I'm looking for some good current software that can copy an entire partition or disk, including boot records, to an archive file. It should be able to restore the file so that I can boot from the restored version. It should either be bootable or run from DOS.
I don't need any ability to do automatic online backups (I've got other SW to do that) or image backups while the OS is running (like Acronis). I use this for saving checkpoints before I do something risky, and if I blow out my OS I just restore the disk or partition.
Many extra points if I can browse the backups / restore files while running Windows 7.
I have been using Norton Ghost 8.0 for this purpose for many years, and I am very happy with it. However, drives are about to change (4k blocks) and I am trying to replace all of my old tools with recent ones that are aware of boundaries, large drives, 64-bit systems, and all kinds of things that my ancient toolset was not designed for.
PS - for example, I'm about to replace Partition Magic, probably with Easeus. How's that for an old tool?
You can boot with an Aconis disk and use it the same way you do with Ghost. I have been using it for over a year now and I think it is faster and more polished than Ghost.
I also used Ghost for many years but it would not work when I upgraded my MB and CPU (P55 chipset) last year. I am pretty sure that the selection of AHCI for the hard disks was the reason. Acronis 2010 was the oldest version that would detect the drives. The free Acronis 2009 version on Western Digital's site would not.