Ping! – Creating an image of your hard drive partition

I wanted to test the latest Windows 7 RC on a laptop for a couple of hours only. To save me the trouble of reinstalling the previous OS, applications and files I decided to use Ping!

So what is Ping? Ping stands for ‘Partimage Is Not Ghost’. It enables you to create images of partitions for backup and restoring like Symantec’s Ghost package. However Ping is absolutely free.

Doing a backup and restore of a partition image takes up less time than actually installing an operating system, software and placing your files back. Saves you all the extra configuration time also. Ideal as ‘part’ of a backup procedure.

Perhaps a good use for ping is when a computer is setup with a clean install of an operating system & drivers. Then when required a restore of the fresh install would be effortless and quick to implement. For me I just wanted to try out the new Windows 7 RC, but restore my old system very quickly.

So here are some rough steps and details of what I did:

  1. I made sure my backup of important files had taken place before I began.

  2. Downloaded the ping iso (23mbytes).

  3. The iso is a cd image, I then burnt to a 700mb cd. Software like imgburn, nero, brasero etc will all be able to burn the image to a cd.

  4. I made sure the laptop was set to boot from cd and booted using the ping cd.

  5. I have two partitions on my laptops hard drive and I chose to backup the primary partition to the second. However I noticed it recognized my usb hard drive, so could of used that and I believe there are other options.

  6. Following ping’s instructions even without looking at the available documentation was easy. It is text based, but well laid out.

  7. Around 6gigs of actual data on a 20gig partition, took up around 3.7gig of space and took under an hour.

So how about restoring?

  1. Again I booted up using the ping cd.

  2. I choose to restore a partition and choose the location and specific backup I had created.

  3. Under 20 minutes later the whole partition was restored.

So where do I go next?

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