Good file copy (& maybe partition) utility to put on bootable USB

Last year, someone here recommended Linux based PartedMagic on a bootable USB stick. I would like to make a USB stick bootable again, but this time, I want a utility on the USB stick that I can use to copy files to/from my hard drive and another USB drive. (In case my hard drive completely fails before I get my new one in a couple of weeks, and also to recover a few files from an even older failed drive.)

I used UnetBootin last time, which is just for Linux, I believe, so if I can't use that to create the bootable drive, please tell me how!

I'm not very familiar with Linux, but Linux or not, I'd like a graphic-"y" user interface for ease/quickness of use.

It would be nice if I could have a utility that would also do partitioning if I need it, or if that's not possible, to have 2 utilities on the same bootable USB drive, one for file copying/deleting/etc. and one for partitioning. PartedMagic worked great for me in the past.

I only want free solutions.

Please recommend software and tell me how to set it up or where to find the instructions.

Thanks!
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Missus Miss_SellaneusAsked:
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rindiCommented:
First of all, you shouldn't need any of this, as your regular backups would take care of that so the disk can fail anytime without data loss.

But you can still use the PartedMagic you already have. It has a nice GUI, you can copy data from one place to another (including USB disks or storage on a LAN) without problems, it has GParted, which is a very good partitioning tool, CloneZilla, which is a very good cloning and imaging software, There is Testdisk and Photorec, which can be used to recover data from bad disks or data you have deleted. The only problem is that if you need a new version of PartedMagic it will cost about $5.-- to download (this was introduced some time last year). But also older versions of PartedMagic should still work fine, so you can still use the copy you got back then.

An Alternative could be Knoppix. I don't know whether it includes all the same tools as PartedMagic has, but you can certainly use it to copy data from one place to another, and there is a Gparted and Testdisk are on there too. I think CloneZilla is missing, but there is also a CloneZilla LiveCD. Knoppix is a larger download (you can get it as a CD and as a DVD which has more software on it).

You can use the "Universal USB Installer to download and install both Knoppix and CloneZilla to USB sticks (it supports more LiveCD's than unetbootin does).:

http://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal-usb-installer-easy-as-1-2-3/
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Missus Miss_SellaneusAuthor Commented:
Even daily backups aren't going to get the stuff less than one day old, so I want to get it ready just in case, and I want to use it to get a couple of folders from an older disk that the technician missed when that previous drive crashed here in Peru 2 and a half years ago.

I don't have the version of PartedMagic that I used last year, yet I've saved every other download I've ever gotten, going back at least 2 years before I got this computer 3 years ago. I must have downloaded it onto my hard drive and not backed it off before I reinstalled Windows.

I'll try tackling this tomorrow. Thanks.
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rindiCommented:
Usually, data that is so new that it it hasn't been backed up yet, is still fresh enough in the user's memory that it can be recreated again with not that much effort. There are also modern backup utilities like StorageCraft's ShadowProtect that can be configured so they create incremental backups every 15 minutes. But of course in my point of view that would be overkill for most situations.
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