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Looking for a free or open-source burner emulator

I have a new Acer Aspire One which is asking to create a recovery DVD. It doesn't have a built in burner, and I don't have a USB burner. However I do have a large USB hard drive. Is there some way to get the recovery software to "burn" an image file instead of a real DVD?

I know you can download a Linux recovery image, but the netbook comes with XP. I plan to install Linux on it but I'd like an XP recovery image just in case.

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migrated from Jan 19 '10 at 3:14

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

marked as duplicate by BloodPhilia, studiohack Mar 20 '11 at 20:31

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

comment from ammoQ: Better ask that question where it belongs, e.g. – quack quixote May 31 '10 at 22:10

Thanks for the recommendations.

After some research I decided to skip Acer's recovery software entirely and instead clone the disc to an image file using Clonezilla (open source alternative to Norton Ghost).

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You could clone with G4L to a pen drive. You'll need G4L imaged to either a pen drive, or on a USB connected CD drive. Once booted, G4L runs from a RAM disk and does not need its boot media, so it is possible to backup the disk image to the same media/port used for booting.

I make a G4L image of all my PC's, one as received, another after set up with all the shovelware removed and A/V, firefox, etc. installed. Then once every 6 months or so after that.

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Simple solution could be USB pendrive with U3 (

It's pendrive with virtual DVD. You can put recovery image on it with some special software and BIOS should be able to boot fom it.

Creating image in the first place should work with Virtual CD (yeah, it supports DVDs too).

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Not the question you are asking but ...
On my netbook I installed Ubuntu using wubi, then there is no need to repartition.
You lose a few % in disk performance but it's a netbook you aren't going to be running a server farm from it.

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What I do in these situations is simply buy another hard disk (or SSD if that's possible and you have the solid-state model) and swap it out.

Then there's no fiddling about with recovery stuff. If Linux turns out to be not worth it, just put your old disk back in.

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Thanks, I will use instead in future. I'll keep your solution in mind. It sounds convenient for short term OS trials, but for a long term recovery backup it would seem a bit of a waste to leave the 160GB drive that originally came with the netbook 95% unused. – Dan Jun 4 '09 at 9:04