DriveImage XML

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Lowe Stokes, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. Lowe Stokes

    Lowe Stokes Guest

    I have just downloaded a program named DriveImage XML. It works great
    and there are no problems with it, I was hoping to get a couple of
    answers about a couple of things though.

    If I create an image of say C: while using WindowsXP, what good does
    that do? For instance, if something screws up and for some reason I
    can no longer access C: or Program Files or something like that, what
    do I do then, just restore them from the image right back into a C:
    drive that I can't access? How does that work?

    Another thing, take the Program Files folder where all your
    applications and programs are. Does it do any good to simply restore
    this file from an image, what with all the individual applications
    within it? Don't you have to install each of these many programs that
    most people have in Program Files and have references placed in the
    registry and everything in order for them to work properly?

    Thanks,

    Lowe
    Lowe Stokes, Dec 20, 2006
    #1
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  2. Lowe Stokes

    Lowe Stokes Guest

    Okay, forget about DriveImage XML, I shouldn't have even mentioned it
    anyway.

    Could someone tell me how a disc image of a folder like Program Files
    can do any good? Say the Program Files folder was borked in some
    fashion or another. Will any of the programs work if you simply
    restore the folder via a disc image? Or, do you have to manually
    reinstall all the individual programs?

    Lowe
    Lowe Stokes, Dec 20, 2006
    #2
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  3. Lowe Stokes

    PeeCee Guest

    "Lowe Stokes" <> wrote in message news:ema1kl$nas$...
    >I have just downloaded a program named DriveImage XML. It works great and
    >there are no problems with it, I was hoping to get a couple of answers
    >about a couple of things though.
    >
    > If I create an image of say C: while using WindowsXP, what good does that
    > do? For instance, if something screws up and for some reason I can no
    > longer access C: or Program Files or something like that, what do I do
    > then, just restore them from the image right back into a C: drive that I
    > can't access? How does that work?
    >
    > Another thing, take the Program Files folder where all your applications
    > and programs are. Does it do any good to simply restore this file from an
    > image, what with all the individual applications within it? Don't you
    > have to install each of these many programs that most people have in
    > Program Files and have references placed in the registry and everything in
    > order for them to work properly?
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Lowe



    Lowe

    Imaging usually includes the 'whole' drive, ie a bit for bit copy of all the
    contents of your drive.
    This is 'everything' - Operating System, Applications, Games, documents,
    photo's etc that is on the hard drive at 'that point in time'
    Any changes you make to programs, documents, photo's etc 'after' the image
    creation will not therefore be in the 'image'

    AFAIK backup imaging programs (DriveImage, Acronis, Ghost etc) only do whole
    drive or partition images.
    It is pointless to image a portion of a drive or partition as you have
    alluded to.

    A common way of using Images is to do a fresh install of your OS, drivers,
    apps
    and utilities and then 'image' the drive and store the image away.
    Then make additional arrangements to regularly back up your personal data,
    mail,
    docs, photos etc.

    Then when you have a crash that cannot be recovered from all you have to do
    is copy the 'base' image to the hard drive, reboot and reinstall
    your latest personal data backups.

    Cheers
    Paul.
    PeeCee, Dec 20, 2006
    #3
  4. Lowe Stokes

    why? Guest

    On Tue, 19 Dec 2006 22:11:28 -0600, Lowe Stokes wrote:

    >Okay, forget about DriveImage XML, I shouldn't have even mentioned it
    >anyway.
    >
    >Could someone tell me how a disc image of a folder like Program Files
    >can do any good? Say the Program Files folder was borked in some


    In the past, using Norton Ghost with an image of (saying C: seems to
    help) C: , I could restore files using Ghost Explorer or restore the
    whole drive.

    >fashion or another. Will any of the programs work if you simply


    Depends on how borked, faulty disk, program conflict, registry errors.
    Restoring 'Program Files' on it's own won't help with registry entries /
    disk failing / parts stored in Documents and Settings / Application Data
    folders.

    >restore the folder via a disc image? Or, do you have to manually
    >reinstall all the individual programs?


    Again depends, what the problem is. If you reinstall with fresh settings
    it may help.

    >Lowe


    Me
    why?, Dec 20, 2006
    #4
  5. Lowe Stokes

    Lowe Stokes Guest

    why? wrote:
    > On Tue, 19 Dec 2006 22:11:28 -0600, Lowe Stokes wrote:
    >
    >> Okay, forget about DriveImage XML, I shouldn't have even mentioned it
    >> anyway.
    >>
    >> Could someone tell me how a disc image of a folder like Program Files
    >> can do any good? Say the Program Files folder was borked in some

    >
    > In the past, using Norton Ghost with an image of (saying C: seems to
    > help) C: , I could restore files using Ghost Explorer or restore the
    > whole drive.
    >
    >> fashion or another. Will any of the programs work if you simply

    >
    > Depends on how borked, faulty disk, program conflict, registry errors.
    > Restoring 'Program Files' on it's own won't help with registry entries /
    > disk failing / parts stored in Documents and Settings / Application Data
    > folders.
    >
    >> restore the folder via a disc image? Or, do you have to manually
    >> reinstall all the individual programs?

    >
    > Again depends, what the problem is. If you reinstall with fresh settings
    > it may help.
    >


    Thanks, NotMe, I think I may understand a little better now.

    Lowe
    Lowe Stokes, Dec 21, 2006
    #5
  6. Lowe Stokes

    Lowe Stokes Guest

    PeeCee wrote:
    > "Lowe Stokes" <> wrote in message news:ema1kl$nas$...
    >> I have just downloaded a program named DriveImage XML. It works great and
    >> there are no problems with it, I was hoping to get a couple of answers
    >> about a couple of things though.
    >>
    >> If I create an image of say C: while using WindowsXP, what good does that
    >> do? For instance, if something screws up and for some reason I can no
    >> longer access C: or Program Files or something like that, what do I do
    >> then, just restore them from the image right back into a C: drive that I
    >> can't access? How does that work?
    >>
    >> Another thing, take the Program Files folder where all your applications
    >> and programs are. Does it do any good to simply restore this file from an
    >> image, what with all the individual applications within it? Don't you
    >> have to install each of these many programs that most people have in
    >> Program Files and have references placed in the registry and everything in
    >> order for them to work properly?
    >>
    >> Thanks,
    >>
    >> Lowe

    >
    >
    > Lowe
    >
    > Imaging usually includes the 'whole' drive, ie a bit for bit copy of all the
    > contents of your drive.
    > This is 'everything' - Operating System, Applications, Games, documents,
    > photo's etc that is on the hard drive at 'that point in time'
    > Any changes you make to programs, documents, photo's etc 'after' the image
    > creation will not therefore be in the 'image'
    >
    > AFAIK backup imaging programs (DriveImage, Acronis, Ghost etc) only do whole
    > drive or partition images.
    > It is pointless to image a portion of a drive or partition as you have
    > alluded to.
    >
    > A common way of using Images is to do a fresh install of your OS, drivers,
    > apps
    > and utilities and then 'image' the drive and store the image away.
    > Then make additional arrangements to regularly back up your personal data,
    > mail,
    > docs, photos etc.
    >
    > Then when you have a crash that cannot be recovered from all you have to do
    > is copy the 'base' image to the hard drive, reboot and reinstall
    > your latest personal data backups.


    Thanks, PeeCee. Bear with me for a little bit and endure some, more
    than likely, bizarre questions, as I am trying to understand.

    Let's say I have a total screw up of some kind and can't even get back
    to the desktop? How would an "image" of the operating system help me
    then? Would I just have to reinstall the operation system fresh and
    after that, load the image that I would have on CD's?

    Or, say that a bunch of programs start screwing up and things just
    don't go smoothly any longer but I can still gain access to the
    desktop and explorer and all of that, how would I fix that? Would I
    just take the "image" and somehow place it over everything that is
    already there but is messed up?

    Basically, if you could explain it in a lower level type of way, very
    simply, it would help a great deal. Things that you probably don't
    even have to think about, I don't quite understand about exactly how
    imaging works.

    Thanks,

    Lowe
    Lowe Stokes, Dec 21, 2006
    #6
  7. Lowe Stokes

    why? Guest

    On Wed, 20 Dec 2006 19:20:35 -0600, Lowe Stokes wrote:

    >PeeCee wrote:
    >> "Lowe Stokes" <> wrote in message news:ema1kl$nas$...
    >>> I have just downloaded a program named DriveImage XML. It works great and
    >>> there are no problems with it, I was hoping to get a couple of answers
    >>> about a couple of things though.
    >>>
    >>> If I create an image of say C: while using WindowsXP, what good does that
    >>> do? For instance, if something screws up and for some reason I can no
    >>> longer access C: or Program Files or something like that, what do I do
    >>> then, just restore them from the image right back into a C: drive that I
    >>> can't access? How does that work?


    <snip>

    >> Imaging usually includes the 'whole' drive, ie a bit for bit copy of all the
    >> contents of your drive.
    >> This is 'everything' - Operating System, Applications, Games, documents,
    >> photo's etc that is on the hard drive at 'that point in time'


    <snip>

    >> Then when you have a crash that cannot be recovered from all you have to do
    >> is copy the 'base' image to the hard drive, reboot and reinstall
    >> your latest personal data backups.

    >
    >Thanks, PeeCee. Bear with me for a little bit and endure some, more
    >than likely, bizarre questions, as I am trying to understand.
    >
    >Let's say I have a total screw up of some kind and can't even get back
    >to the desktop? How would an "image" of the operating system help me
    >then? Would I just have to reinstall the operation system fresh and


    You boot with the recovery CD/DVD, for example Norton Ghost ( or floppy)
    and Acronis makes bootable CD, (haven't tried a floppy or DVD yet).

    >after that, load the image that I would have on CD's?


    No not a resintall of OS, after the 1st recovery disk boot, you simply
    feed in the disks in order. Or if you used an external USB type disk to
    image to you plug that in and recover from that.

    If you know the image is good and Windows loads and runs you don't need
    to go the reinstall OS install route.

    >Or, say that a bunch of programs start screwing up and things just
    >don't go smoothly any longer but I can still gain access to the
    >desktop and explorer and all of that, how would I fix that? Would I
    >just take the "image" and somehow place it over everything that is
    >already there but is messed up?


    Yes, remembering it's an *overwrite everything* to however old the image
    is. Acronis and others let you explore the image to restore, say data
    files only. This is handy if you do go for the clean reinstall of
    Windows and all programs, you still have your data.

    >Basically, if you could explain it in a lower level type of way, very
    >simply, it would help a great deal. Things that you probably don't
    >even have to think about, I don't quite understand about exactly how
    >imaging works.


    It's a snapshot at 1 date & time of the drive, OS , programs and data of
    a known good bootable working installation. Then if things get messed
    up, you copy the image back to the hardisk of the PC replacing
    *everything* that's was there.


    Me
    why?, Dec 21, 2006
    #7
  8. Lowe Stokes

    PeeCee Guest

    Lowe

    Comments inline


    "Lowe Stokes" <> wrote in message news:emcnho$5sk$...
    > PeeCee wrote:
    >> "Lowe Stokes" <> wrote in message
    >> news:ema1kl$nas$...
    >>> I have just downloaded a program named DriveImage XML. It works great
    >>> and
    >>> there are no problems with it, I was hoping to get a couple of answers
    >>> about a couple of things though.
    >>>
    >>> If I create an image of say C: while using WindowsXP, what good does
    >>> that
    >>> do? For instance, if something screws up and for some reason I can no
    >>> longer access C: or Program Files or something like that, what do I do
    >>> then, just restore them from the image right back into a C: drive that I
    >>> can't access? How does that work?
    >>>
    >>> Another thing, take the Program Files folder where all your applications
    >>> and programs are. Does it do any good to simply restore this file from
    >>> an
    >>> image, what with all the individual applications within it? Don't you
    >>> have to install each of these many programs that most people have in
    >>> Program Files and have references placed in the registry and everything
    >>> in
    >>> order for them to work properly?
    >>>
    >>> Thanks,
    >>>
    >>> Lowe

    >>
    >>
    >> Lowe
    >>
    >> Imaging usually includes the 'whole' drive, ie a bit for bit copy of all
    >> the contents of your drive.
    >> This is 'everything' - Operating System, Applications, Games, documents,
    >> photo's etc that is on the hard drive at 'that point in time'
    >> Any changes you make to programs, documents, photo's etc 'after' the
    >> image
    >> creation will not therefore be in the 'image'
    >>
    >> AFAIK backup imaging programs (DriveImage, Acronis, Ghost etc) only do
    >> whole drive or partition images.
    >> It is pointless to image a portion of a drive or partition as you have
    >> alluded to.
    >>
    >> A common way of using Images is to do a fresh install of your OS,
    >> drivers, apps
    >> and utilities and then 'image' the drive and store the image away.
    >> Then make additional arrangements to regularly back up your personal
    >> data, mail,
    >> docs, photos etc.
    >>
    >> Then when you have a crash that cannot be recovered from all you have to
    >> do
    >> is copy the 'base' image to the hard drive, reboot and reinstall
    >> your latest personal data backups.

    >
    > Thanks, PeeCee. Bear with me for a little bit and endure some, more than
    > likely, bizarre questions, as I am trying to understand.
    >
    > Let's say I have a total screw up of some kind and can't even get back to
    > the desktop? How would an "image" of the operating system help me then?
    > Would I just have to reinstall the operation system fresh and after that,
    > load the image that I would have on CD's?



    Restoring the image recreates your Operating System, programs etc 'all at
    once'
    See my notes at the bottom for how it works.

    >
    > Or, say that a bunch of programs start screwing up and things just don't
    > go smoothly any longer but I can still gain access to the desktop and
    > explorer and all of that, how would I fix that? Would I just take the
    > "image" and somehow place it over everything that is already there but is
    > messed up?



    Rule number 1 with all computers "back your personal data up ASAP"
    Then you could try and fix the problem, however if you can't or it starts to
    take lots of time...!
    See my notes at the bottom on how an Image restore speeds it up.


    >
    > Basically, if you could explain it in a lower level type of way, very
    > simply, it would help a great deal. Things that you probably don't even
    > have to think about, I don't quite understand about exactly how imaging
    > works.
    >
    > Thanks,
    >
    > Lowe


    Lowe

    "I don't quite understand about exactly how imaging works."

    OK here goes.

    Data is recorded magnetically on a hard drive as 1's or 0's.
    These 1's and 0's are the basic building blocks of your operating system,
    applications (programs) and personal data (eg photos/letters)
    Imaging a drive is just the process of taking a verbatim bit by bit copy of
    those 1's & 0's and compressing it into a file.
    Restoring an image is the reverse process of writing the data (1's & 0's)
    from the Image over the top of the messed up hard drive. The messed up
    information on your drive is replaced by the information that the drive
    contained at the time you created the 'Image'

    Acronis True Image is a program I'm familiar with so I will use it as an
    example to show you how the process works.

    We'll say its Saturday the 1st and you have just installed Acronis True
    Image (ATI)
    During this installation process ATI will suggest you burn a 'boot' CD.
    This is important as booting from this CD will allow the ATI program that is
    installed on this CD to restore a backed up 'Image' to your hard drive 'even
    if your PC won't boot normally into Windows'
    Your PC is running just fine and you like the current set of programs you
    have installed over the last few weeks.
    Using the ATI wizard you burn an 'image' of your C: drive to a DVD (or DVD's
    if there is a lot of data)
    You then store the DVD(s) away in a safe place and you go about your normal
    business.

    Now we'll say it's a week later say Sunday the 8th and you open a music file
    downloaded from Limewire only to find it is poisoned and starts to mess your
    PC up rather drastically. (actual case from my client files)
    After several hours you decide you are not wining the battle and you better
    back up all your personal data (letters, photo's etc ie the stuff in My
    Documents) to CDR before they are wiped out.

    Having saved your data successfully you can now look at restoring your PC to
    a non affected state.

    One option is to pick up your XP CD, boot from it, delete the present
    (corrupted) partition and let the XP installer reinstall Windows XP afresh.
    This is then followed by hours and hours of Drivers, updates, programs,
    accessories, utilities till it's finally restored to the same as when you
    first got the PC.

    The second option is to restore the 'Image' you made last Saturday (the 1st)
    with ATI.
    After booting from the ATI 'boot' CD it will instruct you to show it which
    drive has the 'image' on it.
    Put in the image DVD from last Saturday in the drive and follow the ATI
    wizards instructions.
    The ATI wizard will now overwrite the corrupted info on your hard drive with
    the information it recorded into the image file.

    Note it 'writes over the top' of what ever is on your drive at present with
    an exact copy of what the drive contained a week ago.
    ie as if you had turned the PC off last Saturday and left it off until today
    (Sunday the 8th)
    At the end of this 'restoration' process all you have to do is get the
    personal data backupCD you created earlier and copy any letters, photo's etc
    back to the hard drive (My Documents) that you had added to the drive during
    the week.

    Bingo there you are back to where you were before your PC got screwed up.

    The process of restoring an Image file does take quite a while it does have
    one big advantage over option one, simplicity.
    Option one requires all the install disks and your continual presence to
    feed disks, press enter, click OK etc
    Now (and this is the irritating bit) you have to sit down and remake all
    those little changes and customisations you have made since you got your PC.
    Can you remember what you did?, can you find that magazine disk with the
    freebie program on it? .....

    On the other hand using the ATI restore image option merely requires you to
    boot from the boot CD, change to the DVD with the Image and then you can go
    stroke the cat, dig the garden, write to the Editor .... whatever while it
    does the job of restoring you PC back to exactly how it was, including all
    those little customisations.

    A down side of Imaging a drive is you can only restore to the date you made
    your last Image, however that is certainly a lot later than the fresh as
    bought PC.

    Alternative strategies include imaging your C: drive to an external USB
    drive (of big enough capacity) on a regular planned basis determined by what
    you assess is the maximum length of time you could reasonabley spend
    recreating lost data.
    eg a PC used for simple card games and browsing the web, image the drive to
    CD/DVD when new, store image away in case.
    vs a PC used for running a business where you could Image the drive every 4
    hours to USB drive, have a drive die, install a new drive and the latest
    image and be up and running again in less than two hours with none of the
    data being more that 4 hours old.

    Hope this long and rambling explanation has helped you 'understand'

    Best
    Paul.
    PeeCee, Dec 21, 2006
    #8
  9. Lowe Stokes

    Lowe Stokes Guest

    Why, PeeCee,

    Thank you both very much, I think I have a better understanding of
    what I am doing now. Better than could have been gained by simple
    reading of the help files for DriveImage XML, which I had already done.

    What I decided to do was to simply to make an image of C:, which I
    have already done. There are 4 files : Drive_C.001, Drive_C.002,
    Drive_C.dat, and Drive_C.html

    I know that they can be used to restore a drive because I extracted
    them into a separate partition, as a test, and it was an exact
    duplicate of C:

    So, I will put them all on about 3 CD's, the total size of the four
    files are 1.45 GB. And if I understand correctly I should be able to
    just totally overwrite my current files with these if I ever have a
    serious problem.

    Unfortunately, I will just reinstall Windows XP from scratch if I ever
    have any really serious problems that keep me from booting and then,
    hopefully, once it is reinstalled I can just use the image I have and
    put all my settings and files and programs back as they were.

    I tried the BartPE thing and didn't have any luck with it at all. Got
    it installed on my computer but couldn't make heads or tails on how to
    make a boot CD using it. So, forget it.

    Hopefully I will be able to use my image after I do a fresh install of
    Windows, if it ever comes to that, I suppose it will just overwrite
    what is already there or something. Right? It should overwrite all
    that junk that you have after a fresh install and just have what you
    have on your image in it's place, right?

    Thanks again,

    Lowe
    Lowe Stokes, Dec 22, 2006
    #9
  10. Lowe Stokes

    why? Guest

    On Thu, 21 Dec 2006 20:37:08 -0600, Lowe Stokes wrote:

    >Why, PeeCee,
    >
    >Thank you both very much, I think I have a better understanding of


    YW.

    >what I am doing now. Better than could have been gained by simple
    >reading of the help files for DriveImage XML, which I had already done.


    <snip>

    >Unfortunately, I will just reinstall Windows XP from scratch if I ever
    >have any really serious problems that keep me from booting and then,
    >hopefully, once it is reinstalled I can just use the image I have and
    >put all my settings and files and programs back as they were.


    That's the hard way, as you can't always be sure where settings / files
    are from.

    At work we have C: and D: partitions, at 1st build (new PC) C: and D:
    are created with a working image.

    A fault / repair / reimage is, replace C: wipe what ever was there. This
    wipes all profile / local application and documents and settings
    (there are reg entries to move some of that stuff to other locations)
    folders. Of course we have the benefit of 8TB storage and roaming
    profiles to save that stuff.

    Anything on D: isn't touched, should only be data files. Although again,
    with the warning it could be wiped or lost.

    >I tried the BartPE thing and didn't have any luck with it at all. Got


    It's what we use, always found it to be a good product.

    >it installed on my computer but couldn't make heads or tails on how to
    >make a boot CD using it. So, forget it.


    :)

    >Hopefully I will be able to use my image after I do a fresh install of


    I don't care for this split into 2, Windows install then image. It
    sounds a bit messy. Besides remember an image is a WIPE and REPLACE.

    Any good image utility doesn't even matter if Windows boots or not,
    Acronis creates bootable CDs, so does Ghost. As long as you have working
    hardware then that's all you need. You don't install Windows then load
    up an image, it's all done in one.

    I would do a clean install of everything, then image that, as your BASE
    point. Every so often with Acronis, do a disk clone, that would then be
    your last image to recover from, which includes data , files and
    registry etc.

    For stuff between clone disk (image) , be safe and use, for example
    Acronis True Image 10 to do backups, it now has Data / Apps and Email
    options and a scheduling option.

    To that end I have just bought for mayself, 2 IDE/SATA to USB2.0 hardisk
    adapters., to use up manu of the 80GB disks I seem to have after lots of
    upgrades.

    >Windows, if it ever comes to that, I suppose it will just overwrite
    >what is already there or something. Right? It should overwrite all
    >that junk that you have after a fresh install and just have what you
    >have on your image in it's place, right?


    No, where is the junk from?

    >Thanks again,
    >
    >Lowe


    Me
    why?, Dec 22, 2006
    #10
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