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I'm after a way to do a quick dump of a users HDD (typically NTFS, but sometimes HFS) on to an external drive or a network location, that saves an image of the contents of the drive so I can pick through it later and choose what to restore after say, replacing a HDD or installing a new OS.

Doesn't need to be a bootable image, just an image file or archive mountable on a Windows machine. Something I can run off a bootable USB drive/CD would be ideal.

I've tried PartImage, Clonezilla and FSArchiver, but the images they create cannot be mounted so I can traverse the files in it :(

Any ideas for what can do this?

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2 Answers 2

If you're using NTFS, you should check out Microsoft's free imaging tool imagex, it will capture a filesystem image, and you can mount these images as read only or with read/write later. If you wanted to capture different versions of the same image, imagex allows for "single instancing" that will capture the same file once, and reference across both images, reducing file size.

What is ImageX? http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc722145(v=ws.10).aspx

Capture from commandline:

imagex /capture d: d:\imaging\data.wim "Drive D" /verify

Mount from commandline:

imagex /mount d:\imaging\data.wim 2 c:\mounted_images

see below for more info and examples:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc749447(v=ws.10).aspx

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For Linux/BSD:
Use dd and mount the resulting file with use of the loopback device.

If it need to be windows:
Norton ghost comes with ghostwalker to 'open' the images.

A third solution would be the create a virtual disk (e.g. a MS VHD or a WMware VMDK).

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