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Newbie Questions . . . (Read 3433 times)
Davek
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Newbie Questions . . .
Feb 22nd, 2010 at 10:29pm
 
Hi, I am not a techie but I am trying  to learn. I came upon this forum googling  and looking for information about a project I am undertaking. I am hoping that there are friendly souls in this forum that can help me on my path.
I have a good friend who has a computer business. He installs networks into small offices in addition to doing a lot of tech support for his existing clients. He is helping  me learn about technology. I work with him some trying to get on the job training. He proposed a project where i would find a good cloning software program and we would offer it to his clients as something they could benefit from. I would then do the work to install it. It needs to be pretty inexpensive or free and it needs to have the capability to schedule on a regular basis to keep up to date. I have been researching some of the programs that might fit the bill but any feedback would be appreciated.  As I said, I am not a techie but i know some stuff and want to learn. Any suggestions or input would be appreciated.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Newbie Questions . . .
Reply #1 - Feb 22nd, 2010 at 11:01pm
 
@
Davek

Quote:
I have been researching some of the programs that might fit the bill 

What have you looked at so far?
 
 
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Davek
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Re: Newbie Questions . . .
Reply #2 - Feb 23rd, 2010 at 5:06am
 
I have just gotten started but here is a list that I came upon on a website.
1. Macrium Reflect Free
2. Drive Image XML
3. Paragon Drive Back up
4. Image X
5. Clonezilla

These were listed as the five best free clone programs. They also took a poll as to which were preferred and Clonezilla had a high rating.  My concern is that it might be a bit complicated for my level of tech knowledge.

I also read that "Image for Windows" might be an option. It's not free but I think the price might be affordable. I think it might be easier to use. Still checking into that.
 
 
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Brian
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Re: Newbie Questions . . .
Reply #3 - Feb 24th, 2010 at 3:17am
 
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Davek

From your list I've only used Drive Image XML. It is very slow, taking about three times longer to restore an image than other software I've tried.

I like Image for Windows. $39 and you get a license to use it on three home computers.
 
 
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NightOwl
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Re: Newbie Questions . . .
Reply #4 - Feb 24th, 2010 at 10:13am
 
@
Davek

Welcome to the Radified forums!

Quote:
He proposed a project where i would find a good cloning software program and we would offer it to his clients as something they could benefit from.

That's a good project!

Quote:
It needs to be pretty inexpensive or free and it needs to have the capability to schedule on a regular basis to keep up to date.

A starting point--but, there are more questions to be answered in order to make your search relevant....

Disclaimer--I've not used any other cloning programs except the DOS based Symantec Ghost program--I've been reading most of the posts on the site here in reference to other programs--and have some working knowledge as to how different programs work... or not.....

Quote:
I have a good friend who has a computer business. He installs networks into small offices

So, in using any software for solving your needs--you need to write down a list of functional requirements that you need to include:

Are you going to do the imaging only on local machines, each machine separately--or are you needing to use a network imaging solution where one machine will be the *server* (or single storage location) to hold all the images of the various other machines on the network--i.e. *clients*--and the *client* images need to be sent over the network to that single location?

If using a network--is it a simple network where various machines can share data--or is there an actual main server (running server software, i.e. Win Server 2009, or whatever)?  Not all imaging softwares are capable of running under *server software*.

And, you need to determine if your needs will be to create backup images using *hot* imaging (imaging while the OS is running--and the imaging software is running from the OS), or *cold* imaging (imaging after closing down the OS and running the imaging from a DOS OS, Linux OS, or some flavor of WinPE OS--where the actual system OS is not running).

Once you know what functions you need to include, then you will be able to quickly start eliminating various software as an option--because not all software will have the needed functionality.  And, it's much more likely that *free* software will tend to have fewer *advanced* capabilities--such as over network functions, etc..

And Brian mentioned this:

Quote:
From your list I've only used Drive Image XML. It is very slow, taking about three times longer to restore an image than other software I've tried.

Certainly another consideration--but, if the image *creation* speed is fast, it's much less likely that image *restore* will be a frequent operation--maybe a slow restore is acceptable if the software otherwise meets your needs!!!

Let us know how things progress....
 

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LouieChuckyMerry
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Re: Newbie Questions . . .
Reply #5 - Feb 25th, 2010 at 1:08am
 
Davek: I've used Macrium Reflect Free Edition for the last somewhile and found it to be quite functional, reasonably quick for imaging and reinstalling.  Priced right, too.  In fact, I'm typing this on a reinstalled image of a fresh XP Pro install that I just made (I was testing the image and getting a feel for Macrium).  The not-quite 6GB OS (on a 98GB partition) took just under 4 minutes to image and slightly less to reinstall on an already formatted 17GB test partition.  I can't compare Macrium to anything as this is the only imaging program I've ever used to both image AND restore, but I found it easy to use with nothing I couldn't figure out if I applied a bit of effort.  Also, just so you know, the Free Edition only allows for full partition or full disk imaging, ie, no imaging of only selected files or folders and, if you want to reinstall an image to a smaller partition or hard drive than the one from which it was originally imaged, even if the actual used space on the originally imaged partition or hard drive is smaller than the new partition or hard drive, then you need to use an application called RoboRestore (Google it) to first read your to-be-reinstalled image and extract the useful data.  I used RoboRestore on this restored OS and it was pretty straight forward (To clarify: I imaged a 98GB partition that had only 6GB used, but to reinstall this image to a 17GB partition I had to use RoboRestore to extract then reinstall the useful 6GB to the 17GB partition.  Really, not as complex as I'm making it seem).  Anyway, head to CNet (download.com) and type 'imaging' in the search bar, then filter the results using 'free' and anything else you deem necessary, then read the editor and user reviews.  You're bound to find something useful.
 
 
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LouieChuckyMerry
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Re: Newbie Questions . . .
Reply #6 - Feb 25th, 2010 at 11:33pm
 
Davek:  After a couple more tests, I've decided that Macrium isn't something I want to use.  See

http://radified.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1266475919

and

http://download.cnet.com/Macrium-Reflect-Free/3000-2242_4-10845728.html?tag=mnco...

for more details.  At this time I'm burning Clonezilla to disk, after which I'll check it out then post results.
 
 
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