Could you say what free programs (and links to them) can one use to make a copy of the whole system partition, write it to a bootable DVD (CD is too small) and in a case of emergency just to boot from the DVD and restore the whole system partition. Naturally, all the utilities must be on the bootable DVD in the case of system failure.
Sounds like what you’re actually referring to is what’s called Disk Imaging. That’s the type of software that you’re going to want to get to go ahead and do the following:
1.) Make a burnable and boot-able ‘Image’ of your entire harddrive.
2.) Burn the Image file - commonly .ISO etc - to a DVD Disk and or series of DVD Disks.
3.) Reinstall everything with ease whenever you need to.
Now, if you want a boot-able Disk for System Recovery & Repair in case of extreme infections, random “why the bleep am I blue screening repeatedly because windows loves me”, etc; Your going to be going after some different software.
In the first case things like Acronis True Image, Norton Ghost, and such. I’d go ahead with Acronis personally. But it’s expensive as hell.
In the second case I’d recommend things like Hirons Boot CD, Bart’s PE, and Ultimate Boot CD - (UBCD).
An additional available option instead of making a Disk Image, you can just purchase yourself a large external hard drive. Darn near most if not all of externals over about, lets say 120GB’s, have backup software included on them. At least the Sea-Gate ones I and friends / family have, have the pre-stored Backup software on them. Works best if you have 2 internal hard drives as well as your external. That way you can boot up from one internal drive, back up the other, then boot up from the other internal, etc.
There are a lot of options available, if you’re using Windows 7 you can use the built-in system image utility:
How to Create a System Image in Windows 7
Alternatively there are some excellent free applications, such as my personal favourite
Macrium Reflect Free Edition
There are plenty of others…
Thanks for mentioning Macrium Reflect, it looks good. I hadn’t heard of it before just now. I’m thinking I’m going to go ahead and give it a whirl. ;D Just wanted to say thanks.
marcium reflect is fantastic! I used the free versoion for a while and loved it enough to purchase it later on!