[Contest] Image for Windows 2.74 [Forum Exclusive]

Friends today I would like to introduce you all to a very powerful imaging software. It is called “Image For Windows“, current version is 2.74.  I would sincerely like to thanks Mr. David from Terabyte to offer us licenses to hold a giveaway for all Tipradar members.

Image for Windows (IFW) is a powerful and reliable hard disk backup and restore software. Using it you can easily backup your hard drive’s data, programs and even operating system. You can save your backup image to external USB / FireWire™ drives, internal / network drives, CD, DVD, or BD disks.

Image for Windows also includes support for DOS and Linux disk formats.  The Image for Windows package also includes an easy-to-use MakeDisk wizard for creating a recovery boot disk. To restore your data, programs and operating systems back to the way they were when the backup was created, simply boot the recovery disk and restore the partition(s) or drive(s) you need to recover.

Homepage:

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/image-for-windows.htm

Below is the complete list of features of Image for Windows

You can opt for either a command-line (CUI) or graphical (GUI) based installation setup. I went ahead with GUI setup. It provides you different modes of installation type- Full, Custom, Compact  I went for Full installation. It installed all of the following components:

Image for Windows

PHYLock – Allows backup while using Windows

TBIView – View and extract files

TBICD2HD – Copy files from directly burned discs

BINGBURN – Burn image files to CD/DVD/BD discs

BurnCDCC – Burn ISO files

PE Builder – PE plugin builder for BartPE, VistaPE, and Win7RescuePE

TeraByte OS Deployment Tool Suite Professional

Image for DOS Recovery Disk

Image for Linux Recovery

Please note that you need to restart the computer if you have selected installation of PHYLock add-on. PHYLock is an add-on software component for Windows NT based OSes that enables Image for Windows to maintain a consistent backup of an unlocked partition or volume.

The Full installation takes close to 70Mb of hard disk space.  Given that I had selected Full installation I was presented to create a recovery boot disk using MakeDisk wizard. See below:

On the first launch you are presented with the following options as shown in the image below.

Below is the detailed description (from the Help-file) for each of the above option.

1. Backup (Full)

Select this option to create a full backup of a partition, multiple partitions, or an entire drive.

2. Backup (Changes Only)

Select this option to create a differential backup.

When you create a differential backup, Image for Windows compares the data on the source partition or hard drive against a full backup to determine what changes have occurred on the source partition or hard drive since you created the full backup. A differential backup contains only the changed sectors.

3. Restore (Automatic)

Select this option to restore a backup and attempt to choose the target location and options automatically. When the target cannot be automatically determined or you don’t accept what is selected, Image for Windows will revert to normal mode and ask you to select the target location.

4. Restore (Normal)

Select this option to restore a backup and manually determine the target location and options.

Restore Note: Image for Windows must be able to obtain a normal lock on the target partition; PHYLock is not used when restoring. Therefore, to restore the operating system itself, you would need to use the Image for DOS or Image for Linux recovery boot disk, or Image for Windows from an alternate location.

5. Validate

Select this option to validate a backup.

When you validate a backup, Image for Windows performs internal consistency checks on the backup file(s), helping to ensure that the backup will be reliable if you need to restore from it.

6. Copy

Use this option to copy (clone) a partition, partitions or an entire drive to another drive. In the case of a single partition, you can also choose a location on the same drive.

Below is the settings window provided by the software. The image shows the default options (which I had used).

As it was first time for me, I went ahead with Full Backup option. After selecting the source disk/drive/partition and destination for image file, it presented to me the following options for further optimization. Very clever!!

To let you know all I was writing this review while the drive backup was running. All this is possible because IFW utilizes the technology provided by Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) or PHYLock™, thereby allowing me to continue using my computer while the backup is locked to a point-in-time. This eliminates the inconsistencies typically experienced while backing up a partition that is in use.

I would like to mention that you can also encrypt your backup as well as password protect it. Additionally, the schedule feature in IFW uses Windows Task Scheduler to allow you to schedule your backups for a later date/time.

Below is a snap of the on-going backup:

 

Image for Windows includes two add-on utilities that let you easily extract individual files or directories from the image backup file. They effectively make Image for Windows a reasonably convenient file-level backup tool as well as a drive image backup program. TBIView™ is a Windows Explorer extension that lets you navigate and extract individual files from a backup image file. Double-clicking an image file (.TBI extension) opens a tree-style navigation window, where the image’s directory tree is shown in the left pane and the contents of a selected directory are shown in the right pane. From there you can drag files or directories to your desktop and so on.

The newer add-on TBIMount provides a windows-explorer style way to extract files/folders from a disk image backup file. It’s a stand-alone program that lets you “mount” an image file as a (read-only) disk drive, with the drive letter of your choice. You can then search, read, and copy files and directories using the Windows explorer. I went ahead and mounted the image using TBIMount tool provided by IFW. The image is mounted as Z: drive. See below:

Now I wanted to check if the image created was good or no, were there any errors and/or failure. So I went ahead with Image Validation option to have IFW verify the image. Validation was a success.

I then made couple of changes to the computer by adding/deleting files. All this was to check if IFW would be able to correctly identify the changed files and backup them, aka, Differential backup. Please note that resulting differential backup file could be larger in size compared to the first full backup, if you have saved the full backup on the same drive

If you are like me you should be curious to have a log file of the operations performed by IFW. For each operation (discussed at the beginning) you could opt to save a log file. If selected, IFW logs the date and time for each operation. It saves the log as IFW.LOG in the program file directory and/or the location set using the global LogFile option. Below is the log file content in my case of Full Backup followed by Image Validation, and then a Differential backup.

————————————————————————–

[ 9/29/2012 10:56:18 pm] Image for Windows 2.74 (GUI)

[ 9/29/2012 10:56:18 pm] Starting My first backup using Image for Windows. Hurray!…

imagew.exe /b /d:w0@0x1 /f:”C:\Program Files\TeraByte Unlimited\Image for Windows\V2\Backup-w0-0x1-$~YYYY$-$~MM$-$~DD$-$~HHMM$” /desc:”My first backup using Image for Windows. Hurray!”

[ 9/29/2012 10:56:18 pm] PHYLock is waiting for drive writing to stop …

[ 9/29/2012 10:56:24 pm] PHYLock using drive C:

[ 9/29/2012 10:56:24 pm] PHYLock Started

[ 9/29/2012 10:56:24 pm] PHYLock Using Disk

[ 9/29/2012 10:56:24 pm] PHYLock version 9

[ 9/29/2012 10:56:24 pm] Backup: Drive 0 (C:) MBR 0 Partition (01) 10229 MiB HPFS/NTFS

[ 9/29/2012 10:56:24 pm] To: C:\Program Files\TeraByte Unlimited\Image for Windows\V2\Backup-w0-0x1-2012-09-29-2253.TBI

[ 9/29/2012 11:00:11 pm] INFO: Total Sectors:20948704  Total Allocated:4969328

[ 9/29/2012 11:00:11 pm] INFO: 3396464 Sector(s) backed up

[ 9/29/2012 11:00:12 pm] Operation Completed with Error Code 0

[ 9/29/2012 11:00:12 pm] Stop

————————————————————————–

[ 9/29/2012 11:21:43 pm] Image for Windows 2.74 (GUI)

[ 9/29/2012 11:21:43 pm] Starting My first backup using Image for Windows. Hurray!…

imagew.exe /v /f:”C:\Program Files\TeraByte Unlimited\Image for Windows\V2\Backup-w0-0x1-2012-09-29-2253″ /noej

[ 9/29/2012 11:21:43 pm] Validating: MBR 0 Partition (01) 10229 MiB HPFS/NTFS

[ 9/29/2012 11:21:43 pm] From: C:\Program Files\TeraByte Unlimited\Image for Windows\V2\Backup-w0-0x1-2012-09-29-2253.TBI

[ 9/29/2012 11:22:28 pm] Operation Completed with Error Code 0

[ 9/29/2012 11:22:28 pm] Stop

[ 9/30/2012  2:17:14 am] Image for Windows 2.74 (GUI)

[ 9/30/2012  2:17:14 am] Starting …

imagew.exe /b /base:”C:\Program Files\TeraByte Unlimited\Image for Windows\V2\Backup-w0-0x1-2012-09-29-2253″ /f:”C:\Program Files\TeraByte Unlimited\Image for Windows\V2\Backup-w0-0x1-chg-$~YYYY$-$~MM$-$~DD$-$~HHMM$”

[ 9/30/2012  2:17:14 am] PHYLock is waiting for drive writing to stop …

[ 9/30/2012  2:18:02 am] PHYLock using drive C:

[ 9/30/2012  2:18:02 am] PHYLock Started

[ 9/30/2012  2:18:02 am] PHYLock Using Disk

[ 9/30/2012  2:18:02 am] PHYLock version 9

[ 9/30/2012  2:18:02 am] Backup: Drive 0 (C:) MBR 0 Partition (01) 10229 MiB HPFS/NTFS

[ 9/30/2012  2:18:02 am] To: C:\Program Files\TeraByte Unlimited\Image for Windows\V2\Backup-w0-0x1-chg-2012-09-30-0217.TBI

[ 9/30/2012  2:21:57 am] INFO: Total Sectors:20948704  Total Allocated:6993944

[ 9/30/2012  2:21:57 am] INFO: 2997989 Sector(s) backed up

[ 9/30/2012  2:21:57 am] Operation Completed with Error Code 0

[ 9/30/2012  2:21:57 am] Stop

Here I have to assume that Error Code 0 means Success. Another point I want to bring out is that there should be an option provided on completion of process to open/view the log file immediately from the interface, rather than have to browse to the program file directory and check it out. I hope the developer could include my small request.

Every purchase of Image for Windows includes a copy of Image for DOS and Image for Linux. Image for DOS and Image for Linux support the same powerful drive image functionality without requiring a working Windows installation. It also includes a licensed copy of the TeraByte OS Deployment Tool Suite (TBOSDTS) Pro. TBOSDT Pro contains a set of powerful utilities that, among other things, will help you deploy Windows to completely different hardware.

Conclusion

Image for Windows is fast, easy to understand, and reliable. Compared to other imaging products, the interface is very basic. For new users it would make a great sense to just pick the option and proceed further with the operation. However, advanced users can hunt for the features/add-ons (such as TBIView, TBICD2HD, BINGBURN, BurnCDCC and PE Builder) that they want to use. If you are looking for a flexible and simple interface, then TeraByte IFW should be your first and last choice.

I can definitely recommend one and all for IFW as it is an excellent product and it doubles both as a backup and a recovery program. TeraByte has proved that software can be powerful and useful without unnecessary bloat or fancy bells. Keep it sweet and simple.

Terabyte offers Fully Functional 30-day trial of Image for Windows which could be accessed from the link below:

http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads-image-for-windows.htm

Also note that if you use the trial version of IFW to make a backup, you will be able to restore that image for 30 days. After trial period, you will only be able to restore that image using a registered version.

Reviewer: Grr

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