Last Updated on April 16, 2017 by Dave Farquhar
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.
David Farquhar is a computer security professional, entrepreneur, and author. He started his career as a part-time computer technician in 1994, worked his way up to system administrator by 1997, and has specialized in vulnerability management since 2013. He invests in real estate on the side and his hobbies include O gauge trains, baseball cards, and retro computers and video games. A University of Missouri graduate, he holds CISSP and Security+ certifications. He lives in St. Louis with his family.
5 thoughts on “Who needs Ghost?”
I have used GHOST several times. I ran across a utility called XXCOPY, available at http://www.xxcopy.com/clone. It does just about any file copy operation you can think of. The /CLONE switch makes XXCOPY a free alternative to Norton Ghost and PowerQuest’s DriveImage. See if it won’t work for you.
Yep, I’ve used xxcopy a number of times in the past. xxcopy works nicely if you just want to clone disk to disk, as long as it’s a Win9x system. It’s not so good for archiving, or for cloning NT/2000/XP.
I’ve also used Info-Zip to archive Win9x systems (the switches I used are in my book, I don’t remember them offhand), but Savepart is a better option, since it’ll preserve and restore all the long filenames, which Info-Zip won’t necessarily do.
Check out Ldzip 2.23 at http://ldzip.port5.com/
It creates a ZIP file with long filenames
in plain DOS and supports FAT16,FAT32, NTFS drives
(with NTFS driver)
Ghost is a real time saver.. WHich one of those other programs is good for cloning a partition to a file image? I dont just want drive to drive.
Ghost, DriveImage, SavePart, (all DOS) and PartImage (Linux) will all do drive/partition to image file. Some of them will do drive to drive as well.
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