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pop pop
06-13-2009, 11:17 PM
http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp

Compatible with just about everything including 64-bit Vista (and presumably Win7). I just used it on my Vista laptop. I created a rescue CD (Linux-based), a backup image, and verified the image. It's similar to Acronis in terms of the UI, options, and speed. The big difference is it is free...as in beer. :D

Enjoy

PrntRhd
06-13-2009, 11:43 PM
Just what I was looking for PopPop.
:D

Paul Komski
06-14-2009, 03:38 AM
Well I must give it a whirl sometime but I never like or trust system backups (if that is what is desired) done from within Windows. Even (as the blurb for the program inidicates) that Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is being used. It appears to only be free for non-commercial use so if ANYONE wants a completely free but similar program (as far as the basic architecture is concerned) that is under 2kB in size consider the following batch file. Just copy and paste into notepad and save with a .bat file extension. Then just edit to suit.


rem #### BATCH FILE TO BACKUP A WINDOWS DRIVE OR FOLDER FOR WINXP (AND ABOVE?) ######
SET sourcefolder=D:\
SET destinfolder=E:\backups\
SET bkupfilename=bkup7z.zip
rem # Remove rem from the next line for a datestamped archive file
rem SET bkupfilename=%date:~-4,4%-%date:~-7,2%-%date:~-10,2%-%bkupfilename%
rem ####### DO THE FOLLOWING ################################################## #########
rem # Edit source and destination folders above to suit you
rem # Ensure that the drive or folder paths are terminated with a backslash
rem # If the destination file might be > 2GB then only backup to an NTFS volume

rem # Grab 7za.exe (The standalone 7-Zip Command Line Version) from
rem # http://www.7-zip.org/download.html
rem # Place this batch file in the same folder as the unzipped 7za.exe
rem ################################################## ##################################

rem # GET READY! ###
CLS
@ECHO OFF
SET backupfile="%destinfolder%%bkupfilename%"

rem # GET STEADY! ###
rem # Change the following line to NET STOP VSS to disable the Volume Copy Service
NET START VSS

rem # CAUTION! ###
rem # The next bit is important because new files would otherwise be added to a backup file of the same name
rem # The "7Za a" option adds new files and overwrites existing files of the same name in the backup archive
rem # Add the suffix /P to the line below if you want to be prompted about deleting an existing archive file
IF EXIST %backupfile% DEL %backupfile%

rem # GO! ###
7ZA a %backupfile% %sourcefolder% -r
rem # The above line says, in English: "7Za add to Archive-file the Source (and its contents recursively)"

rem # Comment out the next line if you don't want to read any results at the end
PAUSE

I suggest some of you might try it out in parallel with other Windows programs that utilise VSS because 7Za.exe (the heart of the archive maker) will give you a list of files it was unable to archive because they were in use, etc (and even though the VSS service was running). It would be nice and very useful to know if other archivers can copy the files that 7zip cannot.

7Za (the standalone command version of 7zip) has a Linux version as well if Linux restoration is needed and the native utilities within any Linux distro cannot decompress or extract from zip files (which would seem unlikely). So restoration from zip files should be easy enough from most any Live CD.

Other features such as scheduling and incremental backups can be done using Windows Task Scheduler and modifying the 7za switches and options for those feeling geeky enough to want to try them out. I had recently been doing some work in this area (http://paulski.com/zpages.php?id=1920) and that might show up a few other options.

It always amuses me that a single line command prompt or batch file can so often do so much; indeed the guts of the above batch file could be reduced to:-


7ZA a E:\backups\bkup7z.zip D:\ -r

;)

Paul Komski
06-15-2009, 03:06 AM
I think I may have to eat humble pie and after testing a few things out have to agree that it looks a very impressive piece of freeware. It images quickly and with reasonable compression and seems to get all the files that my batch file misses. The explorer access of the images is also very impressive in terms of speed and ease of access. I've yet to try a recovery of C: which would be the definitive test in very many ways.

I think it has to be using a mixture block and file copying and not just relying on the VSS service, which is indicated in its blurb.

If its remains as good as it appears I doubt it will remain free forever so now's definitely the time to grab a copy and go play.

Either of you or others found any special pros or cons?

runtu2009
07-02-2009, 09:17 AM
Seems Good !