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Imaging software. Anything reliable?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by srhoades, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. BlownFiveLiter


    Mar 24, 2011
    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.
  2. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
    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).

  3. Toyman


    May 6, 2003
    West Michigan

  4. 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....

  5. 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.

  6. Yes, that's what I use to image people's computers before reinstalling windows or upgrading them to Win7.

    Works great!