Overview of Partimage in Windows 7
Unexpected events like hard drive failure, virus attack and nature disaster may pose potential threats to your vital data. Protecting data is widely recognized to be a critical requirement for Windows users. Luckily, Partimage is created for this purpose.
Partimage is a disk backup utility that owns the ability to save partitions in many formats to an image file. Since only used portions of the partition can be copied by this program, the backup time and required storage space are greatly reduced. Besides, optional image file compression and splitting settings can also free up more disk space for you.
Note that partitions can only be backed up to internal/external hard drives or network. By default it works under Linux system and comes bundled as a part of most Linux distributions. If you don’t have a Linux system installed, you can use SystemRescueCD (a bootable live CD that includes Partimage by default) to perform backups.
How to use Partimage in Windows 7?
Suppose you want to backup Windows C: drive to E: drive. Since SystemRescueCD is a Linux tool, all the partitions are shown in Linux notation. In this example, sda1 is the C: drive, the E: drive is marked as sda5. Now follow the instructions below to complete this task with Partimage.
Step 1. Boot off the SystemRescueCD live CD. Hit Enter to boot into the command line mode.
Step 2. Before running Partimage, you must mount your target partition. Type the command below into the console and then press Enter to create a mount point.
Step 3. Type the following command and then press Enter to mount the sda5:
ntfs-3g /dev/sda5 /mnt/win-backup -o force
* NTFS-3g: a special driver that allows Linux systems to read and write to NTFS partitions.
Step 4. Type startx and then hit Enter to reach the desktop. Start Partimage by clicking System > Partimage.
Step 5. Select the source partition (sda1) and give the image file a name (here is /mnt/win-backup/windows-c-backup-2008-08-21). Then press F5 to continue.
Step 6. You can compress, comment or split the image file here. Then press F5 to go on.
Step 7. You will be warned that NTFS support is experimental. Simply click OK.
Step 8. Confirm the NTFS information and then click OK to run this backup task.
Step 9. Wait for the backup process to be completed. You will see an operation complete successfully prompt.
If you can't give the Linux names of your partitions, you should first use GParted (a partitioning program built into SystemRescueCD) to examine your layout. To do so, please go System > GParted in Step 4.
The above steps also work for Partimage in Windows 10.
As you can see from above, these steps are time-consuming and even complicated. If you don't take care when operating, it is possible to cause data loss. In addition, many users were disappointed to be told “No operating system found” after completing the backup.
Some people even stuck in the message “cannot read block 0 on image” when restoring partition from an image file. It can be seen, Partimage doesn't always work fine. It would be fine if there is a simple and reliable method. Fortunately, the following utility will meet all your needs.
The best free alternative to Partimage for Windows
As the best free Partimage alternative, AOMEI Backupper Standard allows you to perform a partition backup with ease. With this freeware, you can skip the steps to mount the destination drive before backing up. Backup storage medium is more flexible – it can be an internal/external hard drive, network, NAS device, and cloud drive, etc.
Except for partition backup, this program also offers you many other practical backup solutions, like system/disk/file backup and file sync. Since it is set as intelligent sector backup by default, only used sectors can be copied from your partitions. Sure, sector by sector backup can also be enabled to backup all sectors. Let’s see how it works!
Step 1. Download, install and launch this freeware.
Step 2. Click Backup and Partition Backup subsequently.
Step 3. Give this backup task a name. Click Step 1 to select the partition you want to backup (here is D:\).
Step 4. Add your destination path (F:\) in Step 2. Then click Start Backup.
>> Backup Options: click it to comment, compress or split the backup image.
>> Schedule: this helps you to set up an auto backup based on Daily, Weekly or Monthly. After doing an edition upgrade, you can enjoy Event triggers, USB plug in and Real-time Sync modes.
>> Scheme: serves you well to delete old image backups automatically. Turn to Pro version to use this feature.
Multiple partitions can be backed up simultaneously. Simply click Add in Step 1 to add them.
You can visit Home > the partition backup task > Restore to recover your partition later.
This article contains a comprehensive introduction to Partimage in Windows 7 and its best free alternative. Although both of them can be used to backup partitions, AOMEI Backupper Standard is easier to operate and more versatile. By the way, you may be surprised to find that this freeware also applies to backup hidden recovery partition.