I am looking for ways to restore my system to a previous state easily.

I am using Windows Vista and ubuntu.

  • considering these are workstation OSes... this might be a better question for superuser? Feb 5, 2010 at 23:49
  • 2
    Since sys admin's are typically responsible for the setup and maintenence of desktops and workstations I think the question is appropriate for ServerFault. Feb 25, 2010 at 15:54
  • Shopping Questions are Off-Topic on any of the Stack Exchange sites. See Q&A is hard, lets go Shopping and the FAQ for more details.
    – Chris S
    Aug 26, 2012 at 4:06

10 Answers 10


Try looking on this Lifehacker article: Five Best Free System Restore Tools. I think Macrium Reflect Free is probably the best of the bunch.


If you're looking for a Free/Open-Source Software tool, I can recommend http://www.clonezilla.org/

  • I have used Clonezilla and it has worked well for me.
    – railmeat
    Jun 29, 2009 at 6:03
  • I use Clonezilla off of the Live CD and a USB HDD for the images. Works very well. Jun 29, 2009 at 13:52
  • +1 Yep, I've used it on my latest system and it was great.
    – Hondalex
    Jun 29, 2009 at 13:53

You could look at some of the following:


I think you'll like partimage available on either the Parted Magic or SysRescCD live CDs (among others). And yes EricJLN, it's also what the first two letters in PING stand for.


I have been using PING very successfully.


FOG - http://www.fogproject.org/

  • It took me a while to get a FOG server up and running, but now that it is, my life has changed! It's still a little rough around the edges but solid software none-the-less.
    – Philip
    Aug 21, 2009 at 16:08

GNU Parted has a broad set of features and is similar to Ghost.

It can detect, read, create, grow, shrink, move, copy, check and label partitions.

It comes with almost every linux boot CD and the website offers a GParted Live system which can boot from CD, USB, HD or via PXE. You can even order ready-made CDs.

It supports a large list of filesystems. Especially NTFS is very well supported.

When you copy a partition the image file can be anywhere the underlying linux system can read it. Additionally there is a parted server application. If you have to deal with many image files you can set up a parted server an fetch the images from there.

There is command line version (parted) and several GUIs like GParted

For addtional information see the GParted FAQ.


We use G4L for imaging all operating systems. It not only does a good clone, but it provides a backup image for bare metal restores in case of complete storage failure.

If the target disk is smaller or larger than the source disk, boot SysRescueCD and use GPartEd to fixup the partition size.


I know this question is somewhat older, but I thought I offer another solution.

I'd like to encourage you to consider partimage. I've always loved partimage. It's incredibly capable at making partition backups for quite a few different partition types. It now supports Ext2, Ext3, FAT-16, FAT-32, HFS, JFS, NTFS, Reiserfs3, Reiserfs4, UFS and XFS.

The trouble has always been partimage's command line is a bit dense. Not to mention, if you wanted to backup to a network destination, Partimage requires you mount the remote share before you fire up the GUI.

We decided to create a GUI wrapper around Partimage to handle these details. We called our tool 'Kleo' (named after the Greek Muse of History & Archives). It's a simple wizard style interface that walks a user through the process of creating a complete partition backup. It handles finding, suggesting & even mounting network targets, and it handles the details of invoking partimage correctly.

The resulting backup files are standard partimage files, so recovery could be done either using Kleo in Recovery mode, or just firing up a copy of partimage from any Linux distro.

We decided to bundle it with an Ubuntu 9.10 remix we created that we call the Carroll-Net Server Recovery Kit. We dropped a bunch of great apps on it we always like to have at hand when dealing with server backup & recovery tasks; GParted, NTpasswd, Memtest86, Install-mbr, Gpart, Dd_rescue and many more.

Both the Carroll-Net Server Recovery Kit & Kleo are completely free for any use. The Server Recovery Kit is GPLv2 and Kleo is released as Freeware.

You can read more details and down a copy from http://www.kleobackup.net.


(Ignoring the ubuntu:)

What about Disk2VHD from http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/ee656415.aspx ?

That looks good, uses volume snapshot, works on xp, images can be mounted with Virtual PC (up to 127gb) or Win7.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .