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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone please tell me an EASY way to copy my hard drive to a bootable CD? I think the HDD I have now is dying, and I would like to have a hard drive I can just pop in which has all the information I have now. I have heard horror stories about Norton Ghost, so I'm hesitant there. I also bought a product called Drivecopy...BEFORE I learned that it is not compatible with XP Pro. Ghost and Drivecopy are both PowerQuest products. Hmmm. I have been told that if you simply copy one drive to another it will not be bootable because of some hidden/missing files that Windows uses. I have also heard that most products which are SUPPOSED to do what I want will only work on drives the exact same size and will duplicate my smaller partition if I go to a larger drive. There MUST be an easy way, but I'm stumped.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Ghost is manufactured by Symantec and DiskCopy was PowerQuest, but Symantec purchsed PowerQuest a few years ago. PowerQuest use to make DriveImage, which was good. But I have been using Ghost for years and it is now reliable and I recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I might give it a try, but I have read soooooo many bad reviews about it...like crashes, etc. And, like I said, it apparently autopartitions my destination hard drive so any extra space is on the new, larger is unusable.
 

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Ghost used to be real pain for cd restore. I would suggest Acronis True Image and burn image file to cd's...if nothing else you could restore from image file your files and data and then clean install XP to new drive and install programs.
 

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Ghost 2003 is my choice for imaging a hard disk or a partition. It will boot and restore a partition from scratch to a new-out-of-the-box, unprepared drive in a single stroke. It has a Windows GUI interface and a DOS mode interface. When run from Windows, the CD/DVD is automatically made bootable, making later restores from bootable CD/DVD a snap.

Imaging can also be done in DOS mode from the Ghost 2003 CD, which is also bootable.

When a hard disk goes kaput, it's just too much trouble using Windows-based utilities to restore a disk. Ghost 2003 does it in one fell swoop and for that reason, I consider it superior to later versions.

Later versions will not do all these things.

Only twenty bucks http://www.viosoftware.com/Ghost/

I've used Acronis only once and while it is a good program, I didn't see any reason to leave Ghost.
 

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Alex,
Best reason to leave Ghost is that version has those stupid codes you have to remember as I remember, the switches often don't stay from application to application and at times you have to go in and reintiate for second image file as size has limits. None of that is true with Acronis and it is nice to continue working on pc while creating backup...I have never tried restore while working in Windows though.
New versions are so much quicker as well and the rescue disks working as cd's also save a lot of time over floppies + there are so many more drives seen today as drivers have changed and up[dated in so many cases. I don't remember if Ghost 2003 worked with 1394, though I do remember it owrked with some usb drives.
My biggest problem with Ghost in this thread was I never successfully restored from ad's made in Ghost 2003 whereas with Drive Image I could.
 

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Alex Ethridge said:
Take one of the Windows backups and see if you can restore it to a blank out-of-the-box hard disk.

Betcha' can't. Betcha' can't. Betcha' can't.
OK but you didn't say using what..I do it with Acronis all the time. In fact Any version other than Home Acronis, from 9.0 forward has a "universal restore" function that alllows you to add hard drive from another system to any pc as it makes the hardware changes itself in a separate function to allow that. If it doesn't work for you, you are probably failing to copy the mbr as well, which has also been a feature since 9.0 came out.
 

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If the drive you have now is dying, get your data off it first before trying to make any images of it. That's an intensive operation that could easily push it over the edge taking all your data with it.

Depending on how much disk space is currently used, you're likely looking to use a whole bunch of CDs to make an image. You mentioned "a" CD in your post, but you can't fit a multiple GB hard drive image onto one CD. I've not used any imaging software in a while, so I'm not sure if any of the apps are compatible with DVDs, but you'd definitely want to go that route rather than CDs if possible to reduce the number of disks.

If you've got a really big hard drive, you should probably consider just getting an external drive to image to. Although you should still have another copy of your data as well on CDs or DVDs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
DoubleHelix said:
If the drive you have now is dying, get your data off it first before trying to make any images of it. That's an intensive operation that could easily push it over the edge taking all your data with it.

Depending on how much disk space is currently used, you're likely looking to use a whole bunch of CDs to make an image. You mentioned "a" CD in your post, but you can't fit a multiple GB hard drive image onto one CD. I've not used any imaging software in a while, so I'm not sure if any of the apps are compatible with DVDs, but you'd definitely want to go that route rather than CDs if possible to reduce the number of disks.

If you've got a really big hard drive, you should probably consider just getting an external drive to image to. Although you should still have another copy of your data as well on CDs or DVDs.
Well, I've tried all the "Homemade" but nevertheless appreciated ways to do this without spending any money, which I don't have much of, so I guess I will have to get Ghost or TrueImage and hope it works.

Why can't anything be easy anymore?

Thanks very much for your input and suggestions guys.
 

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Rich,

I need to be clear on this. This is not a challenge; it's just a want-to-know thing.

You can take a CD/DVD made entirely in Windows by Acronis as an image of your syatem drive (the active OS partition), you can put the CD or DVD into the CD/DVD drive, remove the hard disk from the computer, replace it with a new out-of-the box hard disk, turn on the computer, the CD/DVD boots the system to a DOS mode, restores the image taken from the previous disk and restores it to the new out-of-the-box disk which in now the only hard disk in the system and when it is finished, you can remove the CD/DVD and reboot and Windows then runs from the new disk just as it did from the old.

Is all of that correct?
 

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Alex Ethridge said:
Rich,

I need to be clear on this. This is not a challenge; it's just a want-to-know thing.

You can take a CD/DVD made entirely in Windows by Acronis as an image of your syatem drive (the active OS partition), you can put the CD or DVD into the CD/DVD drive, remove the hard disk from the computer, replace it with a new out-of-the box hard disk, turn on the computer, the CD/DVD boots the system to a DOS mode, restores the image taken from the previous disk and restores it to the new out-of-the-box disk which in now the only hard disk in the system and when it is finished, you can remove the CD/DVD and reboot and Windows then runs from the new disk just as it did from the old.

Is all of that correct?
Yes everything you said is correct except one thing...not a dos window, Acronis uses a Linux window.
 

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Thanks, it's nice to know in the event Ghost ever fails me. I'm sure what you say it all true; but, I have been failed by imaging programs that run entirely in Windows and the inconvenience and time to recover was memorable so for now, I'll stick with Ghost 2003.

I just don't understand how Acronis copies open files and, therefore, don't fully trust it.

There's something about imaging a disk while the OS is "asleep" that I'm comfortable with.
 

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Alex Ethridge said:
I just don't understand how Acronis copies open files and, therefore, don't fully trust it.
You can boot the True Image recovery CD and do the complete backup, just like GHOST. True Image from the CD also recognizes USB disks, network shares, etc.

If you read How Volume Shadow Copy Service Works, you'll see how Acronis True Image backups up a running system, including any open fines.
 
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