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How to Ghost a Hard Drive in Windows 7/8/10/11? See a Guide!

Generally speaking, a hard drive may be failing due to virus attacks, a sudden power outage, bad sectors, and more. Then, unexpected data loss turns up. If the system disk goes wrong, Windows may easily fail to boot. Well then, what should you do?

You need to take measures to fix the issue. But if you ghost hard drive in Windows 7/8/10/11 in advance, things will become easier: the backup is available to restore the system and data.

On the other hand, ghosting a Windows hard drive to another hard disk can be counted as a good solution for a disk upgrade when the system disk is too smaller and older.

How to ghost a hard drive for your PC? Go to the next part.

How to Ghost Hard Drive Windows 11/10/8/7

To make sure data security, it is necessary to come up with a good strategy to ghost drive. In terms of data backup, the straightforward way is worth mentioning. In this part, two ways for ghosting a hard drive are mentioned –  image and clone.

How to Make a Ghost Image of Windows 7/8/10/11

This refers to creating a disk image. To be specific, it creates a complete copy or snapshot of the contents of your hard drive, and all data will be compressed into an image.

Actually, you can ghost more than one image and save them to an external hard drive. When hard drive failure or system corruption appears, you can revert your computer to the correct status via the recovery from the image file you have created.

Well then, how to ghost a hard drive via disk imaging? The best way is to run a professional ghost hard drive freeware to ghost backups. On the market online, you can find multiple ghost disk utilities and here we strongly recommend running MiniTool ShadowMaker, one of the best software to ghost hard drive. With it, you can easily and effectively achieve your aim.

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide!

How to ghost Windows 10/8/7? Now, use the professional ghost image software, MiniTool ShadowMaker to create a ghost image of Windows OS.

As an all-in-one PC backup software , MiniTool ShadowMaker functions well in Windows 11/10/8/7. You can run it to create an image backup for the Windows operating system, file, folder, disk, or partition. This free ghost image software can guarantee your data security to a great extent.

If you are interested in this ghost drive software, get it by clicking the following download button and installing it on your PC. This trial edition gives a 30-day free trial.

MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Click to Download 100% Clean & Safe

How to create a ghost image of Windows 7/8/10/11 step by step? Let’s look at the instructions below.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker you have installed on your computer and click Keep Trial to continue.

Step 2: On the Backup page, you can find MiniTool ShadowMaker will ghost the Windows system by default: all the system drives required for Windows OS to run have been selected.

Here your purpose is to ghost hard drive. So tap on the SOURCE section, click on Disks and Partitions , select a disk, and choose all the partitions on the selected disk. Here we choose a system disk.

MiniTool ShadowMaker ghost hard drive

If you only want to ghost Windows 11/10/8/7 or create a Windows ghost image with this computer ghosting software, skip to Step 3.

Step 3: After selecting the hard drive, you need to choose a path to save the disk image file. Go to the DESTINATION section and choose a path like an external drive based on your needs.

MiniTool ShadowMaker ghost disk

If you want to make some advanced settings like configuring some options, setting scheduled plans, or choosing a backup scheme, you can tap on Options to choose the corresponding feature. Let’s see some details.

Backup Options

This feature enables you to make many settings for the hard drive backup, including selecting an image creation mode, setting file size, deciding file compression level, adding a comment for the backup, and more.

backup options of MiniTool ShadowMaker

Backup Scheme

You can enable this feature and choose a scheme, then set how many versions of the backup image file to be retained on the PC. By deleting old backups, the disk space is managed well.

How to Delete Backup Files in Windows 10/8/7 Easily (2 Cases)

How to delete backup files in Windows 10/8/7 when your backup disk is full? Here are ways to remove Windows backup files on 2 aspects.

backup scheme

Schedule Settings

This feature is off by default. If you want to create an automatic backup for the backup image of the system disk, please turn on it. Then, choose one schedule setting when there is a need.

MiniTool ShadowMaker automatic backup

So far, we have told you how to create a ghost image of Windows 11/10/8/7 step by step. While system disk failure or system crash occurs, use the image file you have ghosted to restore your computer to the previous date.

How can you restore your PC from an external hard drive? Refer to this post - Easily Restore System Image from External Hard Drive in Windows 11/10/8/7 .

If you are looking for ghost software for Windows 7/8/10/11 to ghost hard drive to SSD/HDD, free download this ghost disk utility to have a try at once.

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How to Ghost Hard Drive to SSD

Besides creating ghost images in Windows 11/10/8/7, is there another way to ghost a computer hard drive? Of course, you can choose to ghost hard drive by cloning the hard drive to an external drive or SSD. In simple terms, a clone means a direct copy bit by bit.

Like that, all the data on the destination drive is identical to the data on the source drive. Everything (from the PC desktop to the device drivers, or from the OS to the hidden directory files) is copied identically. In this way, all the contents can be directly backed up to another disk.

Run MiniTool ShadowMaker to Ghost Hard Drive to SSD

Well then, how to ghost hard drive to SSD for disk backup or upgrade? MiniTool ShadowMaker can also help a lot. It offers you a powerful feature called Clone Disk.

With this ghost hard drive freeware, you can effectively clone the hard drive of the computer including a laptop and desktop to a new hard drive, such as SSD or HDD. Free download this hard disk to hard disk ghost software on your Windows 11/10/8/7 computer to have a try now!

See how to ghost a hard drive to an SSD/external drive:

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker and tap on Keep Trial to go on.

Step 2: Go to the Tools page and click Clone Disk to ghost hard drive to SSD.

MiniTool ShadowMaker clone disk

Step 3: In the following interface, select an original hard drive and a target hard disk. Note that the target disk should be large enough to hold all data on the source disk.

choose clone disks

Related post: MiniTool Programs Help to Clone Hard Drive to Smaller SSD

Step 4: Then MiniTool ShadowMaker enters the process page where you can see the rate of progress. And you need to wait for a few minutes, so be patient. When the operation is completed, you can receive some information as shown below.

You should make sure either the original hard drive or the target disk is disconnected from your computer. Or else, the Windows operating system may mark one disk as offline. This is because both the source disk and the target disk have the same signature. Just remove one that you don’t need.

MiniTool ShadowMaker clone finishes

Do you want to ghost hard drive in Windows 11/10/8/7 via disk cloning with MiniTool ShadowMaker? Just get this ghost clone software for a free trial.

Use MiniTool Partition Wizard to Ghost Hard Drive

In addition to MiniTool ShadowMaker, you can run another disk cloning software for ghosting a computer hard drive. And it is MiniTool Partition Wizard, a professional and free partition manager . This disk utility offers two features – Copy Disk and Migrate OS to SSD/HD to help you easily ghost hard drive for Windows 7/8/10/11.

Copy Disk helps to clone the system disk as well as a data disk. And Migrate OS to SSD/HD enables you to only migrate OS drives to another disk or clone the entire system disk. Just choose one to get started.

If you need to deal with the system disk, MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition cannot help and you need to use Professional Edition or higher.

MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Click to Download 100% Clean & Safe

How to ghost a hard drive with this ghost drive software? Follow the steps below. Here we take Copy Disk as an example.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard to its main interface. Then, click Copy Disk Wizard to continue.

MiniTool Partition Wizard copy disk

Step 2: Choose the system disk to copy.

Step 3: Select a destination disk to store the source contents.

Here the target disk should be big enough to hold all data on the source disk. Moreover, the cloning process can overwrite the data on the target disk, so make sure no important data is saved to the target drive.

choose a target disk for cloning

Step 4: Choose one copy option based on your actual need.

Step 5: Then some information about how to boot from the target disk will be shown here. Just do it in the event of system corruption. Finally, tap on Apply .

Clone OS from HDD to SSD with 2 Powerful SSD Cloning Software

This post shows you how to clone OS and other files on the hard drive from HDD to SSD without data loss with the best and powerful SSD cloning software.

If you want to know some information on OS migration, this post - Easily Migrate Windows 10 to SSD Without Reinstalling OS Now helps a lot.

Bottom Line

That’s information about how to ghost a hard drive in Windows 11/10/8/7 in two ways – disk imaging and cloning.

Employing MiniTool ShadowMaker, ghosting the disk is very easy. You can run this computer ghosting software to create an image or clone a hard drive to SSD/HD. In addition, another piece of ghost drive software – MiniTool Partition Wizard is helpful to clone your disk for backup. Just choose one to get started based on your needs.

Suppose that you have some questions while using our software, leave a comment below to let us know.

About The Author

Vera

Position: Columnist

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8 free software to image/backup/ghost your computer (free alternatives to acronis true image, norton ghost, etc.)..

free ghost software windows 10

Lately I have been running into a lot of backup programs. Each time I see a backup program, I think “Acronis True Image” or “Norton Ghost”. However both Acronis and Norton are commercial products that can be had for five simple payments of $19.95! Okay okay I exaggerate a bit – they are not that expensive. The point is every time I think of Acronis or Norton I think there must be viable free alternatives; there are always viable free alternatives. So I did the research, the testing, and have put together a list of 7 free programs that you can use to image/backup/ghost your partitions or hard drives like you can with Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost or any other similar commercial software.

Before I show the list of program, let me clarify something. Quite a few people have asked me “should I replaced X backup software with Y backup software”. Often times X and Y are two different types of backup software. What I mean is in the category of “backup software”, there are two subcategories:

  • Software that is intended to backup whole partitions/operating systems or hard drives. Usually software that can do this refer to the task as “creating an image” or “disk imaging” or something similar.
  • Software that is intended to backup individual files and documents.

Now every backup software does not have to be either or; one software may be able to do both tasks. The software I am about to show you are intended for full backup of partitions/operating systems or hard drives. They are not intended for individual files and documents. For a free backup software that is intended for files/documents check out Titan Backup .

Okay so here goes:

2009-04-10_172933

NOTE: Screenshot for Clonezilla was taken from the developer’s website.

pingimage

NOTE: Screenshot for PING was taken from the developer’s website.

DriveImage XML

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Paragon Drive Backup Express

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Paragon Hard Disk Manager 8.5 SE

paragonharddiskmanager85se

Seagate DiscWizard (by Acronis)

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NOTE: Seagate DiscWizard is for Seagate hard drives only. For those people that don’t know, “Seagate” is a company that manufactures hard drives. You can try to use DiscWizard on a different hard drive brand at your own risk (some people say it works but I cannot verify that).

Acronis True Image WD Edition

Acronis for WD HDDs

NOTE: Acronis True Image WD Edition is for Western Digital hard drives only. For those people that don’t know, “Western Digital” is a company that manufactures hard drives. You can try to use this on a different hard drive brand at your own risk (some people say it works but I cannot verify that).

NOTE2: Seagate DiscWizard and Acronis True Image WD Edition are both the same software but for different hard drive brands. They are both “watered down” versions of Arconis True Image.

Macrium Reflect (Free Edition)

2009-04-10_175552

Before I start my “analysis” let me say that Paragon Hard Disk Manager 8.5 SE is one of my favorite freebies of all times. However, unfortunately, it does not really impress me in the category of partition/hard drive imaging/backup (it has bunch of other useful features though).

That being said, out of all seven programs, the programs that has the most features are definitely Seagate Disc Wizard and Acronis True Image WD Edition. Both are Acronis powered free tool Seagate and WD offers their customers. The only problem with them is is you must have a Seagate or WD hard drive to use it so it is hardly a freebie for everyone (since not everyone has a Seagate or WD hard drive). Additionally, I noticed that DiscWizard/Acronis True Image WD Edition was slower than I expected for backing up: when trying to create an image of ~44 GB partition, Seagate was giving me an estimate time of 3 hours at the highest compression =O. Safe to say I did not actually test to see if it in fact did take three hours, but if it does, that is very slow.

Okay so to figure out which program (bar DiscWizard and Acronis True Image WD Edition since they are brand specific) is the “best free partition/hard disk backup tool” I was used three criteria:

  • User friendliness.
  • Performance (speed/compression).
  • Ability to create a bootable CD.

Clonezilla and PING both are not very user friendly so those were out the window pretty quickly. DriveImage XML does not have the most user friendly process of creating a bootable CD so that was eliminated also.

That left me with Macrium and the two Paragons. All three of these programs did fairly well in all three of my criteria mentioned above, but Macrium impressed me the most.

Macrium Reflect is an awesome professional disk imaging software that allows you to create and compress full image backups, to explore each image backup just like you were viewing a folder (useful if you want to only restore a certain file instead of the whole backup), has a scheduler and supports the creation of Linux and BartPE bootable disks.  There are two versions of Macrium, free edition (the one mentioned here) and full version (costs $39.99). Here is a full list of features:

2009-04-10_181641

Creating an image of my C:/ partition (32 GB in size – the one with Windows on it) was a breeze: it took me less than 30 minutes with Macrium set on low priority to create an image backup. I set compression at its highest and the image file size was only 10 GB (the image created by the Paragon software was 14.5 GB). The whole time the backup was running I was using my computer and never once did my computer even hiccup (Macrium supports Microsoft volume shadow copy so you can make a full backup of your Windows partition while using Windows).

Additionally, as I already mentioned, you can create Linux or BartPE bootable/rescue CDs with Macrium:

2009-04-10_182455

These rescue CDs are helpful if your Windows screws up and you are not able to login. All you do is pop in the bootable disk and run Macrium and restore your Windows installation from previously backed up image files without ever logging into Windows. While Macrium does not have native support to create a bootable USB/flash drive, you can create an ISO of the Linux bootable disk and google how to turn the ISO into a bootable USB/flash drive.

To make everything even better, Macrium Reflect supports both 32 and 64 bit versions of XP and Vista and the size of the installation file you must download is only 27 MB.

Macrium Reflect Free Edition is dotTech.org’s free full partition/hard disk backup software of choice. If this was a formal review I would say “two thumbs up”.

Here are the download links for all the software I mentioned above:

Seagate DiscWizard

Macrium Reflect Free Edition

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Paragon Backup & Restore Free vs Macrium Reflect Free vs EASEUS Todo Backup vs DriveImage XML vs Acronis True Image Home: Which one should you use?

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How Can You Effectively Ghost Hard Drive in Windows 7/8/10?

How to ghost a hard drive for data protection? Ghosting disk is pretty easy. Here is the best ghost hard drive software - MiniTool ShadowMaker, helping you to easily make a ghost image of Windows 10/8/7 and clone a hard drive to keep PC safe.

In a nutshell, hard drive failure always happens on your computer because of virus infection, hacker attack, sudden power outage, bad sector, and more. Then, unexpected data loss turns up.

For system disk, if the disk gets corrupted, the system is very easy to get corrupted. Well then, what if your computer fails to start up? The only thing you can do to fix this issue is to reinstall the operating system unless you ghost hard drive Windows 7/8/10 in advance.

In the event of accidents, things will become easier: the backup is available to restore system and data.

On the other hand, to ghost Windows hard drive to another hard disk can be counted as a good solution for disk upgrade when the system disk is too smaller and older.

How to ghost a hard drive for your PC? Go to the next part.

How to Ghost Hard Drive Windows 10/8/7

In order to guarantee data security, coming up with a good strategy to ghost drive is urgent for many users. For backing up data, the simple and straightforward way is worth mentioning.

And here, we will tell you two options to ghost hard disk for Windows 7: image and clone .

How to Make a Ghost Image of Windows 7/8/10

This option refers to creating a disk image. Then, what is a hard disk image? To be specific, this way will create a complete copy or snapshot of the contents of your hard drive, and all data will be compressed in an image.

Actually, you can ghost more than one image and save them to an external hard drive. When hard drive failure or system corruption comes up, your computer can still go back to a correct status by the restoration from the image you have created.

Use MiniTool ShadowMaker to Ghost Computer

How to create ghost image of Windows 10/8/7? As far as we are concerned, the most efficient way is to use a piece of professional and free ghost image software to ghost hard drive.

To satisfy users’ needs, many kinds of corresponding software are developed by many organizations. Thereinto, shoddy software can cost much time to make ghost images but the result is disappointing.

Luckily, MiniTool ShadowMaker, Windows backup software, is coming to do a favor and avoid this situation.

Get MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Edition (30-day free trial) from the following button and install it on your computer for ghosting a hard drive. Or you can upgrade to Professional Edition after the valid expiration date.

MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial Click to Download 100% Clean & Safe

When reading here, you probably ask us why use this ghost hard drive software. To put it simply, this program is reliable and all-in-one for you to create an image of the file, system, partition or disk in Windows 7/8/10. When it is necessary, the image is helpful to restore file, system, partition or disk. This free ghost image software can guarantee your data security to a great extent.

How to create a ghost image of Windows 7/8/10 step by step? Let’s look at the details.

Step 1: Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker you have installed on your computer.

Step 2: Then, this ghost hard drive software can navigate to the Home page.

Just do as the guide language says:

  • If there is no backup created by MiniTool ShadowMaker, please click SET UP BACKUP button to start data protection right now.
  • If there is a backup, it is time to manage the backup task in Manage .

Here we take the first situation as an example.

MiniTool ShadowMaker home page

Step 3:  In Backup page, you know MiniTool ShadowMaker will ghost Windows system by default: all the system drives required for Windows OS to run have been checked.

But in this post, your aim is to ghost hard drive. Hence, please enter the Source section, select a disk from the following combo box and choose all the partitions on the selected disk. Note that we choose a system disk.

Hot article: How to Backup Computer to External Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7

choose all disk partitions to make a disk image

Step 4: After selecting the source drives, you need to go to the Destination section. Here four options are offered, and you should choose a path to save the image based on your needs.

If you want to ghost hard drive to SSD, you can choose an SSD as the storage destination. Additionally, an external hard drive, USB flash drive, HDD, network or NAS are also available.

Step 5: After completing all the selections, click Back up Now and then MiniTool ShadowMaker will begin to ghost hard drive Windows 10/8/7 by entering Manage tab by itself.

back up system disk

From the above figure, you can see three small tools: Schedule , Scheme, and Options . Well then, what are the functions of them?

1. Options: After clicking this button, you can make many advanced settings for the hard drive backup, including select one image creation mode, set file size, decide file compression level, add a comment for the backup and more.

make advanced settings for the disk image in the options dialog

2. Schedule: This feature is off by default. If you want to create an automatic backup for the backup image of the system disk, please turn on it. Then, choose one schedule setting when there is a need.

 create an automatic backup

3. Scheme: It is still disabled by default. Turn it on , and then decide one backup scheme.

MiniTool ShadowMaker backup scheme

So far, we have told you how to create a ghost image of Windows 10/8/7 step by step. While system disk failure or system crash occurs, use the image file you have ghosted to restore your computer to the previous date.

Kindly remind: How can you restore your PC from an external hard drive? Refer to this post –  Easily Restore System Image from External Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7 .

If you are looking for ghost software for Windows 7/8/10 to ghost hard drive to SSD/HDD/.etc., please free download MiniTool ShadowMaker to have a try at once.

“MiniTool ShadowMaker is really helpful ghost hard drive. I create a ghost image of my system disk and restore my PC to a correct status after disk gets damaged.” Click to Tweet

How to Ghost Hard Drive to SSD

How to ghost a computer besides creating ghost images in Windows 7/8/10?

Additionally, there is another way to ghost hard drive for your computer, that is to clone hard drive to USB external drive or SSD. In simple terms, a clone means a direct copy bit by bit.

Like that, all the data on the destination drive is identical to the data on the source drive. Everything (from the PC desktop to the device drivers, or from the OS to the hidden directory files) is copied identically.

By this way, all the contents can be directly backed up to another disk. Well then, how can you clone a hard drive to SSD ?

Use MiniTool ShadowMaker to Ghost Disk

To ghost hard drive to SSD, the best effective way is to use a piece of dedicated ghost hard drive software. It is good news that MiniTool ShadowMaker also offers you a powerful feature called Clone Disk .

This feature can help you to effectively clone hard drive of the computer including laptop and desktop to a new hard drive, such as SSD or HDD. Free download this hard disk to hard disk ghost software on your Windows 10/8/7 computer to have a try now!

The steps on ghosting a hard drive are below:

Step 1: Launch this clone hard drive software you have downloaded on the PC. And then, go to the Tools page. Just click Clone Disk to ghost hard drive to SSD.

use MiniTool ShadowMaker clone a hard drive

Step 2: In the following interface, click the corresponding section to select an original hard drive and a target hard disk.

MiniTool Programs Help to Clone Hard Drive to Smaller SSD

This post will walk you through how to clone hard drive to smaller SSD with ease in Windows 10/8/7. Get the MiniTool Programs for a try now.

choose the clone disk and destination disk

Step 3: Then MiniTool ShadowMaker enters the process page where you can see the rate of progress. And you need to wait for a few minutes, so be patient.

 the process of cloning disk

Step 4: When the operation is completed, you can receive some information as shown below:

You should make sure either the original hard drive or the target disk is disconnected to your computer. Or else, the Windows operating system may mark one disk as offline.

disk cloning is completed

Want to ghost hard drive Windows 10/8/7 by cloning method with MiniTool ShadowMaker? Just get the Trial Edition of this ghost clone software to have a try.

Employ MiniTool Partition Wizard to Ghost Disk

MiniTool Solution Ltd. has developed another piece of HDD clone software – MiniTool Partition Wizard which gains great popularity from many computer users all over the world.

By means of this all-in-one partition manager, you can manage your disk or partition well. Among its many powerful features, its two features – Copy Disk and Migrate OS to SSD/HD are available to ghost hard drive for Windows 7/8/10.

The former is used to clone the system disk as well as a data disk. And the latter can help to clone the entire system disk or only migrate OS drives to another disk. Here we take the former as an example.

How to ghost a hard drive with the best ghost software? Just get this free ghost drive software to clone hard drive to USB external drive or SSD by following the steps. If you need to deal with the system disk, the Free Edition doesn’t support and you need to use the Professional or above edition.

MiniTool Partition Wizard Demo Click to Download 100% Clean & Safe

Easily Migrate Windows 10 to SSD Without Reinstalling OS Now!

This article tells how to easily migrate Windows 10 to SSD/new hard drive or clone Windows 10 to SSD without reinstalling the operating system.

Step 1: Go to MiniTool Partition Wizard’s main interface. Then click Copy Disk in the left action panel after selecting the target hard drive.

MiniTool Partition Wizard clones disk

Step 2: Select a destination disk to store the source contents.

select target disk to save the cloned data

Step 3: Choose one copy option based on your actual need.

choose a copy option for the disk cloning

Step 4: Then some information about how to boot from the target disk will be shown here. Just do it in the event of system corruption.

Step 5: Press Apply to perform all the changes.

Cloned Drive Won't Boot | How to Make Cloned Drive Bootable?

Cloned drive won't boot? This guide shows you how to make cloned drive bootable in Windows 10/8.1/7 using the best hard drive cloning software.

Now, you must know much information about how to ghost hard drive Windows 10/8/7. In this post, we tell you two backup strategies – image and clone.

By means of MiniTool ShadowMaker, it is quite easy to ghost the disk by creating an image or cloning a hard drive to SSD/HD. In addition, you can also adopt another piece of ghost drive software – MiniTool Partition Wizard to clone your disk for backup.

Suppose that you have some questions while using our our computer ghosting software, remember to tell us by leaving one comment in the following zone or writing an email to our support team via [email protected] . Also, the suggestions are appreciated here.

About The Author

Vera

Position: Columnist

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8 Free Disk Cloning, Imaging, Backup And Restore Freeware

Home » Freeware and Software Reviews » SSD, HDD, RAM & Flash Memory

Norton Ghost was the best free disk imaging software until Symantec decided to put a price tag on it and eventually discontinue the product, the last version is Norton Ghost 15 and is being replaced by enterprise version Symantec System Recovery for business.

See More ▼ 20 Free Bad Sector, Corrupted, Damaged Hard Disk Data Recovery

Almost all laptop computer manufacturers such as HP, Dell, Asus, Lenovo, Apple, Acer and more no longer provide Microsoft Installation DVDs, Windows operating system are now hidden in a ‘secret’ drive within C drive. The reason being that – It is better for the environment. and Faster formatting and installation time.

The only drawback is what if your hard disk crashed? What if you decided to upgrade your SATA hard disk to SSD hard disk? How do you go about replacing your hard disk together with the Windows software in it? You can’t copy the files since it is hidden, you have no choice but to ‘clone’ it. Without further ado, here are 5 methods and software that enables you to clone your laptop and desktop hard disk.

microsoft windows system security backup restore Norton Ghost Alternatives On Cloning Disk to Disk Image Of Windows

Microsoft Windows 10 Backup Settings comes free with all Microsoft Windows operating systems. This feature enables you to create a duplicate copy of your drive with additional hidden drives. A Windows Complete PC Backup image contains copies of your programs, system settings, and files. It is a complete system backup that you can use to restore the contents of your computer if your hard disk or entire computer ever stops working.

1. Rescuezilla

Rescuezilla

Rescuezilla is an open-source easy-to-use disk imaging app that’s fully compatible with Clonezilla — the industry-standard trusted by tens of millions. Yes, Rescuezilla is the Clonezilla GUI (graphical user interface) that you might have been looking for. But Rescuezilla is more than a Clonezilla GUI!

Disk imaging makes a backup of your computer’s hard drive which is managed as files stored on an external hard drive. If your hard drive fails, you can restore your disk image and within a few minutes all your documents and settings will be restored to the exact same state they were in when the last snapshot was taken.

Rescuezilla lets you perform backup, restore and recovery actions, even if you aren’t able to boot into your regular operating system. It does not matter if you use Windows, Mac or Linux. It doesn’t matter if you can’t even login. Download and write the ISO to a USB stick, and reboot your machine. Your computer will load a complete mini operating system with a point-and-click user interface into your computer’s memory without writing any information to your hard drive. Rescuezilla has the most features coupled with the simplest, most user-friendly interface:

  • Easy graphical user interface boots from USB in seconds
  • No installation needed; runs from a USB stick or a CD-ROM
  • Saves and restores Windows, Mac and Linux machines
  • Fully interoperable with Clonezilla, the industry-standard trusted by tens of millions
  • Supports images made by VirtualBox, VMWare, Qemu and all known open-source imaging frontends including Clonezilla!
  • Easily mount any supported image and copy out your files (beta)
  • Access your files even if you can’t log in
  • Recover deleted pictures, documents, and other files
  • Internet access with a full-featured browse

2. Redo Rescue

Redo Rescue

Redo Rescue, formerly Redo Backup and Recovery, is a free backup and disaster recovery software. It runs from a bootable Linux CD image, features a GUI that is a front end to the Partclone command line utility, and is capable of bare-metal backup and recovery of disk partitions. It can use external hard drives and network shares.

When disaster strikes, Redo Rescue restores your system to perfect condition in minutes, overcoming unforseen damage, malware, accidental deletion, hackers, mistakes, and bad luck. Restore your system to a blank new drive and be up and running in minutes and preserve drive layout and restore data to different parts of the target drive.

Free Disk Cloning, Imaging, Backup And Restore Software For Windows

G4L is a hard disk and partition imaging and cloning tool. The created images are optionally compressed and transferred to an FTP server or cloned locally. CIFS(Windows), SSHFS and NFS support included, and udpcast and fsarchiver options. Backing up Windows partitions requires the use of a bootable G4L CD or running g4l via grub4dos.

  • Raw compressed images of Disks or Partitions
  • Create Images to ftp server, or sshfs, or windows cifs or nfs or local device
  • Create NTFSCLONE compressed Images
  • memtest to confirm good ram
  • Hardware Detection Tool (HDT)

4. Clonezilla

Clonezilla

Clonezilla is a partition and disk imaging/cloning program similar to True Image® or Norton Ghost®. It helps you to do system deployment, 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 hard disk. This increases the clone efficiency. With some high-end hardware in a 42-node cluster, a multicast restoring at rate 8 GB/min was reported.

  • Many File systems are supported: (1) ext2, ext3, ext4, reiserfs, reiser4, xfs, jfs, btrfs, f2fs and nilfs2 of GNU/Linux, (2) FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS of MS Windows, (3) HFS+ of macOS, (4) UFS of FreeBSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD, (5) minix of Minix, and (6) VMFS3 and VMFS5 of VMWare ESX. Therefore you can clone GNU/Linux, MS windows, Intel-based macOS, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Minix, VMWare ESX and Chrome OS/Chromium OS, no matter it’s 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x86-64) OS. For these file systems, only used blocks in the partition are saved and restored by Partclone. For unsupported file system, sector-to-sector copy is done by dd in Clonezilla.
  • LVM2 (LVM version 1 is not) under GNU/Linux is supported.
  • Boot loader, including grub (version 1 and version 2) and syslinux, could be reinstalled.
  • Both MBR and GPT partition formats of hard drive are supported. Clonezilla live also can be booted on a BIOS or uEFI machine.
  • Unattended mode is supported. Almost all steps can be done via commands and options. You can also use a lot of boot parameters to customize your own imaging and cloning.
  • One image restoring to multiple local devices is supported.
  • Image could be encrypted. This is done with ecryptfs, a POSIX-compliant enterprise cryptographic stacked filesystem.

5. Macrium Reflect Free

Macrium Reflect Free

Macrium Reflect Free is a Free Disaster Recovery that works on Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 (32 and native 64 Bit) and Windows 10. It is the fastest disk imaging and cloning software! What makes this different from others is the support for GUID Partition Table, also known as GPT.

GPT is meant as a replacement to hard drives using a MBR partition table, which has a 2.20TB size limitation and extends upon UEFI. Using GPT a drive could support between 8 and 9.4 ZB depending on the sector size. Some of the more unique features are:

  • Access images in Windows Explorer.
  • Schedule backups.
  • Linux Rescue CD.
  • Windows PE Rescue Media (RAID support).

6. Acronis True Image WD Edition

Acronis True Image WD Edition

Acronis True Image WD Edition Software helps you to completely clone your current system drive onto your new WD hard drive. Cloning makes an exact copy of your old system drive on your new WD hard drive, including the operating system, applications, data, preferences, and email settings.

Everything will be present and operate exactly as it did on your old hard drive. Acronis True Image WD Edition now supports WD Advanced Format Drives and ensures that all partitions are optimally aligned. Key Features of Acronis True Image WD Edition Software:

  • Drive Cloning – Copies the source drive to a new WD drive, leaving all data on the source drive.
  • Drive Migration – Erase the source drive after the new WD drive has been imaged.
  • Drive Deployment – Enables users to prepare a WD drive so that selected folders or partitions can be excluded from the destination image.
  • Drive Image Backup – The long-term usage of the Drive Kit software will be to provide full drive image backups of a source drive at any time. Backup drive images will be stored as a file, which can be copied to any direct attached drive, network attached storage drive or optical media (CD/DVD).
  • Drive Image Recovery – The Recovery Manager enables users to restore a drive image from a direct or network attached drive. The Recovery Manager can also either erase just a portion of the drive to be used for the restored drive image, or all of the previous OS.
  • Create a Bootable Standalone Recovery Manager – With the Drive Kit software, users can create a bootable ISO image file, which contains the WD Drive Kit Standalone Recovery Manager software.
  • Recover a Drive Image from the Bootable Recovery Manager Software – The bootable Standalone Recovery Manager enables users to recover a drive image from either a CD/DVD drive, a direct attached drive, or a network attached drive.
  • Download the Data Lifeguard Tools software (Acronis True Image WD Edition and user manual and the WD diagnostic tool) and follow the instructions provided to complete the installation.

7. Acronis True Image Seagate DiscWizard Edition

seagate discwizard Norton Ghost Alternatives On Cloning Disk to Disk Image Of Windows

Seagate DiscWizard only works with Maxtor and Seagate disc drives. The software lets you quickly install your new disc drive with wizards that guide you through the processes of creating and formatting partitions on your disc drive, transferring data, and backing up your data.

8. AOMEI Backupper Standard

aomei backupper

Suffer a lot from data loss? Or worry about what will happen to you in the future? Then, why not backup your system, disks and files in advance, and once accidents happen, restore them all back immediately. AOMEI Backupper Standard is an all-in-one Free System backup and recovery software which is easiest and faster for users, even if you aren’t an IT expert.

  • Backup system and create a system image to keep Windows and applications safe.
  • Back up entire hard disk or specified partitions, or just cloning them.
  • Save time and effort with automatic backup and incremental backup only for modified or added files.
  • Clone a smaller HDD to a larger HDD for disk upgrade, or clone HDD to SSD for better performance.
  • Back up your most important files and folders on a regular basis.

9. EaseUS Disk Copy Home

easus disk copy Norton Ghost Alternatives On Cloning Disk to Disk Image Of Windows

[ Not Free Anymore ] EaseUS Disk Copy Home is a faster & easier disk cloning software with reliable & powerful data backup and restore features to fully protect your data and computer. This is very useful because have an exact copy of all your files and Windows settings at any given time. This is a brilliant disk clone, SSD migration and hard disk upgrade solution. Unlike the free ‘Backup and Restore’ disk cloning function in Windows, EaseUS comes with more features, such as:

  • Incremental and differential backup – Only backup changes made since the previous backup, saving time and storage space.
  • Schedule backup – Flexible backup scheduler allows backups to run based on daily, weekly, monthly or event.

Why It Is Important To Have A Backup Copy Of Your Hard Disk?

Murphy’s law, anything bad that can happen will happen. It is always better to be safe than sorry, thus, buy a USB portable hard disk and keep a backup copy of all your files.

Back That Computer Up NovaStor Norton Ghost Alternatives On Cloning Disk to Disk Image Of Windows

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Free? “EaseUS Disk Copy Home” isn’t free!

Thanks for notifying us, it used to be free, we use it many times. We’ll update and remove the link. Thanks again.

HI. AOMEI now also wants money for cloning a disk.

AOMEI Backupper Standard frer for MBR to MBR only and wants upgrade to Pro for GPT>GTP and MBR>GPT.

Glad to see AOMEI Bakcupper. I have used it to back up system and disk and it works well.

As a pro user (and Linux user too), I suggest Clonezilla: I succesfully created and restored both Linux and Windows (7, 8, 8,1, 10) several times. It’s free, always updated and bootable (it runs from a live CD/USB).

Just one thing: Clonezilla has different architectures for different targets and two branches: one based on Debian and one (called “Alternative”) based on Ubuntu. You can usually run the Alternative version (i386 or AMD64, it depends on your PC) on every modern OS.

BUT REMEMBER: If you have to create and image of an UEFI based PC, you HAVE to use the “Alternative Stable 64 bit Version”. The Alternative 64 bit version supports both uefi and secureboot. All the other versions (included 64 bit debian based one) don’t support secureboot.

One good thing of Clonezilla is that it creates a compressed (about 50% as default) image of the USED SPACE and not of all the disk or patition.

Finally, if you can manage the Linux command line it has a lot of tools you can use to recover data, check disk health and so on…

WARNING! If you have to check and repair NTFS file system you HAVE to use the classic “ckdsk /f” from a Windows bootable live (you can use the official iso from Microsoft website: Linux support for NTFS fix is not still complete and not always effective. For Linux filesystem (e.g. ext4) you can use “fsck” (see the Man page for usage), which is more or less the equivalent of chkdsk in Windows.

Enjoy it! :-)

Hi Bert, great comment! I use Clonezilla too, but sometimes I need to use alternative software when I need clone a hard disk with higher size to a small one. What you suggest? And other issue is clone from a small hd to a bigger. The bigger stay with the size of the small and I don’t find a solution in Clonezilla to adjust these parameters. Any suggestion? Thanks.

Go to expert mode: For small to large use -k1 For large to small use -icds (as long as you know you have enough space to fit the image size)

I use Ghost for Linux, start it with g4l or use the Partedmagic CD/usb booto or use the g4l bare iso. G4L never lead me down. I started with other software, Clonezilla lead me down 2 times, unacceptable in the imaging/backup world. G4L was the next one and although it looks for some people “old fashioned”… it works great and thats what i need for our Debian systems.

For our Windows systems I’ve used Ghost 11.x till Win10 … it does not work. There were work around options reported but never tried them. Such a software should be reliable out of the box. For Windows I now used AOMEI Backupper Standard Free. It works extremely simple and so far all my trials (I recently started) look great. I found out that is seems better to download the Win PE environment via the menu rather than using the iso internally.

i have a 210MB hard drive that is for industrial computer. i’m trying to clone over to a new hard drive. the hard drive may have dos on it and the program to run the machine. all the duplicators i have found cant access this small of drive. any suggestions?

try the dos version of ghost. I use it on legacy machines.

I used to use Ghost many years back so I understand the . I have a HD that is on the fence (light stays on too long) so PC has slowed somewhat (win 7 ntfs). What should I use to clone these days. Free download wanted to create bootable CD and clone to new SATA drive. It’s a WD 3gb drive in a Vostro. Cheers. John

Gs Richcopy 360 for both backup and sync files and folders is simple and quick… This is the best I think and really easy to use

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Norton Ghost

Drive imagining software used for windows.

Operating system: Windows

Publisher: Symantec

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Last revision: Last week

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Norton Ghost - main-screen

Norton Ghost includes advanced data archiving and recovery capabilities for personal computers. It is possible to create an exact copy of the hard disk (you do not need to reboot your computer), including for its transfer to another hard disk, and Norton Ghost supports not only the transfer of the operating system, but also the installation of individual applications. It supports fast data recovery, scheduling automatic archiving, copying backups to CDs, DVDs, network drives and USB or FireWire external devices, creating a disaster recovery disc for quick system recovery, and more.

Our users also use EasyRecovery and R-Studio Data Recovery for data recovery.

Norton Ghost provides an advanced data backup solution, allowing for precise hard disk cloning and swift system recovery.

Norton Ghost - tools-menu

- Creates full system and file backups

- Creates scheduled and event-based backups

- Allows you to restore the system after a failure

- Full system backup (disk image) - creates a backup of all data on the hard disk or in the

- File and Folder Backup - allows you to select individual files and folders to back up, rather than the entire drive.

- Incremental backup - to save time and memory, back up only modified files.

- Backwards compatibility - allows you to restore data from previous versions of Norton Ghost or Norton Save & Restore

- Load management - allows you to continue working, minimizing the use of system resources.

- Event Backup - Automatically backs up important events, such as installing a program or saving large amounts of data, when they occur.

- Improved compression and encryption - save memory and ensure the security of sensitive documents.

- Google™ Desktop integration - Search index-based backups speeds up data recovery.

- Memory management - automatically monitors and optimizes disk space usage for backups.

- System Status Summary - displays all scheduled backup operations and the backup status for each computer disk in one window.

- Remote management - allows you to manage other Norton Ghost 12 instances in the network. (To install Norton Ghost 12.0 on another computer on the network, an additional license is required.)

- LightsOut Restore - restores the system with the help of the software saved on the hard disk without using a bootable CD.

- Create Virtual Disk - Converts recovery points to VMWare® Virtual Disk (.vmdk) or Microsoft® Virtual Disk (.vhd).

Nathan Tue, Dec 19, 2023 Norton Ghost, created by Symantec is a software specifically designed for Windows that allows users to make copies of their drives. With this software there's no need to restart the computer as it seamlessly transfers all data to another disk. It offers features, like data recovery automatic archiving scheduling, backup copying to different storage devices and the ability to create a disaster recovery disc. Norton Ghost is a tool, for personal computer users looking for data archiving and recovery capabilities. - The software has the ability to create backups of both the system and individual files. - It allows for scheduled backups, as backups triggered by specific events. - In case of system failure it facilitates restoration of the system. - Users have the choice between system backups in the form of disk images or backing up files and folders. - It offers functionality to save time and memory during subsequent backups. - Compatibility with previous versions of Norton Ghost or Norton Save & Restore is maintained for user convenience. - The software efficiently manages system resources to minimize impact on performance during operations. - Important events can be automatically backed up using the Event Backup feature. - Improved compression and encryption algorithms ensure efficient memory usage and data security - Integration with Google™ Desktop enables data recovery when needed. - Disk space usage for backups is optimized through memory management techniques. - A System Status Summary provides an overview of all scheduled operations at a glance. - Remote management capabilities allow for administration of instances of Norton Ghost within a network. - LightsOut Restore functionality enables system restoration without requiring a CD. - Recovery points can be converted into VMWare® Virtual Disks or Microsoft® Virtual Disks using Create Virtual Disk feature. - Some users also rely on EasyRecovery and RStudio Data Recovery tools, for their data recovery needs. Pros: - The software makes disk imaging and data recovery backups straightforward. - It offers tools for migrating systems to hardware effectively. - Advanced compression and encryption features ensure secure data storage. Cons: - Limited support for Linux file systems may restrict usability in those cases. - Novice users may find the user interface somewhat complex to navigate initially. - Compared to competing software it provides options for cloud based backup solutions.

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Norton Ghost Alternative Software: 3 Best to Use in 2023

If you’re constantly testing software, trying out new Windows settings or tweaks or even purposely infecting your own machine with malware, it’s essential to have a complete copy of your Windows partition to hand so you can quickly restore it to its exact state to before you started messing around.

Even if you don’t use your computer very often or for those things, a full backup could save you time and money, reinstalling Windows and all your applications again would be a long, laborious and possibly expensive process.

Norton Ghost used to be the go to piece of drive imaging software if you wanted to create full backups of your entire Windows system. Backup Images have an advantage over backing up files and folders because they make a complete copy of everything in the Windows partition.

Although it was good, Norton Ghost wasn’t free and has long since been discontinued. Thankfully things are different now and even Windows can create basic full image backups of your system, although it can be slightly inflexible.

Here we’ll show you 3 free applications that can make full backups of your entire Windows install and how to create an image of your system with each one.

Macrium Reflect Free

The free version of Macrium Reflect has become one of the most reliable and respected pieces of imaging software around. There are paid versions which offer more functions such as incremental backups, email notifications, scripting and password encryption, but the free version creates full backup images with ease, works fast and could be all you need.

Creating a Macrium Reflect Backup

When you download Macrium Reflect Free from the official source, CNET , it downloads an executable where you choose which distro you want and it downloads the latest version to the specified folder. Make sure to click Options and select a 32-bit or 64-bit version to match the architecture for the computer you are going to install it on.

1. Download Macrium Reflect Free Edition , install and launch.

2. From the Backup Tasks on the left, select “ Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows. ” This will auto select all the partitions that Windows needs to run, including the hidden system reserved partition created on some Windows systems.

3. If for instance the boot files for this install are on another Windows partition which is part of a multiboot system, you can choose to disable it from being backed up here. Browse to the folder or network location, or select the CD/DVD/BDR drive to save the backup files to and click Next.

4. A summary screen will show where you can also change a things like compression level via the Advanced Options button, but the default settings are usually good enough. Click Finish.

5. The final window gives the option to run the backup now and also to save the backup task as an XML file so you can run this task in future with a simple double click. Just click OK to do both.

When the imaging completes, you should have a file with random letters and numbers with the extension .mrimg at your chosen target location.

Create a Macrium Reflect Rescue Media

The Macrium program will nag you every time you run it until you choose to create a rescue media, this is with good reason because you cannot recover your system image without the rescue disc.

1. If you previously disabled the rescue media reminder, go to “Other Tasks” > “ Create Rescue Media “.

2. You have the option of creating either a Windows based rescue disc or a Linux based one. The Windows media is more flexible but requires an extra 100MB+ of files to download. We’ll choose the Windows PE rescue media.

3. At the next window, select a 32-bit or 64-bit rescue disc and click Next. The option will appear that you can download or browse for the extra PE files if you don’t already have them.

4. Finally you will be at the media selection screen, leave the check boxes at the defaults and choose whether to write the rescue disc out to CD/DVD or USB, and click Finish to let the media be written.

When Windows needs restoring, you will have to start your PC using the rescue CD or USB. When inside the Macrium program, it should recognize your backup and you simply need to click “Restore Image” and follow the prompts. If your backup isn’t found, click “Browse for image file” to locate it manually. The Macrium boot media can also perform backups.

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office and Seagate DiscWizard

Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office is perhaps the gold standard in imaging software for home and small business use. It’s very well known and rock solid but Acronis themselves don’t have a free version of the software. There are however, special cutdown licensed versions created for hard drive manufacturers Western Digital and Seagate. As long as you have a drive by one of those companies installed on your system (internal or external), you can use the special version of True Image.

Create an Image using Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office

This backup and recovery tool makes it very easy to clone disks and perform full image backups.

1. Download and install the software onto the device

2. Once you’re in the application, select the Backup tab to create and manage all backup plans. Here, the user can have more than one backup plan if they’ll like to create custom backups

3. Next, click the Add backup option and provide a unique name for the backup process. When creating an image backup, users can decide if they want to backup the entire system, specific disks and partitions, or specific files and folders. Then proceed to select a destination for the files.

4. Click Select destination to choose the backup destination and proceed to start the imaging process.

Create an Image Using Acronis Special Versions

The feature set is highly reduced from the full Acronis True Image but you can still backup and restore images, clone discs and mount images as virtual drives.

1. Download Acronis True Image WD Edition or Seagate DiscWizard .

2. Install and launch whichever version you have downloaded depending on your hardware. Make sure you’re in the “Backup and recovery” tab and click “ Disk and partition backup “

3. All the options you require to backup are held in this window:

a) Select the Windows partition to backup, if you also have the system reserved partition it will pay to back that up too.

b) Choose a destination for the backup, this can be local drives, external devices like USB or CD/DVD, or network (including NAS). Presets are available in the drop down for the drives you already have attached.

The “Make this media bootable” option is valuable and you can backup your system to USB or optical drive and have it boot automatically to the version of Acronis you’re using. This means it’s the backup location and rescue media all in one so you don’t need to create a separate rescue disc.

c) Give the backup task a name if you want, the options button contains a number of settings like pre/post commands, validation, splitting, comments, screenshot and compression level, none of which need changing to create a basic backup.

4. Finally press the “ Backup now ” button to begin the process.

Backup images are created with the file extension of “.tib”.

Create an Acronis Rescue Media

If you enabled the “Make this media bootable” option in section b above, you don’t need to create a separate rescue media.

1. Run the program and in the “Backup and recovery” tab, click “ Create bootable media “, then click Next.

2. Put a tick in the second “Seagate DiscWizard” box, the option to include a system report isn’t required and adds another 140MB to the rescue media. Click Next > Next.

3. The media type selection screen gives you the option of writing the rescue disc to optical drive, USB flash drive/hard drive or creating an ISO image you can burn or write out later. Make sure your media is already inserted, click Next and then Proceed in the next window to write the rescue media.

When you need to, boot with the rescue media, select Recovery from the list on the left, click “Browse for backup” to find the image, then click “Disk Recovery” and go through the wizard to complete the process of restoration.

AOMEI Backupper

When we looked at Backupper for our imaging software speed and compression tests , we were mightily impressed. It wasn’t just the speed at which Backupper worked, but also the sheer amount of features the program has, such as differential and incremental backups, file/folder backup, cloning and encryption. On top of that, Backupper Standard is completely free for personal and commercial use.

Create a System Image With AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI has two versions of Backupper, one which works on Windows XP – 8.1, the other only works on Windows 7 – 8.1, but is 40 MB smaller in size.

1. Download AOMEI Backupper , install and run the program.

2. Click “Create a new backup” or the Backup tab on the left. Click “ System Backup “.

3. Give the task a proper name. System Backup chooses only the partitions required that enable Windows to boot for backup. If you have a system reserved partition, that will be included also. Click on “ Step 2 ” and choose a local folder or a network share etc as the save location, extra options like encryption or file splitting can be configured from the Backup Options button. Click “ Start Backup “.

A tick box is available if you wish to verify the completed backup’s integrity. Once complete it will appear in backup tasks where you can add to it later on with a differential/incremental image or explore, edit or setup a schedule.

Create a Bootable Media in Backupper

The Windows 7/8 version of Backupper cannot create a Linux rescue media (it’s a separate download), so here we will create the Windows PE version.

1. Launch Backupper and go to Utilities > “ Create Bootable Media “.

2. Select the Windows PE option and click Next.

3. Backupper has three options for creating boot media; burn to CD/DVD, write to a USB flash drive or export the rescue disc as an ISO image so you can burn the ISO later on. Click the writing option you prefer and follow the prompts to complete the process.

The AOMEI rescue disc is actually the same program as you get on the desktop and it should also recognize your previous backup tasks. Simply Click Restore on the task, click Yes when asked if you want to restore a system image, highlight the backup file and click Start Restore. Because it’s the full program you can do everything the program offers from the boot media.

Note: For disaster recovery it’s always essential that you store the backup files on another drive completely and not in a separate partition on the same drive. If you backup partition C onto partition D for example, and they are both on the same physical hard drive, if the drive fails you will lose both partitions at the same time, and that includes the only backup you might have of partition C. This could be a costly and painful mistake.

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80 comments - write a comment.

I use MiniTool-DriveCopy for Windows and quite happy with the result.

Hal, have you written an up-to-date article on this subject? Thanks, Ms. Cat.

Great and very useful article but direly needs to be updated as many new versions have now replaced these tested versions which are now old and many are already obsolete.. Also needed: what are the boot media sizes needed for each program? Knowing this we will know what is the smallest size flash drive to use to create our emergency boot disk. Also please let us know how format our boot flash drives for each program, FAT32 or NTFS? There are programs that work only with a particular format and not the other, this will simplify our work. Thank you

I tried Seagate Disc Wizard for a while. When I needed to do a restore, I couldn’t get the restore to work. I would never want to depend on Seagate Disc Wizard.

I have tried all of these, but one thing that I miss with Ghost was its ability to build its own recovery media into the backup DVD. All of the programs that you reviewed require a separate “recovery media” to be made. One bad experience I had in the past, which is why I returned to Ghost, was if I misplaced the particular version of the recovery media, then my past backup files could not be read by the updated current version. I won’t mention the company, but it is one you reviewed above. So, is there a good program out there that is like Ghost where the recovery program is built into the recovery media DVDs instead of being separate?

What about a partial backup? I need to migrate the C: drive of one computer to another and need to be able to use the software stored on the C: drive, but don’the want to migrate Windows.

Unless the software you are talking about is portable you can’t do a partial backup. The installed software will likely be far to integrated into Windows folders and the registry.

My favorite has been Paragon Drive Copy for several years now. They were the first software to be able to copy a Windows 8 UEFI partition without having to tweak any of the settings and have the resulting clone drive be bootable. I’m sure the others have caught up and can do this now as well, but after switching to Paragon, I have stayed with it as I almost never have to change any settings to successfully copy a drive. I am curious to try their software called Migrate OS to SSD, It claims to be able to just move programs from a HDD to an SSD and potentially to move a whole program from one drive to another. Seems dubious, there have been similar claims in the past but no one has been able to do this right, but their other software is great so I will have to try it out.

What image backup software is tested to work with Windows 10? Most I see are for win 7 or 8.1 and I did not think of this before upgrading to win 10.

Windows 10 compatibility is not listed because the article was released before it came out. They all do support Windows 10 though.

Veeam Endpoint Backup (free) is worth considering. Don’t be put off because it’s based on SQL. It has a nice set of features and is fast for both backup and restore.

The use case I use most often (which isn’t very often) is to 1) clone a complete image of my boot/system drive to a bigger drive, then 2) swap in the bigger drive. Using an older version of Ghost on Windows 7, this seemed to work OK – it supported setting up the bigger partitions on the target drive beforehand and handled cloning to the larger partitions on the target drive.

I tried it with Clonezilla, but it seems to want to clone to the target with the only same exact partition size as the source. Expanding the partition afterwards *seemed* to work, but after swapping in the new drive it was never quite reliable – sometimes didn’t boot correctly, sometimes it would hang and require rebooting.

Now I’m on 8.1 – does the AOMEI “Clone” feature cover this use case well?

I had been using Ghost for years and migrated to SSR desktop but now getting the updated SSR version for Windows 10 has been a night mare. I am currently using Aomei for my machines and although it is not as fast as the old Ghost or SSR it does the job. It has restored my test machine several time without an issue. At one point a newest SSR failed when I tried to restore my test machine. Aomei came to the rescue and it did restore it. I am rather impressed with the features it has and the cost for the full version is very reasonable. The free version does not contain the scheduler which is the only limitation on the free version. It is a very good product. and for home machines I highly recommend it.

I had a failing drive, needed to transfer to a new one. 30 day trial version of Caspar 8.0 did it in half an hour, made a bootable copy to another new blank drive. It took maybe six mouse cliks. If you need it just one time this is the way to go.

Ghost 3.0 is now available … it is back!

Looking for tool to copy one windows 8.1 from one computer to another. My goal is for the set up of each computer to be identical. I need to be able to input the correct Windows license on the second or third or fourth computer as I do this. Can any of the above mentioned products do this so each computer will have its own license when I am finished? Thanks

As far as I know that is not possible in these 3 applications, and no other backup software may be able to do it either.

The best way in this situation is probably to write the image onto the target computer (disable its internet connection temporarily), then with an admin command prompt type ‘slmgr /upk’ to uninstall the product key. That should deactivate it so you can enter a new key in the System window.

From your post I understand that you have no problem filling in new license codes. If that is true, than you can use the same image to create similar computer setups and change/activate the legal license code you have at hand.

As long as you change the code the moment you start up the machine, you are not into too much legal trouble. Especially when it is a one-off job of small proportions (say like 4 computers).

Microsoft does have tools for deploying similar computers where you must fill in the license code when starting up such a computer, but that are solutions for companies and are not nearly as simple or clear-cut as the software discussed here in this article.

Still using Paragon Backup & Recovery™ 2011 (Advanced) Free on all Windows 7 Pro systems.

Which ones let you do partial-restore of just selected files/folders as opposed to full restore? I recall some software that would open ghost/pqi files similar to a zip file and let you restore just what you choose. Or you could do a full restore. I don’t think you can mount the clonezilla image files even in linux. On other hand, in this age of dropbox and “previous versions” and virtual machines, the ability to restore just certain folders may not be a deal breaker. If you use the “windows image backup” in win7/8, it turns out you can restore individual files/folders from the hidden *.VHD (virtual hard-drisk) files created by a windows-image-backup in win7/8. The downside of windows-image-backup is a bare-metal restore may take a lot of manual steps. In a production env, clonezilla is a part of fog which can do bare-metal restore via a small pxe-booted linux environment.

Not as user friendly but I used CloneZilla at a Credit Union I worked at. Could even run a LAN and image multiple computers at once through PXE booting and the server version.

Thanks for the nice article! Lots of disaster recovery articles on the WEB pitched at home users, including yours, do not mention: – 1)- Does the product support backup to NETWORK drive? 2)- Restore from network drive? It’s not at all unusual these days for the average home user to have network attached storage, those questions are relevant.

The article mentions that all 3 will backup to network, Acronis specifically mentions that it backs up to NAS.

Hi Raymond, great article. One thing I did not see is how large the bootable or rescue media need to be. I have flash drives lying around from 128MB on up. Thanks.

The only thing missing is what size the resulting file(s) are. Can I use 1 DVD, 1 usb (again, what size), or should I buy a external HD (again what size). Hate to go thru the whole process and find sorry, not enough space on media.

We did a major comparison of resulting file sizes here: raymond.cc/blog/10-commercial-disk-imaging-software-features-and-backuprestore-speed-comparison/

Obviously everyone’s Windows install size will be totally different and it also depends on what version of Windows has been installed, what extra software is installed, and etc…

Thanks Hal . :)

Does any of these image backup solutions, work with windows 8.1 Secure Boot enabled?

to expand on my prev comment, i would like a “safe image” to restore to prior to going online and running windows updates, inc sp1. alas any backups made pre sp1 are useless as are restore points which also disappear once sp1 is installed, so any potential problems/malware would remain in system until its too late to go back. to quote the message i get all too often, “the version of windows installed is newer than the the version you are trying to restore to”

Why would you install a none SP1 version of Windows 7???

The error you receive sounds like you’re trying to use system restore to restore a point made in SP0 onto the SP1 install. No surprise that doesn’t work…

If you make a complete image, it makes no difference what o/s versions you have as the old one is wiped during a restore…

hi hal, thanks for replying , i only have a em disk without sp1 so a fresh install leaves me needing to go online for the sp1 update, which renders all prev restore points unusable but i thought also images pre sp1 also failed cheers for the correction :)

You could always get a full SP1 disc ;) raymond.cc/blog/links-for-windows-7-sp1-iso-from-microsofts-official-distributer/

anyone ever made a windows backup prior to sp1 install? have fun trying to restore that image once youve installed the sp1 update… !

AOMEI Backupper –the best i have ever used &&&& you can reinstall the image from the desktop[as well as USB rescue] this is a keeper

Does anyone use Terabyte to backup their machines? Thoughts? I have a lifetime license from them, as I do from any others including AOMEI. The issue I have with Terabyte is that they don’t make an easy boot disk and that is something, for whatever reason, I really have problems with. So I’ve always migrated towards Acronis because of how easy they make it. But with Acronis, I get so tired of the annual updates/purchases. More so, even when validates… I have had more restore failures with Acronis than any other app. So… now I migrate towards Aomei because they too have the lifetime license and they really make it easy. I even cloned and restored a drive the other day and it worked great. But, that all said, and since i’m long winded (sorry) i’m back to… does anyone know of or use Terabyte? Thoughts? Thanks. T

I STILL USE GHOST 11 WITH MINIXP IS VERY GOOD .

Great article, thanks.

Although I must mention that I’ve tried Macrium Reflect Free about 3-4 years ago, it backed up my data but then on the restore… the files were corrupted or something like that – I don’t know how it is today, maybe it’s better, but sometimes 1 time is enough, I’m done with Macrium.

I really think that in these situations when you need to do such critic stuff, like backup of the system you should rely on a good and famous program like Acronis… (or the free version of Acronis).

3 – 4 years is a very long time in the world of software, a great program can be made awful or an awful program can be made good in a fraction of the time. Whatever issues you had in Macrium may well not exist anymore, the only way you’d know is test it. In terms of software with the most positive user experiences over a long period, I’d say it’s probably Macrium.

I have tried many backup programs but most of these when the time comes failed.The only program that work for me is todo backup and it is also free.

From our experience, all 3 of these programs are more reliable than EaseUs, far too many users complain about Todo, we’ve just had yet another member in our forum say it doesn’t work for them…

ACTIVE @ DISK IMAGE FREE EDITION

We’ve looked at this program before, but how do you create a boot CD/USB to restore your backup?? The option is not available in the free version…

Easeus makes the best free Windows partition program, but I am less than thrilled with Todo, so I appreciate this article (and an actual email from raymond.cc for a change!)

I recommend “www.drivesnapshot.de/en”. it is the only tool, which work portable and do it without mistakes. unfortunitely it is very expensive

Can you please suggest similar backup / image creation softwares for linux or dual-boot systems? I have tried clonezilla and it serves the purpose in most cases. The ideal solution that I need is browsable image for linux or dual boot systems. I will greatly appreciate your help in this matter since I have spent a lot of time over the years looking for such solution.

can you provide comparative analysis on:

1. size of these each applications 2. space taken to create bootable image? 3. image compression ratio or size when selected to maximum? 4. image recovery speed? 5. issue noticed with backup & recovery? 6. tech details available in forum & from company for each product listed above?

1. There is at least 6 different version of the 3 applications, all have different sizes, maximum is about 200MB for the Acronis tools. Size is of tiny importance when you’re backing up a whole Windows drive of tens or hundreds of Gigabytes. 2. Again there are several different sizes depending on which version you choose, they’ll easily fit on a 512MB USB stick or CD. 3 & 4. We did some tests a few months back of imaging software compression ratio and speed, although not at max compression, they still give you a good idea. https://www.raymond.cc/blog/10-commercial-disk-imaging-software-features-and-backuprestore-speed-comparison/ 5. Don’t think any of these programs have ever failed me either during testing or general use. 6. No point in us just repeating all the tech details of each app, the official website is for that…;)

Thanks for your input.

Nice post Raymond. just wanted to know can any of these be used with server operating systems like: Windows-2003/2008/2012? & with RAID 1 & 5?

If not then can you suggest which is/are the best free disk cloning/imaging/ghosting programs for the same?

Thanks for writing. Plz Update all of us with your true knowledge. Plz provide an article about GPT partitions, UEFI partitions etc. Conversion between gpt to mbr or wise versa.

Excellent article.I will bookmark this page (y)

Great to read something new again! Thanks for that … interesting article, I have always used Drive Image XML, used Macrium now … Hopefully there will soon be news again!

Do I need to format the usb before using it as a backup drive?

The program will either ask you to format and popup the formatting tool or automatically do it for you.

A very well written and up to date discussion of some excellent utilities. “Ghosting” a drive image has always been a problematic process in Windows because of the “in use” files that must be copied as “Shadow Copies.” Now, most disk imaging tools have finally overcome these issues, and these are all fine examples of that…but my caveat has been that Macrium Reflect in prior versions had issues in both XP and Win7. I will carefully try it again with Win 8.1 and Win 7, because the features and intuitive interface look very good.

Aomei makes many good Programs, and they tend to be very supportive people…all big pluses, and BackUpper is new to me. I will try and let you know how it works for several systems.

Easus TODO is a tool I also have used, and although there are a couple of awkward points in the process where it must restart and do magical things behind our backs, it generally produces good, safe results. I understand why it was not reviewed here, and I like the idea of a top three comparison and review of the latest versions, especially when one or more are new versions or totally new product offerings.

As always, I am delighted to receive new reviews and announcements from you!

Keep up the fine work!

Glad to see you again Raymond. We missed you a lot ! I have had a very good experience indeed with Macrium reflect, backing up an SSD with system on it (win 7) before a firmware update of the SSD, which was a mandatory pre-firmware update backup (Crucial SSD). By the way, very big amelioration of the SSD speed after this firmware update.

Excellent article; thank you!

For those who might shy away from CNET’s Download.com (such as myself) due to the number of PUPs often contained in the wrapper, a reliable site with a large catalog (and which also tends to update the software they list very soon after the vendor releases it) is Softpedia; their page for Macrium Reflect is softpedia.com/get/System/Back-Up-and-Recovery/Macrium-Reflect-Free-Edition.shtml .

Another benefit Softpedia offer is to explicitly warn the user to be careful during installation, should the application contain PUPs.

Hello Raymond. I thought you were lost to us. I have not had an e-mai from you for “yonks”. But, this is so timely!. Trying to make an image of drive c.. I have acronis 2014 and O&O disk image.

Neither seems to do the job. Will now try free versions. Thank you Raymond.

Welcome back. Do not leave it so long next time./

Cheers. Les

Useful post.

When I was running XP, I’ve never had any problems with DriveImageXml. Since it was not compatible GPT (why do they not follow the movement? Did they intend to do it ?), I had unfortunately to abandon it with Win 8.1 and turn myself to Aomei Backupper. I’ll try Macrium too. Thanks.

When we ran our imaging software tests a while back the speed and compression ratios of Driveimage XML were awful, you get the feeling from the program they have done very little to it apart from minor fixes etc for many years.

If we had to pick one free imaging software where we’ve heard the most people on the blog or in the forums say things like “I use xxxx and it’s great” or “xxxxx has never let me down”, it would have to be Macrium…

Why no EaseUS Todo Backup? It works very well.

Simply because it’s not one of our 3 favorite free imaging applications, if we intended to write about 5 or 6 apps, it would have been here.

Yes, a great article. Some caveats–EaseUs ToDo is touted as a universal best, but yesterday during a “clone” to another hard drive, the results were somewhat messy. Since I usually use Macrium Reflect free, I had a Rescue Disk that enabled me to boot my machine and fix the MBR. (Perhaps I need more experience in cloning!)

I don’t rely on “one” image or backup. It’s takes so little time to make a system image that I may use Macrium and Paragon, or Macrium and Aomei, or Macrium and the Windows 7 utility if I am on Windows 7.

One other item that some folks like to do is clean out all of the crud (at least with CCleaner), check for empty folders, defrag, check for malware, etc. before making the image.

Nice to see some articles again . . .

Thanks jasray, these three are pretty much our favorite free imaging apps, EaseUs ToDo is probably number 4 or 5 on our list. AOMEI is still relatively new but has been very good during all out tests over the months, which is why Paragon and EaseUs have been pushed down…

Thanks Raymond, very good article!

Thanks Hector, glad you like it.. ;)

thanks so much, I’d really appreciate your help.

WOW!!!!! Great job Guys

Thanks Raymond

Hi all.. First of all thanks Ray for this article…at last I have found an article to backup your disk other than Ghost..

Wow, very helpful and useful tutorial, thank you so much.

Anyway, just came across this wonderful site today that informed me of the lovely macrium software. I actually went ahead and purchased it. Doesn’t seem like there’s any catches like what the dixml does (like a partition has to be the same exact size as it was before). What if I can’t remember what it was in order to format at the exact same? ; ) Anyway, I backed up my entire 15 gigs of c drive in about 10 minutes time into an image file. I had it verified, and i can browse through the backup no problem. The program lets you mount the image onto a virtual disc it can create for you temporarily to allow you to do this. I received an email in only about 15 minutes time showing ordering info, order number, license number (and yes it did work), and contact info again, etc. So, this is a fully legit program ‘vendor?’. You pay for it, they give it to you. I’m just going to wait for mine to come in the mail otherwise though. I don’t want to overuse the drive i made the image on. ; p Anyway, I’ve said enough. Very delighted I found this site. it will help me out in plenty of other ways as well! Peace!

VERY GOOD IDEA!!! Ive always wanted to make an image of my C drive, but never successful, because Norton Ghost basically sucks. I hate it. Too difficult to use too. This looks and sounds easy. Thanks Ray!!

nice article Ray, first time to try it.

Good artical ray.. but u can do all of the above in ghost ,and as for using a extra pc for testing i would “do” use Vmware machines ,windows installs in mins and u can have as meny different os`s as u choose..

You just hit the spot. Have been looking for an alternative to Ghost for ages. What is your experience so far in your weekly restores, Raymond?. Anything you miss from Norton Ghost?.

If the disk images are reliable, I guess there’s not much to complain about this software.

Thats a great software.

wow awesome article Raymont .. you are the one Ray ;)

WOW! this is great!

Nice articel

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data security

  • Ghost Image Software for Windows 10
  • Tips Data Backup

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Summary Learn how to create a system image by using Windows Ghost software and Renee Becca to prevent data loss and ensure a smooth recovery in case of system failure.

Table of contents

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1. Use Ghost software to make Windows 10 system image

2. use renee becca to create a windows 10 system image.

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I. About Windows Ghost

Ii. how to make a windows 10 system image.

Select the source drive on your system

Quick Backup files at up to 3,000MB/min.

Fullfill different backup needs Supports system backup, disk / partition backup, file backup and disk clone.

Intelligent Automatically analyze the differences between source and backup data.

Convenient Support VSS, allowing to freely view webpages when backing up system.

Highly compatible Supports various files and storage devices.

Fullfill different backup needs Backup for disk, partition and system. Save disk space by backing up incremental /differential data.

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Best System Backup Software for Easy and Reliable Data Protection

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Amanda J. Brook : Make the automatic backup plans for Windows 10 system with 5 different backup modes. Save time and disk...

How to Restore System Backup by Renee Becca

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Top 5 Free & Reliable Hard Disk Drive Cloning Software for 2023

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Clonezilla: Best for deployment on multiple systems

Macrium reflect free edition: best for reliability, driveimage xml: best for basic users, easeus todo backup: best for a variety of backup methods, paragon backup & recovery free: best for simple backup and recovery.

It’s inevitable: At some point you’re going to need to recover from a disaster. You’ll have an old hard drive fail and either you’ll lose valuable data, or the machine will refuse to boot. When this occurs, if you happen to have a backup image or clone of the damaged or corrupt source drive, recovering your data to a new drive will be far easier.

SEE: Use this software usage policy from TechRepublic Premium

Unfortunately, retail hard disk imaging software, like Acronis Backup and Restore, may not be in everyone’s budget. When you don’t have the budget, what do you do? You use one of the disk imaging utility tools listed here, all of which do an admirable job of cloning a hard disk drive at an unbeatable price, free.

Some of these hard drive cloning apps are more powerful than others. While some will do a-bit-for-bit copy, others create a full ISO image of your running system. Some are Windows specific, and others don’t care what operating system you’re running. In the end, what’s important is that you use the tool that best suits your skills and needs.

Top free HDD cloning software

Honorable mention: linux dd command, choosing the right hdd cloning software for your business.

Clonezilla is one of my favorite HDD cloning tools. This particular take on the cloning process is more like a bootable Linux distribution that can do bit-by-bit copying, and it supports a ton of file systems (including FAT32, NTFS, HFS+, UFS, NetBSD, OpenBSD, xfs, jfs, btrfs, f2fs, nilfs2 and even LVM2). There’s an unattended mode and multicast support built-in, as well as the ability to reinstall the Grub bootloader.

Clonezilla might be the single most powerful disk copy tool available that doesn’t have a price tag. And if you’re looking to clone multiple machines quickly, Clonezilla SE can clone 40 machines at once. Clonezilla does use a curses-based interface, so some might find it a bit challenging at first.

Standout features

  • Ability to run from USB: You can run Clonezilla from a USB, so there’s no need to install the tool on the operating system. You can even boot Clonezilla from CD/DVD or do a network boot.
  • Supports a wide range of file formats: Clonezilla supports numerous file formats, including NTFS, FAT, ext2, ext3 and ext4.
  • Multiple restore options: Not only can you save images to various storage media, you can also restore images from multiple sources such as network service or local storage.
  • Highly customizable.
  • Strong encryption.
  • Interface isn’t user-friendly and feels outdated.
  • No direct download.

Visit Clonezilla

Macrium Reflect Free Edition touts itself as one of the fastest disk cloning utilities available. This hard drive cloning software supports only Windows file systems, but it does it quite well and has a fairly straightforward user interface. This software does disk imaging and disk cloning, allows you to access images from the file manager, creates a Linux rescue CD and is compatible with Windows.

The Macrium free edition is also capable of creating differential images, doing direct-disk cloning, booting backups into a Hyper-V virtual machine, running scheduled backups, doing bare-metal restores and even encrypting backups.

  • Schedule automatic backups: You can schedule backups ahead of time, so you don’t have to remember to perform backups.
  • Multiple backups: With the commercial version of Macrium Reflect, you can schedule multiple backups to make sure all devices on your network get backed up at the same time.
  • Full image backup: You can choose to back individual files or images or do a full backup of the entire disk.
  • Create bootable drive: You can load Macrium Reflect from a removable medium such as a USB.
  • Lifetime license.
  • Reliable image backups.
  • No file sync.
  • No cloud backup.

View Macrium

DriveImage XML uses Microsoft VSS to create images and does so with the reliability you might not expect in a free tool. With DriveImage XML you can create “hot” images from a hard disk already in use. Images are stored in XML files, so you can access them from any supporting third-party software. DriveImage XML can also restore an image to a machine without the need for a reboot.

This imaging software runs under Windows XP, 2003, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10 . It’s important to note that you cannot use DriveImage XML commercially. To use this product for business purposes, you must obtain a license. You can purchase a commercial DriveImage XML license for 5 ($100), 10 ($150), 20 ($200), 50 ($400) and 100 ($500) users.

  • Friendly interface: Although DriveImage XML doesn’t offer advanced features such as security encryption or network backup, the organized and clean interface makes for easy navigation.
  • Volume Shadow Copy Services: With DriveImage XML, you use VSS to create images of live systems. This helps create backups without disruptions to operations.
  • Browse individual files: You can browse files on the image drive before restoring the entire disk. This is a useful tool when you need a specific file from a backup.
  • Easy to use.
  • No reboot required.
  • Limited support.
  • No encryption.
  • No network backup.

Visit DriveImage XML

EaseUS Todo Backup is one of top free hard disk cloning software that offers a wide range of cloning options including partition cloning. With EaseUS Todo Backup, users can do full or incremental backups, and can schedule backups. The paid plans add more functionality to the software through advanced tools such as command-line backup, email notifications and off-site copies.

  • Variety of backup methods: Users can save several backup copies in cloud drive or local dis.
  • Choose folders and files to backup: you can choose which folders or files you want to back up. This feature helps prioritize business-critical data.
  • Partition backup: EaseUS Todo Backup allows users to create backups of specific partitions.
  • Extensive range of cloning options.
  • User friendly interface.
  • Scheduled backup.
  • Slow backup speed.
  • Lack of continuous backups.

Visit EaseUS

Paragon Backup & Recovery Free is for stand-alone Windows machines, and it does a great job of handling scheduled imaging. The Community Edition of Paragon can schedule backups of files, volumes and/or disks; backup strategy definition; disk space management; version control; viewing contents of backups and even recovery using WinPE.

The free version is based on the powerful pro version, but it’s for personal use only. I highly recommend using the free version to try out the software. If it fits the bill, pony up for the full version (or even the server version). Paragon will run on any version of Windows, version 7 SP1 and newer.

  • Combination of full or incremental and differential backup: With Paragon Backup & Recovery Free, you can set a combination of full or differential backups. This is a unique feature not available in most HDD cloning and imaging solutions.
  • Variety of recovery options: You can recover the full system or choose to take a more granular approach by choosing the data you want to restore.
  • Intuitive user interface.
  • Back up to virtual hard drives.
  • Variety of backup rotation schemes.
  • No partition imaging.
  • No customer help forum.

Visit Paragon

As a freebie, I thought it worthwhile to mention the Linux dd command, which does a great job of cloning drives. And best of all, it’s already built into the operating system.

You can use dd to create a disk image or a byte for byte copy. Note: You don’t want to run this on a mounted drive that’s in use. Your best bet is to boot the machine housing the drive with a live Linux distribution, find the name of the drive to be cloned and issue a command such as

dd if=/dev/sdX of=/image.img

where X is the letter assigned to the drive to be cloned.

You could also do a direct to disk copy

dd if=/dev/sdX of=/dev/sdY

where X is the name of the drive to be cloned and Y is the name of the drive to house the clone.

You’ve been looking for a free backup solution that will help clone disks. With one of these five, you should now have a solution in hand. Yes, some of them might be a bit challenging to use and some might not have all the features you’re looking for; however, each should allow you to clone a source disk to target disk to make your disaster recovery plan come to life. With luck, you won’t need anything more — but there’s a little law named after a man called Murphy that might have something to say about that.

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All-round Windows PC data backup, sync, and clone software.

Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7

  • AOMEI Backupper >
  • Disk & System Clone >

Create Image Backup via Ghost Disk Utility and Free Alternative

This article is written for users like you who want to ghost disk to image using Ghost disk utility in Windows 11, 10. Scroll down to learn more.

Lily

By Lily Updated on August 21, 2023

#1. Ghost Disk to Image

#2. clone hard drive to ssd, #3. restore system to keep computer running normally, norton ghost disk utility overview.

Today Windows users meet serious disk troubles from time to time. We will never know when the disaster will happen. A hard disk image backup can help restore computer to earlier date that works normally with all your applications and personal data. On the other hand, we can also choose to restore the disk image to new disk when we need to replace the old one. Then the ghost disk utility is needed.

Norton Ghost used to be the best free disk imaging software. It’s one disk cloning and backup tool developed by Murray Haszard in 1995 and it was acquired in 1998 by Symantec. The tool can help you backup your whole hard drive or selected folders to a partition, an external hard drive or a network drive.

However, Norton Ghost is no longer available for the Home user. It was discontinued by Symantec in 2013. Now you can still download the last Ghost (disk utility) - Norton Ghost 15. But you need to pay for it or you can get a 30-day free trial version.

Create Disk Image with Ghost Disk Software

Here in this part, we will tell you how to use Norton Ghost to create disk image. First, download this ghost disk software from Symantec site. Or you can simply type “Norton Ghost 15 download” in the search box of your browser and search the download page.

It will run a step-by-step wizard the first time you open it. At last, you will access the Easy Setup interface where you can create a backup at once. Or you can click Cancel and set the backup task later in its Home interface.

On the Home screen, you can click Define Backup Wizard or Run or Manage Backups to create a backup task. Here we choose Run or Manage Backups .

The Easy Setup screen will appear again. You can click OK to accept the default settings or click a setting to modify it. Or you can click Custom... to create a backup as per your need.

You can choose to back up the whole computer or only selected files. Click Next to choose the drives/files you need to backup, the destination to save the backup and the backup time. Finally, click Finish to confirm.

Notes: • If you want to perform a restore, just click Recover My Computer or Recover My Files to make it. • For anyone who wants to use Norton Ghost to clone hard drive may feel disappointed. Indeed you can find the Copy My Hard Drive option under Tools tab. However, when you click it, a pop-up window will appear and says that the feature is not enabled. You need to license the product to activate the feature. 

Don’t forget that you can only use Norton Ghost freely for 30 days. Then you have to purchase it at Symantec Global Store. Fortunately, besides Norton Ghost, there’s one alternative named AOMEI Backupper Standard that can help ghost disk to image as well as clone the hard drive to another. It is completely free and recommended as the best free  ghosting software for Windows 10, 11 32-bit and 64-bit. 

Best Free Norton Ghost Alternative in Windows

AOMEI Backupper Standard is one comprehensive backup & restore tool which is available in all Windows OS including Windows 11/10/8/7. It provides various functions related to backup, restore and clone. With its simple and easy-to-use GUI, anyone, even non-technical users, can protect all important data in minutes without seeking help from an expert. 

First, download AOMEI Backupper and then learn how to use this Norton Ghost alternative.

It can help you create an image backup for your disk in only a few clicks with its disk backup feature. In addition, it not only supports ghosting a hard drive but also supports ghosting a particular partition like system drive or any other partition. It’s also possible to backup selected files/folders as you want.

It allows you to directly clone hard drive to another one. All data on the disk including operating system, applications, configuration settings, and all partitions, etc. will be transferred to the destination. There is no problem cloning larger HDD to smaller SSD .

Note: It’s also possible to only clone system  via AOMEI Backupper Professional.

In addition, you can create a bootable USB to boot your computer in case it ever fails. If you do not have a USB or CD/DVD, you can choose to  create Recovery Environment  on your current computer. You can then access this software directly in the Recovery Environment without the device the next time you boot the system.

It’s also easy enough to perform a restore if you have created a backup with AOMEI Backupper in advance. You can completely restore entire hard disk drive , partition or volume to the point you ever backup. Just need to select the right backup and choose the destination. Then AOMEI Backupper will complete the job.

Frequntly Asked Questions on Norton Ghost

1. What are the key features of Norton Ghost?

Key features include disk cloning, disk imaging, scheduled backups, incremental backups, compression to save space, and the ability to create recovery points for system restoration.

2. Is Norton Ghost still supported?

Norton Ghost had been discontinued by Norton/Symantec. The company shifted its focus to other security and backup solutions. It's recommended to use Norton Ghost alternative backup software .

3. Can Norton Ghost clone to a larger/smaller drive?

Yes, Norton Ghost can clone from a smaller drive to a larger one, as well as from a larger drive to a smaller one, as long as the data being cloned fits within the destination drive's capacity.

4. Can Norton Ghost create backups of individual files and folders?

Yes, Norton Ghost can create full disk images as well as backup individual files and folders . It provides flexibility in choosing what to back up.

5. Is Norton Ghost suitable for migrating to a new computer?

Yes, Norton Ghost can be used to migrate your entire system, including the operating system, applications, and data, to a new computer . This can help you replicate your old system on the new hardware.

6. Can I use Norton Ghost to create a bootable recovery disk?

Yes, Norton Ghost allows you to create bootable recovery media. This media can be used to restore your system in case of a complete failure or to access your backups for recovery purposes.

That’s all for how to create image backup with ghost disk utility in Windows. Norton Ghost is a tool worth to have a try, but you need to pay for it. Or you can also let AOMEI Backupper help you. It offers all-around backup options to protect your data. 

What’s more, it’s free to use. It will always keep your data safe and restore the files you need as soon as possible. Or you can also upgrade  to higher version to enjoy more powerful functions.

Lily

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Want to clone hard drive in Windows 8/8.1 but do not know how? This guide will tell you the easiest method to clone Windows 8/8.1 to new hard drive.

How to Ghost a Hard Drive of Windows 7/8/10/11 (Easy and Safe)

As for the task of ghosting Windows 7/8/10/11 hard drive, you have two effective ways, either imaging or cloning. Learn more about them now!

Best Alternative to Norton GoBack in Windows

Are you looking for the alternative/replacement for Norton GoBack since it stops updating forever? Check its similar software AOMEI Backupper here for your Windows OS.

Free Get AOMEI Backupper Now

Safeguard any data of your computer with backup, sync and clone.

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Grab these ghost-hunting PC tools when paranormal activity is at its peak

Paranormal activity has met its match in the PC: Not a Max-von-Sydow-like Exorcist, but a ghost-hunting Scooby-Doo and his teen sidekicks. The following programs claim to detect visitors from the Great Beyond, or even organize your next ghost hunt for you.

Whether you actually believe in this stuff is almost beside the point. It’s Halloween—and it’s just fun to see the meters, graphs, and even databases you can use to keep tabs on the local ectoplasmic activity.

XParanormal Detector

That spooky feeling you get while working alone on your PC, late at night, may not be your imagination. If there is a ghostly entity reading your Tweets over your shoulder, your PC may be able to detect it for you.

XParanormal Detector analyzes anomalous changes in the signal (the  rapid single flux quantum , if you want to dive that deep) of your Wi-Fi or network adapters. It communicates its findings onscreen through sensors, ghost radar, and graphs.

free ghost software windows 10

Once you see some spikes in the chart, get ready for the action. Using the data, the program can spit out a word that a nearby spirit is trying to communicate.

I was skeptical and bored at first, but after about ten minutes of letting the program run in the background, Microsoft’s text-to-speech chimed in, startling me, with the first word. I was reading through the FAQs of the program when I heard “enquiry.” Twenty minutes later, I heard the word “bread” as I was eating my lunch (which didn’t contain any bread). Was it a coincidence, or a spooky specter spying on me? It’s tough to say.

A built-in EVP (electronic voice phenomenon) device can be used to record up to a minute of sound through your microphone. Let a chatty ghost get a word in edgewise! If you buy the premium version ($19.95) you can capture up to an hour of EVP, and you can fill out log books to document your paranormal investigation, including an activity history that records every anomaly.

The company takes pains to market its product as entertainment. Regardless of whether you believe in what it does, it’s incredibly fun to have around. Run it in the background while using your PC to creep yourself out, or use it with friends to prove your place really is haunted. The free Basic edition doesn’t have much use past the novelty, but the Premium edition offers plenty for the avid ghost hunter.

Ghost-Tech Paranormal Investigator

It’s important to conduct a well-organized paranormal investigation, so you can marshal all the facts and evidence to convince the skeptics. Ghost-Tech Paranormal Investigator  is a free tool to help you manage your ghostly outings.

free ghost software windows 10

The program lets you catalog all investigators and paranormal-capturing equipment, so you can select what you need from a drop-down menu when you embark on a new investigation.

Now, to document your ghost hunt: Fill in each section of the program, describing the location, initial reactions, investigation notes, interviews, and all the media you can muster. Be thorough!

The program is a bit dull to look at, but incredibly useful. Plus, it’s completely free.

Ghost Monitor

Do you come home to find open cupboards, stacked chairs, and your laundry thrown about? (And you don’t have a really flaky roommate?) Does your pet look terrified after spending a few hours alone? Time for some spooky sleuthing to see what’s up when you’re not around.

Ghost Monitor is a free program that sets up your webcam for ideal ghost-watching. It thrives in a dark environment, the creepier the better, and has the ability to focus on specific, strategic areas. A Pro version ($5.99) lets your webcam record at the highest resolution.

free ghost software windows 10

Once you set it up, you can choose to start recording or set the motion detector. The motion detector uses two algorithms: One tracks normal motion, while the other tracks “low alpha,” which senses changes in transparency and local luminescence.

A sound trigger can be set up to start recording when any noise is detected. With this, it will also record an EVP session to go along with all your video recordings. Ghost Monitor really is the all-encompassing creepy recorder.

Ghost hunting from home

So you’re more of the armchair ghost-hunting enthusiast. Lurking in damp, dark basements, or sitting out all night in the cold just isn’t your cup of tea. You’re in luck! Thanks to the Web, you can be on the lookout from wherever you’re sitting.

Just search for ”ghost cams” to find a plethora of purported peeks at paranormal activity, set up in some iconic haunted locations and run 24 hours a day for your viewing pleasure. For instance, Willard Library is the oldest public library building in Indiana, and home to plenty of spooky stories, sightings, and the resident Grey Lady that hangs out in the children’s reading room. Cams have been placed all over the building and give viewers a chance to capture a screenshot and submit it as proof.

free ghost software windows 10

With all this talk of high-tech ghost hunting, it’s important to remember the low-tech way to talk to ghosts. With Brainjar.com’s Ouija board , you can ask questions to the ghost in your machine and assist the planchette in spelling out the answers. Sure, maybe it’s just programmed to come up with the best answer, but you never know!

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Real Paranormal Experiences

Best Free Ghost Hunting Software for PC (Real Ghost Hunter Advice)

Table of Contents

Back before ghost hunting began to explode in popularity you had to really go out of your way to get the right tools to detect faint paranormal activity  unless it was right in front of your face . Now, you have ghost hunting software readily available for the PC.

Most ghost hunting software for PC is fake but there are a couple worth looking for, especially for the beginner paranormal investigator looking for a free way to get started .

I’ll break down how these tools work, what to look out for and what to avoid. If you’d rather, you can skip directly down to my suggested list for actual usable ghost hunting software.

How Does Ghost Hunting Software Work?

I  heavily suggest taking a look at my guide on how spirit boxes work (and how to use them) because a lot of the principles here are the same.

Most ghosts struggle to communicate with the living (which is why stories of speaking to a chatty ghost are so rare). Tools and software like this are made  specifically for paranormal investigations and use different technology to detect ghosts and (depending on the software) can allow you to communicate with them.

The first thing any avid ghost hunter needs to do is figure out  i f there are spirits around you . This doesn’t always require software but most ghosts seem to have a hard time making their presence known. Before we can start to make any kind of communication we need to know there  is a nearby spirit.

Some tools claim to include thermometers or EMF readers  but your PC does not have the required technology . Detection (often called  confirmation is best done by having an  intelligent conversation with spirit box software.

Communication

Ghost Hunting Software

Your PC won’t likely have an AM/FM radio ability so the technology is a little different but the idea is the same. Often looking for patterns in the white noise from your microphone or quickly swapping between internet radio stations it’ll pick up words.

Our goal then is to flip between the settings unless these words start to form consistent and intelligent responses to our questions.

Investigation Notes

Often overlooked, serious ghost hunters and paranormal investigators  will keep notes of their sessions and communication . Sometimes it helps spot patterns or names you might have otherwise missed.

Keeping proper notes and activity history might not be a glamourous feature but it’s an important one for any well-organized paranormal investigation.

I’ve seen some software keep video recordings of sessions if you have a webcam but you don’t really need the software to do that and the ones that do generally seemed to suffer in other areas.

Warning: The Flood of Fake Paranormal Investigation Software

Hiding behind a mask of  just for entertainment use disclaimers, there are so many ‘ghost detector’ tools for the computer  which have absolutely no use .

All they do is read out some pre-recorded soundbites and flash some lights. There are so many of these that we didn’t even bother touching on most of them.

Somehow they become popular because they get picked up but tools like Ghost Radar  are useless for serious ghost hunters . They beep, flash and spit out random words without any other reason than getting your money.

How Did We Review the Tools and Software?

Combined, we have a lot of experience with paranormal investigations  and software development. Some of this software  seemed to be useful and the claims made were plausible so we cross-referenced with our tried and tested ghost hunting equipment.

Sometimes we just peaked under the lid of the software to see what it was doing – this ruled a lot of them out right away.

Best Free Ghost Hunting Software Worth Downloading

ghost hunting software

So which tools are actually  worth your time?

For the PC: Afterlight

I’ve reviewed the Afterlight box software in more detail already but it’s probably my top pick if you want something free for the PC. From the same maker as XParanormal Detector, it’s a free EVP tool for the PC.

It  does require a microphone but actual ghost hunting tool software will.

It lacks a few bells and whistles from some of the more complex options but you can’t beat that price tag and there’s a good solid history of intelligent responses from ghosts which we were also able to cross verify with other spirit boxes.

It can take some patience with software like this using pre-recorded sounds to get actual intelligent responses but with a little practice and patience, it works well.

Probably the best free ghost hunting software available for the PC .

Voice Recovers Like Audacity

If (for whatever reason) you don’t want to install specific ghost hunting software you can also use a free voice recorder like Audacity (which would also work on a Mac).

You’ll often see ghost tours and groups not use anything specific like Afterlight but instead just use a simple recorder that can pick up sounds the naked ear might miss.

It also includes audio editing ability to help pinpoint electronic voice phenomenon popping up by screwing with the settings by hand. There  are tools that do this kind of thing themselves but it doesn’t hurt to learn to do it manually and this way it’s free.

If Can Use Your Phone: GhostTube

Again, I’ve done a GhostTube app review already and this  is a guide on software for a Windows PC  but hear me out .

Afterlight is a good start for communication but the problem with using a PC is that the hardware it has access to is limited. This is still a free download – but if you have an Android or Apple phone it has access to hardware which your computer doesn’t – the app makes use of that for ghost hunting.

Software to Avoid

Basically anything else. That includes tools like  Spirit Scanner and  Spirit Voice which just run ads everywhere without any actual use. They don’t work.

The list here could go on and on but, basically:

Unless an actual practiced paranormal investigator or popular ghost hunter you know has been able to cross-reference the results with recognized tools  it isn’t worth your time .

If you don’t get results with any of the actual useful tools then you either need to play with the settings some more or move location.

Chris

Obsessed by ghost hunting and all things paranormal. Chris spends a lot of time (some would say  too much time ) investigating ghosts and spirits and documenting stories and paranormal communication. He teaches aspiring ghost hunters in the Paranormal Academy .

Spirit Box Apps: (Phone EVP) Real Paranormal Investigators Advice

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Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (2024)

How to create a ghost image of Windows? Take it easy - it is a simple process as long as you use a piece of free and reliable ghost image software. Here in this post, we will introduce MiniTool ShadowMaker (offered by MiniTool ) and how to use it to ghost Windows 10/8/7 in order to keep your PC safe.

Basic Knowledge of Ghost Imaging

Ghost imaging (namely backup ) refers to a software-driven data backup process that copies the data of a computer hard drive to an individual compressed file, which is called an image. The ghost image copies all the contents - including configuration, applications, settings, etc - to another hard disk drive or server for storage.

The purpose of the ghost image is to enable a quick restore of a system or offer data restoration support. In a nutshell, the ghost can include two aspects: system ghost and data ghost.

As you know, system breakdown occurs due to disasters such as computer virus, manual errors, Windows updates, etc. Thus, it is really a good idea to come up with a good method to ghost Windows 10/8/7 operating system.

This is the most efficient way to protect your PC from an unpredictable disaster. In the event of a system crash issue, you can easily restore the PC to a previous state so as to reduce downtime and save lots of time compared to reinstalling OS and applications.

Besides, files and folders can be easily lost or deleted. Therefore, it is also a must that you ghost your important data to another place for data recovery.

How to ghost a computer? Get the answer from the following section.

Tip: How to ghost Windows 10 to another computer? You may be also wondering about this question. Just refer to this post - How to Transfer Operating System from One Computer to Another (2 Ways) .

Ghost Windows 10/8/7

To create a ghost image of the Windows operating system, you need to choose a piece of free ghost backup software. Which one should you use for Windows 10 ghost?

When searching for “ghost Windows 10” in Google, you will find a related search result “Norton Ghost”. But according to feedback from certain users, version 15.0 is no longer functional after upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 7 since it to be no longer compatible with the new OS.

Here we will show you the best Norton Ghost alternative, MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Use MiniTool ShadowMaker: Free Ghost Software Windows 10/8/7

As a reliable and free backup software for Windows 10/8/7, it can automatically and periodically create full backups of your computer, which saves your time from reinstalling Windows & application or data recovery after data loss. MiniTool ShadowMaker is also available on Windows Servers and Workstation.

Being powerful and flexible, MiniTool ShadowMaker is your best choice for Windows backup & restore. Furthermore, this ghost image software can even allow you to restore the system image to a different computer with different hardware by fixing the compatibility issue with Universal Restore .

Note: Right now, download the ghostprogram for free on your computer by hitting the following button. Note that the Trial Edition you will get offers you 30-day free trial. If you want to use MiniTool ShadowMaker to ghost Windows 10/8/7 at any time you want, upgrade it to an advanced edition .

Free Download

How to Create Ghost Image of Windows 10/8/7 Step by Step?

Here is the detailed guidance with screenshots on one-click system backup:

Step 1: Install MiniTool ShadowMaker on your computer

Step 2: Choose a computer to manage

  • Double-click this ghost image software.
  • Continue to use Trial Edition by clicking the Keep Trial button.
  • Then choose a computer to manage by clicking the corresponding Connect Here, take local backup as an example.

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (1)

Step 3: Choose the backup source and destination in the Backup page

1. To ghost Windows 7/8/10 OS, you need to choose system partitions. Here you can see that MiniTool ShadowMaker has selected all OS partitions that Windows requires to run. So, you don’t need to choose them again.

2. Where do you want to save the ghost image? An external hard disk, USB flash drive, Pen drive, SSD, HDD, and NAS (Network Attached Storage) are all available. Here, we show you how to ghost Windows 10/8/7 to an external hard drive .

  • Just choose a partition on that disk.
  • Click OK to go back to the Backup page.

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (2)

Tip: As mentioned above, you can perform schedule backup management through the Schedule feature. It allows you to ghost Windows 10, 8 or 7 OS daily, weekly, monthly, etc. In addition, you can back up your computer for only added or changed data ( incremental or differential backup ), meanwhile, managing disk drive space is enabled.

Step 4: Start a backup

At last, execute all the settings by tapping the Back up Now button.

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (4)

“I want to ghost Window 10 to an image. Thanks to MiniTool ShadowMaker, I easily create a system image of my Windows 10 operating system for disaster recovery.” Click to Tweet

Tip: After ghosting Windows, you should create a bootable drive or DVD/CD disc so that you can restore the system image from your external hard disk to the unbootable PC and let it run properly. The restoration operations are simple and you can follow this post - Easily Restore System Image from External Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7 .

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (5)

Use Backup and Restore to Ghost Windows 10/8/7

In addition to using the professional and free ghost program, some of you may use Windows built-in tool, Backup and Restore, to ghost your operating system to an image. Of course, it can help you to create a system image when Norton Ghost 15 cannot activate on Windows 10.

Take Windows 10 as an example. How to ghost Windows 10 with this tool? Follow these steps:

Step 1: Choose the backup feature

  • Navigate to Settings > Update & Security > Backup > Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) .
  • Click the Create a system image optionto ghost Windows 10.

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (6)

Step 2: Decide where to save the backup

You need to choose a destination for the system image. An external storage device, network location, etc. is available. Here, we make a ghost image of Windows 10 on an external disk.

Tip: Can I create a system image on my USB flash drive? Actually, you cannot and an issue “ the drive is not a valid backup location ” will appear. Thus, back up your Windows to another location.

Step 3: Start to make Windows 10 ghost image

  • Decide which partitions to be included in the backup. By default, all system-related partitions for Windows to run are included. Here, don’t check other partitions since you intend to ghost Windows 10.
  • Confirm the backup settings.
  • Click the Start backup button to create a system image.

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (7)

Now, all the operations on system image creation are introduced. Reading here, you might be wondering: can I ghost Windows 10 automatically with Backup and Restore (Windows 7)?

Of course, you can. You need to use anotheroption - Set up backup which is located on the right side. This function enables you to create a system image and back up files automatically. Just make Windows 10 ghost image file according to your needs.

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (8)

Tip: Compared with MiniTool ShadowMaker, the snap-in backup tool is not flexible enough. It also cannot offer an option to set up incremental backup & differential backup. Thus, we strongly recommend using professional ghost image software from MiniTool to create a ghost image of Windows 10.

Some of you may be interested in this question: how to ghost hard disk Windows 10/8/7? When you google ghost Windows 10, you will find this topic.

Actually, MiniTool ShadowMaker, ghost image backup software, can also help you. In addition to ghost Windows 10 operating system, it allows you to create a ghost image for the entire hard disk. Just get its Trial Edition to try it out.

Step 1: Run this ghost disk utility in Windows 10/8/7.

Step 2: In the Backup interface, choose a disk (system disk is recommended) and check all the disk partitions to back up.

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (9)

Step 3: Specify a path for the hard drive image.

Step 4: Run the backup immediately.

For more information on disk backup, refer to this post- Hard Drive Image Software - The Best Way to Image a Hard Drive .

Additionally, MiniTool ShadowMaker has another feature - Clone Disk , whichhas the ability toghost hard drive in Windows 10/8/7 for disk backup or disk upgrade. It can also be used for laptop disk drive upgrade. Here is the step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Choose a Mode

  • Open MiniTool ShadowMaker.
  • Click Keep Trial .
  • Click the Connect button in the right or left side based on your needs.

Step 2: Choose the Clone Tool

  • Go to the Tools page.
  • Choose Clone Disk .

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (10)

Step 3: Select Source Disk and Target Disk

  • Choose a disk you want to clone.
  • Select a target disk that should be large enough to hold all the contents of the source disk.
  • Click OK to continue.

Related article: MiniTool Programs Help Cloning Hard Drive to Smaller SSD .

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (11)

Step 4: Perform the Cloning Process

  • After ghosting hard disk in Windows 10, shut down your PC.
  • You will receive a warning message window which requires you to remove either source disk or target disk.

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (12)

Tip: In this post, your purpose is to ghost Windows 10/8/7 OS (usually ghost imaging) but not ghost hard drive, so there we don’t show you much information about how to ghost hard drive via disk cloning . If you have a need to learn more information, just read our previous post - How Can You Effectively Ghost Hard Drive Windows 10/8/7 .

Want to ghost Windows 10 or ghost hard drive Windows 10? Take it easy! MiniTool ShadowMaker can help you realize these two goals. Just get this free ghost software on Windows 10, 8 or 7 to run a computer backup. Also, share it to your Twitter to let more people know its powerful features.

Free Download Click to Tweet

Further Reading: Imaging VS Cloning

After knowing so much solutions about ghost Windows 7/8/10 via imaging or ghost hard drive via cloning, perhaps you are curious about the differences between image VS clone .

It refers to backing up your Windows, files, disk or partition to an image file. During the backup process, the backup source is compressed by the ghost image software. Once an accident happens to your computer such as system crash, Windowsunable toboot after updates, drive failure, etc. you can only restore the image through the original software.

2. Disk Cloning

Disk cloning is a method to create an exact copy of a hard drive to another disk. That is to say, all the contents on the source disk including settings, files, programs, etc. are transferred. If you clone a system disk, the target disk can be used to boot the PC in case of system breakdown.

For more information, refer to this post Clone VS Image: What's the Difference? Get the Answer Now!

Want to ghost Windows 10/8/7? Now, try the tools above and follow the corresponding steps to start creating a ghost image of your Windows operating system. If you want to ghost hard drive Windows 10, try the free ghost software, MiniTool ShadowMaker.

On the other hand, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any suggestion of Windows 10 ghost or any questions when using our ghost image software. Leaving a comment below and sending an email to [emailprotected] are both OK.

Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (13)

Can I use Ghost to image Windows 10? ›

As far as we know, the most efficient way is to ghost Windows 10 is to use a powerful Windows 10 backup and restore software which allows you to clone system disk Windows 10 or ghost Windows 10 hard drive to an image file. The Windows 10 ghost image file can help you restore disk/partition from an unexpected disaster.

But unfortunately, Norton Ghost 15 can not activate on Windows 10 . So you have to find a Norton Ghost alternative to backup your computer. Here we'll introduce you a reliable one, EaseUS free backup software. It can help you make full backups of your entire Windows install easily.

On personal computers (PCs), ghost imaging is used to back up everything on the hard disk, often while reinstalling an operating system (OS) . The purpose of the ghost image is to allow the cloning of the system onto other systems, or to enable a quick restore of a system.

The best alternative is Rescuezilla , which is both free and Open Source. Other great apps like Norton Ghost are Clonezilla, Macrium Reflect, Redo Rescue and Win32 Disk Imager. Norton Ghost alternatives are mainly Disk Cloning Tools but may also be Disk Imaging Tools or System Backup Tools.

For instance, if the hard drive is used for a long time, its available space will be smaller and the computer will run slower, then you can ghost the hard disk to SSD and replace the old one. If your system boots and runs slowly on the HDD, you can also upgrade it to an SSD drive by ghosting it.

Norton Ghost was discontinued on April 30, 2013 . Support via chat and knowledge base was available until June 30, 2014. Until it was removed, the Symantec Ghost Web page invited Ghost customers to try Symantec System Recovery, described as software for backup and disaster recovery.

Create Ghost Drive with Recovery Media Creator 1. Input create a recovery drive in Windows Search box, and choose Create a recovery drive . 2. When the Microsoft Windows Recovery Media Creator open, ensure Back up system files to the recovery drive option is checked, and click Next button.

How to Create a Norton Ghost Image of Your Hardrive - YouTube

Norton Ghost was the best free disk imaging software until Symantec decided to put a price tag on it and eventually discontinue the product , the last version is Norton Ghost 15 and is being replaced by enterprise version Symantec System Recovery for business.

  • Install Norton Ghost and open it. It will run a step-by-step wizard the first time you open it. ...
  • On the Home screen, you can create a backup task by clicking Define Backup Wizard or Run or Manage Backups. ...
  • The Easy Setup screen will appear. ...
  • Finally, click OK to confirm.

What is Norton Ghost used for? ›

Norton Ghost works by copying the hard-disk drive, sector by sector, to create a clone of the operating system . This means it works best when deploying devices with identical hardware, or to backup an existing machine.

  • Open the software, go to Clone tab and choose Disk Clone. ...
  • Select the source hard drive and click Next. ...
  • Tick SSD Alignment to accelerate the reading & writing speed of the target SSD, and click Start Clone to implement the hard drive ghosting.

In case Windows 10 is installed on a regular hard disk, users can install an SSD without reinstalling Windows by cloning the system drive with the help of disk imaging software .

  • Restart PC and press F2/F12/Del keys to enter BIOS.
  • Go to the boot option, change the boot order, setting OS to boot from the new SSD.
  • Save the changes, exit BIOS, and restart your PC. Wait patiently to let the computer boot up.
  • Boot up third-party software or the System Image tool. Windows 10 comes with a built-in tool called System Image to help transfer your hard drive. ...
  • Start the cloning process. ...
  • Finish the cloning process. ...
  • Connect new hard drive. ...
  • Make your new hard drive bootable.

Norton Ghost 15.0 ($69.99, list) is a rich, all-purpose backup application that's flexible enough to copy whole drives, individual files, or sets of files.

Unfortunately, Acronis True Image isn't free , as you must pay for a subscription/license in order to use it without restrictions. However, you can download and use a 30-day trial before deciding if you want to purchase a license or not.

Ghost Solution Suite 3.3 video series, Sysprep image deployment

The Ghost Explorer utility lets you view, alter, add, and extract files from a Ghost image (. gho) file .

How to Clone a PC to a Laptop - YouTube

Does Ghost support GPT? ›

The increasing needs of UEFI Ghost image It is increasingly popular to install operating system on a GPT disk .

This might seem like a fairly obvious question to answer: you can't keep using Norton Ghost because it's been discontinued .

To use the Symantec Ghost Boot CD image available for Windows from IUware Online, follow these steps: From the Software for LSPs section of IUware Online, under Utilities, click the Symantec Ghost Boot CD link to download the ISO image. Burn the ISO image onto a CD. Boot the computer that is to be ghosted with the CD.

Select your USB drive under Device and FAT32 as file system, then tick the format options, Format Device and Create a DOS startup disk, select Boot folder of Boot Norton Ghost by clicking the three dots and click OK. After that, click Start to mount DOS system files.

Ghosting a hard drive creates a backup of the hard drive's files, settings, and operating system; you can then use the backup as its own bootable drive on another computer. If you just want to create a backup of your hard drive that doesn't need to be booted from, consider creating a system image instead.

Step 1: Launch this clone hard drive software you have downloaded on the PC. And then, go to the Tools page. Just click Clone Disk to ghost hard drive to SSD. Step 2: In the following interface, click the corresponding section to select an original hard drive and a target hard disk.

How do I use Symantec Ghost boot disk? ›

  • Click OK on the informational Ghost screen.
  • Click Local.
  • Click Disk.
  • Click To Image.
  • Select the drive you wish to capture the image of and select OK.
  • Browse to the external device you wish to store your image on and provide a file name.
  • Click Save.

You can use User State Migration Tool (USMT) 10.0 to streamline and simplify user state migration during large deployments of Windows operating systems. USMT captures user accounts, user files, operating system settings, and application settings, and then migrates them to a new Windows installation.

A cloned hard drive is an exact copy of the original, including the operating system and all the files it needs to boot up and run. Just remember that cloning a drive and backing up your files are different: Backups copy only your files.

Generally speaking, it is a professional disk cloning software that is frequently used to clone hard drive for hard drive upgrade and disk backup. When you have used it to clone a live system disk, the target disk is bootable .

Disk imaging and disk cloning both deliver benefits with some drawbacks. When it comes to your backups, cloning is excellent for fast recovery, while imaging gives you more backup options . Taking an incremental backup snapshot gives you the option to save multiple images without taking up a lot more space.

  • Clonezilla. Clonezilla is one of my favorite HDD cloning tools. ...
  • Macrium Reflect Free Edition. Macrium Reflect Free Edition touts itself as one of the fastest disk cloning utilities available. ...
  • DriveImage XML. ...
  • Mondo Rescue. ...
  • Paragon Backup & Recovery Free.

Suppose you only need to clone Windows 10 and applications to the new computer, you can go to part 1 and use powerful backup software to transfer system. If you still want to copy files from the old computer to the new one, you can't miss the one-click PC data transfer tool in part 2.

  • Input create a recovery drive in Windows Search box, and choose Create a recovery drive.
  • When the Microsoft Windows Recovery Media Creator open, ensure Back up system files to the recovery drive option is checked, and click Next button.

2] Go to Local > Partition > To Image, select the source drive on your system, and click OK . 3] Now, you have to select the partitions for which you want to create a ghost image file. For multiple selections, press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard. When you are done, click OK.

Is Symantec Ghost free? ›

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IMAGES

  1. Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide!

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  2. Free Ghost Software Windows 10

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  3. Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide!

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  4. Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide!

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  5. Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (2023)

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  6. Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide!

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VIDEO

  1. Ghost Documentary Part 1

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  5. Ghost Windows 10 Version 1809 Pro No Soft ||Link Google Drive

  6. A kemon Jaiga (ghost)..? #minivlog #shorts

COMMENTS

  1. Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide!

    Here in this post, we will introduce MiniTool ShadowMaker (offered by MiniTool) and how to use it to ghost Windows 10/8/7 in order to keep your PC safe. On This Page : Basic Knowledge of Ghost Imaging Ghost Windows 10/8/7 Ghost Hard Drive Windows 10/8/7 with MiniTool ShadowMaker Further Reading: Imaging VS Cloning The End

  2. How to create Ghost UEFI on Windows 11/10

    We will describe two methods to do Ghost UEFI on Windows 11/10: Using Ghost32 software. Using AOMEI Backupper software. 1] How to do Ghost UEFI on Windows by using Ghost32 Ghost32 is a...

  3. [Tutorial] Fully Ghost Windows 10 64 Bit/32 Bit

    Step 1. Download Windows 10 64 Bit/32 Bit Ghost Softwar [Recommended] Step 2. Fully Ghost Windows 10 system, disk partition, files in 3 steps Note: If you prefer a simple and useful tool to ghost your computer, we'd like to recommend find solutions here for a reference. How to Create Ghost Image of Windows 10 64 Bit/32 Bit

  4. Ghost Windows 10 64-bit/32-bit Computer Easily with 3 Steps

    Here, I would like to introduce you a great backup software to ghost Windows 10 - AOMEI Backupper Professional. The best Windows 10 ghost image software

  5. Best Free Imaging, Recovery and Backup Software for Windows 11/10

    Here is a list of some free imaging, backup and recovery software for Windows 11/10. Do check if they run on your version of Windows OS. Paragon Backup & Recovery. Redo Backup & Recovery ...

  6. FOG Project

    A free open-source network computer cloning and management solution. FOG Project About Us Donate Download Get ... anywhere FOG Project can capture, deploy, and manage Windows, Mac OSX, and various Linux distributions. Computers can be securely managed with FOG Project remotely, from anywhere in the world*. * requires a public facing FOG Server ...

  7. How to Ghost Windows 10 by Creating Ghost Image

    With the help of EaseUS Todo Backup, you can ghost Windows 10 safely and quickly. Step 1. To begin the backup process, click the Select backup contents button. Step 2. Four data backup categories are listed: File, Disk, OS, and Mail. Step 3. Lists of both local and network files are shown on the left-hand side of the screen.

  8. Ghost Hard Drive to SSD in Windows 10 Easily (2 Ways)

    As the best free ghost software for Windows 10 - AOMEI Backupper Standard, it is capable of ghosting a hard drive to SSD in simple steps. And you can make it run automatically by setting daily, weekly, monthly frequencies. Besides, this software backup only changes by default, thereby saving much backup time and disk space.

  9. Free Download The Best Ghost Image Software for Windows PC and Server

    AOMEI Backupper is professional ghost image software for Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, and Servers, with which you can easily backup hard drive or clone hard disk to desired places. Creating bootable USB helps backup or clone drive without booting Windows.

  10. FOG

    A Rails engine that helps you put together an admin dashboard. Download FOG - A Free Cloning Solution for free. FOG is a free open-source cloning/imaging solution/rescue suite. FOG can be used to image Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Window 8 PCs using PXE, PartClone, and a Web GUI to tie it together.

  11. How to Ghost a Hard Drive in Windows 7/8/10/11? See a Guide!

    On the market online, you can find multiple ghost disk utilities and here we strongly recommend running MiniTool ShadowMaker, one of the best software to ghost hard drive.

  12. 8 free software to image/backup/ghost your computer (free ...

    8 free software to image/backup/ghost your computer (free alternatives to Acronis True Image, Norton Ghost, etc.). ... They are not intended for individual files and documents. For a free backup software that is intended for files/documents check out Titan Backup ... How to encrypt internal hard drive in Windows 10 [Tip] Download HD videos fast ...

  13. How Can You Effectively Ghost Hard Drive in Windows 7/8/10?

    Here is the best ghost hard drive software - MiniTool ShadowMaker, helping you to easily make a ghost image of Windows 10/8/7 and clone a hard drive to keep PC safe. On This Page : How to Ghost Hard Drive Windows 10/8/7 Verdict

  14. 8 Free Disk Cloning, Imaging, Backup And Restore Freeware

    Microsoft Windows 10 Backup Settings comes free with all Microsoft Windows operating systems. This feature enables you to create a duplicate copy of your drive with additional hidden drives. A Windows Complete PC Backup image contains copies of your programs, system settings, and files.

  15. Download Norton Ghost for Windows 11, 10, 7, 8/8.1 (64 bit/32 bit)

    Download Norton Ghost for Windows 11, 10, 7, 8/8.1 (64 bit/32 bit) Norton Ghost by Symantec Drive imagining software used for Windows Operating system: Windows Publisher: Symantec Antivirus check: passed Report a Problem Download Norton Ghost Norton Ghost includes advanced data archiving and recovery capabilities for personal computers.

  16. Norton Ghost Alternative Software: 3 Best to Use in 2023

    1. Download Macrium Reflect Free Edition , install and launch. 2. From the Backup Tasks on the left, select " Create an image of the partition (s) required to backup and restore Windows. " This will auto select all the partitions that Windows needs to run, including the hidden system reserved partition created on some Windows systems. 3.

  17. Ghost Image Software for Windows 10

    1. Use Ghost software to make Windows 10 system image 2. Use Renee Becca to create a Windows 10 system image I. About Windows Ghost In the computer field, Ghost generally refers to Symantec's disk cloning and backup tool. Ghost software can back up a specified partition or hard disk into an image file with the extension .gho.

  18. Top 5 Free & Reliable Hard Disk Drive Cloning Software for 2023

    EaseUS Todo Backup: Best for a variety of backup methods. EaseUS Todo Backup is one of top free hard disk cloning software that offers a wide range of cloning options including partition cloning ...

  19. Create Image Backup via Ghost Disk Utility and Free Alternative

    Fortunately, besides Norton Ghost, there's one alternative named AOMEI Backupper Standard that can help ghost disk to image as well as clone the hard drive to another. It is completely free and recommended as the best free ghosting software for Windows 10, 11 32-bit and 64-bit. Best Free Norton Ghost Alternative in Windows

  20. Grab these ghost-hunting PC tools when paranormal activity is ...

    PCWorld Oct 29, 2013 3:30 am PDT Paranormal activity has met its match in the PC: Not a Max-von-Sydow-like Exorcist, but a ghost-hunting Scooby-Doo and his teen sidekicks. The following...

  21. Best Free Ghost Hunting Software for PC (Real Ghost Hunter Advice)

    Best Free Ghost Hunting Software Worth Downloading So which tools are actually worth your time?

  22. Norton Ghost

    Help Protect & Fix. Manage your Norton Account. Fix Problems Opening Norton for Windows. Rescue Tools. End-of-Life announcement for Norton Ghost. Post a Norton Ghost question on the Norton Forum. Norton Ghost compatibility with Windows 8 & 10. Consider Symantec Ghost Solution Suite for Small Business disc imaging needs.

  23. Use Best Ghost Image Software to Ghost Windows 10/8/7. Guide! (2023)

    How to create a ghost image of Windows? Take it easy - it is a simple process as long as you use a piece of free and reliable ghost image software. Here in this post, we will introduce MiniTool ShadowMaker (offered by MiniTool) and how to use it to ghost Windows 10/8/7 in order to keep your PC safe....