Free Windows software for live disk imaging

Can anyone point me to a free Windows software for live disk imaging?

The idea is to make simple scheduled task to backup server full disk contents to external drive that can later be used to convert the system into Virtual Machine. (If a disastrous fail happen.)

The software would be used on Windows Server (2003, 2008, 2012).

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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Windows Server backup already saves to a virtual disk (.vhd/.vhdx)
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
As mentioned, add the feature - Windows Server Backup which will create you backups on schedule. The problem is that Windows cannot be simply restored to Vmware or Hyper-V. It will require hal modifications thus adjusting the OS to new hardware.
Thats why do third party backup tools exist which cost money.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I would say, convert to a VM NOW using P2V tools then you can setup more about DR.

That said, I've not tried to use Windows Backup VHDs to restore to VM... but Disk2VHD is free from Microsoft and might do the trick.

I would disagree SOME with noxcho - Windows these days is FAR more resiliant to hardware changes than 2003 and earlier.  In my opinion and experience, the conversion will PROBABLY work fine.  HOWEVER, using Disk2VHD will leave your system (assuming it runs) in an UNSUPPORTED state.  Leaving your network in an unsupported state is very unwise.
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mrmutAuthor Commented:
Thanks all.
I am aware of Windows backup, which we use daily. However, I would need a second solution as I asked.

The thing is that I am trying to add second layer of security. External USB drives are cheap way to backup full system.

Did anyone try recovering from Disk2VHD image into VMWare?
Sudeep SharmaTechnical DesignerCommented:
There are lot of Open-Source Backup solutions that you can try. Most of them has the full, differential, incremental backup options plus delta, compression etc features.

Find more in the link below:


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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Leew, I've done the test by simply connecting vhd to hyper-v or even restoring it from installation media. After restore was done BSOD 0x0007B.
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:

It really depends on the version of Windows and hardware you converted from.  I've done Disk2VHD ... several times... and it's worked fine in MOST (but not all).
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Apparently Disk2VD performs necessary hal modifications. Simple restore of Windows backup to VM does not work.
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