Hard Drive Backup and Restore

  Legslip 13:43 18 Jul 2013

Do to the increasing amount of unwanted software being loaded on to my friends PCs, I appear to be more regularly cleaning them by reformatting and loading Windows. Is there a way of taking a disk image of their PCs when I jhave completed the process such as loading all the Windows updates, drivers and their software so that if I reformat in the future, I can just do a complete image copy?

I am aware of True Image but if I purchase, will it let me do this on multiple PCs? Or is there other software, perhaps freeware that will let me accomplish this?

  Nontek 13:51 18 Jul 2013

Paragon Free

This should do it.

  bumpkin 16:12 18 Jul 2013

XXclone is another, sorry no link.

  Legslip 19:12 18 Jul 2013

Thanks people.

True image is going cheap at the moment. Is it no better than those suggested and can you use it with multiple PCs?

  Nontek 19:33 18 Jul 2013

I prefer Acronis, use it myself, but Paragon will do Multiple PCs whereas Acronis will not, at least not without Payment.

  hastelloy 20:02 18 Jul 2013

A free version of Acronis can be downloaded by anyone who has a Seagate or Western Digital HDD.



  bumpkin 20:10 18 Jul 2013

Acronis True Image if you don't mind paying for it. I use it on 3 PCs, my choice of the 3 and not that expensive.

  Legslip 22:47 18 Jul 2013

Thanks Bumpkin.

I see Acronis is only licences for three pc,s so I am going to try Paragon.

Next question is if in future the PC's get full up with crapware again and slow down, is it best to reformat and reinstall Windows then install the backup, OR does just installing the backup without a reformat/ Windows reinstall get rid of all the rubbish?

  Nontek 09:42 19 Jul 2013

Restoring a backup will return the PC to the exact state it was in when the backup was created.

  Nontek 09:45 19 Jul 2013

Remember, that restoring a backup will 'lose' any programs installed in-between now, and the when backup was created.

So any new programs would have to be re-installed.

  Batch 10:08 19 Jul 2013

Having recently looked around and tried various options out I found Macrium Reflect Free to be (IMHO) the best free disk image software. Uncomplicated, clean easy user interface, fast etc. etc. Focused on disk imaging without all the other paraphernalia that others (like Acronis) now have. Supports mounting of image (including from the bootable DVD) so that one can look around / copy individual files.

I found the Paragon interface (particularly from the bootable CD/DVD I created) to be very poorly designed.

The free versions of Acronis with Seagate / WD have restrictive functionality. Latest versions of Acronis have received a lot of user complaints.

Standard Acronis is not free (but maybe cheap).

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