Some Thoughts on Drive Imaging Software

Taken from the article “Best Free Drive Imaging Program” < > at and augmented with details from the tools’ websites.

Recommendation: I have been using Paragon Backup and Recovery Free frequently and it has been reliable and has all the features i need.  It will clone the working system.

I have used Drive Image XML, PING, and Clonezilla with success.  I did not try Macrium Reflect Free because you can not restore to another drive unless you buy their commercial version.

Note if you’re imaging a drive you have already removed from a system, a sata-to-esata cable plugged into a esata port on a computer is very fast (you still have to provide stata power to the drive, somehow).

attribute Macrium Reflect Free Edition Paragon Backup and Recovery (Advanced) Free Drive Image XML PING (Partimage Is Not Ghost) Clonezilla
registration required? no yes, register on web, get email with prod key and sn no no no
clone – raw sector by sector image yes
clone a working, running system yes. both? both? yes (“uses Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Services (VSS)”
/ both?
offline boot offline boot
clone directly to another drive called “Drive to Drive”
clone to dest Any backup destination – including external storages, CD/DVD/Blu-ray discs, network as well as the secured hidden partition (Backup Capsule)
attribute Macrium Paragon Drive Image XML PING Clonezilla
file backup no not listed in feature list
mount image file yes yes yes
restore file from image yes via mounting yes via mounting yes via mounting
recovery “Linux Rescue CD” or “Windows” PE (Pre-install Environment) Recovery linux(/dos from website) based bootable CD (“Create bootable USB Flash drive, CD or DVD” –from website) tutorial and plugin to do Bart PE yourself
from the comments, from the author: “And if you can only get an optical booting disk [ie no USB boot] with any of these, there are numerous programs out there to turn that into a bootable USB drive, I’ve had the best luck with Unetbootin, YUMI, and Universal USB Installer. YUMI is great for a multiboot USB device, it is the first multibooting USB creator that works most of the time, and it has worked with almost everything I’ve tried so far. Hope this helps and good luck.”
attribute Macrium Paragon Drive Image XML PING Clonezilla
partition editing very basic
time (8GB) 9 min 28 min
differential backups no yes
restore to different / smaller? partitions There is NO Restore to dissimilar hardware in free version! yes, even smaller different drive, same size or larger
virtualize system disks yes
backup is a hidden full system mirror that can take over should the original become damaged called ‘Backup Capsule’
attribute Macrium Paragon Drive Image XML PING Clonezilla

2 thoughts on “Some Thoughts on Drive Imaging Software

  1. Pingback: Are “Registry Cleaners” safe? Effective? | Montgomery Minds

  2. Pingback: How to uninstall Symantec Endpoint Protection v11 WITHOUT the uninstall password | Montgomery Minds

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *