disk imaging software

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I have purchased a new 1Tb hdd to use as a storage place for images of all my computer OS's . I have a choice between Acronis True Image and Symantec Ghost Solution Suite 1.1 . I'm sure some one here has used either or both , which is more user-friendly ? Opinions ? I did notice while skimming the Acronis user manual it has the capability of updatingthe image automagically . I haven't seen any user info on the Symantec so I don't know what it's capabilities are - though the little info I did find leads my to believe it's more useful as a business IT tool .
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On 5/5/2016 2:05 PM, Terry Coombs wrote:

What are your needs?
I find Clonezilla (and/or its constituent parts) to be perfect for my imagine needs. It's not tied to a particular OS (Windows/DOS, Solaris, Linux flavors, etc.) so can be used without worrying about next year's OS du jour.
[OTOH, I haven't tried it with UEFI systems, yet...]
It's free and relatively easy to use (esp if you are just imaging -- and restoring -- disks or "partitions")
<http://clonezilla.org/
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On 05/05/2016 04:12 PM, Don Y wrote:

That's what I used and it worked just fine
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The new Easeus todo backup can handle UEFI, and so can MiniTool PartitionWizard. Free and Pro versions.
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On Thu, 05 May 2016 21:19:09 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@snyder.on.ca wrote in
snip

+1 on Easeus. It also does incremental and differential backups, which I really like. http://www.easeus.com/download/backup.html
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On 5/5/2016 5:35 PM, philo wrote:

I've several "non technical" friends who have adopted this as a routine backup scenario (not what *I* would adopt but it saves them from having to come to me when the fit hits the shan).
I use a hybrid approach to build my own "restore" partitions on machines -- esp laptops. Of course, as I know I'll be wiping the drive in the process, I can cut corners that these tools can't...
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On Thursday, May 5, 2016 at 5:05:15 PM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

I use EaseUS Todo Backup, free version. It does what I want. There are also free partition tools available if you need to do that too. Depends on what you want.
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Macrium gets my vote. And it's free. I used Ghost for years, but now use Macrium. Macrium is simple to use.
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I use BootIt and have for years. $35-40 with free updates. Very good. Very dependable. Does everything. Lean and efficient. And the author provides guidance for challenging jobs like eliminating multiple partition dependency on Win7 and adjusting boot files to accomodate booting from various partitions. I use it for all disk imaging, booting and partitioning.
I haven't used Acronis. My impression is that it does more hand holding for more money. They came out of nowhere and got big quick, despite high prices, so I'm guessing a lot of their success may be due to smart advertising. Many people like Macrium. I haven't tried that, either. I get much of my software free but for disk work and partitioning I don't think that should be a factor. It's too important to just take the free option. But there do seem to be a lot of satisfied users of Macrium.
The one thing I would stress is that disk imaging, booting and partitioning tools have changed over the years. Many people want the tools but don't want to deal with them. The result is that a lot of such tools have bloated into backup programs with limited functionality. (I think Drive Image was the first casualty.) There's no excuse for such software to need to be installed or to be bloated. (BootIt still fits on a floppy, though I boot it from a CD.) So you need to make sure whatever you pick can do the things you need without adding a lot of crud that you don't need. You also need to be aware that advice you get may reflect those changes. Some people may recommend a product that they're actually using for back-up, not knowing the difference between basic OS backup and disk image backup.
Personally I would never buy aything Symantec. *Never*. They ruin everything they touch. Their MO is to buy successful companies, bloat out the product, advertise actively, and jack up the price. They also usually cut back on functionality while they're at it. AtGuard firewall and Quarterdeck Clean Sweep are two good examples. Their System Works has been horribly bloated for years. And Powequest Drive Image, in Symantec's hands, became a bloated backup program dependent on .Net. SW was also the first installer I ever saw that tried to call home without asking. Did I say I'd never buy their stuff again? I'd never buy their stuff again. :)
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wrote:

I have been using the free Acronis for years (maxblast) but I have a license for the TE package and it is more than I need. It certainly gets the job done if you just want incremental images that you control.
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I've been using Acronis True Image Home 2011 and have had no problems with it. I made a boot disc and use it without having it installed on my HD. From the responses there are many to choose from.
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Reading the various replies made me think of something else you might want to think about, which I touched on slightly: Disk imaging can mean different things. Some people like to do periodic, frequent imaging as a backup, like System Restore. That's fine, but it's just backup, really, and it can all be lost if the disk dies. I take the approach of maintaining a copy of a set-up system for all computers. I install, then install software, then clean up and tweak all the little details that I like to tweak. Then I image that, keep a copy on another partition and copies on DVDs or CDs. After that, if the machine has anything like a factory restore partition I clear that. It's no longer of any value. Then I keep data on separate partitions and back that up. So at any time I can erase Windows and put in the image to have a refreshed system, ready to go. There are probably many other variations that people find useful. I think it's worth giving that some thought. As the saying goes, you don't have backup unless you can afford to lose your computer, and maybe even your house.
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Mayayana wrote:

Maintaining a copy of all set up comps , with regular updates is my goal . Not that I have anything that special , but I have been tweaking and tuning these machines for years in some cases . I have copies of all the software , but don't really want to have to rebuild from scratch . Onboard restore files are OK in some instances , but if a hard drive dies - and that has happened to me - or the system gets a nasty bug which can and often does hide in the restore partition I'm screwed without an image stored somewhere else . My thanks to all who have responded , looks like it's time for me to do some research on the offerings out there . The two I asked about are programs I have on hand and have never used ... I didn't know all those others were out there .
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On Friday, May 6, 2016 at 8:22:47 AM UTC-4, Terry Coombs wrote:

I used to use the incremental backup approach, but have now switched to something similar to Mayayana's method. When I've done a clean install, I get all the updates, put on the other utilities, tweeks, etc that I like, then image that. I separately back up my important user data occasionally. I found that the problem with incremental backups is that typically when I need it, it's because some software has gotten screwed up over time. At that point, it's better to have a whole new clean install that I have on that saved image from a year or two ago, rather than try to just rely on going back to an incremental point from a month ago, etc.
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+1 That is exactly the way I backup my PC too.
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Per trader_4:

So far nobody seems to be distinguishing between their System and Data.
IMHO, you do *not* want regular backups of you system - only backups of the last known "Good" system.... Otherwise, doing daily or weekly incrementals, some malware or corruption can creep into your backup and, when the time comes to restore, you have a bad system.
OTOH, for data you want incrementals - so, in the event you mess up a file, you can go back and restore from an earlier version.
I use Macrium Reflect for that. I am not in love with Macrium's access to older copies of a given file, but it does work and I do not need to recover an older version very often.
From a recovery-convenience aspect, the best tool I have used is "SecondCopy". That is a file-based backup utility and all the versions of a given file are right there in one place conveniently numbered.
OTOH, there are downsides of file-based backup systems - downsides that I chose to live with... until 2nd Copy started acting weird on my Windows 7 machine and I was unable to remedy it.
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On Friday, May 6, 2016 at 2:44:21 PM UTC-4, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

Odd that you'd say no one has been distinguishing between the system and data. I clearly did in my post. There is no need for the user data backup to be incremental. I just do a full backup of all the stuff I want saved periodically.
Perhaps we should define incremental and full. And full backup is where you back up all the files. An incremental one is where only files that have changed are backed up. That is typically done to save space. With the amount of data I have and the size of storage today, I just back up all the data files, without regard to if they have changed or not.
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Just get a Netgear ReadyNAS. Has snapshot capability built-in for point-in-time file recovery.
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On 5/6/2016 11:44 AM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:

For most folks, the only time the "system" (executables) is accessible IN THE ABSENCE OF "data" is when the system is initially built. Almost immediately thereafter, cruft starts accumulating in places that you rarely foresee (temp folders, MRU lists in the registry, etc.)
It requires a very conscious effort (easier as "Windows" evolves) to store "data" in a different place than "hidden among the executables".

IME, the savings of an incremental backup (time, space) don't make sense in the long run. To restore a system, you have to restore all the changes that have been made to it since it's last "full backup". So, all of that backup media has to be available and reliable.
It's easier (IME) to just backup the whole shebang and know that you have a *complete* (level 0) backup available. And, a *previous* one as well, etc.

If you use a version control system, you can access any version of a file just by specifying the date or other "tag" associated with that date.
Additionally, you can "see" what changes occurred to the file (the VCS can highlight them -- if the file's format/type makes sense to do that) along the way: "Ah, that's where (when) I cropped the photo to remove the little boy who was standing in the background!"

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On Friday, May 6, 2016 at 4:47:10 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:

You don't know where your word docs, excel files, photos, downloaded documents, etc are? On my Windows system they sure aren't hidden among the executable files.
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