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Recommend disk imaging software?

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What type of HD do you have? Both Seagate and Western Digital have free (stripped down) versions of Acronis which allow full image backups.

Those manufacturer versions may not have all the bells and whistles of the latest Acronis version, but they provide a free solution which works well enough for me. I use Seagate DiskWizard and have restored a full image backup several times without issue.

If I weren't using a Seagate or WD version of Acronis, I would go with Macrium Reflect.

Muffin Maclay:
Is anyone using Casper? I have played with most of the programs mentioned to date & found them not to be "user-friendly". I have used the free "try before you buy" Casper & it was simple as. Anyone want to put in their 2 cents before i buy?


Image for DOS/Windows:

Also includes a version for Linux.

I've made and restored hundreds of images, never had a problem with it (I generally always use the DOS version). Works with everything - USB, firewire, eSATA drives.
Very advanced scripting features.

I especially like that you can verify data byte for byte both when you make an image and when you restore it - that means 100% data safety. Haven't seen this in other image programs.

The bundle is a great deal, it includes BootIt which is a great partition manager and disk tool.

I have a good deal of experience with recovery situations.

For those situations I have found Macrium not to be reliable, because it does not handle bad sectors very well. This is important: You want to have your imaging software also available for minor problems and make a quick image on a slightly faulty or even dying HD (especially as a private person with no data recovery budget). Macrium would not handle these situations.

In my tests Acronis and Drive Snapshot came through very nicely.

I have found Drive Snapshot to be one of the secret software gems on the web. It has a GUI as well as command line - DOS and Windows use - and the entire program is under 300k! Just have a look at this page (begin reading at section "Mount a disk Image as virtual drive") to find out some of its more hidden capabilities.

Still don't feel certain yet.  It's a difficult category to test, too.

I also looked on Gizmo's site.  In the Best Free Drive Imaging Program review, they recommend Paragon as a whisker ahead of Macrium Reflect.  But, on another part of the site, an article on Reliable Drive Imaging Software comes down in favour of the TeraByte one.  Noting brahman's comment, my hard disk is relatively young and has its hardest thrashing by Windows updates, so bad sectors should not be a problem yet, but it's as well to be prepared.

Interesting difference in the sizes of the programs - Macrium is about 30Mb, Paragon about 100Mb, TeraByte only 6Mb, Drive Snapshot tiny.


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