Re DriveImage XML tutorial
I'm wondering if it's possible to restore the clone to a partition on an external hd and see if it boots/works?
For me to have confidence in cloning I'd have to be able to verify/test the clone. I'm not using the Norton Ghost 10 I paid for because I had trouble extracting a file on my trial clones.
I haven't read anything on booting from an ext hd, but it looks like my bios supports it on my "newer"  computer. I haven't been able to find anything specific on how usb and usb cd boot works - how the bios finds the 1st sector. So I don't know if you'd have to image the 1st partition on the ext hd or if the BIOS would recognize it as a hd and since it's before the internal hd's in boot order, read its MBR and any boot.ini's.
On my desktop I have room to keep a partition available to restore from a backup, change the boot.ini and see if it works. But I can't do that on my laptop or thinkpad.
If booting from an ext hd works and if it works via image, I'd need to keep the 1st partition of the ext hd free for clone tests. I think, I guess. I have to read the tutorial a few more times and see if/how Setting the new disk id works and whether you could boot from an image of a clone and have it work well enough to test.
I'm also meditating on how many compressed clones per computer to do at what times. If I could keep an eye on MFT fragmentation I might not need to keep a clone of the original install, just the one before the MFT starts fragmenting - if it does - + the latest. I guess the MFT could have some corruption w/out fragmentation- no idea how likely that is.