My company has been using Symantec Ghost 8.2 Corporate Edition for many years as our tool for making an exact copy of the hard drive before we rebuild them for the customer. We manage around 7,000 machines on our campus and not everyone chooses to backup their own data or pay the extra money to buy an additional hard drive and let us do it for them. We also use this to multi-cast a single image to a dozen computer labs on the campus.
The program has gotten pretty old so we're looking for another solution.
- Full backup of the hard drive that can be used to re-image back onto the hard drive if needed.
- Multicast capabilities.
- Ability to verify the integrity of the backed up image.
- Envocable from Windows PE (which could mean it is just a stand alone exe).
- The ability to backup a hard drive that contains bad sectors.
- The ability to browse the backed up image and extract individual files.
- Scriptable backups and verifications
- Compress the backed up image.
After trying ImageX for a few months, we decided to go back to the Ghost programs. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Why we didn't like ImageX:
- Requires Administrator to mount the wim
- Different Versions don't play well together
- If you backed up a disk with one version, you weren't guaranteed another version would open or properly see the files inside.
- There was an ImageX revision change where you couldn't open older wims with the new version of ImageX
- If you want to have multiple versions of ImageX on a machine, you can't just copy the ImageX.exe, there are many additional files needed for it to work.
- Mounting a wim can take over an hour and unmounting a wim can take over half an hour.
- If you mount a wim as rw, and then remove files from the wim, when you unmount and commit the wim, it is now the same size or larger than the previous size.
- It does not backup hard drives that have bad sectors (which is very important to us)
Edit: Added ImageX reasoning