my search for best disk imaging software

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by hawkeen, Mar 3, 2009.

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  1. hawkeen

    hawkeen Registered Member

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    I read all the posts about which imaging software to use and etc. I downloaded and tried Image for windows, macrium reflect, paragon, acronis, drive snapshot, O&O driveimage and another one which escapes my mind.

    Everyone raved about snapshot so I surfed to vistaPe's website and created a vistaPe disk and added snapshot trial to the bootable disk. I created a couple images from a few boxes with snapshot. The images were larger than with some of the imaging software--24 gigs larger for example then O&O diskimage. There may be a commandline switch that allows you to set the compression/speed ratio but I didnt bother looking. Second, you have to go to trouble of figuring out how to make a vistaPE/BartPe or some boot disk as it has none. For non tech noobs, this could be very annoying. So scratch drive snapshot.

    Next, I played with image for windows and really really liked it. The problem was, I have 8 or 9 boxes here at home that needed imaged. So I contacted IFW support asking if I purchased a license would it cover all of my boxes--support quickly emailed back and said no. Support said it would cover 2 boxes and that I would have to pay for 3-4 licenses @ $38 per license. Scratch image for windows.

    Next, I downloaded macrium reflect and thought "gee this looks neat" due to interface but then I started using it and quickly was annoyed. I have one box that has win xp on it and so I thought I would test creating image to DVD with macrium. A nice little message box popped up stating that this feature only works in vista. Scratch macrium reflect.

    The next imaging sofware I used was acronis true image. I own TI 8,9, and 10. I purchases TI 2009 but then TI 2009 would not read TI, 9 or TI 10 .tib files. So I contact acronis support and they tell me that they can send me a bootable disk that can read it. I say no and ask for a refund. Scratch TI 2009.

    Now I stumble upon Paragon Drive Backup and I must say, this software looks and acts solid. I tested this on 3 diff boxes and everything was perfect. The only problem is that $70 price tag for the Pro version. Scratch Paragon.

    The final solution was O&O DriveImage Pro 3. I was not expecting much as I had not heard much about this product. Boy was I wrong. The reason most people do not try them is because you cant do a full restore unless you purchase it as they withhold the StartCd from the trial version. I go to O&O's website and purchase the software for $25 and some change. I download the 300 meg iso file of StartCd and the 32x and 64x bit version of the software. I install it and am amazed at how small the compressed files are. For example, on my Dell E6500 laptop, I have a 230 (formatted capacity) gig drive. About 100 gigs is in use. O&O created an image of 50 gigs. None of the other software was as compressed. Drive snapshot was 74 gigs for same partition. Paragon Drive Backup was 57 gigs for same drive.

    O&O created really compressed files, was relatively cheap compared to other solutions and does everything I need. It does incremental, schedules, restores entire partion using their boot cd, and is super easy to use. Another thing I like about O&O is that their image explorer is hands down the best one in my opinion. Therefore O&O is the image software for me and everyone is different but I thought I would detail my own journey towards imaging bliss.

    Almost forgot to mention that some of the imaging softwares appear to "dial home" to the company. O&O does not. You put your reg info in and thats it. I do not like software that dials home due to having to police what info it is really sending.

    Sorry for long post. Hope it helps some who were like me searching for image bliss :)

    Hawk
     
  2. Arup

    Arup Guest

    Thanks for your review, I am quite impressed by O&O defrag and with your review, I will try out the image as well. I was looking for a good one since I do lots of cloning at my institute.
     
  3. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    I have tried many over the years. I used to use ghost, and it served me well. It would create a bootable cd or run off floppy. Then came ghost 9 I think it was. It allowed image creation from within the os environment, as well as peering into created images to fetch data. There are many flavors of this program out today, as you have found.

    I think your review is grand, but I think you taint it a little bit with a degree of some sourness. As is usually the case, we want free software. But, then when the free software, or the free version of paid software, does not give all the benefeits we want, we say 'nix them'. This is not the way of deciding what is good software vs. bad software. It is a way of deciding what is full featured software vs. crippled. If you were to look at it from only the perspective of features and price, you leave out fine products that actually require you to pay for the features, and include products that might be only half-baked, but are free.

    I share your pain on quests for fine freeware or affordable-ware software, but I don't think that it is negative really that they want to get paid either.

    So for me, I have used many, but now use Macrium. I don't mind building my own boot cd's. I actually prefer it now. Because of past years experience with computers, it is of little consequence which imaging software I would use. I would just deal with each as needed. That being said, I enjoy the Macrium interface above others, and it's ease of use within bartPE environment. And that is why I use it.

    But again, you have a grand review here.

    Sul.
     
  4. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Thank you for the fine review, I will take a look at O&O DriveImage because of it. I had not heard of it before and I thank you for bringing it to my attention.
     
  5. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Hummmm, I assume you mean O&O DiskImage as I cannot find O&O DriveImage Pro 3. I did find DriveImage Pro 3 but it costs over $200 so that can not be the correct one. Could I trouble you for a link.

    Thanks
     
  6. hawkeen

    hawkeen Registered Member

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    Here is the link to the o&o software. It is DiskImage 3 pro. I had to many "images" on my mind :D

    Here is link. http://www.oo-software.com/smb/en/p...df invoice and I paid $25.17 for it. Hawk
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  7. bgoodman4

    bgoodman4 Registered Member

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    Thank you.
     
  8. hawkeen

    hawkeen Registered Member

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    Looking up my email invoice and I saw where they emailed me a $10 off coupon for my next O&O purchase. I do not know if this happens to everyone or not as this was my first purchase through their online store.

    Hawk
     
  9. Murderlove

    Murderlove Registered Member

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    Hello hawkeen,

    Thank you for the review. I too am interested in O&O driveimage. Does it add services to your system? For example, both Paragon and Drivesnapshot do not add services to one's system. How is the speed compared to Paragon and Drivesnapshot? And have you tried the recovery/Windows PE cd?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  10. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi

    In terms of the comment about Macrium Reflect free, I believe that you have to have it installed on ones computer.

    What I mean by this is that with the recovery CD you can only restore from it NOT backup.

    With ShadowProtect both the back up and Restore options are on the recovery CD so that if you do not want to install your recovery software you can still use all functions from the CD

    Terry
     
  11. vijayind

    vijayind Registered Member

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    Hi Hawkeen,
    w.r.t. o & o drive image, what is the time taken to make an image ( in comparison with other software ) ?
    I don't get much of a time window to backup my machines every week, so speed is important for me.

    Thanks,
    VijayIND
     
  12. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    Hi Hawkeen, Did you restore an image with O&O ?
     
  13. zapjb

    zapjb Registered Member

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    Yup did ya?
     
  14. raakii

    raakii Registered Member

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    Wats the speed of restore compared to Drive Snapshot , because compression alone is immaterial for me .Is it portable?
     
  15. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    Hawk, I was intrigued and puzzled by your post as a long-time Drive Snapshot user. I've tried a lot of imaging software but never O&O so, out of interest, I've just carried out a head-to-head with DS.

    The interface is of O&O is nice and I can see how this would appeal to a lot of users. I was puzzled that one of the reasons you ruled out DS was because of the technical challenge of having to make a recovery disc as you'd obviously already made the recovery disc at that point and it only really needs to be done once.

    The compression was also a bit baffling as DS has always been up there with the best on compression and 26GB difference on 100GB of data is an enormous amount to my mind.

    So, I imaged and verified my office system drive with default settings on both O&O and DS. The image was being saved to another partition on the same drive, which is not ideal but is ok for comparison purposes. The pagefile is on another partition so isn't a factor. The total time includes the verification as well. Partition size is 40GB with 16GB of data.

    My results were:
    O&O
    Total time: 69 minutes
    Image size: 11.5GB

    DS
    Total time: 29 minutes
    Image size: 10.2GB

    As you say, there really is no 'best' imaging software. It is just a question of what suits the user's needs most but that 26GB compression anomaly just seems very strange.

    I'm sure O&O will serve you well though and thanks for the report :) .

    Graham
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  16. RAD

    RAD Registered Member

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    Thanks for the quick reviews.

    My only caution is that it is not the "imaging" part of the process that is critical; it is the "restore" part. I know this from bad experience. Sometimes they look good when making the image....but does it really RESTORE properly ;)

    Be sure to check. Also, I am willing to pay extra for well-written, bug-free, robust software. If no one makes any money on this stuff, the competent people will stop doing it.
     
  17. raakii

    raakii Registered Member

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    Also all recovery cd works fine DS and so find it to be easiest to use as Nextstar pointed out.I see it as a advantage of using DS.Compression is not issue at all , since a well maintained windows system has maximum of 7 gb data(5 min to restore).Seperating data form programs before imaging is the best approcah for me.26 gb compression anamoly is strange , but I normally dont use DS for compressing data , i use winrar for it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  18. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    speed comparisons, it bit chuckle me !?! :argh:

    Both at snails pace,if O&O is pay ware,then forget about it,i guess SP is so much faster. Creating an image with SP take 4.30 min. with 15 gig used,restore take 5 min. Must admit you'l pay alot but its the best out there.
     
  19. raakii

    raakii Registered Member

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    For me SP is very slow when compared to DS and IFW.These imaging apps differ alot from system to system.No point in comparing such absolute results.
     
  20. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    Of course it differ but not that much,even if the systems are very different.

    Give some figures.Like to know how much slower SP is if compared to DS and IFW.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2009
  21. nexstar

    nexstar Registered Member

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    Well, actually.....yes.....that much :) .

    I suspect your hardware is making the software look good ;) . I've just repeated the same test with DS and SP with no verification (SP defaults to this) and onto a second internal hard drive.

    DS
    Time to image: 15 minutes
    Image size: 10.2GB

    SP
    Time to Image: 17 minutes
    Image size: 10.9GB

    If you still think it doesn't make much difference then I'm happy to swap my PC with yours ;) .

    Graham
     
  22. raakii

    raakii Registered Member

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    Around three minutes differnece while restoring a 7 gb of data, i did the test long back.But both were very reliable:thumb: unlike acronis TI for me
     
  23. hawkeen

    hawkeen Registered Member

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    Yes, O&O driveimage does add a service to your system. I just did a quick look and saw one.
     
  24. Huupi

    Huupi Registered Member

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    Never used DS,personally i can only compare with Acronis and IFW and on my high specs rig SP is 80 % faster then Acronis and 140 % then IFW.

    must admit that from your figures the ''spectacular'' differences are mainly due to hardware differences.
    Will take a look at DS though so i can test it on my machines.
     
  25. hawkeen

    hawkeen Registered Member

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    I have not restored yet but will run more tests this evening.
     
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