One of the most common search engine queries I get hits from is “open-source ghost clone” or something similar. There’s no doubt in my mind why; Ghost is probably the most useful utility I’ve ever found, but not everyone can afford it or its competitor, DriveImage.
The closest thing I’ve found in the open source world is PartImage but it’s a Linux program. I suspect most people want something that runs in plain old DOS.
I don’t know of anything open source for DOS, but I found a freeware program called Savepart. It sports a clear, easy interface and it’s just 268K in size, so it’ll fit easily on a Windows boot floppy. It’s not as fast as Ghost, but for people who just need to make a backup copy of their OS installation for disaster recovery, or for organizations who can’t afford Ghost, it’s great. Re-imaging a system with Savepart is much faster and easier than reinstalling Windows and your applications from scratch.
The progress meter didn’t work right for me, but it beeps at you when it’s done. Just hit Enter after it beeps, and you’re set.
If you’ve never used a tool like Ghost to make a backup copy of your system in its current state, or if you don’t like Ghost’s licensing terms, give Savepart a look. I don’t think it’ll take long for you to love it.