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Create an image of your Windows XP install for free
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Old 2nd October 2006, 07:32   #1
Madshrimp
 
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Join Date: May 2002
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“Ghost” Windows XP for free

If you have ever had the pleasure of re-installing Windows XP from scratch, you know what a hassle it can be. The idea of endless tweaks, patches, driver hunts, reboots, and scouring the web for software does not exactly fill me with glee. Did I mention the reboots? For me, the worst part is the sinking realization that when I finish the endless tweaks and software installs, I may end up doing the entire process over again from scratch six-to-eight months down the road. Why? Masochism may be one answer, but a more probable answer is an unexpected bout of spyware, a rogue virus, or a bloated registry that is causing the system to behave erratically.

Surely there must be an easier way to create that “freshly installed” feeling. Of course, you could run out and purchase Symantec Ghost(tm) or some other commercial application that will allow you to create an image of an installation and then restore from it later, but isn’t there a way to achieve the same results without spending any money? Mac OS X has Disk Utility, which can create compressed disk images of drives or partitions from which you can later restore by booting off the install CD/DVD. Linux has several free utilities such as Partimage and Mondo Rescue or even the venerable “dd” command. Windows XP doesn’t have anything like this built-in.
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