Friday, January 18, 2008

Why does it have to be so hard? Or does it?

Windows Vista’s hard disk imaging utility, Complete PC Backup, allows users to create an image file that contains the complete contents and structure of a hard disk.

I have tried free utilities such as drive image XML but I never seem to get a working bootable image written back in Windows XP. Norton Ghost works real well and is a bit pricey. It's probably worth it just for the time savings. So what other options do we have?

If you have a Seagate or Maxtor hard drive, you can get a free OEM version of Acronis True Image. Seagate makes available a tool for migrating your files from an older Seagate or Maxtor hard disk to a new one. You can also use the tool as backup utilities simply by downloading either the Seagate DiscWizard or Maxtor MaxBlast software.

After you complete your XP build and apply all patches, updates, and drivers as well as any software you always install (not including games), you need to make a disk image. The games put too much data on your hard drive which prevents you from storing your disk image to DVD.

In a previous but not so obvious article I mention CloneMaxx:

Data can be copied from hard drives in high speed mode with speeds up to 3.3 GB per minute.

I saw a post: "SATA drives are not supported...damn!"
I'm not sure if this is true. It may be the motherboard manufacturer. Another option would be to get a SATA to ATA converter which run about $12. I'm not sure if at that point you are better off buying Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image. Your best bet would be to buy a Seagate or Maxtor Drive to begin with.


Professional hard disk cloning HDClone 3.2 Copy. Backup. Rescue.

Free Edition

The Free Edition of HDClone offers all necessary abilities to copy a entire hard disk onto another, larger hard disk. This can be utilized to migrate an existing installation to a new hard disk as well as for data rescue. The Free Edition is real freeware without obligation to buy and is intended for the short-term usage at no costs. But in case of more frequent usage, we recommend using one of the higher editions since they offer higher performance in the first line but also support a wider range of hardware as well as additional options which are optimized for regular or professional usage. HDClone Free Edition supports IDE/ATA
and SATA/eSATA hard disks and is able to copy up to 300 MB/min.

Notice this says larger disk. What the hell. Well what if we partition our current drive to be a bit smaller. (more headaches)

So if you don't have a Maxtor or Seagate then it is worth the few extra dollars to get the real deal.

Acronis True Image 9.0 CD
UPC: 625904487506 Mnfg. Part No: PCO48750MB Manufacturer: Acronis Packaging: CD w/ Key Platform: Windows Availability: Out of Stock Product ID #: 9530
Regular price: $29.95Sale price: $9.95

Two things to comment on:
1.) The home edition doesn't support dynamic disks.

This is bad if you like to make a software raid which I always do. The good news here is the way I build my PC. I use 2 drives of equal size.
I partition 25% for the OS on one drive, a 25% partition on the other drive for important data. Then I partition the rest to be used in a software raid. The software raid is done with the Windows XP disk manager. You set both disks to dynamic then create a striped array with the remaining 2 partitions. If you create your OS image before you start the dynamic process you can restore it as a non dynamic and complete the same process after you get your OS up and running again.

2.) The home edition lets you exclude folders which would mean you could do a backup anytime avoiding those huge game directories.

No comments: