Advice Needed - Imaging Software

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Capp, Aug 21, 2009.

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  1. Capp

    Capp Registered Member

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    I need some advice.

    I am configuring 20 netbook computers for my company. Since they are netbooks, they have no floppy drive and no cd-rom drives, only USB ports. It is taking forever to remove all the junk software that is pre-packaged and install all the new stuff, plus get all the updates, user profiles created, etc.. So, i want to just get one setup, image it and blast that image to the others.

    So, my question is this:

    What would you guys recommend as far as imaging software that I could use and have it boot off a USB thumb drive? And, do you recommend I use something that stores the image on the network, or on the usb drive itself? Getting a 16Gb thumb drive is easy, but I want to make sure it works before I invest.

    I've used Ghost for my home systems and it works great, but can't save images over network nor restore from the network.

    Haven't heard much about Acronis lately, so I'm outta the loop on that one.

    I appreciate you guys input.
     
  2. Capp

    Capp Registered Member

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    Of Course, I've been doing my own research on this as well.

    I found a free tool called "Paragon: Drive Backup". Its listed as free and able to be backed up to a USB device. It seems to do what I need, but I'm a skeptic of course.

    Anybody know about this one?
     
  3. thathagat

    thathagat Guest

    well see here...........https://www.wilderssecurity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=108
     
  4. Capp

    Capp Registered Member

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    lol. Well I didn't even know they moved their forum over here. I have all but just a few of the forums auto minimized so I don't have to scroll as far to find stuff.

    Thanks for pointing out what I should have already seen :)
     
  5. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    I have no experience of this but:
    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=284
    The issue will be licensing for MS softs on multiple systems ??
    Library here:
    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=033
    BrianK is a genuine Terabyte and imaging (and not only terabyte) guru ;
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/member.php?u=28538
    Terabyte commercial products have very good support available: ask and ye should recieve
    sales@terabyteunlimited.com
    support@terabyteunlimited.com
    corporate@terabyteunlimited.com
    HTH
     
  6. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I am happy with Image for Windows/Image for DOS. Comments from others show that it's reliability is very high.

    I only tested it on one PC: I restored a System Partition once with Image for DOS from another internal hard drive and once from a bootable DVD. Both operations worked without problems. I then purchased one license (valid for installation/use on two PC's if it is for Home use). I am assuming that it will be work properly for my other PC if I ever need to do a restore on that PC.

    The system partition restore from the bootable DVD is great for the PC user with very little experience. When you boot the DVD you are given two choices, yes or no (yes to restore, no to exit the restore DVD without restoring). You use the left/right arrow keys to select yes or no and then press the Enter key.

    This is what helped me make up my mind about Image for Windows/Image for DOS:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=224570
     
  7. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    I would reccomend image for windows. it includes image for linux which can be used on a usb stick. be aware it will erase everything on that usb stick but you can put anything you need back on after.
    it has samba bultin to the recovery disc so you should be able to access windows shares with no problem and then restore the images from them. or you could simply stick the image of the device.

    download trial from here extract to a folder and double clcik on makedisk.exe
    if your using vista you may need to right click run as administrator to get it to write to a usb stick.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  8. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    I was under the impression that the latest version of Ghost allows you to backup and restore over the network. maybe you are using an older version of Ghost. If you want this functionality you will have to go with the professional version of a particular imaging software. For example, Paragon's free version will not have this functionality. Their pro version will have it.

    If you get Paragon pro for instance, you can restore an image from over the network or from a usb drive. The software itself can be put on the usb flash drive and you can boot into it before loading the client OS. From there you can choose the location of the backup image (network or external usb drive) and have the image restored to your netbook.
     
  9. LockBox

    LockBox Registered Member

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    Also, take a look at what netbook the company intends on purchasing. Some of them today (because of the lack of optical drives) have a built-in imaging program. For example, I have a Lenovo S12, that uses a built-in system (with its own button on the keyboard) that allows you to make an image and it puts it on the data partition right along with the factory restore default. You push the button as you're booting up and it brings up the screen where you can select "factory default restore" or a customized image you have made yourself. It's a neat feature. You can also put the image on an external optical drive, but a USB drive? I don't know, though that would really be sweet. You ask a good question about booting images from USB. It should almost be a must-have feature these days.
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Gerard,

    This is possible with Image for DOS. You can use a USB flash drive or a USB external HD. Just plug it in, start the computer and go and have dinner. The image auto restores with no input from the human.

    You can update the image on the drive whenever you like. But it must always have the same file-name.
     
  11. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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  12. renegade08

    renegade08 Registered Member

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  13. Capp

    Capp Registered Member

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    Just to provide an update..


    I got it to work exactly as I needed using the Free version of Paragon.
    I didn't need something to back-up to a network, but be able to backup to and boot to a USB flash drive.

    I bought a 16Gb flash drive for $25, installed the free software, created a bootable device, imaged the netbook and saved it to the flash drive.
    I am now able to just plug it into these netbooks and boot to the flash drive and it is fully reimaged in about 15 minutes.

    I wasn't ever doing more than 1 at a time, so having the ability to do a "broadcast" was a waste of resources. And, I wasn't needing them all done at the same time, so I can just pull out the thumb drive when I need a laptop and it's ready to use.


    In reference to Ghost, I am using an older version, 2004 version I believe. It can save an image to a network, but at my house, my backup server is running a copy of NasLite+, so Ghost has an issue saving the image there. Even having it mapped as a network drive didn't work. So, I just used 7-Tools Partition Manager, created a 25Gb partition on my existing hard drive, and image it to there using Ghost, then copy it via UNC to the NasLite server.

    But, knowing how easy to use Paragon is, I may be moving away from Ghost and using it.


    Thank you guys for your information, I appreciate it and will save the links for future reference :thumb:
     
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