In the spirit of Joel Spolsky's "Let’s stop talking about backups" article, is there any software that's good at restoring a Windows computer?
By "good", I mean it can handle a situation where a laptop is dropped, stolen, flooded, or otherwise completely unusable. I want to be able to take a backup image and restore it on another computer, which may be a completely different make and model, and have the new computer running without having to re-install every application and re-configure every setting.
Obviously, any new device drivers will need to be installed and configured, and Windows itself will need to be reactivated. But is there any software that will do this out of the box with a minimum of typing, scripting, and hoop-jumping?
From Daniel R Hicks:
If I open a new question it will just get closed as a dupe of this one, and TPTB don't like a question in an answer, so I must edit this one:
Norton Ghost gets some pretty lousy reviews on Amazon, and Acronis gets even worse ones. Is there ANY reasonably reliable system imaging/backup software for Windows (Vista and 7)?? What about ShadowProtect Desktop?
(At this point I'd settle for a drive image only tool -- no deltas -- so long as it has a reasonable chance of restoring to a replacement drive.)