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I have an OS installed in VirtualBox and like how I can take a snapshot of the current state of the OS before making changes to it, from changing settings, to installing software, to applying updates, to anything.

Then if anything goes wrong, I can always revert back to the perfect snapshot I saved earlier.

What if I need similar functionality but outside of a virtual environment, i.e. on real physical hardware? For example, is there an quick and easy way of taking snapshots of the current computer you'er using, before making changes to it. Where you can easily revert back to how the software was by selecting the appropriate snapshot

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Do mean like a quick 'revert' as opposed to restoring an entire backup? Interesting question. Technically, thanks to vss, I would say this is entirely possible! – Michael May 16 '13 at 11:18
Windows server can revert an entire volume, for example: – Michael May 16 '13 at 11:24
@Michael, basically, I am after something similar to VirtualBox, but for non virtual machines. ideally, I would like to see a list of snapshots, and easily and quickly go back in time to a previous state. If I can't see a list, just going back to a previous snapshot state would be more than fine. – oshirowanen May 17 '13 at 8:29

As Virtual Box is a management console, allowing you to start and stop virtual machines, you can create snapshots of the machines first, then revert back to them, if need be.

You cannot do it on your local machine, you can make backups of your machine, but I use backups, incase my computer gets corrupted, then you can revert back to an older backup.

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So as an alternative, what's a quick and easy way to clone a hard drive? clone zilla? – oshirowanen May 16 '13 at 9:59
I have never cloned a hard drive, I have just set up Windows Backup: Control Panel > System and Maintenance > Backup and Restore Center – Kevdog777 May 16 '13 at 10:29
You would want to use a software that backs up every 15 minutes, and then allows you to restore from any one of those intervals. I.e shadow protect – Michael May 16 '13 at 11:20
@oshirowanen - Your followup question has nothing to do with Virtualbox or your original question. There are hundreds of applications that will clone a HDD. – Ramhound May 16 '13 at 11:40
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Best solution I have found so far is to use clonezilla, and create img files as snapshots and store them in another drive, i.e. snapshot1.img, snapshot2.img etc. I can then revert back to any snapshot at anytime.

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