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I have a system that has to be formatted often because of the specific use of it (Use it in internet cafe). I have to install the drivers and apps each time. That is a time consuming and cumbersom task for me.

I want to install windows, drivers, apps etc. once and create a backup of the entire C:\ drive, and keep it in a linux partition so that I can restore the OS with all the apps & drivers ready to go!

I have ubuntu live CD with me and I have created a linux partition (ext4) in the HDD.

My question is:

How can I create an image of the C:\ drive (ntfs disk) in Ubuntu and store it in the linux partition?

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If you are still using ubuntu, you could use DD from console.

If you want to try the utilities that windows has you could use imagex and sysprep as the best option

good luck!

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You want and I would refer to this link on how to install it on top of Ubuntu. If you are going to imaging this drive so often, I would advise you to set up Deep Freeze, or an equivalent. Many formats and reinstalls of Windows puts a lot of stress on the harddrive and can, in some cases, cause the drive to fail from wear and tear even if it is brand new.

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How about running Windows in a virtual environment - you can set it up and then create a snapshot that you can simply roll-back to when needed - or since the entire VM 'hard disk' comprises a single file, you could setup your virtual PC, take a copy of the virtual disk and then when you need to you can just copy this back over the day-to-day one.

You may need to check the specs of the PC/s to make sure they are up to it, but then you could run them on Ubuntu with, perhaps, Virtualbox (also free) as the VM player. You could then setup XP using the current licences so you won't need to buy any more.

One advantage of this approach is that any changes you make to the PC setup will automatically be part of the disk image file - no need to burn an updated iso, just make a copy of the file.

Other options:

  • Just switch to (say) Ubuntu with a browser and OpenOffice, unless you need Windows for a specific purpose (eg: user billing & control apps) where alternatives don't exist.

  • Try and grab a copy of the free Microsoft app Windows SteadyState. Microsoft have officially withdrawn it although it's still useable.

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