How to make a bootable self installing backup image?

I have been searching the internet for an answer to my question and unable to do so.

What I want to do is make a bootable backup image that will self install without windows in case of an operating system failure where windows is unavailable. I want to image my C:/ drive and make it so I can boot from CDR or DVDR and have it format the drive and reinstall my backup identical to the original. A long time ago I saw this done with Symantec Ghost on a job I was on but have no idea how to accomplish the task myself.

I was wondering if there is perhaps a better software out there now for making a total self restoring image of your haed drive such as this.
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More about make bootable installing backup image
  1. Ghost does this very well.You just need a Symantec Ghost boot disk or cd go to create a image from the disk on your dvd.It will ask you if you want to boot with system on the image created you just need a boot diskette or a boot created by Ghost wizard. If you install Ghost software onyuor pc there is a feature called LightsOut Restore—Restores your system with an on-disk software recovery environment—no bootable CD required.
    All you need is buy the software.
  2. Thank you for your response. But I am looking for a self contained setup where the image of my HDD is contained on the boot disk itself along with the installation software. I know I can use a boot disk and access a backup image from my computer but that is not what I am trying to do. This will not work if there is a HDD failure. I want to be able to install this backup on any machine of my choosing.

    How does the Light Out system work. Do you need a bootable revovery disk AND the image of your HDD as well? Does this require installing Symantec software on its own partition like some of the other software out there?

    Acronis True Image makes a similar setup where you put your image on a seperate partition and recover from that. I think it is called the Acronis Safety Zone.
  3. Its never wise to keep the image in the same disk.If you have a disk fail you will loose all your data. The best way is to keep your image in a external usb hard drive which are cheap and easy to install. Yes you must install the software where your windows xp are.
    Acronis or Ghost are very easy software and follow the instructions given by them.
  4. you can try Magic ISO and Ultra ISO, they can make a bootable disk that you can put anything on, although I never had good luck with Magic making a bootable
  5. hey donfm, if ever you got an answer to your question, kindly post it also.. im trying to search that same question of yours.. on the net.. but in vain.... goodluck... brad_oxbrad_ox[at]hotmail.com
  6. Well, it's kind of overkill but you should look into Hiren's boot cd. Ghost is already on the cd that can be run from a dos environment or from a bootable windows environment (similar to bartpe but with integrated sata and usb support for flash or external hds) The latest versions of hirens have a utility to remaster the image allowing you to add your ghost images. And remember that if you run ghost from the live windows environment it means you have access to sata hard drives and even better dma and 32bit disk io so you can get the full speed of your drives and not spend 6 hours on a 4gb image.

    But for the ultimate backup solution for system images with no user data, I personally use a 16gb hiren's flash drive. Or rather a flash drive with hiren's installed to and made bootable. Then you have convenient read write access to ghost images and you can boot from the usb and save the ghost image directly to the flash drive. Seriously nothing beats it for speed. Just remember that the drive is fat32 and you will have to break the ghost image into 4gb pieces.

    I suppose you could make one of those "laptop hd in a external usb case" the same way for images that also contain user data, ie bigger than 16gb. But making full hard drive backups of systems that users have already had a chance to corrupt vs a backup of only images docs and email etc is against my religion.

    Cheers
  7. donfm said:
    I have been searching the internet for an answer to my question and unable to do so.

    What I want to do is make a bootable backup image that will self install without windows in case of an operating system failure where windows is unavailable. I want to image my C:/ drive and make it so I can boot from CDR or DVDR and have it format the drive and reinstall my backup identical to the original. A long time ago I saw this done with Symantec Ghost on a job I was on but have no idea how to accomplish the task myself.

    I was wondering if there is perhaps a better software out there now for making a total self restoring image of your haed drive such as this.


    ===========================================================================
    It's a long time ago you asked this, but I've only just seen it. Since it seems to cause widespread puzzlement, I thought it worthwhile to spell out how I do it. It's a relatively straightforward process using Ghost 2003 and Nero 6. The steps below provide a simple system to produce a single, self booting, DVD recovery disk i.e. your Hard Drive image must be a bit smaller than 4.7 GB. Thus it is suitable for a fresh XP installation plus a moderate number of installed applications. For a bigger Image you could use a dual-layer (9 GB) DVD. To avoid clogging up the computer for which the Recovery disk is intended, it is best to prepare the Recovery disk on another computer.

    The steps are:

    STEP 1.
    =======
    Prepare a bootable floppy disk and add the following files to it:

    AUTOEXEC.BAT
    CONFIG.SYS
    MSCDEX.EXE
    OAKCDROM.SYS
    HIMEM.SYS
    REBOOT.COM

    Use Google to find and download MSCDEX.EXE, OAKCDROM.SYS, HIMEM.SYS and REBOOT.COM if you don't have them already.

    CONFIG.SYS contains the following:

    LASTDRIVE = Z
    DEVICE=OAKCDROM.SYS /D:MSCD001 /L:Z
    FILES=10
    BUFFERS=10
    DOS=HIGH,UMB
    STACKS=9,256

    AUTOEXEC.BAT contains the following:

    @echo off
    cls
    echo ************************************************************************
    echo * IF YOU CONTINUE, THIS WILL DESTROY ALL EXISTING DATA ON THE HARD DRIVE AND *
    ECHO * REPLACE IT WITH A FRESH INSTALLATION OF WINDOWS. IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO *
    ECHO * THIS, REMOVE THE RECOVERY DVD FROM THE DRIVE AND TURN OFF THE COMPUTER. *
    echo ************************************************************************
    pause
    LH \MSCDEX.EXE /D:mscd001 /L:Z
    SET TZ=GHO+00:00
    Z:
    GHOST.EXE @GHSWITCH.TXT
    cls
    echo ********************************************************************
    echo * NOW REMOVE THE RECOVERY DVD FROM THE DRIVE AND REBOOT THE COMPUTER *
    ECHO * IF WINDOWS REQUIRES RE-ACTIVATION, SELECT "BY TELEPHONE" AND ENTER *
    ECHO * THE PRODUCT KEY SHOWN ON THE LABEL ON THE BOTTOM OF THE LAPTOP *
    echo ********************************************************************
    pause
    REBOOT

    STEP 2
    ======
    Use GHOST to create an image of the hard disk you want the Recovery disk for. Ghost may produce a single image files e.g. IMAGE.GHO, or a set of files e.g. IMAGE.GHO, IMAGE001.GHS, IMAGE002.GHS etc, depending how much data your hard disk has.

    STEP 3
    ======
    Prepare a folder named PAYLOAD on your hard drive containing the following files:

    IMAGE.GHO
    *.GHS files (if GHS files exist)
    GHOST.EXE
    GHSWITCH.TXT
    REBOOT.COM

    GHSWITCH.TXT contains the following:

    -batch
    -clone,mode=restore,src=\IMAGE.GHO,dst=1

    STEP 4
    ======
    Insert the Floppy Disk prepared in STEP 1 above in the floppy drive. Run Nero Express and select Data - Bootable Data Disk. Add all the files from the PAYLOAD folder then click NEXT. Select "Read Boot Disk in Drive" and click NEXT. Select a suitable name for the Recovery Disk and click BURN. That's it. However, for efficient testing, initially omit the Image files from the Nero run and use a rewritable DVD. This will produce the Recovery Disk quickly and you can test it on the computer to see if everything works OK (other than the actual restore of the Images). Once it's OK, prepare the full recovery disk.
  8. SORRY - Remove REBOOT.COM from both the floppy and PAYLOAD file - it won't work, and reference to it at end of AUTOEXEC.BAT
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