With the disk image software you could backup or restore your entire drive or partition within a few minutes, thus you don’t need to reformat your hard drive and reinstall the os and many other applications when your system is infected with virus or rootkit. Today I’ll bring you 7 best disk image freeware, they are definitely the disaster recovery solution for you, details of which are described below.
Macrium Reflect has a friendly and simple user interface, you can create a disk image in Windows, it support Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7, you could mount the disk image file as a partition and explore it. You could build a rescue CD, which allow you boot the computer from it and recover your system from the disk image file, however the rescue CD can’t create image, but it support the NTFS format partition, and can read files from usb flash disk, so you can backup your system regularly and save the image file to a usb drive.
Additionally, the free edition comes with BartPE Rescue CD plug-in, you could build a Windows PE rescue CD, boot up computer from Windows PE and then launch Macrium Reflect.
You can burn this software to a cd and boot up system with it, this means that you do not need to install it on the local system, and keep your system clean. It has a built in function which allows you install it to USB. Redo Backup and Recovery is a rescue CD for full system backup and recovery from bare metal.
Point-and-click cloning of hard disk images to local or network drives.
Based on partclone (same as Clonezilla).
User-friendly interface similar to Norton Ghost.
Live CD or USB.
If your hard drive is Seagate or Western Digital or Maxtor, you can grab a free version of Acronis True Image from their official website.
PBRFAE supports variety of operating systems and hard drives, it allows you back up any combination of hard drive or partition to a image file and restore hard drive or partition from the backed up image file. PBRFAE supports Windows 7 (32/64-bit) and Windows XP Professional (32/64-bit).
XXClone copies the whole Windows NT, 2000, or XP system volume to another disk that will be ready to boot without a restore step. You may boot the system from the clone volume when disaster strikes. The cloned volume may be of any size as long as the volume data can fit. It can copy from FAT to NTFS or vice versa. Supports USB-disk, PATA, and SATA. Ideal for periodic backup, disk upgrade, or migration. Extremely easy to use.
DriveImage XML is a free and reliable partition/disk imaging software, you could create the image of system partition or restore it from image files in a few minutes with it, it’s easy to use and lightweight, you can even install it to a WinPE disc, boot the system from CD-ROM and launch DriveImage.
Clonezilla, based on DRBL, Partclone and udpcast, allows you to do bare metal backup and recovery. Two types of Clonezilla are available, Clonezilla live and Clonezilla SE (server edition). Clonezilla live is suitable for single machine backup and restore. While Clonezilla SE is for massive deployment, it can clone many (40 plus!) computers simultaneously. Clonezilla saves and restores only used blocks in the harddisk. This increases the clone efficiency.
Filesystem supported: (1) ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs of GNU/Linux, (2) FAT, NTFS of MS Windows, (3) HFS+ of Mac OS, (4) UFS of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, and (5) VMFS of VMWare ESX. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows, Intel-based Mac OS, and FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, no matter it’s 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x86-64) OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in partition are saved and restored. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla.