Forum:  General Chat

Thread:  Hard Disk Image


Walaa (Support Team)   Posted on: 31-Jan-2007 11:00:22.
Does anybody know what's the recommended tool/utility to perform backups/images of specific partitions?

I heared about Norton Ghost, anybody had used it? or any other tool?

Thanks in advance.
DvK (User)   Posted on: 31-Jan-2007 15:50:23.
Norton Ghost works perfect for backing up partitions or complete disks (with multiple partitions) and you can restore an image of a partition back to a partition or a disk.

grtz,
Danny


jmeckley (User)   Posted on: 31-Jan-2007 15:57:50.
we use acronis [http://www.acronis.com/] at my work place. The hardware guys take of it, so I can't say much about it, other than, it works. They have a home and enterprise edition. it starts at $50.
Jez (User)   Posted on: 31-Jan-2007 17:20:29.
Personally I've always been very fond of Drive Snapshot (http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/). Unlike some of the larger programs (like PowerQuest DriveImage), Drive Snapshot can image the disk from within Windows.

Its a very lightweight program (192kb) that doesn't require installation and at 39 Euros its pretty good value for money Wink

One of the most useful features I've found is that you can mount the images as drives to allow easy browsing/restoring of particular files in the backup.


PilotBob (User)   Posted on: 31-Jan-2007 17:25:20.
jmeckley wrote:
we use acronis [http://www.acronis.com/] at my work place. The hardware guys take of it, so I can't say much about it, other than, it works. They have a home and enterprise edition. it starts at $50.


I have heard alot of good things about Acronis also. I am probably going to buy it to assit with my XP to Vista upgrading. Since you can't do a Vista install from the Upgrade CD without having a qualifying OS already installed having an image of the Vista machine will help with paving.

Although, I guess I could use the MSDN-CD from work and my personal key code too.

BOb
MattWoberts (User)   Posted on: 01-Feb-2007 10:19:52.
I use this:

http://www.habibbijan.com/?page_id=7

Its using DriveImage XML, all free software, and I can vouch for it because I have successfully restored an image with it!



Max (User)   Posted on: 01-Feb-2007 11:08:27.
Walaa wrote:
Does anybody know what's the recommended tool/utility to perform backups/images of specific partitions?

I heared about Norton Ghost, anybody had used it? or any other tool?

Thanks in advance.


I used Norton Ghost many times. It works without problem.
It can manage backup/restore from/to    Disk/Partition/files image.
It can save compressed disk/partition image.

It can automatically resize the restored partition, so I can backup an NTFS partition of 2Gb, and restore it on a new disk in a 120Gb partition (I'v just done that on my (microsoft) virtual server Regular Smiley)
Walaa (Support Team)   Posted on: 01-Feb-2007 12:57:42.
Quote:
I use this:

http://www.habibbijan.com/?page_id=7

Its using DriveImage XML, all free software, and I can vouch for it because I have successfully restored an image with it!


This only works for XP and I want it for Windows Serer 2003.

I'll try Norton Ghost and Acronis.

But I wonder what's wrong with the Windows Backup and Restore utility/feature. (Start->Programs->Accessories->System Tools->Backup).

I can't find any comparisons or reviews about it.


jovball (User)   Posted on: 01-Feb-2007 15:57:10.
Walaa:

The first question you need to answer is exactly what (and how) you want to accomplish. Windows Backup and Restore is fine except that you need a working OS to do the restore. So if your hard drive dies, you need to install Windows onto the new hard drive before you can do the restore. That's not what most people want to do at that point.

I've used many drive imaging programs (Ghost, Acronis, DriveSnapshot). My favorite at this time is Image For Window/Image For DOS (http://www.terabyteunlimited.com). I usually run it from a boot CD in DOS mode (and I'm not exactly a DOS guy). The pricing and licensing options are MUCH better than most of the others.

I'm assuming from your question that you can image the system offline (i.e., not a production server). On the other hand, if you need to backup the system while it is online, then you are probably looking for a backup program rather than an imaging program. Windows Backup is a viable option but I prefer some help from one of these two:
http://www.genie-soft.com/products/gbmpro/default.html
http://www.backupassist.com/index.html

I think Acronis and Symantec have some high-end programs that can do drive imaging while the systems are online but they are overkill for what I need.

Joel Reinford
Data Management Solutions LLC
Walaa (Support Team)   Posted on: 01-Feb-2007 18:36:52.
Unfortunatly Norton Ghost & Acronis True Image don't support Windows Server 2003.

jovball said:
Quote:
The first question you need to answer is exactly what (and how) you want to accomplish

I backup my data and important stuff in a regular basis, by copying them into another PC/Hard drive.

So in case of a hard disk crash (which is not a high possibility), I won't mind to install windows and everything from the start.

The issue is that I'm experimenting with Sharepoint Server 2007 and my previous experience with its pre-release versions was a headache when it comes to installation.

Since I'm experimenting, I expect that I might screw things up, and then I'll need to start from a solid ground, rather than uninstalling and installing everything from the start, or even re-install the OS again.

So my need is to backup my System Drive, to be able to restore it again if needed on the same partition/hard disk, to restore my system to a previous state.

(edit)
Just came across the following article:
http://www.ilopia.com/Articles/WindowsServer2003/Backup.aspx



PilotBob (User)   Posted on: 01-Feb-2007 19:25:04.
Walaa wrote:
Unfortunatly Norton Ghost & Acronis True Image don't support Windows Server 2003.


Symantect Ghost (older version) does support Windows Server 2003... we use it in our QA lab. Actually, I don't think it even knows what OS it is restoring. I'm not sure if/how you can still buy this, it is more an enterprise version where Norton Ghost is more a personal version.

Walaa wrote:

The issue is that I'm experimenting with Sharepoint Server 2007 and my previous experience with its pre-release versions was a headache when it comes to installation.

Since I'm experimenting, I expect that I might screw things up, and then I'll need to start from a solid ground, rather than uninstalling and installing everything from the start, or even re-install the OS again.


You may want to look into Virtual Server. This allows you to create an image of a machine. You can also set up change disks and undo disks. Once you have done this you can create a virtual Windows 2003 Server vm drive. Then create a diff drive and create a VM with these two drives. This way, you can just delete the diff drive and still have the pristene 2003 install ready to go... just create a new diff drive. You can also start the VM with an "undo" disk. Everything you do is created on the Undo disk. When you shut down you can do one of three things...

1. Apply the Undo to the virtual hard drive (which could also be a diff disk).
2. Don't apply the Undo but save the undo drive.
3. Don't apply the Undo and delete the undo drive.

I actually have a clean Windows 2003 Server VM set up with a diff disk and start it with an Undo disk using Virtual PC on my computer. I use the VM to test my installers. Once I am done I tell it to delete the Undo disk, and I can start again. It takes about 30 seconds to restart the VM. But, while in the QA lab it takes about 15 minutes to restore a Ghost image.

Here is a white paper on using, setting up some of this stuff. It is based on Virtual PC, but it pretty much all applies to Virtual SErver also. BTW: Virtual Server and PC are both now free products for the d/l from MS.

http://andrewconnell.com/blog/articles/UseVirtualPCsDifferencingDisksToYourAdvantage.aspx

BOb

jmeckley (User)   Posted on: 02-Feb-2007 04:38:22.
Walaa wrote:
Unfortunatly Norton Ghost & Acronis True Image don't support Windows Server 2003.

We have the enterprise version at work. I guess Home doesn't support servers.

VMWare also makes virtualization software. It starts around $200 for a single user. You can install just about any operating system within a virtual machine on your PC. Linux, Windows 3.1, 98, ME, XP, 2K 2K3 Server, BSD, Sun...

And the best part if it corrupts, or fails, just delete the files, and start over. No harm to the physical OS! My office has created backup copies on the network, so if an instance fails for a user, we can copy base setups onto their local machine and they are back up and running within minutes.


Alex Davidson (User)   Posted on: 13-Mar-2007 16:04:59.
I swear by Acronis TrueImage. I like it so much I bought a copy for home use too, when I needed to install WinXP and Vista on a RAID-5 array (neither likes booting off 3ware RAID during an install).
Acronis Universal Restore supposedly allows a disk image to be made hardware-agnostic, so you can backup one machine and restore a fully-working image to another machine with different hardware. In actuality, this only seems to work with machines with similar hardware; restoring (for example) a laptop image to a desktop PC will often cause a BSOD. Nonetheless, it's a nice tool when maintaining lots of similar workstations.
TrueImage 10 does support all versions of Windows, including 2003 and Vista. At least, the Home edition is quite happy with Vista 64-bit Ultimate, so I assume it has no objections to Server 2003.

We use VMware Server. Excellent application, better by far than MS Virtual Server. If you're running more than one VM on a server, two or more CPU cores is recommended if those VMs are doing more than a token amount of work, as we discovered with our continuous integration system.