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Creating full machine backups

Posted on 2011-03-25
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I am trying to come up with an easy and effective solution to backup machines before they are rebuilt. From time to time we are required to blow away machines and rebuild them with sometimes data loss is an issue. (user error - the forget to backup a folder).

Currently when We do backups we use ghost and another sata  drive to ghost their current drive to, then data copied back after the machine rebuilt.

This process works well but I end up with several hdds that can't be overwritten for a week or 2 etc.

I'm hoping to use some kind of network nas solution - cost effective and in conjunction with some software I can achieve a similar result but the ability to have it stored on a network and the option to either bare metal restore or just select folders required to restore back.

Surely there must be some solution that exists out there for this kind of work?

Any suggestions would be appreciated
Thanks!

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Question by:Jamesm007
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Expert Comment

by:TTauri
ID: 35214383
Clonezilla is a free program that boots from CD and lets you image your entire hard drive either to another hard drive (as you do now) or to a file - either on a locally connected USB hard drive or to any windows file share over the network.

To restore an image you just boot from the CD again, choose to restore and browse to the file on the network.

http://clonezilla.org/
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Expert Comment

by:TTauri
ID: 35214402
Forgot to mention - Clonezilla also supports compression so if you have a 500GB HDD with only 100GB of data the Clonezilla image will be less than 100GB (depending on the compression possible).

We use this for clean desktop installs - setup windows, install a few apps and all updates then create a clone file.  Any time one of that hardware model needs a reinstall we just restore the image and change any licence keys - takes a lot less time than going through the install from scratch.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Darrell_Milam earned 2000 total points
ID: 35214559
you should be able to use ghost also to do this.
1. create a ghost boot disk that connects to a network share and maps it to a drive
2. ghost machine to an image file on share
3. use image explorer to pull files from image to new computer.

hope this helps
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jamesm007
ID: 35410678
i havent had much to do with image explorer before but now I do. Cheers. works well.
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