Can i do this? Cloning/Imaging


I have my Windows XP installed in C:/ drive. Drive D, E, F used for storage. C drive containing all my softwares which are updated till date.

Now in case something goes wrong and i have no other option so i format and reinstall the OS. This is fine, but after installing OS i have to sit whole day installing the softwares, doing updates. This process is very time taking.

Is there anyway (maybe using drive/disk cloning/imaging) to get the freshly installed OS be overwitten by previous OS image which have my sofwares, licensing, updates. Same new C drive changes to the state it was before formatting when my system was working all ok.

Windows Backup does the same thing? Create a backup of my C drive and have the image stored in external HDD then restore the image.

6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about this cloning imaging
  1. No u cant backup the whole window or restore. You have to install all the softwares. or try repairing (overwriting the whole os) rather than formatting.
  2. Best answer
    Yes, you can use Windows Backup to back-up parts of it, then restore it after re-installing Windows and re-installing your drivers.

    It works because it backs up the Registry and other vital system areas too.

    You could also roll your own:
    - Make a 'perfect' Windows system with everything you need (not want).
    - Use Clonezilla to make a compressed image of it
    - When something goes wrong restore the compressed image, it will take 3 minutes instead of 3 hours, or more, of screwing around.

    I'd suggest keeping it minimal:
    - .NET Frameworks
    - Drivers for audio, video, LAN, etc.
    - Microsoft Office 2007/2010
    - Windows 7 of choice
    - etc.

    It's so much easier than the manual way of doing stuff....
  3. Thank you for your valuable input.

    So from what i understand, i have to re-install windows and all the necessary drivers and then i can restore the backup i made using Windows Backup tool. Am i correct?

    I can use the image of disk/drive made using clonezilla after i re-install the OS or i need to have existing OS which is screwed but somehow able to boot?

    My problem is that i have loads of software which i need to install and which also needs to updated and those update size can go upto 300MB and i dont have high speed internet connection :( and i do mess up my system quite often due to my constant tesing of stuffs :D
  4. paul1911 said:
    No u cant backup the whole window or restore. You have to install all the softwares. or try repairing (overwriting the whole os) rather than formatting.

    The OP can image his drive and restore it at any tiime and it will work perfectly as long as he doesn't change the motherboard between backing up and restoring.

    @OP: Get some backup software that can do drive images. A drive image will restore an exact copy of the drive you imaged, windows and all. See the note above regarding the motherboard.
  5. Best answer selected by desidud.
  6. Thank you very much for all your inputs. I have successfully tried clonezilla and acronis as well in vmware. worked very well. Ty
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