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Simple solution for disk imaging/cloning of multiple operating systems

Posted on 2010-11-11
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
I am looking for a product (preferably free/open source) that I can boot a machine from and create a disk image to a network drive.  I have multiple operating systems so it should would with Windows XP, Vista, 7 and Linux.  

I do not want to clone one OS to multiple machines.  I want to make an image of the current system for disaster recovery.

I would like to hear what everyone has in mind.

Thanks.
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Question by:savone
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Expert Comment

by:nebb-tgr
ID: 34114746
It's not free, but you could try Acronis True Image.

I have done lots of backups and recoveries and never had any problems. You can do recoveries over the network and from boot-cd. You can recover from USB-drives and over the network.
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by:DigitalTechy
ID: 34114761
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by:savone
ID: 34114818
@nebb-tgr - Can I use Acronis with linux?  Again, I want to be able to boot from a CD and then image the system drive and send it to a network device.

@DigitalTechy - Thanks but I want some personal experiences, etc...  Have you used any of these?

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nebb-tgr earned 500 total points
ID: 34114869
I think you can use Acronis with linux too. My experience however is limited to windows only.

Acronis will be able to stream the image directly to a network drive. You can also monitor and control the backup over the network using a management tool. You can set up scheduled backups of several computers at the same time.
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by:savone
ID: 34114947
@nebb-tgr:

I noticed there are several version of Acronis, which are we talking about here?
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Expert Comment

by:nebb-tgr
ID: 34114951
It says on their website that they also have products for Linux.

I might have missed you question a bit. But you can also boot from the bootable CD and make a backup to a network path.

The bootable CD is some kind of linux distro that enables networking and the other needed drivers so that you can make a backup to a network path, removable media or hard-drive.
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Expert Comment

by:nebb-tgr
ID: 34114974
We use "Backup and Recovery" on our systems.
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Author Comment

by:savone
ID: 34115102
OK, so one more question... If I splurge and but the business version.

Can I manage them all from my one machine?  I have 14 computers around the office and it would be awesome if I do not have to go to each one (as I have been doing).  Can I kick off a full disk backup/clone from my server?
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Expert Comment

by:nebb-tgr
ID: 34115146
First of all, I wouldn't recommend buying the full version right away. You should try to get a evaluation version and try it with the different operating systems to make sure of compatibility. Since you are looking for backup, you know how important it is to test the system before buying it.

With Acronis you can manage all backups from one machine. You have to do a full backup the first time, after that you can do incremental backups(less time and bandwidth consuming). You can also schedule the backups so that they happen at a specific time. The only thing that I would be very careful with is using the machines while the backuptask is being performed.

As I said earlier, test the software before you buy it. It would be very sad to discover that you can't use the product after you have spent that kind of money on it.
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Expert Comment

by:noxcho
ID: 34118494
You can do it with Boot CD for Paragon Drive Backup 10 www.drive-backup.com
And if you get a tech license then you can use it on as many machines as you want.
But what you say is hard to do as you want simple, cheap but functional tool.
You will need either to go to each machine and do the backup manually or run backup tool from Windows (linux should be imaged from boot CD in any case).
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Expert Comment

by:borgunit
ID: 34380430
I will just throw this on the pile, but Clonezilla (while not a fancy GUI) is quite a nice "cloner". Free also.
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