Getting started with IFW/IFD/IFL

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Scott W, Jun 12, 2011.

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  1. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Needing an image backup program (for my Windows XP PC), I just downloaded IFW (based on all of the fanfare it gets around here).

    However I find myself intimidated with all of the possible IFW settings - I haven't got a clue as to which boxes I should check!!! :eek:

    Also, what are the considerations in determining whether to use IFD or IFL?

    Thanks in advance for any help/advice.

    Scott
     
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    In my opinion, you should never need to use anything other than the default settings in IFW unless you have an SSD (Solid State Drive). I always select "byte-by-byte" verify because it makes me feel better.

    As for IFD & IFL, I usually use IFD (Automatic Restore Option). I have heard that IFL is faster. I know that IFL has the option of "Network" support and I think that it "may" have better USB 2.0 device support.

    There is a way to build a WinPE boot disk and use it to restore System Partition Images but I just use IFD.
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I agree with TheKid7. Accept the defaults. The only extra I use for backups is "byte-for-byte" validation.

    I suggest using IFW for your backups and either of the other two for your restores. IFL works better than IFD if USB external HDs are being used. Speed varies depending on your system. Some users find IFL faster. It's about 10% slower than IFD in my computer.

    Keep it simple.
     
  4. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i've kept all the boxes at the factory default except for:

    -"validate bit for bit"
    - use Windows 7 MBR
     
  5. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Using the default settings + 'byte for byte verification' seems to be unanimous ('Windows 7 MBR' wouldn't apply to me as I'm an XP user).

    I'll be backing-up to (and restoring from) an external USB2 HDD. Given that, do I read you guys correctly that IFL is probably a better choice than IFD? On a side-note, does IFD even 'understand' NTFS? :doubt:

    Scott
     
  6. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i have no problems restoring to my NTFS drive on Windows 7.

    i use IFD because it is faster on my machine.
    the IFD is burned to a disk and would only be used in emergency.
    IFL apparently has better support for network stuff.

    to restore an image in non-emergency situation, i just run the IFW exe (imagew.exe) from a DOS prompt at boot time.
     
  7. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    That's interesting. The only way to get a boot-time DOS prompt with Windows XP is via Safe Mode. Is there another (quicker) way?
     
  8. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    sorry, i haven't been using XP in years.
    in Windows 7, you enter "Repair my Computer" at boot time with F8.
     
  9. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    F8 at the start of bootup sounds just like XP's Safe Mode, but how does it find 'imagew.exe' (do you enter the full path)?
     
  10. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    yes, you have too.

    what is nice about IFW is that it is truly a portable app.

    i usually place a copy of imagew.exe it in the root of the drive where the image is located so i don't have to type long path names.

    you also have to include your serial number in a text file and save it as imagew.bat

    then you place this batch file as well at the root of the drive also.

    here's the info you need for that batch file:
    also, when run for the first time in a portable manner, save your settings so it create a file for your preferences.
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Scott,

    Just to clear up some points. IFD will backup/restore DOS/Windows/Linux/FAT/NTFS.

    Use IFD or IFL. Whichever works better on your hardware. For images on a USB external HD, IFL is usually preferable.

    imagew.exe doesn't run from a DOS prompt. It will run from a Windows Command prompt. You can't get this from a WinXP CD but you can with a Win7 disk. There is an option in IFW to make a BartPE CD using WinXP.
     
  12. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    ah!
    i thought it was DOS.
    well, it sure looks like it. ;)

    you learn something new every day...
     
  13. napoleon1815

    napoleon1815 Registered Member

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    I might be late in commenting...however I always use the default IFW settings, but do select validate byte-for-byte (this will more or less double your imaging time). For restores (and imaging) I only use IFL. The hardware and USB support has been top notch. Good luck!
     
  14. Scott W

    Scott W Registered Member

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    Thanks for the clarification about not trying to run IFW at XP's Safe-Mode DOS-prompt Brian.

    The enthusiasm all of you guys have shown for IFW/IFD/IFL is what made me decide to go for them over other imaging programs. I really don't need scheduling or continuous incrementals, just a simple and reliable system backup-restore solution.

    I'll try out all 3 'IFx' varieties this week and will come back with questions if I have any issues.

    Thanks again,
    Scott
     
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