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I have no problem recovering my own hard drive from a backup... I just have an extra hard drive that is a copy of my main hard drive exactly as it was right after I installed my OS and programs. This way I can just plug the extra hard drive in, boot to Ghost, and restore.

The problem is with other people. Most people whose computers I work on cannot handle this "complex" restore procedure themselves.

I need a program that I can install on the computers of my customers that will provide the OEM style functionality of "restoring to out of box state" with a few simple clicks. The program should restore from a partition on the same drive that is being restored... just like the OEM style restores programs.

What software can do this... possibly some Acronis product?

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...and after that you'd still have to come in to restore documents, images, messages, ...? Good luck! ;-) –  Arjan Dec 13 '10 at 14:57
    
You really want your customers to wipe out all their data in a few clicks? –  Moab Dec 13 '10 at 15:51
    
@Arjan no, I don't keep any of my data on my main drive, I have a NFS which contains all of my document, music, photos, etc. As for my customers data I simply advise them to save everything they want to save to a flash drive, then they can put it back on after the restore... I think that is simple enough :) –  ubiquibacon Dec 13 '10 at 18:10

2 Answers 2

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Acronis® True Image™ Home 2011 can do this.
You can even install it to run of a keypress at boot. (F11 I think)
Restoring from the recovery partition is a few simple clicks with minimal options for the end user to mess up. I use the business version for re-imaging machines at work, its pretty slick, the home version is very similar just made a bit easier for the users.

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I liked both Paragon and Acronis, but Acronis seems to be a bit more simple, and that is what I am going for here. I only tested for a short bit, but it seemed to work well, contrary to what I read about Acronis in many forums. If I run into data corruption issues I will probably switch to Paragon like many of the people in the forums did. –  ubiquibacon Jan 2 '11 at 16:27

A free option is Paragon Backup & Recovery 2010 Free Advanced.

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I'm going to try both Paragon Backup and Acronis True Image out to see which one works best. –  ubiquibacon Dec 16 '10 at 8:35

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