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Need recommendations for good drive imaging software

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by Drjones, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. As titled, need recommendations for good software to image a hard drive.

    Here is what I want:

    1) Lower cost would be best, of course...I've run across some free programs that look good, like this: but I will gladly pay for quality software that does what I want.

    2) Ability to easily browse the images to pull necessary files from it. I played with Norton Ghost and it seemed to be pretty slick in this regard that you loaded the image and were basically presented with a windows explorer environment that you could navigate to get any files you wanted.

    3) Ability to choose where I save the image; network (NAS), USB, and hopefully specify a specific folder for different images. Sorry if that is a built-in feature of all imaging programs, but need to be sure of this.

  2. GlockerMike

    GlockerMike God Help Us

    Jul 4, 2007

  3. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  4. kc8ykd


    Oct 6, 2005
    i've used driveimage xml to backup my laptop drive across my wired network to an external disk on another machine without any problems.

    the software was run on the laptop itself and i just pointed it using the standard windows network syntax to the remote destination for the image to be located. (\\othercomputer\external drive\directory\image)

    i haven't had to use the backup image yet, but i didn't have any problems browsing it.

    i usually replace the image with a new one just before i head out on the road in case i lose my laptop.
  5. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    Great thread... Tagged!
  6. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    I've been using Ghost since the 90's ... I stopped upgrading at v2003 because until the release of v15 Ghost no longer supported "cold" imaging and leaned more towards backup tools.

    Personally I don't want any imaging software that I have to install since I only use it for cold imaging not backups. I have used both Acronis True Image Home 2010 and Ghost 15 and while I can't speak of the features that you get with the install they both handle cold imaging very well.


  7. Can you please explain exactly what is a "cold image"?

    Also, dumb question, but when you image the drive, does that include free space, the pagefile, etc, so will the image basically be the same size as the hard drive you are imaging, or are the programs intelligent enough to only image actual data?

    Thanks for the help guys!

  8. Were you using the free version of DriveImage XML? How well does it work? I' was going to d/l & play with it, but thought I'd save myself a little time & ask for people's experiences here....(obviously!)

    How long did it take to do the image over your network? I have an NAS with a gigabit port, a gigabit router and Cat6 cables, so I am all set in that regard...

    I imagine hooking up a USB hard drive to the machine you want to image would be much faster though, huh?
  9. Sgt. Schultz

    Sgt. Schultz Annoying Member

    A cold image is made from a bootable source without having to start/load the OS or install the imaging software.

    With Ghost and Acronis the image files (you can split them) that are created are only the size that is actually used. To save time and space I always delete the pagefile before I create my images.

    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011
  10. srhoades


    Jul 14, 2000
    Another vote for Acronis. They now let you mount the images to pull files directly out of it. And it will create the image anywhere, even FTP.
  11. kc8ykd


    Oct 6, 2005
    i was using the free version. i don't remember how long it took, maybe an hour or two, to do about a 65gb disk. the last time i used it was maybe 3 or 4 months ago.

    my laptop is older, so it spent more cpu on building the disk image, than it did transferring the backup.

    it really depends, if your computer has to blow a lot of cpu making the image, then local/remote storage probably won't make a ton of difference.

    i'd give the free one a run, since it's free, and see how it works out. you've got literally nothing to lose since all you've got is some time spent on it to see how fast it works for you.