Creating an image of HD before upgradind O/S

I will be upgrading WIN95-B to WIN98-SE on one computer and WIN98-I to WIN98-SE on another computer.
 As I safety measure, I thought it might be a good idea to take an image of the C: drive before starting the upgrade so I could restore everything if the upgrade worked out badly.
 Powerquest's "Drive Image" is supposed to be good for that, but not cheap at $50.
Does anyone have a proven recommendation for shareware or freeware that would do the same thing?
cma1Asked:
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eldredCommented:
I use the data lifeguard tool avail from Western digital to copy the drive to another drive.  This is not an image but, a complete copy of the partition.

http://www.westerndigital.com/service/ftp/drives.html#dlgtools

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cma1Author Commented:
I'm not sure, but if the updgrade went badly, what recourse would you have with the complete copy of the partition?
 It seems no difference than a copy to another media, e.g. to a Syquest drive.
 But I have heard that, for some reason, an image of the partition is the best way to restore an upgrade gone bad.
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eldredCommented:
The difference is the copy made duplicating the partition is EXACTLY the same as the original drive, you can simply hook it up as the master drive and it will boot up and run just like your current drive.  Simply copying files to a sysquest or zip does not copy the boot record, system files or all hidden files.
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cma1Author Commented:
That sounds like the definition of an image file. I downloaded the Data LifeGuard Tool. It looked like it was for Western Digital HDs only.
 Also there was no partition copying Tool listed among the various files.
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MrbreezeCommented:
cma1, I must not understand the question. It sounded like you wanted to UPDATE the computers. That would mean replacing the existing OS with the new one. The comments seem to suggest there is additional HDD's. Making an image of the existing partition is only going to help if you create multiple partitions , one for each OS. If you only want to update,ie replace the OS that currently is on the drive, backing up irretreivable data and making a clean install is the best course. If you want to go back to the old OS, reinstall it. If you want to try the new OS before deleting the old, split partitions is the course. Hope that helps or maybe I just missed the whole point..lol..        Mrbreeze
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cma1Author Commented:
I don't understand your answer at all.
Look at my first sentence in my question, showing that I am upgrading the operating system. I definitely don't want to make a clean install, as that is much too risky, since I won't be able to find and install all the peripherals and programs I have there.
  That is the very worst solution and one which would stop me from upgrading altogether.
 I want to take an image of the drive (there is only 1 partition=drive) so that if the upgrade doesn't work out I can restore everything as it was.
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dew_associatesCommented:
CMA, finances may be tight, but Drive Image is worth every penny if for no other reason than time. Also, think about this. Once you have imaged your present setup and you start a build-up of the new install, you can image in steps as you move along. If something goes wrong, you can go back one step and make corrections. After Win98 is setup and all the updates applied, you can create an image of that as a basic setup. From then on, if you want to get rid of a thrid party software install, all you need to do is apply the base image.

Equally important, you can image the drive each time you make a major software change. DI will save you the $50 in time alone on the first PC.
Dennis
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cma1Author Commented:
Thanks, Dennis, I think I will go with DI, since no one else can come up with a cheaper alternative.
I did not understand one implication of your comment: "After WIN98(SE) is set up and all the updates applied.."
 I hope that the WIN98SE setup.exe file does that all for me. Because the whole idea of an upgrade as opposed to a fresh install, is that I won't have to reinstall all my peripherals and software.
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dew_associatesCommented:
I was referring to a freshly installed OS. When you do the upgrade, make sure you use your Ctrl, Alt and Del keys and end task for all running programs except for systray and explorer. Make certain that no anti-virus is running.
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smeebudCommented:
A repete

Just for reference.
The other day I went thru the steps to Extract user.exe for a
questioner so I could write them down as I went.

I by mistake used my Pre-98 SE Cab file instead of the 98 Cab files.

When I re-booted i could not get into windows no matter what I
tried.

I had to Powerquest my systems image restore.

Regards,
Bud
http://www.geocities.com/~budallen/ 
Bud's Win95 Win98 Tips and Troubleshooter
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cma1Author Commented:
Bud, thanks for the warming. That certainly is a word to the wise, and a reason to use Drive Image.
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MrbreezeCommented:
Windows 98 will back up all the original settings during the upgrade and save them so that if you choose you can uninstall it from add/remove and it will restore everything just as it was before the upgrade.
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MrbreezeCommented:
One other comment. The 19.95 upgrade CD will not upgrade Win95. It will only upgrade a version of Win98. To upgrade Win95 you must have a full version. So you would have to upgrade Win95 with Win98 and then upgrade Win98 with Win98SE. This is only if you use the 19.95 CD.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Mrbreeze, I really don't know what all of these comments are for given that CMA1 already plans on doing the upgrade (see his original comments).
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MrbreezeCommented:
Yeah your right sorry
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cma1Author Commented:
I am confused by Mbreeze's comments. I have already ordered WIN98-SE retail version from Buy.com (the cheapest $78). It is supposed to work with either WIN95 or WIN98--I. I hope it does.
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dew_associatesCommented:
If it's the retail upgrade version CMA, you're all set. This is why I posted a comment to what Mrbreeze had posted as it led to confusion.
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cma1Author Commented:
Thanks, Dennis, for clearing that up.
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dew_associatesCommented:
Not a problem guy!
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