Standalone backup software

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Argus
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Standalone backup software

Post by Argus »

I am looking for good standalone alternatives that can be run from a USB memory stick to save a disk image to an external drive. At the end of this post I will mention what I've looked at so far, and it's possible that it will work (apart from being able to mount and inspect).

It would also be very good if said image then could be mounted later to examine, extract, etc. individual files. And, of course, if needed, also be restored to the original drive.

Since this is more or less a one-off it would be very good if it's a freeware.

Background:
Most of us have some kind of backup solution installed and in use on our computers. The keyword here is installed. If you can't or don't want to install on a computer it's a different case. These backup solutions can most of the time create some kind of "recovery environment", i.e. a scaled down version that's running on a USB memory or a CD that can be used to restore an image, or sometimes run a backup.

Current situation:
In the case AOMEI Backupper, I think you can take an image with the bootable USB that can be created, if I remember correct; but then we have the next problem. The computer I want to image is using a 32-bit CPU, and the bootable USB has been created with 64-bit software on a 64-bit computer, so it will stop there. The solution according to them is to create it on a 32-bit ... (I haven't yet tried with a VM.)

In the case of Macrium Reflect it doesn't matter if you use the Free, Home, Workstation, Server, or Server Plus versions, you will need the Technicians or the Deployment Kit versions to be able to "'Snapshot' image a PC without installing Reflect".

I think there are some (standalone) disk tools (such as TestDisk & PhotoRec etc.) that can take an image, but I can't remember and haven't looked closer yet.

Then we have Clonezilla. I've tried it, and it's quite easy to create a USB and run. It's free, it works with 32-bit, but I think it's a bit difficult if at all to mount the image for later inspection. In this case my problem is of a different nature. The computer in question doesn't have its original drive, the layout of OS, and other partitions, such as hidden restore partitions, has been restored/recreated on a slightly larger drive earlier. But I don't know the history of what has been done to the drive. Clonezilla "complains" about a MBR GPT mismatch. It can be dealt with, with other tools, but need some more inspection; either you remove GPT or MBR.
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StuartR
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Re: Standalone backup software

Post by StuartR »

I use TrueImage for my PC backups. I always create a bootable USB that can backup or restore images. These images are just the same as the ones you get from the installed version, so I can browse them and extract files at any time.
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Argus
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Re: Standalone backup software

Post by Argus »

Thanks for reply. Yes, Stuart, that was the original thought, i.e. if I could use something I already have (installed or otherwise), such as AOMEI Backupper, Macrium Reflect etc. These can produce such images. The second thought, sort of, was if not possible then I've no problem with a separate software just for this kind of situation. It's not a clone that I want, since the internal HDD is around 500 GB, and the external is around 4 TB. (The "free" copies of TI I have, as a customer of WD, Crucial etc. can only create clones.)

At first I got some mixed result when I looked at the internal HDD, as we know some tools doesn't see hidden partitions (and it has got one for recovery, and a Boot Booster (EFI) partition, apart from the main that's split into two; it's an old netbook), and I would like to take an image of the whole disk (though I have access to recovery DVDs etc. for the model).
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StuartR
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Re: Standalone backup software

Post by StuartR »

It certainly is important that you can choose which partitions you want to back up. In my case I exclude the Veracrypt partition that appears to be unformatted to the backup software. That one just gets backed up when I am running Windows.
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JoeP
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Re: Standalone backup software

Post by JoeP »

Check out TeraByte Drive Image Backup and Restore Suite. Not free. I know several people who swear by it. A couple different options to create image backups.
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Argus
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Re: Standalone backup software

Post by Argus »

StuartR wrote:
22 Nov 2020, 10:14
It certainly is important that you can choose which partitions you want to back up.
Yes. It was just that Diskpart (of XP era version) didn't show more than (Win) Disk Management: two partitions; though Clonezilla show hidden before and after, as some other Linux commands.

(So with Clonzilla I don't know if the reported MBR GPT mismatch is a result of Asus "magic", or, most probably a result of what has been done to the drive in the past.)

Thank you, Joe.
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