast interface. And if you have to do it often -- check for a fast solution (I guess, external SATA).
  12. Glad to see that this thread is still alive. In only the last 5 days, I have completely changed my approaches to hard-drive backups. I now do a simple clone using either of two products:
    1) If the target hard-drive is larger than the source, I can use HDClone 3.8.3, the version that's on Ultimate Boot CD 4.1.1.
    2) If the target drive is the same size (I guess even smaller although I have not had this situation yet), I use Easus 2.3 (can burn an iso using Infrarecorder, ImgBurn or similar tool).

    It's very, very easy to use the above tools, as they are Linux-based and so you are always outside of the operating system. No worries at all. I have done both SATA/PATA. If PATA, just put one of the drives as master, one as slave. Boot up, do the clone by following the prompts (very easy), and then make sure to change the one jumper on the slave to master and disconnect the old master. Some computers only have one drive or perhaps you can't use the machine. In that case, it's best to remove the drive from that machine (unless you have network versions or an external USB/parallel port drive). Anyway, it's best to simply clone on some other machine. That's the real beauty because you can designate some old machine that doesn't even have a hard-drive as the cloning machine. Then put the source and target in that and clone and then remove them.

    Anyway, all my previous posts are history. Just use my method, it will work.
    Later on.
  13. Two more points I forgot to mention.
    1. If it's SATA drives, there is no master/slave. So make sure you unhook one when you reboot. And do same with PATA after changing a jumper on the one you want.

    2. If there is unallocated space after using EaseUS or HDClone, just use the Disk Administrator or some other tool to allocate the space. You may have to bump up the cd drive's letter a bit first.

    A lot of forums have "paranoia" because they think that some trick is needed to start a cloned drive. Fortunately for us, this is not the case. A clone is an exact genetic duplicate of the original, molecule for molecule. Just unhook the other, and boot up and enjoy! There is no need to use OS disks or disable paging and remap drive letters. If your original drive looked like a dog with the ears of a rabbit and the tongue of a whale, your new drive will be the same beast - exactly.

    Some people may still need networking style or other. Those cases are more complex. But I have done many machines in the last two weeks.
    Good luck. ;)
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