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I'm looking for a free alternative to Ghost, with as many of the following features as possible:

  • Easy to use GUI
  • Save to USB DVD writer, usb hard drive, or network share
  • Creates bootable disks
  • Can create an image for just the operating system that excludes data and certain programs. I want to fit my images on one DVD, so I'm prepared to need to restore the image, install a few programs, and then restore my data backups before everything is back to normal in case of a disk failure.
  • Supports server-class operating systems. I run Windows Server 2008 on one machine at home.
  • Can run it to a running OS and use it to image that OS on a schedule.

I know linux has had basic imaging functionality for years in the dd utility, and so I'm surprised how difficult it is to find a free option that actually works and is easy to use. You'd think someone would slap a front end around it and put it on a purpose-built knoppix cd. I know that doesn't do everything I'm looking for, but even this seems hard to come by.

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closed as not constructive by random Jul 12 '12 at 20:23

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Not sure why you'd want a gui for dd when what it does is so simple... – Rich Bradshaw Jan 23 '10 at 16:10
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Easeus ToDo Backup and Disk Copy are free and easy to use, supporting USB and network drives.

you can't create a drive image and exclude certain files (it would not be an 'image' :), however, you can use ToDo Backup for incremental backups.

EASEUS Todo Backup works with Windows systems, like Windows 2000 Professional/XP/Vista/Windows 7 and Windows Server 2000/2003/2008 and can create bootable CD.

You can use the program also in a Windows Preinstallation Environment, such as BartPE (Tutorial).

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A clonezilla Live CD has pretty much replaced ghost at my workplace for switching OS installs around on test machines. It's not exactly feature rich, but it does what we need and it's certainly nicer than raw dd.

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Clonezilla would've been my first recommendation also, but I doubt it meets the OP's requirement of an "Easy to use GUI". – Timo Geusch Jan 23 '10 at 19:19
@timo it also cannot backup to a cd/dvd drive as a target which is one of the OP's requirements. – greatwolf Jul 20 '11 at 0:21

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