How to make a restore DVD

I've read other threads, nothing interesting showed up. Everything points to Acronis True Image or Symantec/Norton Ghost.
I want to create an image of a hard drive, compress is (perhaps), and throw is on a bootable DVD (emphasis on DVD). At this point just have a couple of confirmations before your hdd gets blown off and away we go.
The reason I don't want to use commercial products is because I want to offer some of my clients restore DVDs. It would get too costly to use those products.
I woud like it to be as easy as e.g. a Dell or HP restore CD/DVD.

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TolomirConnect With a Mentor AdministratorCommented:
Hmmm this one fits better:

Trinity Rescue Kit 3.1 or TRK 3.1 is a 100% free CD bootable Linux distribution aimed specifically at offline operations for Windows and Linux systems such as rescue, repair, password resets and cloning, with the ability to update itself . It has custom tools to easily recover data such as deleted files, clone Windows installations over the network, perform antivirus sweeps with 2 different antivirus products, reset windows passwords, read AND write on NTFS partitions, edit partition layout and much much more.
Trinity Rescue Kit 3.1 is the evolved version of 3.0 and a complete rewrite of version 1.1 and the unfinished 2.0. It ‘s mostly based on Mandrake 10.2 (Mandriva 2005) binaries and heavily adapted startup scripts.
Although it requires a bit more startup time than version 1.1, it still is a fast booter(39 seconds compared to 31 in TRK 1.1 on a Compaq Evo D51s, 2.4Ghz) , recognizing even more hardware than ever.
It now also has a feature for automatic proxy detection and custom startup environment adaptations. An administrator can configure his LAN (using DHCP and a webserver) so TRK3 can taken advantage of that, making it even more powerful.
Apart from that, you can have any computer run a specific script from a local folder (f.i. to run maintenance and backups in batch)
Where Trinity Rescue Kit 1.1 is looking at around 120.000 downloads so far (and who knows how many CDRs got burned), TRK 3.1 claims to be the most complete, fast to use toolkit when it comes to performing offline rescueing on both Windows and Linux.

So maybe a mix of ntfsclone + the rescue kit can be the solution.

Erik BjersPrincipal Systems AdministratorCommented:
I know Dell uses Ghost, and I'm sure HP does as well.

You can contact Symantec and get a corperate license for Ghost, this will cut your costs in creating and providing the restore DVDs

Marc ZCommented:
You could look at BootitNG also. not free, but interesting reading.
Acronis trueimage 9 will allow such behaviour.

You can burn a snapshot of the harddisk directly to DVD and add a special acronis  bootloader.

This way all you need is the backup DVD.

Please take a look at:

Acronis True Image OEM for PC vendors, the complete disk imaging, backup and disaster recovery solution, is specially designed to meet a PC manufacturer' needs.

The product creates a compressed image of the original system and stores it on a hidden hard drive partition.

Additionally, Acronis True Image installs the proprietary boot manager that allows the launching of the system recovery routine in case any malfunctions occur. Pressing F11 at boot up creates the complete restoration of an image without using the computer's operating system.

The OEM setup includes an option to create a bootable emergency CD with the original system image. This image can be used in the event of a physical hard drive crash. (seemy to be outdated, cause direct DVD support was recently added)

New! DVD Burning — Save backups directly to DVDs without using 3rd party DVD burning software. (Acronis True Image 9.0 Home)

The clients machines are they are all the same?

here is a step by guide create a restore disc using Norton  Ghost
Required tools & setup
The screenshots from this tutorial are from a Windows XP machine. The software used is Nero 6 Ultra Edition. If you are using a different Windows operating system or burning program the instructions will differ slightly, but the process is still the same.
How to Create a Bootable Restore DVD for Use with ImageAll (IDE/SATA-Based DVD Drives Only)
This article will explain how to create a bootable DVD (or CD) disc that uses ImageAll to restore an entire hard drive.  Please note that these instructions only fully apply to DVD drives that use either the IDE or SATA interface.

Here is a list of the hardware and software you will need to complete this procedure:
Image for DOS
IMGFLPYD (Not needed in all cases; please refer to the instructions below)
RAM drive software
DVD-burning software that supports the creation of bootable DVD discs
IDE/SATA-based DVD burner drive
Floppy diskette drive
Acronis True Image 8.0 Review
RE: Disk Imaging software versus Regular File Backup
Rating: 5/5

Regular file backup programs such as Genie Backup Manager are fantastic for backing up personal files such as downloads, documents, emails, pictures, bookmarks, and the like. And as we learned previously, Regular file backup is also a great way to archive files onto a more permanent location (such as CD-Recordable) in order to save space on the hard drive.

Bear in mind that you cannot use the same image for every PC as Windows XP requires that the hardware to which it is registered remains the same (ish) - It will allow slight changes of hardware with time...but this restricts the amount of 'imaging' that you can do from a mass production process.
As said: Acronis True Image OEM for PC is the solution, they will change you about $25 for each pc, should be possible.

At least you are getting a full backup solution, something everyone needs today.

gigelkentAuthor Commented:
The images won't have to be done for mulitple PCs since I mont a system vendor. Even so, it can be done if you sysprep XP.
The images will be for clients that I've done work for and installed a fresh load. E.g. someone brings in a system, i blow everything off, install os, install updated drivers, install updated apps, configure/tweak etc, THEN take snapshot, and turn it into a bootable dvd.

Again, I don't want to use any commercial product and I've looked at the ones you guys are bringing up. Acronis Ture Image OEM seems the best deal, but still ... I know there's gotta be some linux/opensource imaging program. Anyways, I appreciate it guys. Let me know ...
Alright, this is what I've found:

The ntfsclone utility efficiently copies, backups and restores an NTFS filesystem to/from a file, partition or standard output. It is part of the ntfsprogs suite, its full description along with some usage examples can be found in the ntfsclone manual.

This way you can even burn the (splitted) image on DVD. But the complete support regarding recovery is missing.


has a bunch of free duplication software.
Hi Gigelkent,

I think this is what you are looking for, 

Automatic file backup and recovery for Windows XP and Windows 2000

>Easily backup files or folders anywhere on your computer, network, CD-RW/DVD or FTP server
>Protect yourself against ever losing those critical files that took hours to create
>Quickly recover your data in the event of data loss
>Schedule backups to run automatically at a time that suits you
>Synchronized backup feature - save a file and it gets copied instantly
>Send E-mail notifications to team members about the status of a backup job
>Save Disk space by compressing your backups as ZIP files
>Configure in minutes with our intuitive interface

Yes, it IS Free !!


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