I will endeavor to review the following commercial offering in the "drive
This software is what is known as "shareware", although not "crippled" the
publisher would like you to donate to them. One of the problems with this type of
software is that the program will probably be discontinued and never updated for
For home use this is a free program, however you are urged to buy the
commercial license if you are using it in a business or corporate environment.
Using the backup page you can "clone a drive", make an image of your boot or
data partitions, and then check the image for errors...
One of the features of this program is it uses the "Volume Shadow Copy" (VSC)
service in Vista and newer operating systems. If you are running this from an
ERD (Emergency Repair Disk
such as mine) the service will not be running and you
will get an error that the image may not work. I have tested this program in
both normal mode from a Windows 7 installation and my ERD the backup and restore
do not have any inherent problems with the VSC not running. I also did a restore
from restore points after doing an update through the Windows Update service
with out any problems.
Restore page, the only catch with this program is a flash or USB drive, the
drivers (if your Operating System is that old) have to be loaded. With VM Ware
you have to connect to a flash drive after you start the virtual computer. This
leads to a few problems with this program, once you realize that you have to
connect to the flash drive by disconnecting it from the host computer then the
program will do a complete backup or restore. If the flash drive image is a
bootable image the flash drive will boot.
The drive to drive will not work for a flash or USB drive, it will copy the
files but if the source drive is a bootable device the copy will not boot and
using your Windows Install Disk to do a repair will not work on a flash drive.
In the case of a flash drive I suggest you make an image and restore it to the
The next of the drive imaging
programs application is True Image:
This is a fully commercial program that has all the bells and whistles you
need, the only problem I have found with this program is the cost...
The new True Image install comes with two separate installations:
Full installation to do complete or "on the fly" restore points. The restore
point option is about the same as what you get with Vista and newer Windows Operating
The other option is a bootable media, you can make a cd/dvd or flash drive. I
made the cd version then booted a VM Ware virtual computer to test the program.
The results were less than satisfactory because this is a demo program, I didn't
buy this program to do a full test because my old reliable still works even for
Some of the tools you will get with the full or bootable media
Create your media...
Save the file...
Now you can burn your cd/dvd media.
Make a bootable flash or USB drive.
This is a little more involved.
It didn't work:
The stand alone single user license is expensive considering your other
options, at one time when the program was fairly simple to install and use. At
that time I owned (and still do) a copy of this program to test, cost about 40
USD. I was also an affiliate for selling the program on this web site, I have
since dropped my afflation with this company/product.
Is it a good program? Yes, it will do the job as advertised but do you want
to pay twice or more for this when you could get another one cheaper or for
The last of the drive
imaging programs is Ghost:
The best but discontinued by Microsoft is the Ghost program, this program was
innovative in the early 1990's and even though Microsoft has discontinued the
standalone program you may still purchase it in a suite of programs called
Ghostcast. Before Microsoft discontinued this fantastic program the cost was
fairly low compared to the stand alone True Image program.
Ghost 8.0 startup screen:
Your options, this version and all the way to Ghost ver 15 will work with
You can "clone" a disk create or backup, create a partition file for backup,
restore that file, or check the constancy of the file you made. I do suggest if
you use any drive imaging program you always check the file.
Select your drive:
Select the partition then create the image:
Always check the file for consistency, nothing like needing your backup and
the file is corrupt...
Checking the file I made:
The progress bar.
Once the file is checked store it somewhere besides the computer it was made
for, nothing like losing a drive and your backup is on that drive! (I suggest
you look into a
NAS or a
I have used all three of these programs all have their small irritations
however only Ghost is a true standalone program. It does not rely on any
installed programs to run. That is it doesn't need the Volume Shadow Copy
service, it doesn't need the True Image base program installed.
The Ghost32.exe can create an image of another partition on the same computer
such as a
multi boot computer with Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 10. It does not
matter what version of the OS is installed on the target partition it can be 16
bit, 32 bit, or 64 bit Ghost32 will make the image and will restore it with out
any errors (assuming the drive your partition is on isn't failing in some way).
I have been using Ghost since it first appeared back in the early 1990's,
regardless of the installed OS it would make the image and restore it. This
program should be in all DIYer's and Pro tech's IT Tool Box, if you don't have
IT Tool Box you really need to consider building one or buying a commercial
one (that can be expensive)...