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Solved: Is it possible format an HDD partition in Windows in a CD or DVD format?

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by dra6onfire, Jul 26, 2009.

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  1. dra6onfire

    dra6onfire Thread Starter

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    My basic goal is to create partitions on the hard drive of my data backup machine that will be detected as actual CDs or DVDs to which I can "burn" bootable images that I use to do data backups AND THEN boot to those partitions as if they were actual cd drives. I realize that there are a lot of virtual drives and whatnot out there that can do this type of thing within windows but this is a barebones machine that doesn't actually have an OS installed (I will put windows on it to accomplish this task if necessary) because I would have to reimage it after every HDD was unmounted to prevent infections of future drives. I would appreciate any information anyone has on the feasibility or implementation of this idea as all of the threads i can find on the topic have either gone unanswered or turned into feuds between posters. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    What you are asking is really a more complex way of doing things. You can't make a CD-ROM out of a hard drive, and why would you want to?

    Use imaging software. Make images on externals (safest) or internals (could also be damaged if the main drive were damaged by power surges, for example) and then just boot them up the normal way.

    Acronis has a feature whereby an image can be stored on the drive and booted to by pressing F5 on boot.

    There are free imagers galore:

    Free Disk Imaging Tools:

    O&O DiskImage Express
    Macrium Reflect
    PING (Partimage Is Not Ghost) (Free alternative to Ghost with more features)
    Paragon Drive Backup Express
    Drive Image XML
    G4U - Ghost For Unix (Platform-independent, floppy or CD)
    DiscWizard (For Seagate or Maxtor drives - contains reduced version of Acronis)
     
  3. dra6onfire

    dra6onfire Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the quick reply.

    Believe me, I understand what you are saying and that is exactly how I have been doing things thus far but it is to time consuming between jobs having to either reimage or scan images to check for infections. The drives that are connected to this machine are usually there because the owner managed to wreck it enough either with viruses or something else so that it is no longer bootable or repairable and the data that is still accessible needs backing up. I need a solution that cant be infected and doesnt require a cd drive to be present since there is no space for one and my usb drive is constantly otherwise occupied (yet another time problem).
     
  4. dra6onfire

    dra6onfire Thread Starter

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    And, for the record, I understand that even if this is doable, it would be difficult but after the initial setup it would be fantastic for this particular application.
     
  5. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    How about a flash drive? Almost anything that can be booted from CD can be booted from a USB drive. That way, you could boot up a recovery CD from one of the imagers and make an image anywhere you wanted.

    Or a bootable external drive, if the machines are USB-bootable.

    But I think you're a bit confused about the technicalities of what you are trying to do. The main difference between a CD and a hard drive booting is really the file system it uses. But that is really irrelevant to what you are trying to do since bootability itself is not related to the file system. It doesn't matter if the files are in a drawer or a file cabinet (the file systems) if they can be accessed. It seems that what you want most is bootability, and that can be accomplished with many media types.

    You could also have a bare, bootable hard drive that you could attach, boot to, and then use to image or copy other drives in the system.
     
  6. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Sounds like you want to make sure that your system doesn't get infected and pass it on to the next customer.
    Example, Backup Customer A's data, you get infected, and then infect Customer B's system.

    Use something like Windows SteadyState or Returnil. A simple reboot restores the system to it's original state.
     
  7. Squashman

    Squashman Trusted Advisor

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    I 2nd the motion for Returnil. They have a free product and a retail product.
    Windows Steady State should help as well.

    Deep Freeze is another option.
     
  8. dra6onfire

    dra6onfire Thread Starter

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    I've looked into deep freeze before but I didn't like how difficult it is to remove when things go awry, but returnil looks promising, Thanks for the help.
     
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