There are many freeware software utilities available for Windows that can be used to backup the partitions to create images that can be resorted later on incase of a disaster like a hard-drive failure etc. Some of these image backup software can also backup system partitions/drives and can later restore the system partitions in case of a failure or a corruption in the installed OS. DriveImage XML is freeware partition and drive backup and restoration software for Windows that falls under this category.
DriveImage XML creates images using partition backups in the XML format that can be processed later on by the 3rd party software as well if needed. It also supports Microsoft Volume Shadow Services (VSS) service to create safe hot backup images from the currently active partition. Created images can even be restored from with in the Windows if required. Other features include browsing the created images and extracting the files, copying drive to drive and restoring to a different drive. DriveImage XML can also be run from the WinPE boot cd-rom if Windows cannot be booted because of some corruption for example on a system for example. The program will backup and restore images for drives formatted with FAT 12, 16, 32 and NTFS.
It runs under Windows XP, Windows Server 2003, Vista and Windows 7. Private version of the DriveImage XML is available for free and can be downloaded from here.
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