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Old 10-09-2006, 02:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Backup + restore options

Hi,

I'm currently looking at backup+restore options and I was wondering what are the best options out there?

- I need to backup 15 PCs (all Windows XP pro, wireless network)
- I'd like to create an exact image of each PC's hard drive so that I could later use that image to retore whatever PC needed to be repaired.

I've had a look at some of the commercial software available, and I think Acronis True Image was the best (ahead of Norton Ghost). However, I'd like to have a look at free options first....

At the moment I'm about to try out a free program called DriveImage XML (http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm). Have any of you used this with any success?



As a separate question, I'd like to ask if it is possible to connect my laptop to each PC separately, and make the PC behave like an external drive. Then I'm thinking I could use a backup program to create an image of my PC and save it on my laptop. Ideally, I'd love to have 15 images on my laptop, and whenever a PC needed to be repaired I could simply hook up my laptop to it and use a backup/retore program to restore the PC to it's original working state.

Is that even possible? Hopefully some of you have a bit of experience with these kind of things.

Thanks:bald:
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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drive image is the best. period.

acronis has the most features. but if the boot sector get changed you can't access anything, even with the rescue media (as the rescue media looks to the C:\Program Files\Acronis to help it start up. the acronis boot loaders will not work all of the time. you will have to keeping restarting the computer until it do



ghost is junk.

all of them are based off of powerquest's drive image (norton bought them out. but they can't get the product to work as good as it did when powerquest had it)
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've never heard of this free Drive Image XML program (see first post). I wonder if it is good.

EricB is referring to PowerQuest Drive Image 7 I assume. The enterprise edition was called PowerQuest V2i Protector.

Both have been re-branded to Symantec Drive Image 7 and Symantec V2i protector when Symantec bought PowerQuest.

Symantec Drive Image 7 then got renamed to Norton Ghost 9.

Norton Ghost 10 is the latest incarnation of Drive Image and Norton LiveState Recovery of V2i Protector repectively.

Kinda confusing; I'm not even sure myself

Same thing with PowerQuest Partition Magic, now Norton Partition Magic.
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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To answer the question that everyone has left out, it is not possible to use the Deskstops as an external harddrive, it only be like a network between the 2 computers. If I'm not mistaken. If it were possible, you wouldn't have nearly enough space on your laptop's drive to keep an individual image of 15 desktop's drives. Although, there ARE other options, you could buy an external USB or FireWire drive, partition it into 15 Partition (if that's possible), and connect it to each computer, image the drives to the external drive, and keep that handy. I have done this with my home network, even though I don't have 15 different computers, I only have 6.
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Old 10-09-2006, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by __Camouflage__
To answer the question that everyone has left out, it is not possible to use the Deskstops as an external harddrive, it only be like a network between the 2 computers. If I'm not mistaken. If it were possible, you wouldn't have nearly enough space on your laptop's drive to keep an individual image of 15 desktop's drives. Although, there ARE other options, you could buy an external USB or FireWire drive, partition it into 15 Partition (if that's possible), and connect it to each computer, image the drives to the external drive, and keep that handy. I have done this with my home network, even though I don't have 15 different computers, I only have 6.
he can do it with acronis and PQ drive image (and v2i protector) if he has enough space on his laptop's hdd

he could also do it with remote desktop connection
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Using a bootable CD of a backup program you could save it to a network drive (which could be your laptop).
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Old 10-09-2006, 05:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies. I'll post responses tomorrow from work when I've got time.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by EricB
drive image is the best. period.

acronis has the most features. but if the boot sector get changed you can't access anything, even with the rescue media (as the rescue media looks to the C:\Program Files\Acronis to help it start up. the acronis boot loaders will not work all of the time. you will have to keeping restarting the computer until it do



ghost is junk.

all of them are based off of powerquest's drive image (norton bought them out. but they can't get the product to work as good as it did when powerquest had it)
After I test the freebie options I'll have a look at Drive Image and Acronis.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:37 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheMajor
I've never heard of this free Drive Image XML program (see first post). I wonder if it is good.

EricB is referring to PowerQuest Drive Image 7 I assume. The enterprise edition was called PowerQuest V2i Protector.

Both have been re-branded to Symantec Drive Image 7 and Symantec V2i protector when Symantec bought PowerQuest.

Symantec Drive Image 7 then got renamed to Norton Ghost 9.

Norton Ghost 10 is the latest incarnation of Drive Image and Norton LiveState Recovery of V2i Protector repectively.

Kinda confusing; I'm not even sure myself

Same thing with PowerQuest Partition Magic, now Norton Partition Magic.
I'll post an update in this thread telling people how I get on with DriveImageXML. I'm starting a few backups today, and then I'll try to figure out the restoring phase.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by __Camouflage__
To answer the question that everyone has left out, it is not possible to use the Deskstops as an external harddrive, it only be like a network between the 2 computers.
At least I now know that option won't work, thanks.
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