SysChat (
-   General Software (
-   -   Ratio of image size to size of files? (

b1caez01 07-20-2007 03:45 AM

Ratio of image size to size of files?
I am mussing about with a drive cloner that makes drive images. What is the general rule of thumb, if there is one, for the ratio of the size of the image to that of the disk it is backing up. e.g. my drive is what size would the image be? Of that 117Gb, only about 30% of it actually has data on the image size would obviously be smaller, or would it? I'd like to back up to a burned CD, but it asks for the size of the split files, the smallest being 650Mb. So, I don't know if the disk would be adequate or not. Obviously, more than one disk would be needed in the case of a larger image size...

William_Wilson 07-20-2007 11:02 AM

From what I gather, a professional cloner should copy only the data files, in order and in their current structure. They can read file delimiters (EOFs) so getting extra data should not be an issue... unless there are large gaps in the data. I would suggest running a defrag before cloning.
Most programs will attempt to copy the source in uncompressed format, but I imagine there are some which will copy it and compress it. You will need to be careful as many of these programs will require that you save the entire image to a location... eg, you will need ~100GB of free space somewhere, the image once saved can likely be split ony cds... though i'd suggest a dvd burner for fewer discs.

b1caez01 07-20-2007 07:05 PM

mmmmm...not there yet... help... I have searched far and wide; there does not seem to be any info on the net that even hints at the answer to this question. They all want to sell you a cloner, but if one ends up with the same or near-same sized image as the data being saved, then one may as well just copy the entire data field to another part of the drive or into another partition.

A cloner clones every byte, but if it is an image, and not actual data bits, AND it can be compressed, how does this translate re: size, at the cache level though?

"A disk image file contains the exact, byte-by-byte copy of a hard drive, partition or logical disk and can be created with various compression levels on the fly without stopping Windows OS and therefore without interrupting your business."

I am using RestoreIT by far the best bit of software I've found for keeping my system on the go. It is a bit tedious on the startup and the shutdown, but I've programmed it that make a restore point in each instance. If it detects something is amiss, it restores the system on the spot upon more crashes and no more false starts and no more problems. If the system is fine on the shutdown, it will be fine on the startup...just as you left it. And it is integrated with other software that make restore points as well.

So, I'm all set to make an image, and then it struck me, where to put it. I wanted it on a CD, but if I have to use 117+ CD's (less if compressed...but how much less?), that makes no sense at all. Or am I out to lunch on that score. A 117+Gb hard drive, should produce a 117+ drive image. And since a CD only holds 650+Mb, thus the 117+ CD's. Totally unreasonable. I could put it on my slave drive, there is room, but If the computer fails, I'd prefer something that I can get at more easily, namely the CD/DVD drive off a reboot. D-drive would be inaccessible. Nor would putting it into another partition be it would be on the same drive as the OS...

I've checked out what appear to be the top 5-6 cloners and not one provides more than the guidance of hyping the product as the "best" at what it does, but what does it really do? --offer false hope?

William_Wilson 07-22-2007 11:39 AM

if you have a slave drive, why not attempt to do a test run to see what kind of space a program will use?

CDs can hold up to 701MB if the correct version is bought.
117 cds IS ridiculous, if dvds were used you would be using only 25 or 26 in total... you, may want to look at that option more seriously.

I personally do not use RestoreIT or any other software of the sort, i like fast start ups and shut downs, I haven't had a serious error in 3 years, nor a crash in longer than that. I keep xp installed on a 2nd hard drive in case of disaster (old 20GB) and i need access to my computer for school work and the like, thus i do not keep anything important on my Windows drive thus in a worst case scenario all other drives are still accessable from my 2nd XP install.

b1caez01 07-23-2007 11:48 PM

Still wondering...
And thus my query... How can you install a second version on the slave, if the second versions, system32 folder is on the first. You'd have to unplug the first, to load the second, then replug the first to get started, then the registry would be fighting over the first or the second for needed files...does not sound logical to me.

The issue boils down to "what's an image?" Is it a viable electronic bit of a byte, or is it ... well what is it? How much of an image bit = how much of an actual bit? When I think of images, in a media sense, I think of some pretty big files.

Imaging appears to be just a fad, unless some sort of a reasonable explanation can be had for the value of its use in relation to saving space, or whatever...this I cannot find.

As the cloner only clones an image the size of the disk being imaged, would you not need at least a receiver base the same size... Unless you have that, with the security of knowing the image won't go over can't find what it will ultimately end up as.

mhookem 07-24-2007 05:30 AM

Hello, sticking to the basic idea of what a 'clone' is without having to refer to the dictionary, I am assuming that that's what it is. Unless of course the software developers missed something when they decided to call it cloning?

I'm guessing that's why you get a cloned image of the entire partition, free space included.

I'm also assuming that the PC will boot with the drive you have set as the first boot device and run from there as it contains everything that it needs to start and run your PC, whilst still being capable of reading what's on your slave, similar to choosing a device from the boot menu with another operating system on and as long as they're compatible file systems you can access the other drive regardless of which one's running the PC.



b1caez01 07-25-2007 02:16 AM

Long story short...
I think that I shall stick to my way of doing things...burn a back up onto a CD!

These "image makers" all seem to be lauding the "power" of their products, but none appear to be able to say actually what's going on, or what benefits there are over and above a simple burned backup...seems to me they are just reinventing the wheel, as does most software...


William_Wilson 07-25-2007 07:10 PM

*typing end of thread, does not end a thread, lol.

an image, such as a cd image, is usually a single file, reduced atleast a little in size, it is not meant to be used as an OS, for that, just install the OS again, or copy the files to another partition, and run a fixmbr/fixboot to help the MBR find both copies.


And thus my query... How can you install a second version on the slave, if the second versions, system32 folder is on the first. You'd have to unplug the first, to load the second, then replug the first to get started, then the registry would be fighting over the first or the second for needed files...does not sound logical to me.
to be honest... i have no idea what you mean by this... if you install a 2nd copy, they are not dependent on any files or folders, there will be 2 System32 folders, not 1. There will be massive OS instability if you allow more than 1 OS to modify a single set of these files, also if a virus attacks 1 OS, the other is gone too... which leaves me with the "why would you want this silly situation?"

b1caez01 07-26-2007 10:29 PM

Back from the grave...

I am aware of all that you say already... You may have misunderstood me. That was not my intent. My intent was to find some way of backing up files, still have them useable, yet be in a much reduced size, and in a different location... Yes, a zip or rar would do that, but they would not be operable or useable in those conditions. That is what image technology was supposed to do, I thought. But I am mistaken.

re: the second version I referred to... I suppose that I was under the impression that "you" were suggesting that I load a second version of windows on my slave drive, and in the case of a need to use it, use it! ...but you cannot setup two system32 folders in one computer...and that is what I was referring to, and what you pointed out...

"How can you install a second version on the slave, if the second versions, system32 folder is on the first. You'd have to unplug the first, to load the second, then replug the first to get started, then the registry would be fighting over the first or the second for needed files...does not sound logical to me."

And you point out exactly the reason I thought that way...massive instability! We are of the same mind.


I have also tried to get a hang on how to make an ISO disks. I seem to be ISO challenged. I have wasted a pile of disks but can't get the hang of it. No matter what set of instruction I read and follow (and I have a bunch of them), I screw it up somehow. Backing up is not an issue if you just get back on board, clean up and repair what it was that killed your system. The backups can be harboured anywhere.

Why can't someone just make the entire reboot disk downloadable and bootable, rather then having to go through all that messing about with the ISO business. One only needs the basic stripped down boot files so that a clean boot, and repair, can later be made. Since all XP Home Ed systems are alike, what's the problem?

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:47 PM.

Copyright © 2005-2013

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54