Free imaging software for Windows

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Mrkvonic, Apr 1, 2011.

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  1. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    You may already know all of this, but ...

    Here's an article presenting several free system and data imaging programs for Windows, including cross-platform solutions, promotional, limited and older versions of current imaging software, tools tied to specific hardware, and more.

    http://www.dedoimedo.com/computers/windows-image.html


    Cheers,
    Mrk
     
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Thank you. :thumb: :thumb: :)
     
  3. Dundertaker

    Dundertaker Registered Member

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    Just an additional there. The link says that DisWizard can only be used for Seagate drives. Found this workaround at the seagate forums. I actually used this with a seagate, western digital(Acronis True Image - Western Digital edition) and hitachi hdd.

    "Using DiscWizard / MaxBlast to back up non-Seagate internal hard drive to FreeAgent Go
    Options"

    Solution:

    At the Error screen, hold down the Alt key while you type t then o (for tech override), and then click OK.
    Credit
    Mike D., Seagate Tech Support

    Symptom
    When booting the DiscWizard / MaxBlast boot cd to image a non-Seagate/Maxtor hard drive to the FreeAgent Go, the following screen is displayed:

    Error

    To use the products at least one Seagate or Maxtor device should be installed in your system.

    ...

    and there is only an OK button; clicking that powers off the machine

    Source:

    http://forums.seagate.com/t5/DiscWi...o-back-up-non-Seagate-internal-hard/m-p/25406
     
  4. sbseven

    sbseven Registered Member

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  5. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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    One you missed there was Redo Backup & Recovery
    http://redobackup.org/

    Also you should definitely review Macrium Free since it's superior to most of the others mentioned IMO.
     
  6. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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    No mention of inbuilt Windows 7 backup/system image restore?
     
  7. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    That's where your recommendation comes in :)
    Mrk
     
  8. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Agreed, this is one that should not be overlooked.
     
  9. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i'll vouch for it.
    probably the best new features if Windows 7! :thumb:
     
  10. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

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    I use it also, and it works fine. Have used Macrium as well, both get the job done.
     
  11. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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    Just recently tested it when reinstalling a heavily infected machine of a friend of mine. Works surprisingly well. Also tested the restore, no problems there as well.

    :blink: :doubt:
     
  12. Judge Dee

    Judge Dee Guest

    I just tested Windows 7 image restore on a new laptop, and I agree. Very simple to use, and it restored perfectly.
     
  13. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Does anyone know whose imaging technology that the Windows 7 backup/restore feature uses (Norton Ghost, etc.)?
     
  14. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    What are the feature limitation(s) of Windows 7 backup/restore?

    I already know about the lack of image file compression.

    Can you make/store multiple images?

    Can you store the image files on different partitions/hard drives?

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  15. Cudni

    Cudni Global Moderator

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  16. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    it has limited features. :p :D

    yes and yes. :)

    i like to save my backup in folders named "WindowsImageBackup 1", "WindowsImageBackup 2" and so forth.

    i removed the number from the folder that will be used to restore.
    when restoring, you can not manually select a folder, it scans automatically and search for a folder with the name "WindowsImageBackup".

    one of the small limitations...
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2011
  17. Bigabe

    Bigabe Registered Member

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    I stopped using 3rd party imaging tools when I found out that Windows 7 has a build in backup program that is much better than anything else that you can get for free.
     
  18. Osaban

    Osaban Registered Member

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    Reading this thread made me curious about Vista's own backup/restore program: it is extremely simple, basically one click is needed, and it took about 20 minutes to backup 25 GB uncompressed (10 minutes with ShadowProtect). To restore I had to boot the system with the Windows installation DVD, and it took about 16 minutes to restore without any problems.

    Windows nowadays really provides everything is needed for the maintenance and troubleshooting of the OS. I still think the average user would find it easy to backup, but it wouldn't be so obvious to load the Windows environment with the installation DVD and choose the repairing function.
     
  19. doktornotor

    doktornotor Registered Member

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    And unlike the vast majority of 3rd party stuff, it deals correctly with Bitlocker.
     
  20. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

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    If your backup needs are simple, I think the native backup is a good fit. However, like all things MS, their offering is usually a basic one, and third parties come in and create the more detailed software. Kind of like their defrag...it's OK, but not feature rich. I don't use the native Windows backup myself, but have used it at the server level at work with success. If you just want a straight up image and don't care about hardware independent restores, incrementals, compression, etc., go for it. Personally I prefer third party tools, but to each his own right?
     
  21. Bigabe

    Bigabe Registered Member

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    I wouldn't compare it with windows defragmentation which really is just for simple needs.
    Windows 7 backup is much better. It's compression is very good in my eyes and it does incremental backups.
    The only point where it is behind 3rd party apps is speed. And I can live with those 5 mins more for a full disk image.

    Sure, you can't compare it to shadowprotect. But in my opinion it is much better than Macrium, Acronis and the rest.
    True image per example fills your PC with useless stuff no one needs, slowing your PC and evertime you want to restore an image you have to spend two weekends in church praying. ;-)
    Macrium doesn't offer good restore options, their Linux boot cd is a joke and their windows PE build is outdated.
     
  22. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    Bigabe,

    Windows 7 imaging has little or no compression.
    it does not save the hibernation or the pagefile which is good and reduce the size of the backup significantly.
    and unless i'm blind Windows 7 has no incremental backups. o_O

    as for speed, the time it takes to create an image is average.
    i have not tried every imagers out there but the restore in Windows 7 is the fastest i've seen.

    but i agree with you it is a very solid app.
    there's very few options so as not to confuse Joe/Jane Average.
    i love it because it is simple, but i can see where other people mighr prefer other solutions.

    especially people who don't have Windows 7. :p
     
  23. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    It is not much better at all, and lacks many features.
     
  24. Bigabe

    Bigabe Registered Member

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    It does incremental backup.
    If I did a backup yesterday and one today I even can chose which backup I want to restore or browse. It isn't as easy to browse like in other solutions but it isn't very complicated.

    The compression lvl of Windows 7 backup depends on what files you attempt to backup.
    It excludes every zip files and other already compressed files. But Microsoft states in its official forums that the maximum compression is used comparable with zip compression.

    I agree, for some users it lacks some features, as I stated above shadowprotect is much better but I see no reason to prefer Macrium reflect free, Paragon free, or even their full versions over Windows 7 backup for most home users.

    The question is what do you really need and what do you use. In my opinion It isn't a good idea to install something like True Image which drags down your performance if you just want to make images.
    This is like driving a Ferrarri only 30 miles / hour to safe gas.
     
  25. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    to tell the truth, i've never thought about trying incremental backup.
    i save each backup to a different folder.

    have you checked the file size to make sure it's not creating a new backup every time instead of an incremental?

    i got to give it a try maybe tomorrow.
     
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