Radified Community Forums
Rad Community Technical Discussion Boards (Computer Hardware + PC Software) >> Cloning Programs (Except Norton Ghost) >> Best Free Drive Imaging Program

Message started by John. on Mar 1st, 2011 at 11:58am

Title: Best Free Drive Imaging Program
Post by John. on Mar 1st, 2011 at 11:58am
Interesting article from Gizmo's Freeware website:

Best Free Drive Imaging Program
Updated 1 March 2011


Title: Re: Best Free Drive Imaging Program
Post by Dan Goodell on Mar 1st, 2011 at 4:32pm
Nice summary!  Having tested all of those at one time or another, I mostly agree with the author's findings.

However, "Best" is by nature a subjective assessment, and as the author acknowledges it depends on how important certain bells and whistles are to you.  He evidently places a lot more value on incremental backup capability than I do, and I consider the ability to restore an image to a smaller partition as of paramount importance.  (Most new computers come with one giant C: partition, so one of my most frequent tasks is to reduce the size of the OS partition to create a separate data partition.  For safety I make a backup of the OS partition beforehand, but if that backup cannot be restored to the reduced partition size, then it's of less value.)

Oddly, he mentions that as a feature only for Easus, even though Paragon and Macrium will also restore to smaller partitions.  DriveImage XML can only restore to a partition of the same size, so his rating is at least a full point too high, IMO.

I won't quibble with his top two choices--I also would rank Paragon at the top and Macrium not far behind.  But Easus is rated far too low--it's got the easiest to use menus, and it's speed is in the same ballpark as the top two.  Paragon's got the worst menu structure, but unless you're a novice user it's advanced features and flexibility probably make up for that.

I found it curious the author made a point of mentioning Macrium can only restore from recovery media.  First of all, that's not quite accurate--it has no trouble restoring to non-OS partitions while in Windows.  It does require rescue media to restore the OS partition ... but then, so do all the others (except Paragon), so I'm puzzled why he singled out Macrium for criticism.

And for Windows users, I consider Clonezilla and PING too user-unfriendly.  I also despise having to have yet another specialized boot CD floating around, and IMHE the boot disks don't universally work on all the different PCs I work on.  Of course, you can run into the same problem with the WinPE rescue disks for the Windows-based programs, but at least in those cases if you have a problem you can pull the hard drive, temporarily slave it in another Windows host machine, and run your restore from there.  No such "Plan B" for PING and Clonezilla.

Title: Re: Best Free Drive Imaging Program
Post by Rad on Mar 2nd, 2011 at 11:36pm
I could not get Macrium to work.

I liked Clonezilla:


Title: Re: Best Free Drive Imaging Program
Post by Tator on Mar 4th, 2011 at 4:54pm
I too dislike having having another set of specialized boot disks, and I used the Bart PE plugin with Discwizard to create Bart PE CD which also includes a number of utilities in addition to Discwizard.

Title: Re: Best Free Drive Imaging Program
Post by Rad on Mar 4th, 2011 at 11:36pm
Tator, did you solve your email problem?

Title: Re: Best Free Drive Imaging Program
Post by Tator on Mar 5th, 2011 at 10:36am
Yes, and I just sent reply to your PM.  However, I'd like to know if there's any way to contact anyone on the forum in the event password were not retrievable thus making login impossible which was also asked in my PM reply.

Title: Re: Best Free Drive Imaging Program
Post by Rad on Aug 2nd, 2011 at 10:22pm
There's a contact page linked from the home page:


Title: Re: Best Free Drive Imaging Program
Post by Zig on Oct 31st, 2011 at 11:49am
Note EaseUS Todo Backup Free is now at v.3.5; allows differential & incremental backups, and CAN create a Win PE BootDisc (also has a Linux BD).


Title: Re: Best Free Drive Imaging Program
Post by imbafuzz on Nov 4th, 2012 at 11:47pm
I have used many drive imaging software like DriveImage XML, CloneZilla, and Paragon Backup & Recovery also excellent tool.
But, my  favorite is Macrium Reflect, i used it regularly. :)

Radified Community Forums » Powered by YaBB 2.4!
YaBB © 2000-2009. All Rights Reserved.