Recommendation for software to clone Win XP and Win 7 PC's

Greetings,

I need to duplicate the hard drives of several client PC's that are running either Windows XP Pro or Win 7 Pro.  This is basically for disaster recovery purposes, in case any of the hard drives crash.   The software they are all running is either from vendors who are no longer in operation, or the software itself is no longer supported.  Norton Ghost has always been a popular tool for creating an image of a PC's hard drive.  I am wondering if anyone has any recommendations on software utilities that they consider to be better, more reliable etc. than Norton Ghost.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts and recommendations.
jkirmanPrincipalAsked:
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tailoreddigitalCommented:
Well, there is a list of cloning software that's about to be created by experts here.   This question comes up here and there.  

I recommend Paragon and Acronis.     I use these two often for this very purpose.   Paragon has many extended features for virtual drives and other functions that are pretty useful too.    

I've used both these tools for years and have been very pleased with the results.   They have saved the day numerous times.

Clonezilla is a free option but i have little experience with the tool.
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nobusCommented:
i also use Paragon, you can use their fre software for a first test; then buy their commercial version : https://www.paragon-software.com/free/
another good one is CASper https://www.fssdev.com/products/casper/
it also has a trial edition
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Third voice for Paragon. There is a tool designed for cloning exactly: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/dc-professional/
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SnibborgOwnerCommented:
Having had a faulty SSD on a laptop, I found both Paragon and Acronis lacking as both failed to backup the drive and hung part way through.  In the end I purchased a twin docking station similar to this:

http://www.startech.com/HDD/Duplicators/USB-3-Hard-Drive-Duplicator-Docking-Station~SATDOCK2REU3

I dropped in the two drives, pressed the button and came back when it had finished.  The recipient of the cloning was then put back in the laptop and worked perfectly.

This is now my first port of call as it is so easy and reliable.  It will copy from SSDs to HDD and back, all at high speed.  Also allows for 3.5 and 2.5 drives.

Hope this helps.
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albatros99Commented:
Veeam has just come out with a new Endpoint Backup software. It's free of charge.

I've also used Paragon in the past and it's free as well - works very well.

If you are already using Veeam for server backups you can integrate Endpoint Backup and use the same backup repository.

Both Paragon and Veam can backup and restore using external USB disks and they will also create bootable recovery media.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Copy\Clone is not the same as backup and restore. At the end these two approaches do create clone. But with copy you make less steps.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
We use Symantec Ghost (newest version) and find it reliable for both systems. What errors are you having?

The software they are all running is either from vendors who are no longer in operation, or the software itself is no longer supported.  <-- You need to solve this problem quickly!  XP is dead and trying to resurrect a backup onto a new Windows 8.1 machine is not likely to work at all.
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Alessandro ScafariaInfrastructure Premier Field AdministratorCommented:
In my opinion, this is the best approach for your scenario:

1. Download (and then buy) a trial of Acronis True Image 2015 for PC....

http://www.acronis.com/en-us/personal/pc-backup/

2. Perform your scheduled backup in your NAS device....

3. Create and prepare the Acronis Boot Disk just in case of emergency....

4. You may also perform an additional verification test to see if your backups are good....

https://forum.acronis.com/forum/4078#comment-32694

Using VM Workstation, you may reproduce your restore using Acronis........
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jkirmanPrincipalAuthor Commented:
Many thanks to all for your responses and shared experiences.  tailoreddigital was correct - this has lead to quite a solid list of cloning software.   Seems like Paragon and Acronis are favorites with Clonezilla a free option.  These have also rated well in a number of industry reviews I've checked into following your responses.  I've definitely learned a lot from your answers.  

Snibborg - thanks for the mention of twin docking solution working w/damaged hd's.  Don't see using it here but will refer back to this if dealing with distressed disks.

albatros99 - will download and test out Veeam Endpoint Protection.  I have Veeam in use at a couple of locations, this may be the missing link to using Veeam as a complete backup solution to cover physical systems as well.  

John Hurst - no actual problems yet, but can't wait until they occur.  The apps in question are totally orphaned, no support at all, software vendors are gone, don't even have reinstall media, so if I needed to restore the hd's from backup images it till need to be to XP.  That's the inherent risk of going with software products from small niche vendors.  When they go so does the support.

I've awarded points for recommendations for Acronis, Paragon and Veeam.

Cheers and thanks again.
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