How can I backup several notebooks to an external drive?

I want to backup, image or copy 8-10 notebooks on a regular basis.  My plan is use an external hard disk to store images of notebooks.   I am thinking about using BootItNG for the imaging.  Speed is an issue, since the notebooks are in constant use.  Any useful tools or better ideas out there?  Thanks.
Who is Participating?
Gary CaseConnect With a Mentor RetiredCommented:
BootIt is a great tool for imaging; and as I'm sure you know it does it from its own environment -- not trying to do any "Live" imaging as many of the other tools do (which is IMHO a BAD idea).

If you've purchased licenses for Boot-It for all of the laptops and installed it on them, you can set up an Image Set on each laptop, and make an "Image Now!" icon that will (a)  reboot to BootIt;  (b)  create the image;  and (c)  reboot to XP (or whatever OS is on them).  

So the only downtime would be the actual imaging time -- your process would be (a) connect the external hard drive; and (b) double-click the "Image Now!" icon.

Although I'm not a big fan of "Live" imaging (as I noted above),  Terabyte DOES make a live imaging program (Image for Windows).   You COULD install it on the laptops and use it in conjunction with the PhyLock utility (a free download) to do the imaging from within Windows.   This would let you (a) connect the external drive; and (b) run the imaging program -- and the laptop COULD be used while the imaging was in process.   I do not like doing this, but it would be less disruptive to the users, since the notebooks are "in constant use."

I found that Norton Ghost works realy well; I can image a 40GB machine in about 4mins.
SydDAuthor Commented:
Thanks for the comments, especially to garycase.  You completely answered my question and issues.  I appreciate  the concise explanation and the steps involved.   I have happy but limited experience with BootItNG, I've also been successful with PartitionMagic, Ghost and CMSProducts, but I keep returning to BootItNG.  Here goes...first notebook today.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
You're most welcome.  I've used Ghost, Drive Image, TrueImage, etc. => but none are as focused on the job as Boot-It.   The interface is a bit "geeky" -- but it's a great little tool.   If you're doing it from a floppy or CD boot (i.e. not installing it on the laptops) I'm sure you know how to use it well.   If you are installing it and need any help setting up a "Boot Now" shortcut, just let me know and I'll be glad to help.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.