Best free Alternative to Norton Ghost for imaging your machines
By Koder at Fri, 01/01/2010 - 19:51
Many of you work with Small Business or SOHO environments where you maintain a few machines and workstations. From time to time you need to build machines to your their basic state, or whats called a base image. A very popular program in the corporate environment for creating and restoring workstation to their "base image" or base state is Symantec's Norton Ghost. Today we will introduce you to a Free alternative to Norton Ghost for your disk imaging solutions.
Drive Image XML is a free alternative to Symantec's Norton Ghost and can achieve almost the same results for free. Norton Ghost does have some added features such as the SID changer etc built in, but with technologies such as Microsoft's Sysprep and third party free SID changers you can achieve the same results from Drive Image XML. Drive Image XML can also be used as an effective backup strategy for individual machines, as it allows for "hot imaging" or "hot backups" of machines when the machine is actually running Windows and has programs and files open. It accomplishes this by using Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Service. However, for the purpose of this example we will be using the Ultimate Boot CD For Windows to do the backup and restore. Drive Image XML comes built into that CD and you simply boot from the CD and follow the following procedure to backup your drive image and restore it.
- CBoot from the UBCD and Open Drive Image XML
- Click on the Backup Tab, it will show you the drive details of all available drives
- Map a network drive to a network location where you will store your Drives image (in Our case it will be W:\CeleronImage)
- Click on the Next button to continue backing up the image
- Choose the Parition and the Drive to backup by highlighting it and clicking next