Tag Archives: logical

Backup Logical Drives and Partitions Free With DriveImage XML V2.14

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.

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 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.

image

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.

image

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.

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

Watch the DriveImage XML video tutorial on YouTube

Latest version: July 2010 – DriveImage XML V2.14

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.

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3 Comments

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

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.

image

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.

image

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.

18 Comments

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

Free DriveImage XML – The Best Way to Backup Data?

clip_image002It’s time, once again, for me to bug you about data backups. I’m being a little bit facetious, but it’s been more than two weeks since the last reminder – “Handy Backup – Complete, EXTENSIBLE Backup Solution”.

Now I’m not much of a betting man, but I’ll take this bet (I always bet a sure thing) – 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?

There are loads of free applications out in the wild blue that, used properly and regularly, will speed to the rescue the day you lose your bet. 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 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. 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.

image

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.

System Requirements: Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista

Watch the DriveImage XML video tutorial at YouTube

Latest version: October 03, 2009 – DriveImage XML V2.12

Download at: Download.com

If you enjoyed this article, 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.

4 Comments

Filed under Backup Applications, Backup Tools, downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Imaging, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Backup, Backup, Backup With Free DriveImage XML

We talk a lot on this Blog about how important it is to have a current backup of all of your critical data, system/device 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, chances are pretty good that at some point you’ll need this backup.

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 V2.02, 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).

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

System Requirements: Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista

Watch the DriveImage XML video tutorial at YouTube

Latest version: DriveImage XML V2.02

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.

6 Comments

Filed under Backup Applications, Backup Tools, Freeware, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Don’t Back Up Your Hard Drive – What Have You Got To Lose?

Portable HD Today’s computers are amazing, especially when you consider the processing power available, and the amount of storage you can have for incredibly little money.

You can easily build a $500 desktop computer today that has a multi-core processor, and a terabyte of storage, which has the power to edit video, or play graphic intensive video games.

But whether you’re running a $7000 custom high end gaming machine, or a $399 special from a sale at the local retailer the most important and precious thing in your computer is your data. Data is everything, it’s your kids baby pictures or your entire music collection.

The problem with data is, even though it’s the most important thing on your hard drive, it’s frequently the least considered. To protect your data generally isn’t very hard, but its very easy to put off. People rationalize that since the hard drive from that Windows 95 machine still runs that their current machine will be fine for now and I’ll just do that backup next week when I have time.

Unfortunately just when you least expect it, your hard drive crashes the night before you finished the report your boss wanted first thing in the morning or you lose the pictures of family members that can’t be replaced.

So now you know, backing up isn’t an option.  Backing up isn’t hard, and it doesn’t need to be complicated. If you’ve never backed up before it can be as simple as buying an external hard drive, or even a large thumb drive, and dragging your important files over to the external drive periodically.

Saving your important files to a external drive is the first step. The next step will be to implement an automated system of backing up at least once a week. For that you need software.

If you are running Windows Vista and you want to keep it simple the built in “Backup and Restore Center“ will help you set up weekly backups of all your important data. It’s very simple and works well, I’ve successfully used it to back up and restore all the important data on my daughters computer after a disaster.

For a more thorough backup solutions I prefer third party programs. Acronis True Image Home, is an excellent program. It has more capabilities that many users may want but it has the capability to make an entire image of your hard drive as well as do incremental backups periodically, afterward.

AcronisTrueImageHome11

Programs that create an image, allow you to take the hard drive you backed up on, and put it in you machine and boot up like nothing ever happened. It saves your operating system, all of your programs, your settings and your data. The new version of Acronis has great new feature, it will perform dual backups to both a disk and hard drive at the same time.

This leads me to my last point, backing up to more than one location is very important. A simple solutions is to use two separate external hard drives, swap out one and backup to the second while you keep the other off site. This could be at work, at a friends house or anywhere away from your home.

Another effective off site backup is to do a backup to an online service of some kind. Microsoft offers a free 5 gigabyte storage service called “Skydrive” available to anyone with a Windows Live account. Amazon S3 service is another reliable online backup service, S3 isn’t free but you pay only for the space you use unlike some flat rate services.

skydrive_overview.2

Backing up is necessary inconvenience, developing a routine that fits your needs will make it relatively painless, and some day it will save you a lot of heartache. Remember there are two kinds of hard drives, those that have failed and those that will fail.

Many people get serious about backing up only, after they’ve lost all the pictures or music on their hard drive. There are many very good programs for backing up, either to local storage, or to an online service. I mentioned two which I’ve had experience with and trust, but there are many very good ones out there.

One last point.Some people using a new online backup services which offered “free” online storage from relatively new and unknown companies suddenly got a surprise when their online storage recently went offline forever, leaving them with no backup at all. So staying with companies like Amazon for your online “cloud” storage feels like a safe bet.

So backup early and often, because it’s all about the data.

This is a guest post by Mark Schneider of the Techwalker Blog, who brings a background as a high level super user, to the blogging world. Mark has written this article to emphasize the importance of data back up on a regular and consistent basis.

Why not pay a visit to Mark’s site today.

6 Comments

Filed under Backup Applications, Backup Tools, Computer Maintenance, Freeware, Guest Writers, Hard Drive Maintenance, Online Backup, Software, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Hard Drive Back Up – It’s All About the Data

This is a guest post by Mark Schneider of the Techwalker Blog, who brings a background as a high level super user, to the blogging world. Mark has written this article to emphasize the importance of data back up on a regular and consistent basis.

Why not pay a visit to Mark’s site today.

Hard Drive Diag Today’s computers are amazing, especially when you consider the processing power available, and the amount of storage you can have for incredibly little money. You can easily build a $500 desktop computer today that has a multi-core processor, and a terabyte of storage, which has the power to edit video, or play graphic intensive video games.

But whether you’re running a $7000 custom high end gaming machine, or a $399 special from a sale at the local retailer the most important and precious thing in your computer is your data. Data is everything, it’s your kids baby pictures or your entire music collection.

The problem with data is, even though it’s the most important thing on your hard drive, it’s frequently the least considered. To protect your data generally isn’t very hard, but its very easy to put off. People rationalize that since the hard drive from that Windows 95 machine still runs that their current machine will be fine for now and I’ll just do that backup next week when I have time.

Unfortunately just when you least expect it, your hard drive crashes the night before you finished the report your boss wanted first thing in the morning or you lose the pictures of family members that can’t be replaced.

So now you know, backing up isn’t an option.  Backing up isn’t hard, and it doesn’t need to be complicated. If you’ve never backed up before it can be as simple as buying an external hard drive, or even a large thumb drive, and dragging your important files over to the external drive periodically.

Saving your important files to a external drive is the first step. The next step will be to implement an automated system of backing up at least once a week. For that you need software. If you are running Windows Vista and you want to keep it simple the built in “Backup and Restore Center“ will help you set up weekly backups of all your important data. It’s very simple and works well, I’ve successfully used it to back up and restore all the important data on my daughters computer after a disaster.

For a more thorough backup solutions I prefer third party programs. Acronis True Image Home, is an excellent program. It has more capabilities that many users may want but it has the capability to make an entire image of your hard drive as well as do incremental backups periodically, afterward.

AcronisTrueImageHome11

Programs that create an image, allow you to take the hard drive you backed up on, and put it in you machine and boot up like nothing ever happened. It saves your operating system, all of your programs, your settings and your data. The new version of Acronis has great new feature, it will perform dual backups to both a disk and hard drive at the same time.

This leads me to my last point, backing up to more than one location is very important. A simple solutions is to use two separate external hard drives, swap out one and backup to the second while you keep the other off site. This could be at work, at a friends house or anywhere away from your home.

Another effective off site backup is to do a backup to an online service of some kind. Microsoft offers a free 5 gigabyte storage service called “Skydrive” available to anyone with a Windows Live account. Amazon S3 service is another reliable online backup service, S3 isn’t free but you pay only for the space you use unlike some flat rate services.

skydrive_overview.2

Backing up is necessary inconvenience, developing a routine that fits your needs will make it relatively painless, and some day it will save you a lot of heartache. Remember there are two kinds of hard drives, those that have failed and those that will fail.

Many people get serious about backing up only, after they’ve lost all the pictures or music on their hard drive. There are many very good programs for backing up, either to local storage, or to an online service. I mentioned two which I’ve had experience with and trust, but there are many very good ones out there.

One last point.Some people using a new online backup services which offered “free” online storage from relatively new and unknown companies suddenly got a surprise when their online storage recently went offline forever, leaving them with no backup at all. So staying with companies like Amazon for your online “cloud” storage feels like a safe bet.

So backup early and often, because it’s all about the data.

8 Comments

Filed under Backup Applications, Backup Tools, Online Backup, Software, System Security, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Backup and Image Hard Drives/Partitions Free – DriveImage XML Updated

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).

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

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.

1 Comment

Filed under Backup Applications, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Software, System File Protection, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools