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Scenario # 1

I've a Windows 2003 Server that I have been using for many years for software development, mostly for testing.

It has many tools that I might want to use in the future.

However, basically, I intend to use my physical hardware for testing applications for Windows Server 2008 R2.

I'm looking for a full archive/full restore method, hopefully free because I'm currently looking for work.

Ideally, the software should be able to easily backup the system so that I can wipe the hard disk immediately afterwards and install Windows Server 2008 R2.

Afterwards, if I need to test something specific to Windows 2003, I'd like to be able to just as easily temporarily archive 2008 R2, restore 2003 until I've finished my test, then quickly get back to 2008 R2.

I've a 2TB usb external drive that I'd like to use to hold the server operating systems when they are NOT in use.

The hardware itself is nothing special but it's all that I need for testing the desktop, server, and internet applications that I develop.

Scenario # 2

similar to Scenario # 1, however, these would be for win XP Pro SP3 systems.

Thank you for your suggestions.

regards ... gerry

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

There is my suggestion :

You should look on clone making software. I'm rather fond of CloneZilla, pretty easy to use, you can modify him as you wish, you can use it with a pxe, and it's free.

There is the website :

For me CloneZilla is your best option.

Hope this will help you.

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thank you for the suggestion; I'm checking it out; at first glance, it looks like the perfect candidate. Much appreciated. – gerryLowry Jul 5 '11 at 15:36
update: still checking out CloneZilla ... not sure whether I need to install Unbuntu to make it work; I can NOT find a download for Windows here I only need unicast, so I would prefer not to have to set up an Ubuntu or Debian server for multi-casting. thnx – gerryLowry Jul 6 '11 at 15:49
update #2 ... looks like "Clonezilla Live" might be what I need to use CloneZilla in a Windows environment. thnx – gerryLowry Jul 6 '11 at 16:01
The Clonezilla Live can be use in a windows environment. Also you can deploy an PXE to make this work more easy for you ;) – Anarko_Bizounours Jul 7 '11 at 12:57
thank you; i will give it a try; i appreciate your time.… – gerryLowry Feb 3 '15 at 1:06

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