Free Image-Backup That Can...

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Jo Ann, Sep 7, 2013.

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  1. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    ....initiate a restore of a Windows 7 system drive without having to use a recovery disk (assuming that the system drive is bootable of course). In other words, simply run the imaging program, select the restore option, designate the file to restore and the target drive, then the program does the rest automatically.

    Drive Snapshot and a few other paid programs can do this, but are there any FREE programs that have this handy feature? o_O
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  2. manolito

    manolito Registered Member

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    Keriver 1-click restore free


    Cheers
    manolito
     
  3. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    If I recall correctly, in order for K1CR to accomplish that it must modify the MBR. :( ...or am I mistaken?
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  4. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    I think at least some programs that use this method to restore change temporarily the MBR. If the process fails, this can cause problems because the "old" MBR is not restored as when the process finishes normally.
     
  5. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    Hi Jo Ann :)

    You may want to take a test drive of RealCopy disk imager/backup. It has what is called 'synthetic restore', which you can initiate within windows, choosing the point in time image or incremental and it will restore only changed sectors. It is called in restore options "fast rollback". It works great in my testing and is a very powerful application that is free. of course you can also do cold restores as any imaging program, but the fast rollback feature is unique for a free offering and it is quite stable and a very flexible program once one gets familiar with it. No recovery disc comes with RealCopy at this time, as one only needs to place a copy of two files on a USB flash drive or external drive and boot from any WinPe disc or the windows recovery disc and open a command prompt, choose the drive letter of your USB drive, then run "rc.exe" and the program opens up so one can restore or create a backup. the two files needed to be copied on the flash drive or external drive are "rc.exe" and "rclib.dll".

    Site:
    www.realcopy.com Describes all the features available in the current free version.

    I had an email conversation with the developer and they are working on a new version offering additional features in their free version, and also a workstation version for purchase that is to be available according to him very soon. For a free offering, I found it to be useful, stable and the current feature list for a free imager is impressive. it works as advertised. Also has the built in ability to directly boot its own VHD image. You can also take a look at a thread here in Wilders about Real copy disk imager. Some liked it, some did not, but it does indeed do the job, it just takes some time to learn the interface and the options as with any imaging program. It is not at all complicated. The more I used it, the more I appreciated its features personally.
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=344531

    Also, Keriver 1-Click free as mentioned by manolito can perform a restore initiated from within windows but you must allow it to modify the MBR to boot its recovery console, then it will restore what you choose. You can always remove it from MBR via the programs settings from within windows if you so choose.

    Keriver has great programs, and 1-click restore works well and is very stable. Hope that helps you in some way :)

    Jim
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  6. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Hi Robin,

    I really don't know whether or not Drive Snapshot temporarily modifies the MBR to accomplish this but it has worked flawlessly (for me) for a great many restores over the past few years. On the other hand, I believe K1CR permanently modifies the MBR for that purpose!

    JA
     
  7. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Jim, thanks for suggesting I look at RealCopy Disk Imager/Backup, I'll do that - but it's really too bad they don't provide a disaster recovery (boot) disk!

    Also thanks for confirming what I thought about K1CR permanently modifying the MBR in order to do this.

    JA
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  8. Jim1cor13

    Jim1cor13 Registered Member

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    You're welcome Jo Ann :)

    Have a good day!

    Jim
     
  9. timcan

    timcan Registered Member

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    Hi, paragon backup & recovery free edition.
    This screenshot is from the user manual.
     

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  10. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Thanks timcan. ;)
     
  11. Cruise

    Cruise Registered Member

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    Hi Jo Ann,

    Here's an observation and suggestion, which I believe are relevant...

    Last time I used K1CR (Free) it could not restore the MBR - I believe that is a serious limitation!

    You might checkout EaseUS Todo Backup; I believe it will do what you are looking for (and more).

    Cruise
     
  12. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Thanks for that feedback Cruise! If K1CR cannot restore the MBR I would agree with you that's a definite limitation. I realize that there are other free programs to backup and restore the MBR, but I believe every image-backup program should be capable of restoring the MBR (on-demand).

    Thanks also for the Todo Backup suggestion, I'll be sure to check it out.

    JA
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  13. The Shadow

    The Shadow Registered Member

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    I can confirm that was true as of v2.1 (I haven't tried v3).


    Jo Ann, be aware that someone on Wilders reported corrupted restores with Todo Backup, but I performed several restores with v5.8 and never had a problem. Although I prefer IFW for its greater versatility, I have no reservation in recommending Todo as a free and reliable backup (imaging) solution. :thumb:

    TS
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  14. andylau

    andylau Registered Member

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    It needs boot media, but its boot media just puts on your hard disk by adding boot menu.
     
  15. JoeBlack40

    JoeBlack40 Registered Member

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    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  16. Volare

    Volare Registered Member

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    If you decide to test restoring an EaseUS Todo Backup system image, I recommend you also make a backup using some other backup application. When I tested EaseUS Todo, it seemed like the image restore worked OK and I thought everything recovered 100% perfectly...But after closer examination, I realised that was not the case. I used Aomei Partition Assistant to examine the restored partitions and found that 8 sectors of the NTFS file system were not restored for the C partition and 8 sectors for the NTFS file system were also not restored for the SR partition. I wasn't sure exactly which files if any were not restored, but that one system image restore test was enough to put me off from using this product. I'm sure EaseUS Todo works perfectly for some people, which is great. I'm also sure there would be many that have restored their system image, but they would be unaware that a few NTFS file system sectors were not restored, even though everything appears to be OK. There's also a lack of TLC for EaseUS Todo free users these days - posts on their forums for free users appear to go ignored.

    I agree with timcan. For reliability and robustness, its hard to go past Paragon Backup & Recovery Free 2013. More info here
     
  17. Wendi

    Wendi Registered Member

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    Hi Jo Ann,

    I'm really not too familiar with the free system backup programs suggested so far, but have you considered Win7's own Backup/Restore? It just may satisfy your needs.

    I used Win7's Backup/Restore functionality to backup and restore my system several times with total reliability, but I found two limitations which for me were major shortcomings:

    1. It does not provide for compression of the system image.

    2. It does not validate (verify) the system image backup.

    But I thought that I would put it out there anyway as another free alternative. ;)

    Cheers,
    Wendi

    Ps. Seeing that you are a Drive Snapshot user I can't help but wonder why you are looking for some other (free) imaging program?
     
  18. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    @JoeBlack, thanks for the AOMEI Backupper suggestion, I'll be sure to check it out.

    @Volare, thanks for your feedback on Todo (are you sure the omitted sectors were 'used' sectors?).

    @Wendi, I did consider W7's Backup-Restore, but also knew of its limitations (as you noted). I'm looking for a free image-backup program because in my IT Help-Desk capacity quite a few users have asked me to recommend a free, reliable, and easy-to-use imaging program. My personal image-backup solution, Drive Snapshot, is not free! ;)

    Jo Ann
     
  19. Volare

    Volare Registered Member

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    @Volare, thanks for your feedback on Todo (are you sure the omitted sectors were 'used' sectors?).

    I'm not sure. For example, on my C partition, I had a total of 1953020159 NTFS file system sectors. After restoring an image created with EuseUS Todo, I had a total of 1953020151 NTFS file system sectors. The SR partition also dropped the total NTFS file system sectors, from 496911 to 496903. I had never experienced this with other backup image products that would always restore the image to exact amount of total NTFS file sectors as per the previous image (Paragon, Windows 7 Backup, Aomei Backupper, Clonezilla, Redo B&R, etc). These results were enough to discourage me from using EuseUS Todo Backup.
     
  20. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Hi Jo Ann,

    I am little confused with your question.

    Do you mean that the restore process to be started from (within) Windows?

    Or, can this include restoring from bootmenu (without recovery disk)?

    Best regards,

    Mohamed
     
  21. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Hi Mohamed,

    Sorry about that - I meant the former (by running the program from within Windows). I'm afraid that our non-technical users may find a boot menu confusing. I also want to avoid any MBR modifications!

    JA
     
  22. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Hi Jo Ann,

    Thanks for clarifying the above. I am not sure if Macrium Reflect FREE has been mentioned before. It is one of the best imaging program with no side effects. It doesn't run any services, when not being used. You can also set up the scheduling. However, with the FREE version, you cannot do incremental/differential imaging.

    As far as boot loader is considered, one can (non-technical users )very easily setup any imaging program to be available as boot menu with EasyBCD.

    Best regards,

    Mohamed

    Please see the image of EasyBCD for the boot loader.
     

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  23. Stode

    Stode Registered Member

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    Amazing.
    I wonder how is this for free.
    Not that I'm complaining, gonna give it a shot.
    Thanks for mentioning this. :)
     
  24. Jo Ann

    Jo Ann Registered Member

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    Mohamed, while I am familiar with EasyBCD it is not an approach that fits my agenda. I don't see what purpose creating a boot-menu serves if the backup program provides for initiating an automatic restore (from within Windows). o_O

    JA
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013
  25. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Hi JA,

    There are times when Windows don't boot or gets corrupted. In those not so rare instances, if the hard drive is working, one can easily get into the recovery and recover Windows. Also, once a while if one needs to do a COLD imaging.

    And, not to demean any imaging program, there are times when the automatic restore is initiated within Windows, and the restore fails, thus making the Windows un-bootable. The automatic restore within Windows is not always foolproof.

    Best regards,

    Mohamed
     
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