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I want the best software to clone/backup a hard drive

I'm experimenting with new software on a test laptop.  The software makes entries to the registry so what I want to do is test the software, then completely return the laptop to the state it was in before I tested.  I tried Acronis Workstation 9.1 and Home 11.0 and they aren't doing what I thought they would.  For example I did a complete backup image, then installed the software, restored the image and the software I installed was still there.  So I used the System Restore Wizard and took it back to the earlier state.  However that takes a very long time.
What do you recommend?

Thanks,,J.R.
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J.R. Sitman
Asked:
J.R. Sitman
1 Solution
 
redcelltechCommented:
You have to tell Acronis to do an overwrite. Otherwise it will try and replace only what if feels in missing or diff. I dont use the workstation or Home products. A quick search should get you there.
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J.R. SitmanIT DirectorAuthor Commented:
I also have Acronis Server.  Will that do a laptop?
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PUNKYCommented:
You should create the recovery partition using Manage Acronis Security Zone, then create image of current system state on it. Then, create the bootable rescue media CD. After testing, using that CD to boot system and run recovery wizard.
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J.R. SitmanIT DirectorAuthor Commented:
Thanks, that helps.  Should the recovery partition be on the local HD or and external USB drive?
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PUNKYCommented:
You can either create recovery to media such as DVD or within hard drive. Within hard drive has disadvantage if the drive is down, then all gone. From DVD or external drive is better but you might face trouble such as usb connection, media is dirty surface, etc. The best course is to test image after done always.
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veedarCommented:
You might want to take a look at Driveimage XML.
It's a very popular free imaging solution...

http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm
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J.R. SitmanIT DirectorAuthor Commented:
I'm going to try Acronis again following the steps Punky outlined
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J.R. SitmanIT DirectorAuthor Commented:
I did everything as instructed to make the image on the Security zone.  Everything went fine.  I installed a new program and then booted from the CD and selected Workstation Full as my choice for the restore.  After the restore was complete, the program I installed was still there.  What could I be doing wrong?
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PUNKYCommented:
I dont know what is wrong! But I think if you make recovery partition in same drive, you must either turn off Acronis features such as auto-start backup archive (full or incremental or differential), or use DOS floppy (Fdisk) to set that partition inactive. I might incorrect though, I always creating image to DVD or external drive.
Possible causes (I guess):
During wizard, what did you choose:
- Disks or Partitions
- System State
Also did you check the option: Create an image using sector by sector ..."


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J.R. SitmanIT DirectorAuthor Commented:
The version of Workstation I had, had a bug.  Acronis sent me an ISO that worked.

Thanks
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