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copy/zip/ghosting operational os


TheReaper
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i know that's not really clear as to my question but a few years ago i had another pc that went horribly wrong and when i took it back the guy i bought it from he simply took my hdd out of my pc, put it into his own pc and appeared to unzip or somehow spill out on to my hdd a working installed xp pro in a fraction of the time it takes to install a fresh copy...

 

how did he do that? how can i do a similar thing next time my os goes bad?

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It's called ghosting. Basically you create an image of the HDD with all the correct drivers etc. etc. all integrated into the ghost. It's most commonly used by corporations where they have to manage a large number of computers and they can even remotely deploy the ghost/updates, and is very useful when you have a lot of identically speced machines.

 

There are several ghosting/imaging programs available for home users; but I'm not sure which ones are best.

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It's actually called imaging or cloning :P I do this quite often at work. Image a whole lab of 30 PCs in about 15 minutes...it uses multicasting so it's very fast. We use an old version of Ghost but it works fine for us. There are free alternatives...go to sourceforge and search "Imaging" "Cloning" or "Deployment" and you should find some. If you are somewhat familiar with linux you can use G4U (Ghost 4 Linux). Here is another free one...I've never used it but should do what you want.

 

http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/clone_maxx...htm?language=1#

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I also use Acronis True Image for all of my backup and cloning work. Very good program. You can get a trail evaluation copy that I believe is good for 30 days. After you use it you will find that it is worth paying for.

 

It has tons of useful tools, including automatic backups, full disk or individual partition or folder restorations, as well as a rescue boot that allows you to fully recover into Acronis and restore your system if something goes terribly wrong.

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G4L - [paraphrased] 'Biggest issue is ntfs support...'

Wondered about any options for linux backups though.

 

Yes indeed... have a copy of an older version of True Image (v7) they were giving away a while back - required that you register with the website and d/l the installer via that account. Been very handy a couple of times.

 

Things like Self Image and XXCopy/Clone for windows, but none with recovery CD function as yet - has been mooted for the former.

 

imo always worth having a partition editor like Gparted Live CD or Ranish, or a package that includes the apps themselves like Parted Magic, ubcd or sysresccd. Again, that's just free options.

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G4L - [paraphrased] 'Biggest issue is ntfs support...'

Wondered about any options for linux backups though.

 

Yes indeed... have a copy of an older version of True Image (v7) they were giving away a while back - required that you register with the website and d/l the installer via that account. Been very handy a couple of times.

 

Things like Self Image and XXCopy/Clone for windows, but none with recovery CD function as yet - has been mooted for the former.

 

imo always worth having a partition editor like Gparted Live CD or Ranish, or a package that includes the apps themselves like Parted Magic, ubcd or sysresccd. Again, that's just free options.

 

G4L copies NTFS fine. I know many people using it. The only issue is if you are imaing different size drives. Say you have an image from a 80 gig drive and you want to image it to a 160gig drive. It will image fine but it will create a 80gig partition and leave 80 gigs blank instead of just dumping the 80 gigs to a 160 gig partition.

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It's called ghosting.

 

 

Ghosting is the nickname it was given because back in the day, Norton Ghost was the software most frequently used...

 

It's likely your machine was a common build at that store, so it was quicker and easier for them to have an image of a working install that they could 'deploy'

 

the question is, how many machines did they buy licences for, and how many did they install on ;)

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