Anyone using Casper for imaging?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by napoleon1815, Mar 28, 2011.

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  1. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

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  2. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

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    Actually it looks like it's more disk cloning than traditional imaging...
     
  3. chileverde

    chileverde Registered Member

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    I have just started using Casper Secure Drive Backup. The reason I am interested in this program is that there are many issues using Norton Ghost with PGP Whole Disk Encryption, whereas Casper is specifically designed to work with PGP WDE. When I contacted PGP tech support regarding problems using it with Ghost, they were not helpful and did not even know about Casper! (I have a tech support contract for PGP.) OTOH Casper tech support has been very helpful with some problems I had the first time (apparently due to driver issues).

    So far I am pleased with Casper. It does not seem to have any problems with Eset Smart Security. I will be able to say more after I have used it for a while.

    It's true that it is a cloning program, not an imaging program. But I do not see any disadvantage to that. When you update a previous clone, Casper only copies the data that has changed, saving time. It does not make incremental backup files like Ghost does, but you can manually set things up to keep several complete clones on your backup drive, e.g., backups from 1 week ago, 2 weeks ago, 3 weeks ago, etc.
     
  4. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    You mean you can keep several clones on the same partition ? I'd like to know more about that !
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2011
  5. chileverde

    chileverde Registered Member

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    They explain it in detail here.

    Four additional points:

    (1) After you make your initial clone of the entire hard disk (which is supposed to be bootable, although I have not been able to accomplish that yet), additional backups are done one "drive" at a time, so if you have four partitions on your computer's HD, backing up each one to the additional partitions which you create in the left-over space after the initial clone is created will be a separate operation. At any point, you may also update your clone of the entire HD, copying over the initial clone at the "bottom" of your HD in a single operation.

    (2) If you can get "booting from the external USB drive" to work, this is definitely an additional advantage of Casper over Ghost (besides its ability to handle PGP WDE). If your internal HD crashes, you can immediately run your computer from the external HD, while you arrange to fix your computer.

    (3) You need to have an extended drive at the "top" of your external HD in order to be able to keep adding more partitions for the additional backups.

    (4) I have been doing my Casper backups manually so far. I include the date in the volume label, so I can quickly tell one backup from another. As far as I know, scheduled backups do not show the dates, but I guess you could look at the most recent dates of folders inside.
     
  6. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Thanks a lot for this explanation. I am just wondering : is it possible to clone a system partition (which is active/primary) to an extended partition on the destination disk. The number of extended partition is unlimited while extended partitions are four at max.
     
  7. chileverde

    chileverde Registered Member

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    Yes, that is exactly what I am doing.
     
  8. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Thanks. I was afraid the number of clones would be limited because of that. Gets really tempting. Now if I could just find a coupon...
     
  9. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    chileverde,

    Can I ask you a question as I obviously don't understand Casper? You are creating your clones into an extended partition on a USB external HD.

    If your internal HD fails, how do you recover your computer if you can't boot from the clones?
     
  10. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    I am not a Casper user, but their website indicates there is an optional (paid) recovery boot media that allows you to transfer back your system from an external backup disk or partition.
     
  11. crash79`

    crash79` Registered Member

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    Going on from last post.
    I downloaded the progrm toay , including the Start up Disk. Both to an external drive .
    Not being an expert at this sort of thing I managed to install the programme with no problem, but I'm not sure what to do with the ownloaded Casper
    Start up Disk.
    It is 172MB in size and my question is; Do I now copy this to a CD or do i run it and exreacr the files to a CD?
     
  12. crash79`

    crash79` Registered Member

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    Errpr in lstpost.
    It should read 700MB in size.
     
  13. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    I guess it is a .iso file. If yes, you need a burning software that can burn iso images to CD, try a free one like burnCDCC from TerabyteUnlimited. Any version of Nero, Roxio or Ashampoo Burning Studio should also be able to do that.

    DO NOT burn directly the .iso file onto a data CD or DVD in simple data mode, if you do so, it will be useless in case of an emergency.

    I think there is a description of the procedure on Casper website.
     
  14. crash79`

    crash79` Registered Member

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    Many thanks.
    Worked a treat with CCDC.
    John
     
  15. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    chileverde,

    Another question for you. If an OS partition is 40 GB and it contains 20 GB of data, how large will the clone be on the external HD? Will it be 40 GB or larger/smaller?

    It can be done but for all practical purposes it is extremely difficult to boot a Windows OS from a USB external HD. What are the advantages of having a clone rather than an image on a USB external HD?
     
  16. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Brian, according to Casper...
    Perhaps that's true in the event of a disk-crash or the like (assuming one's backup drive is a suitable substitute for the failed drive). But there are many more common situations (besides a disk-crash) for restoring one's hard drive. In those circumstances it seems to me having to physically exchange disk-drives is the far more arduous task (as compared to simply restoring a disk-image)!

    Just my 2-cents worth...

    Aaron
     
  17. chileverde

    chileverde Registered Member

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    Yes, you can burn a recovery CD from the .ISO file, as described in recent posts.

    But to further address Brian K's question, please refer to the web page I previously cited for details: http://support.fssdev.com/KB/a30/how-to-maintain-multiple-backups-a-windows-system-drive.aspx

    In brief, you first clone your computer's entire hard drive to the external hard drive. Let's say you have three partitions on your hard drive—one for OS and program files, one for personal data, and one for other stuff. You could schedule this clone to be updated every day, so if the computer's hard drive fails, you have backed up everything to within the last day. If the bootable HD function works, you can run your computer from the external USB drive until you replace the computer's drive.

    Then, in addition, you could create logical partitions within the extended partition where you could make additional backups just of the C: drive (containing OS and program files), say, once a week. Then if you discover that a new program you installed has caused a conflict, or Windows has become corrupted, or your computer has a virus, you can restore the C: drive backup from a week earlier or a month earlier or whatever—sometime before the change happened—while you keep your current data on the other partition.
     
  18. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    chileverde,

    Thanks for the extra info. The issue which concerns me is "run your computer from the external USB drive until you replace the computer's drive." Unless you make changes to the registry of the OS on the external HD it won't boot. You mentioned your OS on the external HD don't boot. It is a Windows issue, not a hardware issue.

    As I see it, you have to use the recovery CD to clone the external HD clone back to an internal HD in the event of internal HD failure. That will work and it's what you would do if you had an image.

    Does anyone else see problems with keeping clones on a USB external HD? Keeping a clone on another internal HD makes sense as it will be bootable.
     
  19. The Seeker

    The Seeker Registered Member

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    I tested Casper a few days ago and was able to boot from my external HDD.
     
  20. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    BTW, does someone know if the latest Casper release is sector-based and no longer file-based ? Seems to me it's the case, because the file layout of the destination is rather similar to the one from the source.
    Thanks.
     
  21. The Seeker

    The Seeker Registered Member

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    Version 7.0.1930.0 has just been released incidentally.
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    The Seeker,

    Is your external HD USB or eSATA? I tried Casper with a USB external HD today. Copied WinXP to a USB external HD.

    The OS on the external HD starts to load and gets to the scrolling dots screen and then reboots.
     
  23. The Seeker

    The Seeker Registered Member

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    It's a USB HDD.
     
  24. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    MerleOne,

    If you cloned into an extended partition on a second internal HD I'd expect the partitions to be bootable. But you would need a decent boot manager to do that. The boot manager would have to cope with the 63 hidden sector issue and you would need to edit boot.ini (if WinXP) in each logical partition to the appropriate value. If the OS was Win7, I'd expect a BCD edit would be needed.

    These pages describe OS in an Extended partition with Hidden Sectors and boot.ini

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/ptable.shtml

    http://www.goodells.net/multiboot/bootini.shtml
     
  25. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Thanks. My intention with this question is not to boot from backup partition, but to be able to have more than 4 versions on a same disk (primary partitions are at most 4 on a MBR-formatted disk). If I can clone my OS to an external USB disk on an extented partition, then restore the partition with the recovery CD, I am covered !
     
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