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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm looking for some hard drive backup/restore software with some specific requirements: I need to be able to backup a partition into a single file (ideally compressed) then this must be able to be restored from a USB drive/stick. Ideally if there was an option to make the USB memory stick bootable so all the user needed to do was insert the stick, boot the PC and follow the restore instructions - that would do the job.

I've used Ghost (ages ago) which I believe could do something similar but I'm not sure that the latest version will from what I've read.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for your quick reply. I'll have a proper look into this but at first glance it looks like something similar I've used which just lets you backup and restore from windows, i.e. you have to be able to get into windows to be able to restore a partition.

In a nutshell, I suppose what I'm after is a program that can clone a partition then restore it from DOS, ideally running the backup/restore program from a bootable USB drive.

The 'booable USB' part is something I can look into separately if there isn't an all-in-one solution.

Thanks
 

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Acronis will allow you to make a bootable recovery disc from which you can restore your image. Or, it can be accomplished from within Windows.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks and you're right (I dodn't look closely enough). In that case, if it lets you create a boot CD this could be used on a USB stick along with the image to do the restore.

I'll get hold of a copy and give it a go...
 

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Just to clarify a couple of points... Acronis CAN be booted with a flash drive, CD, DVD or USB external drive. However, storing backup images takes a considerable amount of space. For instance... Using normal compression, a full backup image of my internal hard drive takes up about 9GB. The internal drive content is about 15GB. So normal compression yields an image about 60% the size of the internal drive content. Subsequent incremental or differential backup images (which record changes to the original image) can take up as much as 2 - 6 GB.

As far as a flash drive is concerned... One can boot into Acronis with a flash drive, but where are you going to store the images? Aside from the inherent fragility of a flash drive, the capacity of most flash drives severely limits available space. I never put anything on a flash drive I cannot get along without. I've learned that the hard way.

You can also create an Acronis bootable CD and you can burn the backup images to multiple CD's or DVD's. Although some have used this method, the process is historically unreliable. It's also pretty clumsy, especially if you use CD's. It takes a LOT of CD's.

The most reliable way to store Acronis backup images and subsequent incremental or differential images, is on a large Secondary Master hard drive for a desktop, or a USB external hard drive for either a desktop or a laptop. I have mine on an 80GB USB external drive and it's to small for long term use. I've also made the external drive bootable into Acronis.

Raybro
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for your input.

The backup/restore software in question is intended for a car PC which has a barebones installation of windows XP. I will only be backing up the windows partition once which is intended to be used to quickly restore the OS if something goes wrong or it gets corrupted.

I would say that the backup image would be no larger than 1.5GB without compression.

I could store this image on the hard drive (second partition) however as long as I can access/restore it by booting from a Flash drive (there is no CD/DVD drive or floppy drive on the PC).

I've not tried the Acronis program yet but it looks promising, is it easy to make the external drive bootable?
 

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OK, I understand now... Click here to go to a web page with instructions and a file to download that will let you create an Acronis bootable flash drive. You will still need to purchase and install Acronis True image before you can do this. With a backup image that small, you will be able to store it on a flash drive. If you do so, I suggest you create 2 identical flash drives for redundancy.

The web site also gives instructions on making a USB external hard drive Acronis bootable.

Raybro
 
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