I know ImageX is intended for Windows deployment on networked machines, but what I want to do is upgrade to another hard drive without having to reinstall Windows and all my applications. I was told ImageX would allow me to clone everything on the drive, and I could then put that data on the new drive, and boot up no problem without any reinstallation. Is this true?
I found this info on another site. I wanted to run it by you guys and see if it's correct information.
Probably the best part of the Automated Windows Deployment Kit is a little Utility called ImageX. This little utility can be loaded on a BART-PE or minimal boot up disk and can be used to capture a an exact replica of the machine and save it as a .wim file. Further if you are running Vista or Windows 7 this utility will create an image that is capable of being restored on either a Intel or AMD chipset without having to modify the registry (In XP must make a Registry Change before image will work).
So why bother using ImageX instead of File and Settings Transfer Wizard? Easy – because the ImageX wim file contains everything all docs all programs – all settings – with the big one Applications. You do not need to reload any programs unlike File and Settings Transfer Wizard which ignores all programs.
You do not need to really use the Boot PE features of the Automated Windows Deployment Kit instead if you want to simply make an image then restore it to a new or different machine you can use a minimal windows startup disk with ImageX installed.
You can make a disk using the WAIK (From Microsofts website)
1. Install the WAIK
2. In the Start menu – navigate to All Programs/Microsoft Windows AIK and run the Windows PE Tools command prompt as an Administrator
3. At the command prompt – create a temp directory – such as MD c:\temp then run set temp=c:\temp and set tmp=c:\temp
4. run copype x86 c:\PEBuild (this copies the PE Source to a new directory that we will use for constructing our image- if you needed the AMD64 source then replace x86 with amd64)
5. At the command prompt (notice you are now in the c:\PEBuild directory) run imagex /mountrw winpe.wim 1 mount (this mounts the WinPE image file in the mount directory ready for us to add into)
6. So that we have the imagex and deployment tools available in our PE Boot disk, run xcopy “c:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\x86\*.*” mount\ /s
7. At this point you could add other files into the image (such as Ghost tools, PMenu, etc) by copying them into the mount directory – you can also use the peimg command at this point to install other support tools such as scripting and HTA support – run peimg /list mount to see the full list and then peimg /install to install new support
8. Once you are ready to seal the image up then run peimg /prep mount - this will ensure that the WinPE image is optimised – you will need to agree to seal it
9. After sealing the image you then need to unmount it – imagex /unmount mount /commit
10. To place the newly created custom WinPE image into the correct folder that we can then call on to create the boot disk – run copy /y winpe.wim iso\sources\boot.wim
11. To create a bootable ISO file that can then be used to boot into WinPE, change back to c:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools and then run the following command oscdimg.exe -n -b"c:\Program Files\Windows AIK\Tools\PETools\x86\boot\etfsboot.com" c:\PEbuild\iso c:\PEBuild\PE.is
This disk is useful as it enables you to boot any Vista or Win 7 machine from the disk and then use the imagex command line to create a wim image. Great for Backup – Great for Deployment – Great for transferring from one machine to the other.
The only catch is that after restoring an imagex wim file the machine will not boot correctly. To fix boot one time using a Vista or Windows 7 Repair disk and select REPAIR installation – this will fix the boot menu setup and machine should boot up normally. Of course if you are switching machines will need to reinstall lots of drivers but still pretty useful.
Free (GPL) Software.
Filesystem supported: (1) ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs of GNU/Linux, (2) FAT, NTFS of MS Windows, (3) HFS+ of Mac OS, (4) UFS of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, and (5) VMFS3/4 of VMWare ESX. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows, Intel-based Mac OS, and FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, no matter it's 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x86-64) OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla.
LVM2 (LVM version 1 is not) under GNU/Linux is supported.
Grub (version 1 and version 2) is supported.
Unattended mode is supported. Almost all steps can be done via commands and options. You can also use a lot of boot parameters to customize your own imaging and cloning.
Multicast is supported in Clonezilla SE, which is suitable for massively clone. You can also remotely use it to save or restore a bunch of computers if PXE and Wake-on-LAN are supported in your clients.
The image file can be on local disk, ssh server, samba server, or NFS server.
Based on Partclone (default), Partimage (optional), ntfsclone (optional), or dd to image or clone a partition. However, Clonezilla, containing some other programs, can save and restore not only partitions, but also a whole disk.
By using another free software drbl-winroll, which is also developed by us, the hostname, group, and SID of cloned MS windows machine can be automatically changed.