Cold vs. Hot Imaging

Discussion in 'polls' started by Aaron Here, Jun 20, 2011.

?

Which of the following disk-imaging methods do you rely on?

  1. Cold Imaging - from a pre-boot environment

    50.0%
  2. Hot Imaging - from within the host OS (e.g., Windows)

    50.0%
  1. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    This poll is intended for those who rely on disk-imaging to backup their system drive/partition.

    I started by voting for cold-imaging as I believe (without proof) that inherently it's the more reliable method.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  2. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    It doesn't look like a poll -- where are the choices for voting?

    Excuse my ignorance but -- what IS "cold vs hot imaging"? o_O
     
  3. Fad

    Fad Registered Member

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    I use the Hot option with Macrium, although the boot menu option is available... I really only use that to restore.

    (There was no polling option visible when I replied at first)
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  4. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Hi bellgamin,

    Choices appear above the first post - which include my definitions of 'cold' and 'hot' imaging.

    Aaron
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  5. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    I am not sure, I can give a straight answer. When I do a single image, I generally do a "cold" image, but not because of reliability, but because I am going to restore it anyway. And then on my main system, I have the SP continuous incrementals running, so that of course is a "hot" image.

    Pete
     
  6. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Aaron,

    I'm pretty much a noob at this and so far I've been doing only hot imaging (so that's the way I voted), but I'd be interested as to why you think cold imaging is more reliable. o_O

    Scott
     
  7. appster

    appster Registered Member

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    Scott,

    I don't mean to answer for Aaron, but I completely share his belief in this matter.

    Most disk-imaging programs use Microsoft's Volume Shadow copy Services (VSS) in order to ‘hot-image’ the Windows volume (to the best of my knowledge, only Image for Windows uses its own proprietary 'Phylock' driver). While I don't know about Phylock, in order to backup Windows while it's running, VSS makes a point-in-time copy of the disk-volume when a VSS-aware backup program is running and under certain circumstances that can be error-prone. Furthermore, VSS requires sufficient storage space to create its shadow copies and must be 'run as Administrator'.

    So count me in the cold-imaging camp. ;)
     
  8. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    With Shadow Protect backups can be done within Windows but restores are only possible "cold". The good thing about cold restores is that the program can be completely uninstalled from Windows.
     
  9. Cutting_Edgetech

    Cutting_Edgetech Registered Member

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    There is a description of cold, and hot imaging by the poll choices. I use both myself. In my experience cold is more reliable , and hot is more convenient.
     
  10. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    appster,

    Your post confirms my beliefs on the subject - thanks for the validation. In addition to the reliability factor, I can add that in my comparison tests cold-imaging was always faster than hot-imaging!

    Aaron
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  11. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I almost always Hot image, because of its convenience and scheduling.
     
  12. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    There's no arguing that hot imaging is the more convenient method of the two, but when I need to restore my system I want to be sure it will work perfectly ....so I cold image (and cold verify)!

    JA
     
  13. farmerlee

    farmerlee Registered Member

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    I always hot image. I let acronis do its business in the background while i go about my own business uninterupted.
     
  14. bellgamin

    bellgamin Very Frequent Poster

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    The poll choices were NOT there when I posted. They were added afterwards.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I voted hot image. However, I do BOTH types. I hot image at least weekly to an internal HD, using Keriver 1-Click Restore Pro. I cold image ~monthly to an external HD using Image for DOS.
     
  15. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Hmm, after reading these enlightening comments, I'd like to change my vote (but I can't). :doubt:
     
  16. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    the first time i got introduced with imaging was with the Win 7 RC.
    and of course, Win 7 can only do hot imaging.

    in close to 3 years it never failed once.

    i've switched to IFW about 3 months ago and it has not failed yet using Phylock.

    in my experience, hot imaging has been reliable 100%.
     
  17. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    For those here who remember when imaging was always cold, you might get a warm fuzzy feeling doing hot imaging. I know I do ;)

    Having done both, in many different fashions, I can't say either has an advantage. I have had good images and bad images using both methods. One thing is for sure though, PE has radically changed the landscape of imaging for me. Prior to PE things were quite different. I am soooo glad floppies died out. What an awful way to rely on your imaging software to boot up!

    These days things are much much much better -- and faster. I prefer hot imaging to create, and PE to restore. I've devoted more time to my PEs so restoration of my machine is a breeze.

    Sul.
     
  18. Boyfriend

    Boyfriend Registered Member

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    I always prefer cold imaging application (preferably WinPE based like Active@Boot) for backup and restore :)
     
  19. PJC

    PJC Very Frequent Poster

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    +1 for the Cold one.
     
  20. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Are your reliability related to imaging, or does that include restores?
     
  21. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    both Peter.
    IFW doesn't do hot restore but the (estimated) 30 hot restores i did with Windows 7 went perfectly.
     
  22. pvsurfer

    pvsurfer Registered Member

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    Interesting poll. I do "cold-raw" backups, because that's the only way I am able to completely image a Rollback Rx system (with all snapshots).

    However, years before I was a Rollback Rx user I started-out hot imaging my system (with Acronis True Image) and a couple of times ATI failed to restore an image which it had successfully verified after backing up!!! Upon reporting those episodes in the ATI forum a couple of members suggested that I switch my backup method to cold imaging (using ATI's boot disk); I did and I've never had any restore issues since then.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011
  23. Aaron Here

    Aaron Here Registered Member

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    Hey pvsurfer, it's been quite a while since seeing you around here - welcome back and thanks for your insight.
     
  24. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    I want to be sure I understand the differences between hot vs cold imaging. It's a hot backup when I run the program that's installed in Windows, whereas in order to do a cold backup I would shutdown Windows, boot up with the program's recovery disk and run the backup from it. Do I have that right?

    Scott
     
  25. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    yes.

    also, you can also run some imagers at boot-time without a disk.
    either through a Command Prompt, a boot console, etc
    but i'm pretty sure that qualifies as 'cold' imaging as well.