Download Free DriveImage XML V2.13 – Image and Backup Logical Drives and Partitions

Hard Drive Diag We talk a lot on this Blog about how important it is to have a current backup of all of your critical data, and given the state of the Internet today with its epidemic of malware, there’s a good chance, that at some point, you may well need this backup.

If you’re not too worried about the malware threat to your data, then consider this. Just like death and taxes are a certainty, the fact that your computer’s Hard Drive will crash one day and refuse to respond, is every bit as certain.

I’m not much of a betting man, but I’ll take this bet – at some point your computer will suffer system, or hardware failure.

What are you going to do then – if you don’t have a current backup of your critical data, system/device drivers (something many of us forget), and user operating system settings?

How are you going to recover your irreplaceable data; documents, digital photos, email messages, personal and business related work, and important private data?

So backups are important – critically important. Despite the critical importance of Hard Drive backups, most computer technicians will tell you that typically, computer users’ do not backup their irreplaceable data.

frustrated 2 If you should suffer catastrophic Hard Drive failure and you are one of the few, out of the ordinary, computer users who regularly and faithfully backup, you will have a lot of work ahead of you, but you will recover.

If you do not have a backup plan, it’s time you thought seriously about developing one.

Yes, I know there is effort involved in learning how to protect your data by developing and implementing a backup plan. But without a plan, your data becomes a hostage to fortune. Your Hard Drive might be damaged by malware – it might not. Your Hard Drive might fail – it might not. But why take the risk?

The best backup strategy includes imaging your Hard Drives and partitions, since that allows you to restore your important data, your complete operating system, as well as your installed applications, user settings, etc.

There are loads of free applications out in the wild blue that, used properly and regularly, will speed to the rescue. One such free program, that I have no difficulty recommending, is DriveImage XML from Runtime Software.


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.

The real benefit 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. Better yet, you can restore the image to a replacement drive.

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).

Quick facts:

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

User comments – from CNET user reviews:

“Excellent utility!”

Pros: Easy to use; does a thorough job.

Cons: Nothing at all.

Summary: This utility is easy to use and does exactly what it claims. I imaged my Vista laptop, installed a new, larger HD and copied the imaged old drive to the new drive with absolutely no problems. No need to reinstall Vista.

“Amazingly simple to use and does everything promised”

Pros: Easy to use and very useful to save disk images and restore. Never had a problem in the past year.

Cons: None that I experienced.

Summary: Great for regular backups too.

I wouldn’t normally insert review comments from users, but backing up is so critically important that hopefully these comment will lend credibility to just how easy it is to back up.

Finally, here’s a comment from regular guest writer Rick Robinette, on the importance of backing up data, which he posted to Tech Paul’s Blog, recently.

Somehow we need to find a way to educate people about the importance of backing up data that is important, or critical to them, or their organization. I have actually seen people cry because their data was gone.

System Requirements: Windows XP, 2003, Vista, or Windows 7

Watch the DriveImage XML video tutorial on YouTube

Latest version: January 10, 2010 – DriveImage XML V2.13

Download at: Runtime Software

Another terrific free application definitely worth checking out is Macrium Reflect. For a through understanding of the advantages of this free application check out Make An Exact Copy of Your Hard Drive, on Rick Robinette’s site. You’ll be glad you did.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.


Filed under Backup Applications, Backup Tools, Freeware, Hard Drive Cloning, Hard Drive Imaging, Software, Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

18 responses to “Download Free DriveImage XML V2.13 – Image and Backup Logical Drives and Partitions

  1. kingpin

    Hi Bill,
    Thanks for the post on DriveImage XML from Runtime Software.I currently using using Handy Backup Professional,which is a complete backup.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Kingpin,

      Handy Backup Professional is an outstanding application. In fact, I reviewed it and the Server edition, late last year and gave away a number of free licenses.


  2. TeXaCo


    I wholeheartedly agree that using an image backup program is the way to go. I currently use Acronis True Image. Besides the fact that this program is free and I paid (grrr) for Acronis.

    Are there any reasons or features in this program that I would want to check it out over Acronis?

    Aconis has saved my butt multiple times since starting to use it a few years ago.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Tex,

      Acronis really is in a class by itself, so I wouldn’t consider changing. Personally, once I get used to a specific application it takes a stick of dynamite for me to change to something else.

      Good to hear you’re into backing up.

      Welcome to the small minority!


  3. Liam O' Moulain


    I’m a convert. You convinced me in a previous recommendation and I’ve found this application very handy.


  4. kingpin

    Hi Bill,
    I agree with you handy backup Pro is excellent for basic home user like me.The Server edition is probably for medium scale businesses I guess.
    Frankly I think investing for paid backup program is always better since you get always get good support and upgrades.Macrium Reflect Free and Altaro oops backup[I have it’s license too] are some of the other nifty but extremely useful backup apps also.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Kingpin,

      Yes, I agree. Sometimes a user is much better off buying a specific piece of software that really meets the needs, rather than using a patchwork of several freebies trying to get the job done. While I’m a big fan of freeware, even on my own principal machine at home, I have a number of apps that cost me plenty.

      Macrium Reflex has a very good reputation – I thought I had tested this, but it seems I haven’t. Well, that’s another one to add to the “to do” list.


  5. Mal

    Hey Bill,

    I will check this out, backing up is important, driven home to me when I recently had to reformat.



    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Mal,

      Yes, I remember when you did the reformat. Hopefully, you didn’t lose any valuable files.

      It’s often true, that people have to lose non-replaceable data before they realize the value of backing up. Human nature, I guess.



  6. Great post Bill, proving backing up doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hi Mark,


      Your first of several guest articles on the need to backup, Hard Drive Back Up Its All About the Data, (January 2009), in which you emphasized the importance of data back up on a regular and consistent basis is, in my view, required reading for users who are serious about protecting important data.


  7. Pingback: Download Free DriveImage XML V2.13 – Image and Backup Logical … - xml

  8. vhick

    We know that Paragon is in the web all over the internet for their giveaway. If you missed it, I really recommend DriveImage XML of Macrium Reflect Free Edition.

    Thanks for pointing out sir Bill…

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Vhick,

      I’ve noticed the frequent giveaways of Paragon the last several months, and you’re right it’s a great program. Still, DriveImage XML and Macrium Reflexc Free Edition, are both excellent alternatives as you point out.


  9. Bill,

    Thanks for the link back… Appears to be several FREE disk imaging (backup) options out there and all are reliable. Now; we just need to get people to use them… Oh, am I seeing straight or what? Are you over 2 Million hits?


    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Rick,

      Your article, as usual, is nicely crafted, and equally as important, needs wide circulation. Any way in which I can help accomplish this, I’m only too happy to do. As you say, “Now; we just need to get people to use them”. Actually, I used this quote of yours, or something similar, just last week.

      Yeah, I hit the 2 Million mark a few weeks back. Now, at 10 cents a read that’s $200,000 – even at 5 cents that’s $100,000. Hell, at 1 cent that’s $20,000 – but we do it for $0000000. The Internet, and Blogging, are curious creatures. Or, are we the curious creatures? lol

      It’s the kind of situation my father had an old saying for when i was a kid; which he drilled into my head constantly – *”If you work for nothing, you’ll never be out of a job!” *


  10. Thanks. Your first of several guest articles on the need to backup, Hard Drive Back Up