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My experiences with imaging (Read 4929 times)
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My experiences with imaging
Feb 9th, 2008 at 12:00am
Well, since I'm a noob!  I thought I'd describe my situation as a way of introduction.

I take care of computers for a school (among other duties) and I recently needed to make 8 laptop computers with identical hardware look/feel/behave exactly the same.  I've used older versions of Ghost, and to be honest, never got too comfy with them.  I purchased drive snapshot, but havn't had it long enough to do a recover yet - so I was looking for an easy to use cloning solution, with which I could easily "duplicate" these laptop configs.

I don't know how I found it, but I got a copy of clonezilla last week, and started trying it out.  I mangled a few setups first, but after a little practice, yesterday I was able to take one of the laptops (configured with the proper software, printer drivers, etc) and create an image on an external USB drive (NTFS).  I then was able to copy that image onto the other seven laptops.  After each was imaged, I used NewSID to avoid network name collisions, and viola! I was done. 

What impressed me was that I could copy the image from ext. HD to laptop without opening the laptop case to get at the HD, and it only took about 15 minutes from opening the laptop lid to final power off. 

Of course, this is with proper site licenses for all the OS and Apps.

I'm wondering, has anyone else tried clonezilla?  I like Ghost, but never really got comfortable with it.  Clonezilla seems to do what I need it to do quickly and easily enough ... perhaps my use is simpler than the way others need to use cloning apps. 



ps.  While I'm no linux geek, I have installed Ubuntu on an old beater box for my wife to use in her office.  She's not a power user by any means, and she goes back and forth between WinXP and Ubuntu without a problem.  She mostly works on docs/spreadsheets with openoffice and Microsoft Office 2003, and the usual email and web stuff.  I think that says alot about the usability of some distros like Ubuntu.  I've worked on other folks' machines running Vista, but I don't think I'll be buying that for myself any time soon.

Great forums!  Thanks for the all the great info.
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Re: My experiences with imaging
Reply #1 - Feb 9th, 2008 at 12:06pm
If it works for you, and you now have experience using it, it would seem like you found the solution you need.

I list all Ghost alternatives here:


Clonezilla » Open Source (free). Similar to the corporate edition of Norton Ghost. Clonezilla supports multicasting to duplicate a partition/disk to computers on a network.

Update » July 2007, Clonezilla and GParted now come on a multi-boot LiveCD, which means you don't need to know how to use Linux in order to use them. See this thread for more » Clonezilla Live CD

For user insights, see this thread (from John Roberts, who wrote this how-to guide. Also see HERE). Download here.

John adds: "Clonezilla may lack fancy GUI, direct on-the-fly optical disk burning and spanning media support like Ghost 2003 (that I like and use as well...), BUT:

1. Unlike Ghost, it has a much broader filesystem support
2. It has broad support for external media (aka USB2.0 external disks, flash sticks), no need for temperamental drivers."

Seems you are in a unique position to test/demo these alternatives. You could become something of an authority.

We have had others here who like Clonezilla:


.. especially when paired with GParted.

But it (obviously) depends what you need/want to do .. and your situation differs from most here, who are seeking a way to back-up their home PC with an industrial-strength (cloning) solution.

Perhaps I could encourage you to post a mini "how-to" regarding your experiences .. to help others seeking to a similar solution. Always better to hear from someone who has already been down the same path.


PS - your user name is interesting .. as someone who has worked with the elements (& isotopes).
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