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How Can Imaging Help Me?


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#1 technickel

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 06:06 PM

I would like to wipe all viruses, malware, etc. from my PC without reformatting the HD, if possible.

Is this the purpose of "imaging"?  If so, what is the best way of doing this, and what is the most user

friendly imaging software out there for accomplishing this?  I have a strange command line prompt pop up

from time to time, and a green Google "G" appear on my task bar upon startup.  My PC is also painfully slow,

and powerpoint 2016 has begun to crash.



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 06:31 PM

Imaging a hard drive will only help if the image was created before the hard drive was infected. Once the computer is infected imaging will not help as it is basically a clone of what is currently on the drive. You should PM a moderator and have your post moved to the Am I Infected Forum or the Virus Removal Forum where they can look at your logs which is detailed in the Pinned topics of the Forum.



#3 RolandJS

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 12:36 PM

If all you want to do is save your data folders and files, I recommend either Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect Pro.  I do not know if Macrium Reflect free version will do only folders and files.  I do know either pay-for Acronis or Macrium will.  Saving your data folders and files is the next best thing -- just before you either format HD and start over or go to war against any viri/malware on your HD.  Very likely, your data stuff is aok, have you been able to read to/write to/view your stuff as normal?


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#4 Stafeegraph

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 03:51 AM

Cloning copies the complete contents of one drive—the files, the partition tables and the master boot record—to another: a simple, direct duplicate. Imaging copies all of that to a single, very large file on another drive. You can then restore the image back onto the existing drive or onto a new one.

Typically, people use these techniques to back up the drive, or when upgrading to a larger or faster drive. Both techniques will work for each of these chores. But imaging usually makes more sense for a backup, while cloning is the easiest choice for drive upgrades.

If you’re moving to a new drive, cloning is the easier solution. It’s one step. You plug in the new drive—either in a spare bay, or through a USB/SATA adapter—launch the cloning software, and do the job.

 

Imaging, on the other hand, requires you to do all of that twice. You plug a third, spare drive into the PC and create the image file on it. Then you swap the old drive for the new one, and restore the image to the new drive. I suppose you might choose imaging if you don’t have either an extra bay or a USB/SATA adapter, but you do have an external drive with sufficient free space.

 

Imaging makes more sense for backup, because you can put multiple image backups onto one sufficiently large external hard drive. You can only put one clone on a drive. In fact, several backup programs, including my current favorite for imaging and cloning, EaseUS ToDo Backup Free,  allow you to make small incremental image backups, recording how the contents of the drive change day to day.

 

There is one advantage to cloning for backups. Should your main drive crash, you can swap in a cloned drive and be back in action almost immediately. With an image, you’d have to buy a new internal drive and restore the backup to it.

 

But if you really need to be up and running that fast, and you’re willing to dedicate an entire drive for that purpose, you’d be better off putting the two drives together into a RAID 2. That way, the spare drive will be completely up to date.



#5 RolandJS

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Posted 13 July 2016 - 11:18 AM

Stafeegraph, one can clone a data only drive, and then restore it onto an external HD as long as ext HD is the same size or a little bit bigger, I believe.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#6 smax013

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 08:01 AM

Stafeegraph, one can clone a data only drive, and then restore it onto an external HD as long as ext HD is the same size or a little bit bigger, I believe.


One can clone any drive, whether data only or a boot drive, to an external drive. A boot drive may not, however, actually boot the computer if it is a USB drive as not all computer support booting from a USB drive (it will if it is an eSATA drive).

And you can typically clone to a larger, same size, or even a smaller drive...as long as 1) the cloning program supports auto resizing of partitions and 2) the amount of data on the original drive is less than the size of the new drive. If the cloning program does not support of partitions, then you can only clone to a same size or larger drive (for the latter, you will have left over, unpartitioned space). If the amount of data on the original drive is NOT less than the size of the new drive, then you cannot clone period...this is case of where you cannot stuff "2 lbs of data into a 1 lb sack", so to speak.

And FWIW, with cloning generally these is no "restoring". Cloning itself is a one step process. You have two drives attached and you are doing a bit for bit copy of the old drive to the new drive. I suppose that if you want, you can treat a clone like an image in that you can boot from the external clone drive (if possible) or boot from a CD (such as the TrueImage CD) with the external clone drive attached and then re-clone it back to a new drive if the original drive died. Generally, it is easier to just do an image backup than clone in this situation.

If you really want to use cloning with an external for a backup type purpose, then the best way is to use an external drive that you "build" yourself (i.e. buy an internal drive that is the same size [and maybe brand/model] as your boot or data drive and buy an external enclosure and then install the internal drive in the enclosure). Then you can clone the boot/data drive to the external drive. If that boot/data drive in the computer dies, you then can pull the clone drive from the enclosure and install it in your computer. And if you really want to shorten the replacement process, then instead of an external enclosure, you can use a drive dock (either external for laptop or desktop or internal for desktop only) or USB universal drive adapter when you make/update the clone. Personally, this is what I do for my Windows machines.

#7 smax013

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 08:06 AM

I would like to wipe all viruses, malware, etc. from my PC without reformatting the HD, if possible.
Is this the purpose of "imaging"?  If so, what is the best way of doing this, and what is the most user
friendly imaging software out there for accomplishing this?  I have a strange command line prompt pop up
from time to time, and a green Google "G" appear on my task bar upon startup.  My PC is also painfully slow,
and powerpoint 2016 has begun to crash.


As others have noted, imaging will not really help you with viruses, malware, etc unless you made an image of your system before you got infected with any of the viruses, malware, etc.

If you believe you are infected with viruses, malware, etc, then you should post to the "Am I Infected?" forum, located here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/103/am-i-infected-what-do-i-do/

Please be sure to read the pinned topics in that forum before you do post as they contain information that you should include in your post. In particular, be sure to read this topic: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/41987/before-you-post-about-a-problem/

#8 RolandJS

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Posted 16 July 2016 - 09:06 AM

Stafeegraph, one can clone a data only drive, and then restore it onto an external HD as long as ext HD is the same size or a little bit bigger, I believe.

smax, I see I left out something!  I meant to include what you later posted:  cloning a HD containing the OS onto an external media will work, however, it might not boot externally, unless such is done is the manner you later posted. 


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)





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