With today’s state of the economy companies are looking more and more to freeware, shareware and open source software to help cut cost. I know of a great imaging tool that works well and is completely free (for non commercial use). However the commercial product is competitively priced. You can get a 5 user license for $100. Pricing click here.
It is called DriveImage XML.
This tool is a nice alternative to Acronis and Norton Ghost. Here are some of it’s capabilities:
- 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 your Task Scheduler
It runs on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003/2008 and Vista. Unfortunately it will not image Macs, or Linux machines. This tool creates the images in .dat files and an xml file so you can use third party tools or program software to expand it’s functionality. You can even image a computer on the fly without shutting down or restarting. It uses Microsoft’s VSS – Volume Shadow Services technology. Yes it has compression.
I use DriveImage XML for all my home imaging needs and it works well for me. The one set back of DriveImage XML was that it is not bootable. I found a solution for this. DriveImage XML can actually be added to a BART PE CD. If you don’t know what BART PE is click here. I will blog about BART PE in the future.
After you build BART PE with DriveImage XML you can boot a non-bootable system and restore a previous image of it. This makes DriveImage XML just as good as the other image products out there. This also gives you the capability to sysprep your systems and use DriveImage XML.
For more info on this product go here: http://www.runtime.org/index.html