How best to image an XP partition?

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hatrabbit

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I have an XP machine (XP Pro SP3) running a critical application. If anything ever happens to this computer I can never get that application back. I need to create a backup just in case... in the old days I used to image XP partitions using a Ghost Casting Boot CD but that isn't working. It hangs on boot, saying "Starting PC Dos". It looks like I need another way to create an image of my C drive. What are the best options for this?

Thanks
 

managed

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You could use Macrium Reflect Free :- https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree
Click on the blue [Home Use] button on that webpage to begin the download process.

You can make a rescue ISO and burn a bootable CD/DVD from it or make a bootable Usb stick from within the program (OtherTasks > Create Rescue Media).
Personally I use a Usb stick to both make and restore Images, although you can make an Image from within the program running in Windows.
 

hatrabbit

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I was just reading about Clonezilla. Anyone have an opinion about it? Thanks
 
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I prefer Acronis and if you have either a WD or Seagate hard drive, there are versions of Acronis at their web sites available for free.
 
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Liz
I image my XP SP3 computer using Acronis. I made a boot CD and boot USB stick, then removed the installed Acronis from the computer. (I use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove everything).

I boot the computer with the CD or USB stick and have a portable hard drive attached by USB. Acronis loads into the RAM and I then select what I want to image. Sometimes I do the entire disk and sometimes I just do the contents of C.
I designate the image with the computer and the date.
So I might do XP_C_6Dec.2018 or XP_Full_6Dec.2018.
 

managed

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I was just reading about Clonezilla. Anyone have an opinion about it? Thanks
Clonezilla works well although it's probably a bit harder to use than others.

It's personal choice really; also there's no harm in using more than one imaging program to make more than one image of the same thing, in fact it's a good idea.

Don't forget to make the restore CD/DVD/Usb stick for whichever imaging program(s) you choose though, then you can restore the image onto a new drive if the old drive fails completely.
 
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Do you mean to keep the last restored image on the stick as well as on the backup drive? Seems like a good idea!
 

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Since the software is irreplaceable I would make several backups.

You could also clone the HDD onto a different HDD, then if the 1st drive fails you can just swap it for the 2nd (clone) drive and be up and running again. I think all the programs mentioned above can do cloning.

After the cloning the first boot of either drive should be done without the other drive connected, otherwise the booting drive will 'see' the other drive and because it has the same 'drive ID' as itself as stored in the Registry will assign it drive letter C and give itself another letter, but all the paths stored in the registry use C so windows won't work properly.

If the drive boots without the other drive connected it uses C for itself and after that it's ok to connect the other drive again, windows will give it another letter now (not C) and everything works ok.
 
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