Free Disk Image/Backup Software

SelfImage is capable of making an image of a hard disk partition and saving it as a file – useful for making backups.

RawWrite for Windows
A tool for creating boot disks and other floppy disk images.

dd for Windows
Utlity to create disk-image files, create disks from disk-image files, and rip an iso file from a CD.

Copies the whole Win NT, 2000 or XP system volume to another disk that will be ready to boot without a restore step. Supports FAT, NTFS, USB-disk, PATA and SATA.

Drive Backup 9.0 Express
Easy new steps for total PC protection. Paragon Hot Backup® technology creates backup images without restarting Windows. Save backup images to local drives or external USB or Firewire Devices.

Clone Maxx
Clone Maxx copies the contents of one hard disk to another. It is run from a bootable diskette, and is useful when you want to transfer everything from one hard disk to another as you might want to do when you buy a new hard drive to replace an existing one. It supports DMA transfer, which speeds up the rate at which your data is transferred. It works independently of the existing file system or the number of partitions the drive has.

PING is a live Linux ISO, based on the excellent Linux From Scratch (LFS) documentation. It can be burnt on a CD and booted, or integrated into a PXE / RIS environment.

Several tools have been added and written, so to make this ISO the perfect choice to backup and restore whole partitions, an easy way. It sounds like Symantec Ghost(tm), but has even better features, and is totally free.

Dubaron DiskImage
DiskImage is the ultimate tool to backup and restore partitions, entire harddisks, usb keys, floppy drives and (read-only) optical media.
DiskImage features built-in zip compression, it’s own compression method for data > 2Gb, MD5 and SHA1 checksumming, a hex editor, and various tools like drive speed and seek testing.Dumping and restoring partitions, usb sticks, floppies, optical media, diskimage is the swiss army knife.

Forensic Acquisition Utilities
This is a collection of utilities and libraries intended for forensic or forensic-related investigative use in a modern Microsoft Windows environment.  The components in this collection are intended to permit the investigator to sterilize media for forensic duplication, discover where logical volume information is located and to collect the evidence from a running computer system while at the same time ensuring data integrity (e.g. with a cryptographic checksums) and while minimizing distortive alterations to the subject system.  The components of this package are not intended to preclude all changes to the subject system  while the evidence collection process is under way .  A third party hardware or software write blocker should be employed in those circumstances where it is deemed necessary to guarantee  that no changes occur to the subject volume prior to and after the imaging process.

nfgdump (Ntfs-Fat-Generic-dump) is a Win32/Linux tool that dumps/restores NTFS (including 3.1=XP), COMPRESSED NTFS, FAT16, FAT32 and arbitrary (generic) partitions. Dump files support compression, encryption, splits, page file content removal, etc.

This is a Windows version of the well-known (and versatile) Unix “dd” utility. It runs on Windows XP and is released under the GNU General Public License. This is a command line program.

DriveImage XML
Image and Backup logical Drives and Partitions. DriveImage XML is an easy to use and reliable program for imaging and backing up partitions and logical drives.

g4u – Harddisk Image Cloning for PCs
g4u (“ghosting for unix”) is a NetBSD-based bootfloppy/CD-ROM that allows easy cloning of PC harddisks to deploy a common setup on a number of PCs using FTP. The floppy/CD offers two functions. The first is to upload the compressed image of a local harddisk to a FTP server, the other is to restore that image via FTP, uncompress it and write it back to disk. Network configuration is fetched via DHCP. As the harddisk is processed as an image, any filesystem and operating system can be deployed using g4u. Easy cloning of local disks as well as partitions is also supported.

Partition Saving
Partition Saving is an MSDOS hard disk imaging utility. Place it on an MSDOS boot disk and use it to image your Windows, MSDOS and Linux partitions. It supports the imaging of NTFS, FAT32, FAT16, FAT12, ext2 (and possibly other) partitions. It can do a sector-by-sector copy or (for the partition-types listed here) copy only the occupied sectors thereby saving space and time in your backups. It is able to automatically split the backup file into smaller files of a size you specify (useful if you plan to burn the backup to a CDR(W) or DVD+/-R(W) later). The backup file may be compressed with a compression level you select. Updated: starting from version 3.50, Partition Saving now works in Windows and can be placed on a BartPE Rescue CD.

PartImage, or Partition Image, is a Linux/UNIX utility to make an image of your partitions in a file. It is able to image only used portions of the partitions saving time and space. The images are compressed. The utility supports the ext2fs, ext3fs, ReiserFS, FAT16, FAT32, HPFS, JFS, XFS, UFS, HFS, and NTFS file systems. Note that if you are not using Linux, and want to use Parition Image on a PC, look at the other entries on this page for PING.

SystemRescueCD is a bootable system rescue CD-ROM for PCs containing utilities that allow you to manage and edit your hard disk partitions (GNU Parted and QTParted), image your hard disk partitions (Partimage), a partition table backup and restore utility (Sfdisk), various file system tools that allow you to format, resize and edit existing partitions on your hard disk. It does not depend on the operating system you have installed on your hard disk – the CDROM is self-contained and is designed to serve as a rescue disk. There is also a version for the blind (it incorporates a speech reader).

Ultimate Boot CD
Ultimate Boot CD is a bootable CDROM for PCs that contain a variety of software for diagnosing and fixing problems on your computer, managing your hard disk partitions, imaging or cloning your hard disk partitions (it includes Partition Saving, see elsewhere on this page), resetting your (forgotten) password on NT, Win2k, or XP, scanning your hard disks for viruses (it includes some free antivirus utilities), etc.

DiscWizard for Windows
If you are moving your system from an old hard disk to a Seagate disk, you can download this free software from Seagate make a clone of your existing hard disk on your new Seagate hard disk. The version, at the time this was written, also allows you to make a backup image of your hard disk and restore it. Besides running from your Windows system, you can also create a bootable rescue CD from which you can image, clone and restore your hard disk.

Seagate/Maxtor MaxBlast is free for those who have bought Maxtor hard disks on PCs. One of its features is that it can make an exact duplicate (clone) of your existing drive onto your new hard disk. The cloning facility supports FAT32 and NTFS partitions, among others. Besides cloning your hard disk, you can also make a backup image of the disk onto another hard disk, and restore it. This is a Windows program. It also allows you to create a bootable CD from which you can image, clone and restore your fixed disks.

HDClone Free Edition
HDClone allows you to copy the contents of an IDE hard disk onto a larger capacity hard disk (SCSI drives are not supported). It is useful when you upgrade or change your hard disk and don’t want to reinstall your system again. It creates a bootable floppy disk and allows you to clone your disk when you boot from it. It cannot copy to another disk of the same size, nor does it support the Ultra-DMA of modern computers (it uses the old and slower PIO modes).

BackupPC Open Source Backup
BackupPC allows you to back up your Windows, Linux and Mac OS X PCs, desktops and laptops to a server’s disk. It either uses SMB, tar over SSH/RSH/NFS or rsync. The program is written in Perl and is open source.

Amanda Backup and Recovery Software Community Edition
The Amanda Community Edition is an open source backup and recovery software for Linux. Administrators can set up a backup server to back up mulitiple host computers to a single tape drive, tape changer or hard disk via the network.

Microsoft SyncToy
Microsoft SyncToy allows you to synchronize your data between two storage locations, so that you can keep the latest version of your files in both locations. The tool is also able to track situations when you rename a file, and it makes sure that the file in the other storage area is also renamed. The tool only works under Windows XP SP 2 and requires the .NET framework.

Back4Win allows home users the ability to backup and restore your data to ZIP and self-extracting EXE files. You can control the level of compression of your data files, span disks, predefine the disk size (to suit CD-Rs and CD-RWs), password-lock your backups, burn to CD-R/W, restore from damaged backups, etc.

Cobian Backup
Cobian Backup is a backup and restore utility that can backup your files and directories to another directory or drive on the same computer or to another computer on your network. It also supports FTP backup. You can compress and encrypt your backups. Standalone decompression and decryption utilities are also available so that if you wish, you can recover your files without having to use the backup program. Included with the backup program is a scheduler, so that you can schedule your backups to occur, say, every night when you are not using the computer. The program also supports remote backups. This is a Windows program.

FreeByte Backup
Freebyte Backup is a Windows program that supports the backing up files and directories to a backup directory. It also handles incremental backups, where only files not already in the backup set is saved, scheduled backups and profiles.

Unison File Synchronizer
Unison synchronizes files and directories stored on different hosts on the Internet. It can handle changes made to either replica of a distributed directory structure, and hence is more than just a mirroring utility. It is open source, distributed under the GNU GPL, and works on Windows, Linux, Solaris, OS X, etc.