Imaging Software Selection for a Newbie

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by TheKid7, Feb 7, 2010.

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  1. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I have been trying to get a person that I know to start routinely imaging their PC so that they can restore it themselves rather than paying someone else to do the work.

    I lean towards recommending to them Image for Windows/DOS/Linux because of the simple and reliable bootable DVD's that it makes when imaging to DVD. Of course I would need to have them resize their C: partition and create a new partition with the remaining space and move their large files (if any) over to the new partition. This should make it possible to Image their C: partition to a single Dual Layer DVD.

    I have never used ShadowProtect Desktop, but I have always heard about its excellent reliability. Which would be easier for this person to use for Imaging/Restoring: Shadow Protect Desktop or Image for Windows/DOS/Linux? Any other comments/recommendations?

    Thanks in Advance.
     
  2. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    While a bootable DVD is great, imaging to DVD is so slow as to make it hard to want to do it often.

    Both are good programs, I being a ShadowProtect fan, but they will need to learn them, especially the restore part.

    Pete
     
  3. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    macrium reflect along with sp is a great option
     
  4. pajenn

    pajenn Registered Member

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    IMO, the best free one currently is Macrium Reflect Free hands down (I just tested a large number of backup programs).

    In terms of commercial tools, the top ones per my testing and based on what people recommend are Acronis True Image, Macrium Reflect Full, StorageCraft ShadowProtect, Terabyte Image for Windows/Dos/Linux and Drive Snapshot (still testing the last one). Between those it's a matter of preference, needs and hardware.
     
  5. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    I think creating the Macrium restore disk is too complicated for a newbie - unless you create the disk for your friend frustration will be the result. Paragon Backup is simple to use as is ShadowProtect. I use and have recommended both but the more comprehensive of the 2 programs is SP (but of course its a lot more expensive).
     
  6. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    i dont see how its hard? you simply open the other tasks drop down and select make boot disk. then pick the one you want and click finish?? how is that hard?
     
  7. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    Do your friend a favor if you can. If they are on XP, create a bartPE image with thier drivers and the macrium plugin. If they are on vista/7, create a Win7RescuePE project via WinBuilder with the macrium plugin.

    Figure out how to create an image that is bootable from the hdd, so that the image sits on c: and they have a boot option to start the PE.

    Have them do a fresh install. Install macrium. Put the image file in place and be sure it works. Create an image of the fresh install, on another hdd, network share or dvd. Call it the bare-baseline or something, just for backups. Now the PE boot image is built into the drive and all future images will include it, and you don't have to do anything else.

    As they start to 'build' thier OS up with settings and software, it is simple for them, from within windows, to create new images. It is also simple now, from a PE environment to restore the images.

    The hardest thing I find when doing this is teaching them about how to save important information someplace other than c: and how to save images properly and restore the correct ones.

    While this is very easy, often casual users don't have the interest to really know this much about drives and directories, and just save everything in My Documents or burn things to optical.

    You can't help much in those cases, but for users who have a curiosity and desire to learn geek things, they really dig the fact that a simple boot option gets them back to where they can 'restore' the drive. Many I do this for go a little overboard and start imaging more often and leaving data on the c: as a backup. Then they wonder where all thier hdd space went, and I show them they have 11 images each > 12gb, they should be more judicious. And usually they are once they get used to what is going on.

    A more complicated route, but if a novice user has a friend who can do it, thier enjoyment level goes up a notch because it is a sort of 'set and forget' method.

    Sul.
     
  8. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Well, I tried it and it was not as straight forward as you suggest, at least the version I tried was not and that was about a year ago. You had to start going to some third party program and create a BartPE disk. If you feel its easy I direct your attention to https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1615596&postcount=89 not simple at all IMO (but of course thats just my opinion).
     
  9. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    No, it is not for the average/novice user. I have spent many hours doing these sort of things. Not that I am uber or anything, but I expect that if I sort of struggle through it, a less advanced user might struggle as much or more. But then again, maybe I am just dense-r :argh:

    One thing is for sure. Once you figure it out, having a PE option to your likings is simply awesome!

    Sul.
     
  10. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    lol its exactly as i said. my mom did it and she is 100% computer "stupid" as she calls it. the link you posted shows exactly what to do. as i said you select create boot cd. pick the type you want if running xp you can use either one. if running vista or win7 you can not use bartpe so you either select linux or winpe if you have the paid version. click next direct it to the drive the disc is in and click finish. thats it then it burns it for you. my wife did it also. she was going to wait for me but then she opened it up and when i got there she said i already did it, she did it right also.
     
  11. Victek

    Victek Registered Member

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    A very simple solution is Paragon Backup & Recovery Free Edition 10 which includes an ISO to create a boot disc. As long as this boot disc properly supports the PC you're good to go. I would encourage your friend to get an external USB hard drive to use just for imaging. It's much easier, faster, and more reliable to create/save images to a hard disk Vs burning DVDs. The external drive can be kept offline the rest of the time to save wear and tear on the drive.
     
  12. dcrowe0050

    dcrowe0050 Registered Member

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    Yes the Bart PE cd is a bit overwhelming for a newbie but not complicated and I think ZFactor might be thinking of the Linux Rescue CD which is very easy and just as he says it takes about two clicks. One think about the Linux CD, it apparently has some issues with different hardware. I did not experience any of these issues when I used the free version but others have reported it so definitely go with the Bart PE for XP. The Win7RescuePE is great for win Vist/7 but WinBuilder is a pain.
     
  13. zfactor

    zfactor Registered Member

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    correct for xp i always just use the linux disc myself i have never had a problem. i never use the bartpe. for vista and win7 i use the winpe plugin.
     
  14. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Maybe thats the thing, I tried the free version and my OS is XP. I guess this may account for the problems. Anyway, I am happy using the program I settled on (SP) and thats about all one can ask for I expect.
     
  15. nikanthpromod

    nikanthpromod Registered Member

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    Drive Snapshot:thumb:
    Bart PE:thumb:
    simply the Best:cool:
     
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