Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble

MSFN is made available via donations, subscriptions and advertising revenue. The use of ad-blocking software hurts the site. Please disable ad-blocking software or set an exception for MSFN. Alternatively, register and become a site sponsor/subscriber and ads will be disabled automatically. 


har02052

Automatic system image install?

Recommended Posts

Like many of you on this forum I reformat/reinstall regularly and often and so we have come here in an effort to make this process quicker. My questions is this: is there a program or a way that I can create an image of a complete system that I can then make a bootable dvd that would put that image back onto the hard drive? I want to install XP and all of my programs and tweak it just the way that I like and then essentially make an image of all the files on that drive and compress them into a package that can be written onto a clean drive and the system would be in the exact state as when I made the image. For my setup I have one raptor drive for my OS and programs, all of my documents and media files are saved on other drives. I just want to put an image onto a DVD that I can boot from and then reformat the raptor drive and put the image back onto the drive when I want to start over fresh. Is there a way to do this?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like many of you on this forum I reformat/reinstall regularly and often and so we have come here in an effort to make this process quicker. My questions is this: is there a program or a way that I can create an image of a complete system that I can then make a bootable dvd that would put that image back onto the hard drive? I want to install XP and all of my programs and tweak it just the way that I like and then essentially make an image of all the files on that drive and compress them into a package that can be written onto a clean drive and the system would be in the exact state as when I made the image. For my setup I have one raptor drive for my OS and programs, all of my documents and media files are saved on other drives. I just want to put an image onto a DVD that I can boot from and then reformat the raptor drive and put the image back onto the drive when I want to start over fresh. Is there a way to do this?

Acronis True Image comes to mind

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ghost and DriveImage Pro/DeployCenter (both DOS versions) can be scriptable to make automatic system image install.

Not sure (and very doubt) Acronis can automatically restore images :rolleyes:

I personally prefer to use Grub4DOS for booting with virtual DOS diskette image with DeployCenter that automatically restores my backup system image from another partition on hard disk (much-much quicker than using CD).

PS Use search, some instructions about this were published here before ;)

Edited by Oleg_II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm...

Pop in a CD and have it overwrite your system partition without any further

intervention.

That's a really, really clever idea :whistle:

Seriously, he didn't mention have the tool do it automagically, just the ability

to do what most of us have been doing for many years, system image backup and

restore.

I suggested True Image as I feel it's the best choice for a novice who has never

had any experience in drive/partition imaging before.

The documentation for True Image Home is fairly clear. Creating the rescue CD

for backing up and restoring a system image is simply a matter of running the

media creation tool and selecting the options required. Burn it, pop it in the

drive, reboot and you're ready to go.

It supports the full range of imaging options - disk/partition to and from image

file, disk and partition. It supports writing and reading image files from

CD/DVD burners, USB hard disks and flash drives, network shares etc. It's

cheaper than both of those you mention and a lot simpler than grope4dros :)

Seriously, what's not to like for a novice?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm... Pop in a CD and it shows you warning that it is going to overwrite system partion with backup: YES or NO. And if no decision made just load system from HDD.

I think it's really, really clever idea :whistle:

Seriously, he didn't mention have the tool do it automagically, just the ability

to do what most of us have been doing for many years, system image backup and

restore.

Seriously, have you read the subject of this topic? :rolleyes:
I suggested True Image as I feel it's the best choice for a novice who has never

had any experience in drive/partition imaging before.

The documentation for True Image Home is fairly clear. Creating the rescue CD

for backing up and restoring a system image is simply a matter of running the

media creation tool and selecting the options required. Burn it, pop it in the

drive, reboot and you're ready to go.

If we speaking of NON-AUTOMATIC way, Ghost and DeployCenter (and much more appz you can find here) are the same - burn it, pop it in the drive, reboot and you'are ready to go :whistle:
It supports the full range of imaging options - disk/partition to and from image

file, disk and partition. It supports writing and reading image files from

CD/DVD burners, USB hard disks and flash drives, network shares etc.

So Ghost and DeployCenter can do ALL the same.
It's cheaper than both of those you mention and a lot simpler than grope4dros
Do you ever have a look at the price of Ghost? It's about 19 dollars if I'm not mistaken :rolleyes: (I was wrong, but how much for Acronis then? ;) Yes, DeployCenter will be more expensive, I agree.

And about Grub4DOS. It's free. Well, it may be difficult for a novice but didn't you just suggested reading Acronis manual? Why not to read manual for Grub4DOS or just ask here? ;)

PS And you can obtain one more quality app that has the same features as Acronis with Universal Restore (how much does it cost?) for less money. And with really good other features too - for example, it's made with PE and it's much easier to add mass storage drivers to it then to Acronis products. It's ShadowProtect:

ShadowProtect Desktop Edition 3 provides the following benefits:

* Supports Windows 2000, XP and Vista.

* Bare metal recovery of Windows desktops and laptops in minutes.

* Restore or migrate backup images to and from physical systems and virtual

environments (P2V, V2P and V2V).

* Hardware independent restore of backup images to different systems (P2P).

* Schedule automatic full and incremental backups.

* Bootable recovery CD provides automatic hardware detection and network support.

* Simple view to quickly recover files and folders or update backup images.

* Compress and encrypt backup images for efficiency and security.

* Save backup images to USB, Firewire, NAS, SAN or any network location.

Edited by Oleg_II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Symantec Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 for 5-24 Users is USD 31 (for which you get both - Ghost and DeployCenter and a lot more usefull tools with very detailed manuals).

PS Well, that may be a bit more expensive then one licence for Acronis Home edition, but you get professional tools with scripting support (needed for acomplishing automatic tasks) that work nearly on all possible hardware (in absolutely most cases there is no need for special drivers like with Acronis Home, which is based on Linux, and newer hardware). And if you really want CHEAPer choice you can check the list a gave above for even free tools :thumbup But without automatic making or restoring images ability ;)

Edited by Oleg_II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whoa!!! Steady on there Oleg. This is a forum not a battlefield.

All the original poster wanted was a simple answer to a simple question. Not a

lecture on the Rights of Man. And probably not a debate on the merits of various

tools either so I shall refrain from commenting any further on the matter except

to post those prices you asked about.

Ghost $69.99

Ghost Solution Suite $39.20 per license (min 5 - $196)

Acronis True Image 11 Home $49.99

PS: I would hate to think your objection was simply because Acronis use an

'embedded' Linux solution :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and you still forgot one thing:

imagex.exe

which is easily scriptable (because it is a commandline program) and 'free'. free as in, you need to download the 1 GB WAIK and have to build a Windows PE image.

Or you can use Acronis. I have a TrueImage 10 License, but I didnt really use it. However, IIRC you can create a rescue-cd/dvd with a system image which will be automatically restored (after you answer 1 question "do you really want to do so"). However, I'd recommend to read the helpfile of the demo or other support material or send a mail to acronis to verify this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Silvereyes

Well, I gave my variant of simple answer then :rolleyes: But you start commenting it so I had to explain my point of vew further ;)

As for prices...

Ghost v14 Amazon.com - USD 53.49 (absolutely new with free shipment). It is possible to buy it even cheaper.

Ghost Solution Suite 2.5 VioSoftware.com - USD 156 (5 licences, each USD 31.2), it's much better because you are getting: Ghost v11 (works even with newest SATA disks), DeployCenter (including command line versions for DOS, NT and PE environment, works fine with newest HDD too), PQDISK (command line version of Partition Magic), Virtual Boot Environment (let you reboot Windows 9x, Windows 2000, XP directly to recovery program would it be DeployCenter or Ghost or ANY program that use 1.4MB-2.8MB floppy disk - you don't need to have floppy disks, only their images are used - didn't try boot it on Vista though) and a lot more useful programs. And the best of it - both Ghost v11 and DeployCenter 5.7 are scriptable so let you create automatic tasks of making backup images and restoring them ;)

As for IMAGEX.EXE - Yep, it can be used too. It needs more knowledge to create good PE disk, but it is possible too.

Edited by Oleg_II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting variation on 'simple', particularly the way you picked my comment

apart with a fine toothed comb.

The point I was trying to make was that the tools you suggested might be bit

more than he needed or wanted at this stage. Scripting and/or remote deployment

is fine if you have a large number of machines to maintain but if you only have

two or three it's really not worth the effort (or the cost).

I use PXE boot and remote deployment at work but with only three machines at

home it's easier to just pop the CD in and reboot.

As for the prices, well yes, you can usually find the same thing cheaper

elsewhere if you look for it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Simple was here, a bit before picking your comment ;) And "picking" happened as a result of your comment (re-read the sequence of postings, please).

Scripting works fine on stand-alone computers (notebooks, for example) without PXE boot and remote deployment. A simple script (in Ghost case it's just a few keys after GHOST.EXE) let you accomplish some task: make an image of a choosen partition, deploy an image to a predefind partion, etc. Think of it as like WINNT.SIF in Unattended installation (in fact, much simpler) or silent install of some hotfixes through a batch file, or just employing a REG file (when you run an EXE or an REG file it asks you some questions like "You are going to install something, are you sure?", but when you run them with some keys they installs silently - in other words automatically or unattended).

I think it's worth to spend half of an hour to read just a couple of pages in the manual and learn a few simple keys so that be able to run a program that auto create or auto deploy an image of a system (or any other) partition just in a few minutes without using CD or other media (and using them also as well if needed).

And about poping in CD - you can do it with any image creating app, even without them - use any PE disk (make it with WinBuilder or BartPE) and copy (or archeive, better with tool like IMAGEX.EXE ;) contents of a system partiton to another partition or media (USB, CD, etc.). Simple enough, no money involved :rolleyes:

Edited by Oleg_II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an example of a script for Ghost that will restore system backup image SYSBACK.GHO from folder RESTORE to the first partition (this script was ment to work from CD with backup image):

Ghost -nousb -clone,mode=pload,src=restore/sysback.gho:1,dst=1:1 -crcignore -sure -rb

Yes, it seems a bit difficult for the first time. But when you read manual and start understanding the meaning of keys after word "Ghost" it will become easy.

It's a bit different with DeployCenter - a separete script file is needed. And you run app with this line in AUTOEXEC.BAT:

PQImgCtr /CMD=rescue.txt /IMG=\\.\disk1.part4\restore\sysback.pqi /SNC

That means: restore backup image SYSBACK.PQI from folder RESTORE on disk F (4th partition of HDD) according to the instructions in RESCUE.TXT. It's a simple TXT file like this:

SELECT DRIVE 1
SELECT PARTITION 1
SELECT IMAGE 1
RESTORE
REBOOT

That means: take first partition in backup image and restore it to the first partition of the first HDD, then reboot the computer.

Edited by Oleg_II

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...