Looking for recommendations on Drive Imaging software, for XP system back-up and restore. I need a
plenary panacea, with which I can restore to full operation from a dead (or new) drive.
A bit about my
limitations: My machines are Compaqs, that come with the OS pre-installed and no media. System Restore is provided in a
proprietary construct, utilizing a partition on the HD, to restore to the OEM-default installation. Whereas I've exercised
the option to create back-up CDs from this, it leaves me with only the option to boot to their Restore util, that only
provides recovery to 'factory' settings. This, of course, means cleaning out all the garbage "offers" etc. all over again,
re-installing all my apps and utils, and reconfiguring the system. My nightmare scenario is having to replace (or wipe) the
drive and be resigned to this short-sighted approach to system recovery.
What I've been trying to find, then, is a
solution that would image my configured system (preferably to DVDs - don't know that the systems can support another HD),
then provide boot capability to minimalist utils (to mount a DVD and/or check/prepare the HD) and the back-up volume(s) to
A few years ago I used Ghost on another machine; but Symantec has introduced so much bloatware to NU that
I no longer want anything of theirs on my system. I also checked out cMaxx, from PC Inspector, but it will not image Sata
drives. Have also researched a few others and discounted them for (my) lack of trust in their methodologies (utilizing XML,
Diskcopy, and the like, for imaging - concern with XML handling of binaries, etc., and limitations of file/disk/zip-copy on
active OS files). The forerunner, for now, seems to be True Image, from Acronis, but that does not seem to provide a boot
Currently still rely on the Norton SystemWorks CD to boot out of sticky situations, but don't know how
that will fare when/if Vista comes online. I suppose I could create a bootdisk using FreeDOS and hope it would suffice with
the chosen utility (since I've not had positive results with WinXP_EN_HOM_BF, Bootvis, or the Linux solution) but I'm holding
out hope for a turnkey solution... don't need the additional headache of futzing with getting the 'solution' to work. Not
averse, mind you, to going the extra step(s) to get a reliable approach, but a one-click solution would surely be nice.
Conversely though, if no such animal exists, does anyone have a tried-and-true (non-floppy based) boot solution, with
recommended imaging recovery?
Thanks for your insight,