Good Free Imaging Software 2013?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by Brandonn2010, Oct 3, 2013.

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  1. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

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    I've been using and recommending the Windows built-in imager, but since it is difficult for XP, and since Windows 8.1 will not have a GUI option to make an image, I am looking for a third-party program to make an image.

    1. It needs to be free.

    2. It needs to be stable and will hopefully be around for the foreseeable future.

    3. Doesn't install a bunch of junk or hook itself deeply into the system. One reason I haven't wanted to use a third-party program is that I want my fresh Windows install image to have no third-party software, but with a third-party imaging program, I would need to install it in my fresh image yes?

    Also, I want to restore my Mom's laptop to factory settings, clean it up a bit by removing bloatware, and then create an image on the same hard drive. Could I wipe the recovery drive and save the image there? How would I do that?
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2013
  2. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    It is present.

    http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/windows-81-tip-use-system-image-backup

    No.

    Not a good idea. What happens if the HD fails?
     
  4. Brandonn2010

    Brandonn2010 Registered Member

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    Oh okay, guess I should have read that other thread more, hehe. Also about Mom's laptop, If the hard drive fails, she would probably just get a new laptop. I just want the image there to refresh it once in a while.

    Also I meant to ask, do these third-party imagers have any advantage over Windows built in one?
     
  5. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Brandonn2010,

    It's a good idea to keep refreshing the image. That way you can restore last weeks system rather than last years.

    The Windows imaging app is free. That's about the only positive thing I can say.
     
  6. guest

    guest Guest

    It's built-in, so you don't need to do anything to get it (I'm talking about Windows backup tool). Third party imaging programs have more features, although not all of them are that useful.
     
  7. Wendi

    Wendi Registered Member

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    Definitely - two pretty serious shortcomings of Windows' built-in backup are: no image-file compression and no backup verification! :eek:
    Imho AOMEI Backuppper is a much better image-backup solution than Windows' backup (and it's free). You might also checkout the AOMEI Backupper thread on Wilders.

    Wendi
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  8. moontan

    moontan Registered Member

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    i don' t think the image verification is necessary.
    i've never seen the Windows imager fail in a few hundreds imaging and restore.
     
  9. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    I was wondering what's the best free offline imaging program, is it Clonezilla? Or are rescue media created by installed online imaging programs better?
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  11. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Macruim Reflect FREE!
     
  12. Tyreman

    Tyreman Registered Member

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    Aomei Backupper, (1st time ever used the original version.... it saved me) and or Macruim Reflect Free
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2013
  13. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    i had no luck with aomei. would not restore once. did a fresh os install. then had a error restoring, no good for me. i would use anything else first except maybe easus who i have also had issues with over the last few versions have not tried the very latest one though because i gave up
     
  14. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    And, precisely for this reason Macruim Reflect FREE is the best!
     
  15. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    I have used the windows built-in imaging program several times and it has never failed me.
     
  16. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Why does everyone have this obsession with free software? In this instance, the saying "you get what you pay for" is true.

    Take a look at Image for Windows.
     
  17. Robin A.

    Robin A. Registered Member

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    Yes. I agree.
     
  18. The Red Moon

    The Red Moon Registered Member

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    Same principal could apply for "free" security software also which incidentally a lot of people do.
     
  19. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    IMHO. There is a difference between "free version" of a commercial product and a pure free product (no commercial version). For example, I will take Macrium Reflect Free any day over AOMEI backuper and EaseUSE to do backup. I always have problems with AOMEI and EaseUSE during the few times I tried them. Never had problems with Macrium.
     
  20. aladdin

    aladdin Registered Member

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    Well said and very true.

    I use their PAID version of Macrium Reflect, and it is the finest imaging software there. The FREE version is same as the PAID version, but without the incremental/differential backUps.
     
  21. coffeetime

    coffeetime Registered Member

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    Another vote for Macrium! Though I use Standard paid version for incremental feature.
     
  22. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Just had to choose one of the worst examples to define them. Why should I pay when everything necessary and most of my wanted software are available for free?

    Money is even less of an indicator for quality when it comes to digital goods. The saying is flawed like many, it should be: "you choose between what they provide".
     
  23. n8chavez

    n8chavez Registered Member

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    Simply put, because that's selfish. If everyone used free versions of imaging software, no matter the title, they would cease to exist. Developers need to get paid, or else they have no reason to build and maintain their software. The "free" versions exists to entice users to get the better features and use paid versions. Without paid software "free" wouldn't be an option.
     
  24. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    i do use free software but when i do find a program that just works plain and simple for me i either donate or buy it. i own countless lic's to software from all different types. i also do a LOT of testing for my clients prior to recc any software so i keep a current lic to many programs for that reason. i use things like ccleaner so i do also use some free stuff.

    i am NOT saying to only use paid programs. but i do feel that when the cost is good and not overpriced if it something you use on a regular basis people should support the dev's or one day they may not be there...for things i consider very important to me like my backups and anti virus i use paid versions to always have the latest and best support i can get. i have found way to many issues with much of the free ones out there that i dont feel i can trust many of them with my images.
     
  25. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    now see i dont think of anything wrong with macrium but imo at least from my experience the support left much to be desired when i did need support for a issue. there response was to "buy" the upgrade to the newest version to fix the issueo_O? i already paid for the one i have and did not even have it for the year. otherwise yes it usually worked perfect for backups.
     
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