Fast imaging software.

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Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Tue Jan 22, 2013 2:47 am

Does anybody know what the fastest hard drive imaging/cloning software is? Paid or free, doesn't matter.

I usually use either Clonedisk or Partition Wizard, but I'm looking for something potentially faster. Clonedisk is alright, but caps at 100 MB a second or so. Partition Wizard seems faster to me, but I dunno. I mainly use that merely as an alternative to Clonedisk because it's options are different (if a HDD is failing, say, and Clonedisk can't read it for whatever reason).

Really though, I'm looking for something that's simply better in pure speed. Any ideas?
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Tue Jan 22, 2013 5:13 am

Are we talking HDDs? Because if so, I don't think you're going to see much more than 100MB/s.
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:20 am

I don't know if it's the fastest, but you are usually limited by your disk speeds, for any software.

Clonezilla has multi-threaded compression. If you have and a powerful CPU you can clone a 40GB OS partition in about six minutes (using SBE) where the same clone takes about 20 minutes on a dual-core conroe with the same disk.

It's also free.
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Tue Jan 22, 2013 11:32 am

How about a hardware disk duplicator:
http://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-SATA ... uplicators
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Tue Jan 22, 2013 12:29 pm

Clonezilla is buggy in my experience, and doesn't handle different HDD sizes at ALL. It'll just error out and yeah. Also, it's its own contained bootable thing, which annoys the piss out of me. Partition Wizard does everything better, and can still clone the drive it's running in windows from, yeah you have to reboot, but you still don't have to fiddle with discs or thumb drives. Couple those two problems and it makes it much more of a hassle for me to deal with then hot plugging into a windows machine.

Also, we are talking SSD's and HDD's. Yes, and HDD's aren't going to get much faster than 100 MB/s, but that speed was done on an SSD.

The Hardware cloner might be a decent option, but I was really looking for something to make images with. How fast do you think that thing goes though?
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:12 am

Yes, Partition wizard is both easier and more flexible, although I frequently clone to different sized disks without issues, so you're probably not using the expert options the right way. It definitely can't fit a larger disk image onto a smaller disk, but there are several ways you can fit a smaller disk image onto a larger disk.

However, you did specifically ask for the fastest, not the easiest or most flexible... ;)
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:37 am

Symantec Ghost handles dissimilar partitions sizes well, and it supports multicasting. We're using v2.5 of the enterprise suite here.
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:11 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Yes, Partition wizard is both easier and more flexible, although I frequently clone to different sized disks without issues, so you're probably not using the expert options the right way. It definitely can't fit a larger disk image onto a smaller disk, but there are several ways you can fit a smaller disk image onto a larger disk.

However, you did specifically ask for the fastest, not the easiest or most flexible... ;)


Good point. :) I'll look into Clonezilla some more, but honestly, it looks like Ghost will best do the job I need it to (sadly).

bthylafh wrote:Symantec Ghost handles dissimilar partitions sizes well, and it supports multicasting. We're using v2.5 of the enterprise suite here.


Yeah, it's looking like Ghost will do what I need. Question though, when making an image file with Ghost, can you make the image of just the used space (so it's only like 40 gigs)? Or is it a RAW pull like Clonedisk (thus making the image the exact size of the drive)? I know it can do incremental image updates, which is a huge plus.

Basically what I'm planning on doing is offering a home support service plan to my customers. They bring me the machine every three months, I tune it up, virus scan, etc. and make an image. That way if they get a virus or their hard drive crashes or something requiring a reload, I can just reimage their drive and boom, back on the road in an hour or so. So, basically the faster I can do the images the cheaper I can sell the service.
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:27 pm

Ghost will only image what's actually on the disk - if your partition is 40GB with 15GB used, the image will be 15GB before compression. You can also restore images to disks that are smaller than the source.
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:27 pm

bthylafh wrote:Ghost will only image what's actually on the disk - if your partition is 40GB with 15GB used, the image will be 15GB before compression. You can also restore images to disks that are smaller than the source.


Perfect. Is it reasonably fast though?
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:26 am

There's always the free DISM (formerly ImageX). Images files, not the underlying file system or partitions. Mean it will handle dissimilar drive sizes.

Supports multicast roll out via WDS or SCCM. Can just do drive to drive as well. Does go faster than 100MB/s for DAS.

It's also smart enough not to back up things like the pagefile, hiberfil, etc.
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:40 am

Vinceant wrote:
bthylafh wrote:Ghost will only image what's actually on the disk - if your partition is 40GB with 15GB used, the image will be 15GB before compression. You can also restore images to disks that are smaller than the source.


Perfect. Is it reasonably fast though?


*shrug* On a gigabit link it'll restore a ~15GB image in around half an hour. Creation takes longer because I have it compress to save space.
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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:14 pm

For additional (technical) information about the Ghost Solution Suite, check-out the Deployment and Imaging Sponsored Group page on the Symantec Connect Community site.
http://www.symantec.com/connect/groups/ ... nd-imaging

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Re: Fast imaging software.

Postposted on Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:51 pm

Norton Ghost is reliable. Not to sure about the speed but it does a decent job. Uses the windows backup so it is good.
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