We talk a lot on this Blog about how important it is to have a current backup of all of your critical data, system/hardware drivers (something many of us forget), and user operating system settings, in case of system or hardware failure. Given the state of the Internet today with its epidemic of malware, the chances that at some point you’ll need this backup, are enhanced.
With DriveImage XML, a free, easy to use, and reliable program, from Runtime Software, you can go one step further and image both hard drive partitions and logical drives. According to the developer the latest release, version V2.01, is now faster than ever.
The real benefit of course in imaging your full drives and partitions is you now have the ability to restore your complete operating system, as well as your installed applications, user settings, and the registry.
Recently, one of my colleagues copied a dying hard drive to a new drive in less than an hour, directly from Windows XP using this versatile free application. Pretty impressive for a free application, I thought.
DriveImage XML uses Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Services (VSS) to create images, allowing you to create safe “hot images” even from drives currently in use. Images are then stored in XML files, which allows you to process those files with third party tools.
If, or when it becomes necessary, you can now restore the image to the same or a replacement drive. You also have the option of copying the drive image directly to a new drive, just as my colleague did. An added feature of DriveImage XML is the included image explorer that permits access to previously created backup images and the extraction of individual files.
Since this program is currently distributed as freeware, there is no technical support offered. Instead, refer to the program’s help file and documentation. If you need additional help you can refer to the program’s frequently asked questions (FAQ).
Backup logical drives and partitions to image files
Browse these images, view and extract files
Restore these images to the same, or a different drive
Copy directly from drive to drive
Schedule automatic backups with Task Scheduler
Restore images to drives without rebooting
Free for home use only
Runs from a WinPE boot CD-ROM
Backup, image and restore on FAT 12, 16, 32 and NTFS drives
System Requirements: Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista
Watch the DriveImage XML video tutorial at YouTube
Latest version: DriveImage XML V2.01
Download at: Download.com
If you would rather give Windows native backup utility a try, checkout TechPaul’s “How to Install Backup on XP Home” for a quick and easy tutorial.