Looking for disk imaging/cloning software. Mac and PC.

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by camjerlams, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. camjerlams

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 23, 2012
    56
    1
    Hi,
    I'm currently looking into software to backup several laboratory computers that run machines so if a computer fails we can restore the image to another PC with ease and put the machine back to work quickly. There are macs and PCs in the lab.

    I have a couple of 500GB USB hard drives to save the images to, right now I'm trialing the free version of Macrium Reflect and it works quite well for PC but doesn't support mac natively, so is a more complicated, slow procedure for mac. I'd like to find software that will do both OS easily- so even a biologist could do it.

    Acronis true image 2015 looks nice and easy, supports both, but limits the number of machines you can back up and you pay more for more machines. I just want software that I pay once for and can continue to use on unlimited machines.

    Anyone have suggestions?
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,355
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    Get Acronis and don't INSTALL it on all the machines. Make a boot disk on a CD and walk that from one machine to the next.
     
    strantor and JohnInTX like this.
  3. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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  4. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,179
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    ImageX works well for windows and has the advantage of storing multiple images in a single file with significant compression factors if the images are similar. With Windows 8, ImageX has been deprecated in favor of DISM. They have similar functionality but they went and "fixed" a perfectly good command line interface. I guess the FOSS people aren't the only ones who suffer from this malady.
     
  5. Charles Wenzel

    New Member

    Dec 2, 2014
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    I use driveimageXML. I absolutely love it - it has saved more than one computer in my home from disaster.
     
  6. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
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  7. MaxHeadRoom

    Expert

    Jul 18, 2013
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    I use Acronis TrueImage 11, probabally an older version as there is no limit attached?
    I also have the Disk Director suite for disk management and for multi boot system installations on one HD.
    Max.
     
  8. camjerlams

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 23, 2012
    56
    1
    Thanks for the replies.
    All very good ideas

    I'll be sure to look into this, there are 2 old prototype DNA synths that will only run on an old G4 power mac so this could actually be really handy. Looks like it might take a while to work out but I'm looking into it now.

    This seems to be a very good option, will give clonezilla a test drive during the week.

    Thanks again everyone, I'll let you know how it goes.
     
  9. camjerlams

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 23, 2012
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    1
    I found this page: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-Clonezilla

    At the bottom under warnings it says "never try this with old macs that use powerpc processors" (like my G4s) but doesn't detail why.
    I've contacted the author of the video on youtube to try to find out if he knows why but he doesn't look active anymore.
    I wonder if this is true.. As the hard drives are no bigger than 27GB I'll try the dd method today and do a bit by bit copy for the G4s.
     
  10. camjerlams

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 23, 2012
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    1
    Question: I have spare G4 hard drives that I'd like to use the dd command to clone to.
    When I open the mac I see that the power cable and the data ribbon going to the HD have 2 jacks on the end-
    Does this mean I can connect 2 HDs in parallel? And then use the dd command to copy one disk to the other, take second disk out and leave on shelf for my backup??

    Also, as for making a boot disk, what is the best way of doing this? I'm having trouble finding how to do this *nix cd, can you point me to a tutorial or something?

    FYI- These old macs wont boot from a USB device, but will from firewire and disk.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  11. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    Link the G4 model so I can see which type of hd it uses.

    Yeah, I went a bit of nerd lingo there with *nix cd. A bootable cd in Unix/Linux world normally called Live CD. Here is long explanation copied from the interntz:
    "All screen shots are from within an Ubuntu Live CD. If you do not know about live cd’s you will want to read up on it a little. To put it quickly a “Live CD” is an operating system contained on a cd. So in this case the person demonstrating may have Windows 7, or Windows XP it doesn’t matter. He created a live cd of ubuntu and booted his computer FROM THE CD, and not from the hard drive like normal. Booting from the cd which has a live version of ubuntu on it in essence booted him into the ubuntu operating system even though he does not have it installed. This is why people like live cd’s – it changes nothing on your system (unless you change something on your hard drive while in the live cd) but allows you to either try out other operating systems, or use the tools (in this case dd) from the live cd operating system on your computer without needing to install anything. (gosh I hope that made sense)"

    One of the things to keep in mind with Live CD is to set the computer to boot from cd/dvd drive first. In pc world we do it by going into BIOS and setting the order of bootable devices, for example one of my old computers is set to boot from:
    1) floppy
    2) cd-rom
    3) hd
    The mac world works differently. My old macs (G3 and G4), you have to hold a C key during boot to force the mac to look at what is loaded into the cd/dvd drive and if there is bootable cd there, then it will use that bootable cd.

    Here is article on using Ubuntu Live CD with dd: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/19446/make-a-drive-image-using-an-ubuntu-live-cd/
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2014
  12. camjerlams

    Thread Starter Member

    Dec 23, 2012
    56
    1
    Coool! I do get it!

    So my next question is can I hook up both hard drives at the same time and use dd from within ubuntu to clone one disk onto the other?

    Pictures:
    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B24ZN7xs6vYKVnZ2WVdQWWM4cFk&usp=sharing

    Thanks for this

    Also-- what block size will i use when using dd?
     
  13. shteii01

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2010
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    I could not clearly see the hd model. But looking at the cable, it has 40 hole connector, that is standard IDE/EIDE/PATA connector. So we are looking at PATA hd. Yes, each PATA controller can control two hd, that is why PATA cables have two connectors on it. But because this is Parallel ATA (PATA), you, the user, have to select which drive is primary (master) and which is secondary (slave). You do the selecting by using jumpers on the 10 pins located between the connector for data cable and connector for the power cable. Looking at the rear of the drive from left to right: data cable connector, selector pins (two rows, five columns), power cable connector. I would suggest getting datasheet from Maxtor website to see which jumper setting correspond to which selection.

    I am WD man myself. So I am not familiar with Maxtor jumper settings.

    The internetz say that 466 MHz G4 had ATA-5 hd, that is one of the PATA versions.

    I don't see a problem hooking up two PATA drives. Just make sure that jumpers that select primary and secondary drive are present and set correctly. If you don't, the drives will likely conflict with each other and the OS on Live CD will not be able to access either. If I remember my Linux right, the primary drive will be seen by Linux OS as sda1, secondary drive will be seen as sda2.

    As far as dd settings, see this post, it seems to cover most of what you need: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2159729&p=12921281#post12921281
     
  14. BReeves

    Member

    Nov 24, 2012
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    You can download free versions of Acronis TrueImage from hard drive manufactures sites, at least Western Digital and Seagate. It will only work if at least one HD in the computer is from that manufacture but it's the full version that allows creating boot USB drives.
     
  15. lorein

    New Member

    Jun 23, 2015
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  16. lorein

    New Member

    Jun 23, 2015
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    Hello,

    My suggestion is you should have a try on the Hard Drive Clone software. I used it and it copies the content of SSD to Mac drive and the result is amazing, there is no possibility of data loss. It support all the versions and you can continue to use it without any limit.

    See more at: http://www.softwaredownloadcentre.com/software/hard-drive-clone.php
     
  17. lorein

    New Member

    Jun 23, 2015
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    [
     
  18. atferrari

    AAC Fanatic!

    Jan 6, 2004
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    It seems that you realized how old this thread is... ;)
     
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