Using Linux to restore Windows XP?

How about this:

  1. You have Windows XP on the C partition.

  2. Preferrably you have two partitions (C & D), or at least a USB stick in addition to your only C partition.

  3. You make an exact backup of your C partition - just copy all files and folders and put somewhere on D or the USB stick.

  4. You make some mistakes in Windows XP (either the OS, or some application which uses the Windows Registry, or both), tricky to recover.

  5. Boot from a CD to a Linux distro - Puppy should be fine, it loads itself completely to the RAM.

  6. Mount C and the partition/USB stick where you have the Windows XP backup.

  7. Copy all of it to C, replacing the current (corrupted) installation.

  8. Unmount and shut down, then boot as usual to Windows XP.

Will it work? Or would Windows have any objections when booting? If it does work, I think it seems like a decent and free option to imaging/backup software.


3. You make an exact backup of your C partition - just copy all files and folders

Sorry but this statement contradicts itself and that is why it won’t work.
That is why there is Imaging software.


What’s the contradiction?


Because an exact copy (image) of a disk is a very different result
from copying all the files and folders from a disk.

That’s why I wonder if the suggested method could possibly work. :wink:

Maybe it doesn’t work for all kinds of Windows problems, but I was thinking, e.g. I install a bloated program because I need it once, then I wish to revert. To do so I copy all files (or selected files, e.g. the Windows registry files) from the previous state (before the certain program was installed).


So what I think you are after would be,

Install bloated pig of an app, use it, then uninstall it.
But the uninstaller has left junk behind or messed up your registry?

Yep, that’s one conceivable scenario that could possibly apply to me.

As long as the application doesn’t spread its files all over the disk, making some files end up in the Windows\system32 folder, I guess it’s pretty simple to just delete it and restore the registry (with ERUNT) to a state just before the application was installed. However, this requires that no other programs or Windows have made changes to the registry. Else, the registry might not perfectly correspond to the programs or settings I currently have. In that sense, ERUNT is suitable for very specific scenarios, whilst my boot-to-Linux-method aims to be more general.

In the end, what I want - I guess - would be Comodo Time Machine. I was just thinking of possible options to try before the Time Machine becomes available and stable.


Yes I hear ya,

I’m glad you mentioned ERUNT so I don’t have to get into it.
With the combination of REVO uninstaller and ERUNT I have
been able to save myself from big troubles.
As far as I know that’s about as good as it gets short of an image
back up scheme.

And as far as windows system restore. I never will waste the HD space
on that flaky joke. It is disabled Immediately on all my installs.

I too am very curious about the forthcoming of Comodo Time Machine.

An image without an image. Hmmm

I would love to see Comodo develop a disk cloning product (ideally off a bootable cd). Add a partitioning tool to this (like an all in one product) and that would make me very happy ;D. I don’t believe a product like this exists (not that I’ve found yet).


Hi Guys, I know this thread is dead but it’s interesting. Anyway, if you use linux there’s a command called “dd” And you can use it to copy the entire disk low level (even the boot sector will be copied) to the image file or other storage.

… or you could use Clonezilla or G4L as both use NTFSClone for Windows (XP and Vista) partitions. Personally, I prefer G4L.