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srhoades 02-03-2013 21:51

Imaging software. Anything reliable?
I've been using Acronis since version 10 (not 2010). Version 11 was, in my opinion, the best. Since then they have this Mickey Mouse cartoon interface that is just crap. Version 11 let you clone a disk by first making the image from the source disk and then pointing it to the destination disk. This gave you the ability to use the same drive reader for both drives. Now you have to have the source and destination drives connected in order to clone. I have gotten around that by just making a backup disk image and restoring but I have had numerous instances where restoring from an image has just been a nightmare for one reason or another.

Reading reviews for Ghost are even worse. I know there is a paid version for Macrium reflect, but since it is not sold in retail or online stores there are no reviews.

I know the built in backup with Windows 7 is decent but it lacks a lot of options, like incremental, differential, and email notifications when a backup fails.

So what are you guys using?

Detectorist 02-04-2013 06:40

I did some research and it appears that Acronis is still king of the mountain.

CitizenOfDreams 02-04-2013 07:18

I use Clonezilla for partition imaging/cloning and a batch file for file-level backup. :dunno:

Toyman 02-04-2013 14:48

I switched from Acronis to Macrium Reflect, been running good for over a year now.

Chesafreak 02-04-2013 14:53

We're using Microsoft Imagex here. It's free and it works well. There is a GUI frontend called Gimagex available from a third party. You can also mount wim images made with imagex if needed.

If I were imaging a home computer I would use Acronis, and use Imagex for managing corporate imaging. Acronis is easier to use. Imagex has a little more learning curve and is more suited for corp environments and has more features. I made a custom Imagex boot disk that prompts the user to hit any key (so that the computer isn't accidentally reimaged if disk left in the drive), then automatically applies an image stored on a network drive.

mtbinva 02-04-2013 14:58

I use Paladin, by Summuri. Or you can use FTK Imager. Both free and forensically defensible.

Furant 02-04-2013 18:52


Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams (Post 19947363)
I use Clonezilla for partition imaging/cloning and a batch file for file-level backup. :dunno:

+1 for Clonezilla

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk HD

Linux3 02-04-2013 21:30

Oops, wrong forum.
Never drink and comment.

Detectorist 02-05-2013 00:45


Originally Posted by Linux3 (Post 19950425)
I am a Senior Network Engineer. I am in my 60s. I have some chops.
I am getting calls from clients and friends about (whatever). FBI spams, threatware, hacked email you name it. I'm getting tired.
There are all kinds of maleware floating around.
When you up grade a Linux system the installer is part of the O.S. and watches for input.
There is never a question of reliable sources because the O.S. not some 3th party app dealing with all upgrades and add ons.

You ask what is reliable? In the Windows world.... Not much.

I don't want to hear about your defensive of Windows.
Look at this forum! People are having problem after problem with maleware on Windows.
Do you hear from MAC people? Linux people?
I don't want to hear about your links to sites that say MAYBE OS X could be hacked.
I don't want to hear about your 'Proof of Concept' that Linux could be hacked.
The bottom line is that Windows (version whatever) is insecure.
Stop complaining. If you want a secure system dump windows and install Linux. I suggest Kubuntu 12.04 Long Term Support.

I would expect a 'Senior' engineer to be able to understand the question which was asked.

Do you have any suggestions regarding imaging software?

Toyman 02-05-2013 04:48


Originally Posted by Toyman (Post 19948769)
I switched from Acronis to Macrium Reflect, been running good for over a year now.

I think I originally found out about Macrium from the backup sticky thread.

One of the reasons I went with Macrium is that the backup can be set to copy the disk images to a second location. So I have mine backup to an external drive, then it copies that backup to a second external drive.

One of the things I like about it is that the backup can be setup to run via a VBScript, which allows me to customize it. For example, in the future I'm going to have it copy it to a third location which will be out in my shop.

Also, there are several other features that are important to me like:

+ The rescue environment.
+ Direct disk cloning - Directly copy one hard disk to another without creating an image file first. Partitions can be ordered and resized during this process.
+ Change the order and size of partitions as they are restored.
+ Easily rotate backup destinations by specifying a list of alternate backup locations.

mtbinva 02-05-2013 04:53

I'm a certified Computer Forensic Examiner. The software I listed is used in our field and is free.

For public use for 50 bucks, you can't go wrong with Acronis.

The issue with ghost is you don't if future versions will be able to mount your image. Their version compatibility sucks.

FTK Imager is free, and will allow you to mount various forms of computer images.

Toyman 02-05-2013 05:44


Originally Posted by mtbinva (Post 19948810)
I use Paladin, by Summuri. Or you can use FTK Imager. Both free and forensically defensible.

Took me a while to find Paladin. It's Sumuri with one "m". Here's the link for you guys:

What do you mean by "forensically defensible"?

mtbinva 02-05-2013 05:58

You can boot to it by creating a bootable thumb drive. Sorry for the misspelling. iPhone.

Forensic defensibility means it creates an EXACT copy of whatever you are imaging, and generally accepted by the courts. This captures unallocated and file slack.

What's nice too is it will wipe a drive. USE THIS FUNCTION WITH CAUTION!!!

This is a forensic wipe, and the data is irretrievable!!

srhoades 02-05-2013 08:39

Perhaps I should have asked the question better. I know Clonezilla and the like can clone just fine with a bootdisc, but I looking more for a backup solution.

mtbinva 02-05-2013 08:41

Acronis for 50 bucks.

mtbinva 02-05-2013 08:43

Good luck!


Chesafreak 02-05-2013 10:03

Deleted. Just noticed that you needed incremental backups. ImageX doesn't do this.

GLOCK19FTW 02-05-2013 10:39

I use IMGBurn, works great.

Detectorist 02-05-2013 11:21


Originally Posted by Linux3 (Post 19950425)
Oops, wrong forum.
Never drink and comment.

It's Ok if you share the drinks.

Detectorist 02-05-2013 11:23


Originally Posted by mtbinva (Post 19948810)
I use Paladin, by Summuri. Or you can use FTK Imager. Both free and forensically defensible.

Do you have a link. I can't find it.

BlownFiveLiter 02-05-2013 11:32

Anyone use DriveImage XML? I've never used it for anything other than personal use, but its done well for me. That included backing up and restoring nearly a terabyte of data when I was going from a RAID1 to a RAID5 array on my home server.

JimmyN 02-05-2013 12:40

For a backup and mirroring solution I've been using FreeFileSync and I really like it. I used to use Robocopy, then Richcopy for a while but it's not supported and is a bit buggy. Rsync has some issues that can be tough to straighten out when used in a mix of Unix and Windows PC's. So after using FreeFileSync I much prefer it over the others.

It comes in both Linux and Windows versions, and as the name implies it's free.

It handles sym links (Windows junctions) and uses Windows Shadow Copy Service so it will back up files that are in use and locked. It will back up changed/new files or it can be set to mirror if you want to maintain identical directories and work out of either one. It generates a batch file that you can use to run it with Task Scheduler for automation.

It's fast too. Last weekend I set up a new PC and wanted to mirror the work files on my NAS to the new PC. It is a folder that currently has 3.4 gigs of files and FastFileSync copied it from the NAS to the PC in a minute and 15 seconds.

I use it for both mirroring and backup. Two PC's plus a NAS all have the same mirrored folders, so that gives me three copies on the LAN, and I can work out of any of the three. Then I use a SATA dock for rotating my backup drives for offsite storage. Using RealtimeSync, which is included, I just stick the drive in the dock and Realtime Sync detects it and copies any changed/new files to that drive. Next time I stick backup drive #2 in there and it copies the files to that one. It senses by volume name rather than drive letter so it works well with USB sticks, external drives, etc. where the drive letter may not always be the same when you plug it in. As soon as you plug the drive in and it detects the volume name it will execute the .ffs_batch file you placed in the root directory.

It doesn't provide email notification, but it will write to a log, so some folks use a batch file to scan the log and email it if there are any errors. I just check Task Scheduler periodically and it should show as completed successfully with a (0x0).

Toyman 02-05-2013 17:31


Originally Posted by Detectorist (Post 19951962)
Do you have a link. I can't find it.

Drjones 02-05-2013 21:13


Originally Posted by srhoades (Post 19946683)
So what are you guys using?

The real question you need to answer is, what are you trying to achieve?

I just used Acronis for the first time the other day to clone a HD showing bad sectors and was just flabbergasted with the result; I attached the new drive to the machine with failing drive via USB to SATA adapter, installed & ran Acronis to burn the image to the new drive, unplugged the new drive, removed the old one, installed it into the laptop, and it booted right up.

Like, no problems at all. Zip, zero...nothing. And the machine is part of a domain.

I was floored. It was so easy & painless.

Other than that, I've used DriveImageXML purely for backup purposes. I've used it to write images to drives before, but had to go through a process of rebuilding the boot record & other crap.

So........are you trying to backup, keep bootable images for disaster recovery, what?

I've read very good things about StorageCraft....

Drjones 02-05-2013 21:14


Originally Posted by srhoades (Post 19951476)
Perhaps I should have asked the question better. I know Clonezilla and the like can clone just fine with a bootdisc, but I looking more for a backup solution.

Ah. Well, you can schedule backups with DriveImageXML, I believe using windows task scheduler.

Also check out StorageCraft that I mentioned above....EaseUS ToDo is another that's well regarded.

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