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Disk Partition Image Solution

Posted on 2011-03-13
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
hello,

I want a solution to make an image to all my "C:\" drive including, files and everything that has this partition and then to install it in another computer.

What's the best solution.

Thank you
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Question by:david875
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CompProbSolv earned 46 total points
ID: 35124621
I frequently use Norton Ghost (2003 version) to do the imaging.  If the hardware is not the same, you may have trouble with getting the OS to run on the second computer.

Others have suggested free programs that are said to do a fine job, also.

There are also licensing issues to consider.

I have also had success by just copying the files between the drives.  For this you need to set up a system with three hard drives: a working copy of Windows, the drive you want to image, and the drive you want to copy to.
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by:RobertNZana
RobertNZana earned 46 total points
ID: 35124638
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by:david875
ID: 35124647
@CompProbSolv: I want to copy the C: partition with its OS (Win XP) and install it in another computer in its C:\ partition, can I do this with Norton Ghost?
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Author Comment

by:david875
ID: 35124676
Because if i have 200 PCs to format and install the system how much time will I need to spend on each Computer? A lot of time, so disk imaging is a good idea and i need a good solution for that, that's why i asked you this.
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by:Aaron Tomosky
Aaron Tomosky earned 46 total points
ID: 35124677
Ghost only works with very similar hardware. You may get lucky as I have with laptops even from different manufacturers as they all use intel chipsets.
The only other option I know o is Acronis with universal restore. It can restore to anything
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by:CompProbSolv
ID: 35124688
Yes you can do that, but if the hardware is different (the chipset being the big issue), it may not boot on the other computer.  There are ways around that, though.
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by:Eirman
Eirman earned 46 total points
ID: 35124696
> I want to copy the C: partition with its OS (Win XP) and install it in another computer in its C:\ partition

This will most likely cause a windows update problem if there is a significant difference in the hardware configuration between the two computers. Your license only allows one computer per xp license. If you are just transferring the OS you will have to reactivate windows on the new machine ( this is only possible with the retail version - NOT the oem version)

Try xclone (free from xclone.com). It's really good .... make sure that you use the extra built-in utilities to clone the hard disk serial and to make the new disk bootable.
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by:RobertNZana
ID: 35124697
See the link I provided for Acronis.
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by:PowerEdgeTech
PowerEdgeTech earned 46 total points
ID: 35124756
If the target PC's are the same manufacturer as the source, and all have OEM XP licenses, then you won't really have to worry about the Product Key, as they would all be activated using a generic OEM self/auto-activating key anyway.  Should re-activation be necessary, you can reactivate using the existing XP license/product key on the computer in question.

Also, cloning is intended to put the image back on the same system.  To correctly clone/image one PC, then deploy/install it on many others, you should be sysprepping the image to remove all system-specific information (SID, Product Key, etc.).

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb490244.aspx
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35124759
As for possible hardware/driver issues ... what make/model of PC is your source, and what make/model is/are your target(s)?
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Author Comment

by:david875
ID: 35124782
Ok just for test for the moment, the model source is Acer Aspire 3690 and Target is an HP Core i3, what do you think?
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by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35124844
If you are building an image on the Aspire that you want to put onto a new HP Core i3, you will have to do extensive modification to your image to account for the different hardware, different product keys, etc.  For example, the 3690 has a Broadcom network card, and many HP's use Realtek.  

If you want a custom image that you don't have to install everything from scratch with on each computer, your best bet is to install on one of your new HP's, then clone it.  If you have some time before receiving the systems, then look into WAIK and MDT to properly configure your image for that type of deployment.  I'm not even sure if you are allowed to prepare these types of deployment based on OEM media ... you may need Volume License media/agreement with Microsoft.
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Assisted Solution

by:Reece Dodds
Reece Dodds earned 45 total points
ID: 35124857
Acronis and Symantec both have a "restore anywhere" tool for imaging to dissimilar hardware.
I think the acronis one is free.
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by:kasommer
kasommer earned 45 total points
ID: 35124970
Acronis has been hands down the best solution for me.  I built and imaged over 160 laptops using that product
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by:david875
ID: 35125187
Guys, i just bought Norton Ghost 14 licence, i'll try it out to see, any advice or recommandation?
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Author Comment

by:david875
ID: 35125195
i have the idea to test the image of my C:\ on a vmware image... any idea
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 90 total points
ID: 35126735
Hello David,
have a look on this article: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Backup_Restore/A_2569-Migration-to-dissimilar-hardware-How-to-migrate-to-new-hardware-without-OS-reinstallation.html

As for virtualization: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/go-virtual/features.html
Download this free GoVirtual tool by Paragon and run P2V Copy. This will create ready to run virtual machine for virtual Box or Vmware.
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by:RobertNZana
ID: 35127373
Clonezilla is an open source way to clone many hard drives. http://clonezilla.org/

Testing your image using vmware is a good idea. That way you can make sure it works before your image is used.
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by:djpazza
djpazza earned 45 total points
ID: 35127483
Easeus have a free disk copy and backup solution

http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/free-backup-software.htm

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by:kasommer
ID: 35127959
Because if i have 200 PCs to format and install the system how much time will I need to spend on each Computer? A lot of time, so disk imaging is a good idea and i need a good solution for that, that's why i asked you this.

Vmware is good for checking your imaging solution - however since it is "different" hardware than you have deployed you will still have the same problems.

I'm assuming you have 200 identical machines?    Are they going on the same network?  If you're dealing with that many machines and if they are identical, you need to build up your gold machine, then sysprep it.  You can build a sysprep script that includes the OEM license key and use that to restore to all your machines even over a network share.

if they are identical you don't have to worry about Universal restore.  Also if they are identical you can use the free imaging software - much of it runs over a network and makes life so much simpler.

the real trick is to make a backup iage of hte machine before you first run Windows.  Boot from an imagin CD first thing and make an image of hte fresh from the factory setup.  That way you can a) retrieve their copy of sysprep.inf  and b0 always go back to square one after you make your first few mistakes.

Miscrosoft has some article on how you can script a startup to set certain parameters.  I don't have a the links right now.  if you stat seraching MS for sysprep you will get that info and that will lead you to other relevant articles



Then use Acronis true Image - not the home version.
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Expert Comment

by:SelfGovern
ID: 35129181
Are these HP business class or consumer class?  I'll bet HP has a way to do automated installation for their business machines.    Let me know, and I'll do a bit of research.
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Author Comment

by:david875
ID: 35149774
Hello again, i just tried Norton Ghost, i waited and waited and waited ... alot of time still in 99% this fucking software is too slow and i hated that. i bought it for nothing as i can see... anyone have made a seccessfull image disk of partition C:\ with Norton Ghost 14 ?

djpazza: Easeus is good but it didnt work for me and i'll tell you why. When I click on Clone Disk (Migate al data including Operating system ...) => Next ==> i got the whole disk of 80 Gb to clone, knowing that i have C:\ & D:\ 2 partitions on this Disk. my cocern is to clone only C:\ so when i get the new laptop i can get my C:\ on another hard drive.

Help please

Norton Ghost 14 is too slow
Easeus  : doesn't do the exact job
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Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 90 total points
ID: 35150552
Did you tried the tools suggested by me? One is free and another one is trial. Get a trial copy of Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Home and make backup of your machine.
www.drive-backup.com
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by:Tony_the_PC-Tuner
Tony_the_PC-Tuner earned 45 total points
ID: 35150576
Acronis makes a good disk clone, and it is faster in my experience than Norton.
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by:CompProbSolv
ID: 35150698
I have used Norton Ghost 2003 many times on XP without problems (as long as the HD is readable).  I especially like that it can easily be run from a bootable floppy or CD.  I'm not as well versed with newer versions.
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Author Comment

by:david875
ID: 35150809
@CompProbSolv: so i have to try Norton Ghost 2003 Bootable from CD, to which format the file will be saved in?.

@noxcho: i'll give it a shot.

@Tony_the_PC-Tuner: never tried Acronis but i'll see if i can get it.
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Author Comment

by:david875
ID: 35150834
@CompProbSolv: where to download norton ghost 2003, do you have a link?
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by:CompProbSolv
ID: 35151118
When you install Ghost 2003, there is a file named Ghost.exe that can be run from DOS and will clone or back up disks.

You can clone between two disks attached to the computer or you can make an image of a disk to a format that I presume is proprietary to Ghost.  Those images can be restored through the use of Ghost.

I don't know how one obtains Ghost 2003 anymore.  It was something that had to be purchased.  I have tried newer versions of Ghost that don't seem to be aimed at quite the same approach.
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Author Comment

by:david875
ID: 35151162
Exactly, i thought Ghost 14 will be good so i purchased it and it was a lost of money, anyway, i want to ask you 1 thing, can i save the image in a folder? because if i have 1 external hard drive, ghost will destroy any information on that external HD, right? any solution? or an empty drive is a must?
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 35151170
With EASEUS ... if you want it to work, do the Partition Copy instead of Disk Copy.  This will only clone your C: partition, and when you clone that back to a new drive, you simply have to run a Repair with the Windows DVD to restore the boot files.  
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Author Closing Comment

by:david875
ID: 35202434
thank you all
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