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Thread: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

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    Senior Member Ciber's Avatar
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    What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    I got a free version of acronis true image with an SSD and it can image a drive but I'm not keen on it. Too many things that want to load when my PC starts and a couple that don't want to close when I turn my PC off. I have something that you boot from a USB drive but that's very old now. What do you use?

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    I use clonezilla which is installed on a USB key

    However actually installed on my Windows system is Easeus Partition Master which isn't free but has paid for itself time and again

    I have also had great success with Macrium Reflect USB key, it will also fix boot problems when cloning disks
    Last edited by Jonj1611; 03-08-2020 at 09:03 AM.
    Jon

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    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    Incoming spam in 3..2.. oh a real person

    I like Macrium - the free version has enough basic functionality if missing out on fancier backup options, but imaging and restoring an image works great and there are good USB recovery options. I've also used Easeus ToDo in the past and it was OK, but I prefer Macrium. It does have the usual update agent that loads resident but I don't find it too intrusive.

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    Used to use Acronis Workstation until they constantly jacked up the price. I now use Aomei backupper.
    It has a really good Bootable USB drive option. You can embed drivers if you need to say for a RAID card or unusual hardware.

    I also like EaseUs applications but just went with Aomei on this occasion. They had something free for commercial use so stuck with them after that

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    I've remembered the one I used to use, DriveImage XML and it still exists! Does anyone use it? You can actually make images of your drive within windows which is an advantage but restoring is done booting from a USB or DVD. It has the advantage over the images that windows makes that the drives can be different to the original. I found in the past that when your drive fails, windows backup refuses to restore your image as the new drive is larger making windows image backups useless as you will almost always replace a failed drive with a larger one. I do remember some hassle making the drive bootable after restoring with DriveImage XML though which wasn't that much fun when in an aggravated state having lost a system drive!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jonj1611 View Post
    I use clonezilla which is installed on a USB key

    However actually installed on my Windows system is Easeus Partition Master which isn't free but has paid for itself time and again

    I have also had great success with Macrium Reflect USB key, it will also fix boot problems when cloning disks
    Clonezilla seems a lot like DriveImage XML but possibly less user friendly and you have to make the image booting from USB.

    EaseUS Partition Master Free actually seems pretty good. I think I've used one of their tools in the past to fix an odd problem with a windows partition which did exactly what I needed. According to the website the free version now has a cloning function so that could be what I need.

    Macrium free could be an option as well. Apparently 'Macrium Reflect’s ReDeploy feature helps you move a PC’s Windows system to another hardware configuration.' which sounds useful.

    I mostly just want to make an image of a clean working system drive which I've done some basic configuration and added essential apps and removed unwanted ones for use at a later date if my system drive dies or windows messes itself up again.

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    Partition Master is free UNLESS you want to clone a drive that is MBR and you want to become GPT or vice versa which is what I needed it for.

    I am not sure Redeploy is part of the free version of Macrium
    Jon

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    i use the easus free stuff for most things if i can. todo backup is the imaging thing if you want to backup say a boot drive to another drive, but if copying/cloning drives and partitions the partition software can do that. i like it as their stuff is not only free, but easy to use with a nice GUI. only thing about the partition software is if you have more than 8 drives it doesn't work, but you can unplug drives. if you have more complex setups the free stuff may not do it or you need to find a workaround

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Incoming spam in 3..2.. oh a real person

    I like Macrium - the free version has enough basic functionality if missing out on fancier backup options, but imaging and restoring an image works great and there are good USB recovery options. I've also used Easeus ToDo in the past and it was OK, but I prefer Macrium. It does have the usual update agent that loads resident but I don't find it too intrusive.
    2nd for Macrium. I have workstation edition. (Only due to being able to create Hyper V VMs out of backups)

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    A version of Acronis comes with crucial drives but it is a bit painful. It works but I share the sentiment, not what I'd choose.

    Samsung ssds ship with data migration which is a version of clonix and works better, but proper clonix is a bit lame in that it is locked to a single machine install so not ideal for paid software.

    The above suggestions are helpful and I'll be checking them out too as I currently have to be careful which brand drives I use to back-up to/from so the manufacturers match

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?



    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    When going from HDD to SSD I cloned the drive to the SSD, took out the HDD, put in the SSD and just booted. This was with Macrium Reflect Free. It's the only time that I've done it, so I don't know if it would work again.
    I will admit that I've never looked at the differences/pros - cons of Backup, Image and Clone, but if clone works so well why bother with anything else?
    PeterC

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    I had a machine once that Macrium just couldn't complete a clone of (failing disk) but was able to get a working copy with Clonezilla. The user was very thankful that day

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    I used EaseUS Partition Master Free in the end. During download and install it kept nagging me that I need the paid version. After that it's easy to use and the free version made a backup drive image and also a clone no problem.

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    It is worth pointing out that Acronis True Image will create a bootable USB stick for you to boot into a light linux distro. In fact I am pretty sure they recommend people do this when cloning drives rather than doing so from within windows.

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    It has the advantage over the images that windows makes that the drives can be different to the original. I found in the past that when your drive fails, windows backup refuses to restore your image as the new drive is larger making windows image backups useless as you will almost always replace a failed drive with a larger one.

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    Re: What's your software of choice for imaging a hard drive?

    get on a linux box and use the dd command.

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