sunandoghosh

DISK IMAGING - free software

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DISK IMAGING - free software

Hi

I want to create disk image of my hard disk....an exact copy...

which is the best freeware utility which can create a great perfect back up image...?????????????

regards,

sunando

sunandoghosh at rediffmail dot com

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What OS?

On *nix based systems, just use "dd" with the source being either the disk itself or just the partition and bzip2/gzip the image to save space. The other alternative is to use "dump". (See the man pages for info).

On Windows, Ghost and TrueImage are the leaders, but are both payware.

PS. Welcome to SR!

Edited by Chewy509

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On Win 2K/XP, use dd and gzip. Use Diskpart to see drive numbers.

sync

dd if=//./physicaldrive# bs=64k | gzip >file.gz

gzip -d file.gz | dd of=//./physicaldrive# bs=64k

You should restore from WinPE, with no partitions. dd/gzip from unxutils.sourceforge.net, sync from sysinternals.com. It also helps to zero free space before backup.

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I've had good luck with Powerquest's "Drive Image 2002". You can get that version for $20 on Amazon or the like. Powerquest got bought out by Symantec and Drive Image got implemented into Norton Ghost...but the reviews on the new product is that Ghost is garbage.

One thing to keep in mind about the Image File that is created...you can't move it and if you defrag the drive that the image is on, the image becomes unusuable...I learned that the hardway.

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"One thing to keep in mind about the Image File that is created...you can't move it and if you defrag the drive that the image is on, the image becomes unusuable...I learned that the hardway."

This is NOT true with images made with Norton(Symantec) Ghost or Drive Image 7.0. I have made and restored several 100´s clones of servers and workstations and have 100 % successrate, these clones has been move between CD, DVD ,ORB, external HD, interna HD´s,Tapedrives, etc,well these drives with images on has been defragmented.

// WinCC

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One think to keep in mind though is that sometimes you have to make a clone in certain way,for example @work we have workstations with old Siemens software , this software has special licence files written to specific sectors on HD and if defragmenting such a drive the files get moved and the softwware refuses to work, also these disks has to be cloned with the commanline switch -IA in Ghost for the same reason.

// WinCC

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I've had good luck with Powerquest's "Drive Image 2002".  You can get that version for $20 on Amazon or the like.  Powerquest got bought out by Symantec and Drive Image got implemented into Norton Ghost...but the reviews on the new product is that Ghost is garbage.

One thing to keep in mind about the Image File that is created...you can't move it and if you defrag the drive that the image is on, the image becomes unusuable...I learned that the hardway.

209512[/snapback]

Drive Image 2002 works well for me too. Although, I've had no problems moving image files around. Keep in mind you need a FAT32-partitioned drive to save your images to, since DI works from DOS (it will image NTFS partitions but the destination needs to be FAT32).

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dd sucks when you have to create images of large drives, even when gzipped. No-one wants to store 40GB dump files. The only thing you can do to make such images smaller is to create a huge file on the disk, filled with zeroes, and then deleting it, so all the empty space can be compressed reasonably.

What you need is a freeware tool with filesystem knowledge, which only dumps clusters which are in use.

Enter PartImage, a kind of Norton/Symantec Ghost clone for Linux which looks really nice to me. The project's web site can be found at http://www.partimage.org . Check out the screenshots!!!

Partimage can read quite a few filesystems (ext2/ext3, reiser, xfs, jfs, hpfs, fat16/32 and even ntfs). It doesn't look at the file entries itself, it just checks which clusters are occupied, and dumps only these clusters into a relatively small gzipped file. gzip compression beats Ghosts's compression method. So the images are even smaller. And it's free :lol:

Each partition has to be backed up or restored separately. The partimage tool itself can be used interactively or in batch mode, so at my work I've written a small shell script to automate the dumping and restoring of an entire disk.

Partimage can be found on the Knoppix CD-ROM, which is very convenient as at least Knoppix 3.7 detects many SCSI adapters correctly (even the dreaded IBM ServeRaid adapters), as well as most network cards. (Which can be terribly hard to do right with a DOS-based Ghost boot floppy) In my opinion this approach is much more robust than plain old Ghost.

So what you do is the following:

- boot Knoppix

- mount an NFS or SMB/Windows share with a lot of free space, (and your partimage script if you write one)

- start backing up or restoring either interactively or in batch mode

After restoring a Linux host, you have to mount your / and /boot, chroot into it and run grub manually. For Win NT/2K/XP hosts, you run the XP recovery CD and fixboot + fixmbr. For DOS/Win9x, boot a dos floppy and run fdisk/mbr.

Small caveat: it appears that the NTFS support isn't complete, and you should defragment the filesystems first if you want to be 100% safe. To be 1000% safe you just boot from a bootable Windows CD (BartPE, reatogoXPE for example) and then defrag. But it's not really necessary, as you'll be warned when creating the dump file that an error occured. If there's no error, you'll be able to restore the NTFS partitions without problems.

I've used it extensively in the last few months and wouldn't dream of going back to Ghost.

The only downside is that source and destination disks have to be of the same size (Ghost can resize NTFS when necessary).

Best regards,

JD

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Tim....that right there has been my problem with moving the image...I hadn't played with Drive Image 2002 for a while and forgot that....What you said is 99.9% correct, however, you can make an image to an NTFS partition...you just can't restore it or do anything with it... :P

However, just for "shits and giggles", take a copy of an image file and put in on a seperate partition and defrag that partition...I think you'll find the image file becomes unusable after a defrag...that has been my experience.

So Drive Image 7 corrects that issue and allows images to be saved to NTFS partitions? I've been worried about going the DI7/Ghost 9.0 route as the reviews on Amazon regarding Ghost and DI7 were atrocious....but then again we've most likely got more educated people here.

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However, just for "shits and giggles", take a copy of an image file and put in on a seperate partition and defrag that partition...I think you'll find the image file becomes unusable after a defrag...that has been my experience.

210083[/snapback]

Zyxthior:

Can you be more specific about what imaging software you have been using when getting these unusable images :huh:

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Over a year ago, I was looking at mirroring a SCSI 9GB to an 18 GB...

I googled for HD clone and found a floppy image. I created the bootable floppy and it booted a flavor of BSD.

It discovered the SCSI controller (Adaptec) and the 2 disks, it finishes booting offering a basic menu with a couple of commands:

"DISKS" lists the HDDs available with capacity and model/brand as well as its OS logical name.

"COPYDISK SD1 SD0 " or something like that allowed me to copy disk 1 to disk 0 LBA to LBA.

The result was a bottable disk image with a 9 GB partition of the exact same capacity as teh original drive, and free unpartition space of the rest, that I could use after regular partitioning...

I used this floppy for ATA, SATA, SCSI drive with no pbms... (though the ATA speed was at ~15 MB/s max...)

MEJV

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