Comments on: Ghost Windows for Free with Paragon Drive Backup Express (A Visual Guide) Tech Tips, Reviews, Tutorials, Occasional Rants Sat, 31 Aug 2013 15:50:35 +0000 hourly 1 By: mcf Mon, 23 May 2011 12:31:35 +0000 It wasn’t the best choice for my Windows XP system but it is almost perfect on my Vista laptop.
The ultimate solution is Drive SnapShot 1.40. Works without installation. Creates bootable DVD or USB-Stick and pretty much everything you want. And restore takes only about 5 minutes where others take 45. This would be my pick for 39 EUR.

By: mcf Mon, 20 Dec 2010 09:43:16 +0000 Nice piece of software. The progress bar showed installing the Rescue CD for a while and ended black screen. Finally I returned to Ghost 2003. I am still using it with those 2 boot floppys. Always checking if the image does get installed properly. Better burn your disk images twice if you do not have a spare computer to verify.
Maybe I failed with Paragon because I have my XP installed on the chipset Raid controller. Otherwise it would have been the total bargain for free.
Since I cannot use Ghost with USB-Floppy to backup my laptop (cursor out of control), I might use Paragon for this operation.

By: Kim Fri, 03 Dec 2010 17:20:42 +0000 I was trying this for my company use, but it seem doesn’t work out. After I recovery the system, it shows Error Loading Operating System. Because the company was crashed before I made an image, so I found a similar company to make the image, then recoveried on the crashed company, is that why it doesn’t work out? Please help me.

By: Larry Tue, 21 Sep 2010 11:07:46 +0000 Reading your article made me decide to try the Paragon solution. They have updated their product offering and now the free product is Paragon Backup & Recovery 2010 Free Advanced Edition. Didn’t know what to expect but thought it might retain the features you described that I wanted. Not having seen the version you discuss I would still have to say this new version is even better.

I just got 4 new Dells, all the exact same model and configuration with identical OEM licenses for Windows 7 but delivered with Windows XP installed. It took almost 2 days to get one setup the way I wanted, mostly removing all the stuff Dell puts on their systems and applying all the latest Windows updates. What I wanted was a clean way to make an image of that one configured system and apply it to the other 3.

I didn’t want the Paragon program to be in the image so I installed it on one of the other 3 systems and created the Paragon Recovery Boot CD. Then I booted my configured system with the CD and made a partition image of the System partition, which is partition 2 because these machines have the Dell diagnostics partition as partition 1. I created the image on an external USB drive. You can also use a USB thumb drive (memory stick).

Then I simply booted the other systems from the Paragon Recovery Boot CD with the USB drive connected and performed a partition restore to that system’s partition 2, leaving each system’s diagnostics partition intact. Worked great. No problems at all. Both source and destination partitions were 160GB but the image created was only 11GB. That was with “No Compression” selected. You can select different levels of compression when creating the image. Took about 20 minutes to create the partition image and 20 minutes to restore it to each system.

NOTE that if you’re putting the image on multiple machines that will be connected on the same network you need to rename each machine after booting with the new image. You should also make the source machine Administrator’s password blank before creating an image just as a safety precaution.

Also if the Windows partition (System partition) will have a different partition number on the target machine, like if you don’t want to keep the diagnostics partition, you need to prepare for that in advance. You have several options. You can create a boot diskette on which you can edit the boot.ini file to point to partition 1 and then change the boot.ini on the hard disk after booting the system. You can change the partition number in the boot.ini file right before shutting down the system to make an image of it. You can also use a Windows XP installation CD to boot to the recovery console and execute the commands that will make corrections to the boot.ini file. You can easily find instructions for doing that on the Internet.

The new free Paragon program is excellent. It’s been several years since I worked with Ghost but this program is easily as nice if not better than Ghost. Since I will be rolling out Windows 7 to 25 machines at work in the next 6 months I will be requesting permission to purchase one of the Paragon professional packages.

By: Sean Tue, 30 Mar 2010 20:19:05 +0000 Hey Brian,

I’ve been looking all over for something like this, and your post is very thorough, thanks for all the great information! But I do have one question, how well does DBE deal with RAIDs? I’ve been having a hell of a time with a newly built machine installing my XP copy to the RAID, but installing with the SATAs as IDE works fine. So I was thinking install as IDE, backup image and recovery to DVD, and recloning it to the RAID.

By: KevH Mon, 14 Dec 2009 23:27:19 +0000 If your hard disc contains a hidden partition (usually a recovery partition from the manufacturer) you would normally have to remove both the system partition and recovery partition, then create a new partition taking up the whole drive before running the restore. Klaw81, if you have forgotten to do this and still want to remove the hidden recovery partition then use another of Paragon’s free tools, Partition Manager which will do exactly what you want.

By: Mutt Sat, 28 Nov 2009 15:45:22 +0000 I must applaud you on your efforts and clarity. I would ask you to consider adding into your articles a statement telling what OS is being used in each and to which the article might possibly apply since differnet OSes can and will have different reactions. I am using Win 7 and do not know if all of this applies. I am however certain that soon, the great majority will be using it since it appears to be the best ever. That said, even the best can break and so I would like to be prepared. I hope that you would find it in your heart to update with Win 7 results when you have the opportunity. Once again, thanks for all of the work on the behalf of a public that you never get a chance to meet.

By: Ron Tue, 16 Jun 2009 19:07:14 +0000 I tried but fail to restore.
Back up has no problem, verify no problem
But the restored partition simply did not work. Disk was found but partition was not recognized and fail to reboot. (missing kernel dll)

By: Max Fri, 01 May 2009 15:07:07 +0000 First, many thanks to Brian ( for producing these detailed and easy-to-follow tutorials.

After carefully comparing DriveImage XML, Macrium Reflect Free and DBE, I’ve decided to use DBE.

However, since my Dell’s hard disk has a hidden diagnostics partition, I suspect I’ll have to edit the boot.ini file to point at partion(1) on the new drive, since the old boot.ini (presumably copied over to the system disk image) points to partition(2).

Bryan provided a very clear explantion about this issue.

Can anyone advise how I can make similar amendments to the boot.ini file using the DBE Recovery Media CD or another tool?


By: klaw81 Sun, 26 Apr 2009 04:08:19 +0000 Great article – I’ve just used this tutorial to transfer all data on my laptop’s old 60Gb hard drive to a replacement 160Gb hard drive. It all went well and the new drive is up and running without a hitch, so thank you!

One slight problem – the laptop’s hard drive contained a hidden partition for system recovery as well as the main storage partition. Now that everything is on the new hard drive, the partitions are still the same size, leaving me with 100Gb of unallocated space.

Now I know I can just create a new partition in that space to give me a separate 100Gb drive, but I’d prefer to expand the C: to fill that space instead. Is there a way of doing that without expensive software?