Freeware backup/clone app for WinXP? Split archives and bootable recovery?

Discussion in 'General Software' started by mange_, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. mange_

    mange_ Gawd

    Jan 1, 2001
    After two days of endless misery and driver hell I've decided that I'm never gonna reinstall my parents desktop from scratch again.
    But, since I know from experience that they are completely unable to maintain their computer I need to clone/backup the drive so that I can restore this fresh install again without a complete reinstall of everything.

    The drive is a 250gb sata but it only has 25gb of data. I'd like to make an image, split up on as many DVD-Rs as needed, but only of the 25gb (I do not want a 250gb drive image..:) and I want the first DVD to be bootable.
    Just pop it in the drive, boot and wait for it to ask for the next DVD. I'm running WinXP Home SP3 on this desktop, fully updated.

    Is there a freeware solution that can do this for me? Or a proprietary solution with a price of <$20? I've googled in absurdum but can't find anything that fits all the requirements.. :(

    Thanks in advance,
  2. apcviewer

    apcviewer Limp Gawd

    Aug 10, 2008
    I haven't tried this software extensively, but it could give you a direction towards what you are looking for:

    From the little I used it, I booted a computer with the boot cd and once in the program, I was able to remove the boot cd and put in a dvd with an image of my drive (>4gb) and was able to still operate the program and search the dvd. I never fully used the program because it didn't seem to be 100% fool proof (have to locate the image file before a restore can be performed). If I remember correctly, the program does support splitting the image into dvd sized files.

    I searched for "acronis free alternative" which lead me to this and other programs.
  3. mange_

    mange_ Gawd

    Jan 1, 2001
    Thanks apcviewer, will look into it and it sounds promising!

    On a side note; I'm writing a paper covering ethical and epistemological aspects of Information Overload and it's a bliss everytime I ask a question to the [H] to see how quickly one can get over that threshold if you now where to ask the question! :)
  4. ProfessorKaos64

    ProfessorKaos64 [H]ard|Gawd

    Sep 18, 2009
    I have been using Uranium Backup, which is all free, and works pretty well. Heard about it in CPU mag a while back.
  5. TechieSooner

    TechieSooner [H]ardness Supreme

    Nov 7, 2007
    DriveImage XML has the option to split large files.

    Note- It creates the files on the disk- then you've got to burn them off to disk.
    You'll have to create a seperate BootCD (See the website) to get DriveImage XML running- then you do the restore. I don't know of anything that's as simple as what you're asking.

    Edit- It might actually split out out to CD sizes which would suck... I haven't played with this- I'll look around later if nobody else replies.
  6. MrF

    MrF Gawd

    Feb 18, 2009
    What you are asking for may not be the most efficient solution!

    When they need you to fix the computer again in a year or two, you will have to backup all the data they have acumulated on the 250GB drive (emails, movies, pictures, ...) before you restore your image. Otherwise, all the new data will be overwritten.
    That backing up, on a computer that may be failing to boot, could be a challenge.

    An alternative approach may be to split the hard drive into a small (5-10GB for XP) partition at the beginning followed by a larger partition after for data.
    Install XP in the small partition.
    Redirect the "My Documents" folder to the larger partition. So, by default, they will be saving all their data onto the larger data partition.
    Set their email program to redirect the email storage to the large partition.

    Use a tool like Clonezilla to create an image of the OS. It runs from a bootable CD. The image will fit onto a single DVD.

    When they need your help next time, you restore the OS partition only. Their data remains untouched on the larger partition. Since you have created the image after redirecting the "My Documents" folders and setting up email, all their data will be there after the restore and you do not have to spend any time restoring the data.