Backups – Part 1

I use two forms of backups; data and system. As such, the backups are performed different ways and actually stored in different physical locations. Part 1 of this series deals with backing up your system – generally drive C: for most Windows users. Part 2 will cover backing up your pictures, music, and video.

For system backups, or “images” as they’re commonly called, there’s a free utility called DriveImage XML that will make an image of any Fat32/NTFS partitions you have and runs right from within Windows (XP or Vista). DriveImage XML is the free alternative to the commercial products Ghost and True Image. As with it’s commercial counterparts, DriveImage XML’s GUI is useful for making an image when necessary, or browsing the contents of a previously made image, however the ability to call it from the command line is where it’s additional power comes in.

By putting together a simple batch file and scheduling it via Windows Task Scheduler, your system can automatically make images (backups) of itself on a recurring basis. I configure the batch file for my home PC’s to make an image each morning at 2am, and to keep the newest 3 images. This allows me to restore either the entire partition or individual files from this morning, yesterday morning, or the morning before.

To do this, download DriveImage XML either from their site or my freeware site and install it. Next, create an empty text file, name it “Backup Drive C.bat”, and save it somewhere (root of C: is fine for this) and paste the following text in it:

del E:\Images\Older_C.dat
del E:\Images\Older_C.xml

rename E:\Images\Old_C.dat Older_C.dat
rename E:\Images\Old_C.xml Older_C.xml

rename E:\Images\Drive_C.dat Old_C.dat
rename E:\Images\Drive_C.xml Old_C.xml

“C:\Program Files\Runtime Software\DriveImage XML\dixml.exe” /bc /tE:\Images\Drive_C /r- /s- /c /v

Double clicking that batch file will startup DriveImage XML and make an image of your C: partition. It’ll need to create the image on a different drive letter than C:, and the script is setup to create it in E:\Images. If you don’t have E: or would prefer to write yours to say D:, just replace each E: with D: and you’re all set.

There are two types of restores available; file, and system. Restoring files is as easy as opening DriveImage XML, clicking the Browse button, and locating a previously made backup image. Once the image is opened, you’ll see a familiar directory tree displaying your files and folders and can restore whatever you need to.

System restores are a little more involved, but still much easier and faster than reinstalling everything from scratch. A typical restore of 22G of data takes me less than 30 minutes. Installing and patching Windows XP takes much longer than that and that doesn’t even take into account how long it takes to get all of the other applications setup and going again.

Restoring your system can’t be done within Windows the way a backup can. To restore your Windows partition, you need to boot into something else and perform the restore from there. The “something else” I use is a BartPE disk. A BartPE (or Pre-installation Environment) disk is basically a Windows liveCD. You put it in the computer, boot to it, and you’re in a basic, limited version of Windows. From there, you can start DriveImage XML and perform your restore.

BartPE disks support plugins, which are just additional applications bundled onto the CD. I typically add both DriveImage XML and Firefox to my BartPE disks. That way I can still surf while restoring an image. 🙂

There’s a lot of information on the BartPE site about creating your own BartPE disk, but here are the basics:

  • Download and install BartPE (the application you’ll create your disk with) from here
  • Get your original Windows CD ready, this is what your BartPE disk will be created from
  • Download Windows XP Service Pack 2
  • Download the DriveImageXML BartPE plugin
  • Run BartPE
  • Follow the getting started instructions
  • Create a slipstreamed copy of your Windows XP files – go here and look at the instructions for “I cannot build, my Windows XP installation CD is original (pre-SP1).”
  • Be sure to include the DriveImage XML plugin before building your new BartPE CD

That’s it. I know it looks/sounds complicated, but it really isn’t that bad. And, once it’s made, it’s going to save you a ton of time at some point. Using it is as simple as booting to it and running DriveImage XML from it. If there are other utilities you’d like to include on your BartPE CD, be sure to look over their plugins page to see if a plugin has already been created that does what you want to do.

Some additional points to consider with regards to your backups…

  • Before doing a restore, take the time to do one last backup. When that’s done, do your restore, and if you forgot to make a quick copy of anything (emails, favorites, etc.) simply open the backup you just made and restore those files.
  • After patching a new install of Windows, create an image. If you ever decide you want to do a full reinstall, you can use that one to save the time of installing and patching windows all over again. I typically do this after activating Windows so they don’t think I’m installing it to 20 different PC’s.
  • Periodically (once a week or so) copy your newest image to another PC or burn it to disk. This way if something totally wreaks havoc with your entire PC, you aren’t going to lose your backups in addition to your operating system and user data.

Continue to Backups – Part 2


  1. George McNillian said,

    April 26, 2007 at 5:18 pm

    DriveImage XML’s website says you can selectively restore files from the drive image it creates. If that is the case, why do you need the secondary ‘file’ backup outlined in your backup part 2? Couldn’t you simply make sure one copy of the drive image is located off-site?

  2. Bill Minton said,

    April 26, 2007 at 6:15 pm

    Good question. It does let you browse the backups and extract individual files very easily. I do file backups separately because they are on different drives/partitions, etc. that I may not want to make images of due to sheer size.

    For instance, my data drive on my main PC has some things I want backed up (password file, documents, etc.), but a lot of other stuff I don’t (downloaded applications I want to install/test, etc.).

  3. Dave said,

    May 2, 2007 at 10:45 pm

    I really like the batch file idea from above. I was wondering if anyone was aware of any error numbers that the command line may return. i.e. it returns something other than 0 of the backup process failed for some reason. I was hoping to use this as a switch on whether or not to delete the oldest backup.

  4. airjrdn said,

    May 3, 2007 at 12:59 am

    I’m not sure. I’m no batch guru though. I know the scheduled job will indicate if it runs into a problem, but it’s possible the batch would encounter one that the scheduler was unaware of.

    I’m pretty sure my wife’s laptop has ran out of disk space on the drive it was writing the image to and when we went to use the laptop DXML was still up and displaying an error. That doesn’t help with automating things much better though.

    VBScript may be another option, but it would be more involved than the simple batch file above.

  5. Jay Miller said,

    July 28, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    What do we do with all the extra files dixml.exe creates?

    Example= Drive_C.001 all the way in sequence thru to Drive_C.014


  6. airjrdn said,

    July 30, 2007 at 11:11 am

    Using the switches I’ve outlined in the article, there should be no file splitting, so you shouldn’t have a .001, .002, etc. set of files.

  7. Bruce said,

    July 31, 2007 at 11:09 pm

    I have the same file splitting condition; I think it’s probably because my external drive where I’m writing the backups is FAT32 instead of NTFS. I’m hoping to move up to a Mac in the near future so I need the FAT drive to be readable by both Windows and MacOS.

    To make the scheduled task .bat file usable with the .001, .002, etc files in place, I created sub-directories in my target named DriveC, DriveC_Old and DriveC_Older. The .bat file looks like this:

    rmdir /s /q F:\Images\DriveC_Older

    rename F:\Images\DriveC_Old DriveC_Older
    rename F:\Images\DriveC DriveC_Old
    mkdir F:\Images\DriveC

    start “C:\Program Files\Runtime Software\DriveImage XML\dixml.exe” /bC /tF:\Images\DriveC\DriveC /s /c /v

    Hope this helps.

  8. airjrdn said,

    August 1, 2007 at 1:50 am

    Good point, I didn’t think about FAT/FAT32 having the size limitation.

  9. Bruce said,

    August 1, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Oops! I had to remove “start” from the final line in my .bat file. I thought that would run the backup in the background but it doesn’t work that way.

  10. Mick said,

    August 1, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    just played a while with DriveImage XML making backups of my two computers (Desk & Notebook) system’s drives.

    Now I would like to do the following:
    Setting up my Notebook to a multi-boot windows by installing XP once and copying this xp-partition to two other partitions on the same drive but the booting of the 2nd system fails.

    what I did already:
    1- Generated a Boot-CD with UBCD4Win
    2- Booted the CD and started DriveImage XML off of it
    3- backuped notebook’s drive (~ 9GB) to an external usb-drive
    4- partitioned the system drive (60GB) with the GePartEd-Boot-CD to 4 partitions:
    1. 10GB (Windows for Office/Internet) DriveImage XML says: DISK0#1
    2. 10GB (Windows for Audio, NO INTERNET) DriveImage XML says: DISK0#2
    3. 20GB (Windows for Graphics, NO INTERNET) DriveImage XML says: DISK0#3
    4. 15GB (Data, no system) / DriveImage XML says: DISK0#4

    5- That’s how the partition-structure looks like in Windows Disk Manager (booted from 1st partition):
    10,0 GB NTFS
    error free (start partition)
    10,0 GB NTFS
    error free
    20,0 GB NTFS
    error free
    15,9 GB FAT32
    error free

    while D: is the Optical Drive

    6- I installed Windows XP to the second partition succesfully.
    7- The Windows Boot-Manager has been installed automatically and the second XP was bootable. This step should only install windows’ boot-manager to be able to choose the other windows-installation by keyboard and the necessary boot-files are written to the 1st partition, the editing of the boot.ini should be such of a hassel for the 3rd partition, so I decided to…
    8- Format the second partition again and do a restore with DriveImage XML with the system-backuped partition image to this second partition
    9- after restarting and choosing to boot up the second partition I was given this error message:
    “Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
    Please re-install a copy of the above file.”
    10- After checking DriveImage XML’s FAQ and reading
    I checked the partitions with Windows Disk Manager and changed the second partition (E:) to be ACTIVE
    11- after restarting the computer and choosing the second Windows to boot again, the same error (hal.dll) appeared

    That’s now the point I’m writing this. Could you help me to get the second partition to boot from without reinstalling windows to it again (and hopefully to the 3rd partition) ?
    Or is it impossible to do a partition copy to get 3 independent windows systems running on one machine, without installing one after another ?
    I’m asking for this complicated procedure, because I would like to do this on a second machine as well and I would need these totally independent windows-installations.

  11. airjrdn said,

    August 2, 2007 at 2:18 am

    I’m dual booting two instances of XP Pro, one for gaming, one for everything else. I just looked at my boot.ini, and there’s no magic there, in fact, this is it:

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(3)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS=”Gaming” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

    If you edit your boot.ini so it looks similar to mine, does it boot?

    Honestly, I’ve never done what you’re wanting to do, although I can understand why you’d want to do it.

    Another option may be to do a basic install for partitions E & F, then simply restore the backup of C over them. You’ll still be spending time doing a base install, but you won’t have to install patches, drivers, applications, etc.

    Also, during the base install, you could try this…right after the install reboots mid way through, boot to your UBCD4Win boot cd and do the DriveImage XML restore. At that point I’m betting the “boot stuff” is already setup.

  12. Mick said,

    August 3, 2007 at 10:08 pm

    I did manage to boot the second partition now, there was an error on the second partition: it was marked as ‘boot’…so I changed this back to first partition and could solve one issue.
    Now, there is more a problem of telling windows that it was booted off of drive E, because I deinstalled something from drive E and it disappeared from drive C 🙂
    Do you know of any Tool capable of changing the system’s drive to E in the registry ? Something like a migration tool, or is DriveImage XML capabale of that by using its Drive To Drive copy ? I guess not but I did not try.
    It must be something that changes everything labeled like c:\windows to e:\windows and all these links in the registry…do you know of any tool like this ?

  13. airjrdn said,

    August 4, 2007 at 3:35 am

    No, I really don’t. I’ve seen tools in the past that claimed to be able to migrate installed applications from one PC to another. Those *might* work, but I have my doubts. Here’s a link to a Google search with results that claim to do that, but I’ve not tried any of them.

  14. Mindaugas said,

    August 24, 2007 at 5:48 am

    Thank you for tutorial with free tools.

  15. jameswillisisthebest said,

    September 8, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    This is my first post
    just saying HI

  16. Bato said,

    September 14, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    Hallo, this is my first post.
    I´m from Germany an my English is not so good.
    Here my Questions.

    1. is it possible to create image for two drives (C: and D:) at the same time with the batch file above and store it in one imagefile?
    2. is it possible to restore the image on one new computer (Bare Metall) with bart-pe plugin? If is possible, please tell me how.

    Thanks for help.


  17. airjrdn said,

    September 15, 2007 at 10:31 pm

    It won’t image both drives at the same time, unless you use two batch files. If you just want both drives to be imaged, but one after the other, then just use the last line of the batch file twice; once for each drive.

    Yes, I use BartPE as a boot disk, and you can get the DriveImage XML BartPE plug-in from here –

  18. Bato said,

    September 17, 2007 at 11:22 am

    Thank you for latest help. Today I will test these possibilities, but i have got one more new question:

    If I want to restore on a new Computer with different Hardware like in the old PC, may i get problems with the Hardwaredriver (for example: Display, Mainboard, Controllers, Network or any other components)? In the image are the Drivers of the old PC. What can I do to implement the new Drivers during the restore? Or do I have to implement the drivers later on a running system?

    Do you have an Idea how to fix this Problem?


  19. airjrdn said,

    September 17, 2007 at 1:07 pm

    Windows is generally pretty good about detecting hardware, but I’d never trust it by attempting that. Different hardware = new install in my opinion. This isn’t specific to using DriveImage XML though, you’d have the same issue(s) with Ghost, True Image, etc.

  20. October 11, 2007 at 11:55 am

    I´ve tried creatinga a BartPE cd, but although I download DriveImage_xml plugin from dafafda , when i try adding it to Pe Editor, it shows me an error saying the something like this message “SetupIterateCabinet failed”

    The plugin I´ve downloaded is called
    Could you send the plugin you have used , or give me an URL where I could download an ISO of a BartPE disk containing that plugin ?

    Many thanks !!!

  21. Noel Adler said,

    October 24, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    I doing my first backup using DriveImage XML. I says it will take over 5 hours. I doing disk to disk (Sata internal) with a speedy dual core processor. The file is 128 GB. Is that how long it should take?

  22. airjrdn said,

    October 25, 2007 at 1:06 am

    Do you mean the partition, or drive you’re imaging is 128G, or that there are literally 128G of files on that partition/drive?

    What matters is the data, not the overall size of the partition. For example, a 500G partition with only 2G of data wouldn’t take long to finish. Conversely, a 200G partition with 150G of data would take quite a while. It sounds like you’ve got a decent amount of data. If that’s your boot partition, it sounds like you probably have a lot of “data” on that partition, that might be better placed on a data partition as opposed to your OS/boot partition.

  23. MoHoelX said,

    November 6, 2007 at 7:44 pm

    Question – I have used DriveImageXML on one laptop using an external drive, and it works fine. Took the same external drive to another laptop, and I keep getting an error at different times into it – I get an “ERROR: Sector copy”. The dialog box indicates a problem on the external drive: “Cannot flush write buffer for E:\….”, but scandisk, defrag, etc. do not find any problem (it is FAT32).

    Question – any ideas? and can DriveImageXML be run in XP’s “safe mode”? does anyone think that might help?

    Thanks –

  24. MoHoelX said,

    November 6, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    well, the answer is “no”. seems VSS does not run, and cannot be started, in Safe mode….

  25. airjrdn said,

    November 7, 2007 at 12:37 pm

    Run it from a BartPE CD.

  26. Lynn Sattler said,

    November 15, 2007 at 5:25 am

    Does anybody have the inf file for adding drive image xml to windows pe 2.0 instead of Bart pe. I’ve got a new windows vista machine and don’t have windows xp disks. I’ve got the free windows pe downloaded, but the inf files must have changed between the old pe versions and pe 2.0 that is vista based.

  27. airjrdn said,

    November 15, 2007 at 2:03 pm

    I don’t, but in the past, the support team at DXML’s site have been very responsive. They may be able to help you out.

  28. sadiya said,

    December 4, 2007 at 10:41 pm

    this sounds really good, Can i create image on server from the laptop.
    If i can, would i use following script to store image on server ‘server’
    del \\server\Images\Older_C.dat
    del \\server\Images\Older_C.xml

    rename \\server\Images\Old_C.dat Older_C.dat
    rename \\server\Images\Old_C.xml Older_C.xml

    rename \\server\Images\Drive_C.dat Old_C.dat
    rename \\server\Images\Drive_C.xml Old_C.xml

    “C:\Program Files\Runtime Software\DriveImage XML\dixml.exe” /bc /t\\server\Images\Drive_C /r- /s- /c /v

  29. Justin G said,

    December 10, 2007 at 5:07 am

    Thanks so much for the primer on using this great program. I’ve had it in my utilities folder for a while and knew it was what I needed but not knowing exactly how to use it. Anyway, 4 or 5 hours later, I think I have a working solution (I’m trying to apply the image I created to a virtual machine right now). I followed your basic scheme but I also wanted to create a log so I could look and see if there were any errors and I wanted the logs to be dated. Here is my batch script and again, a sincere THANKS! 🙂

    echo date/t
    echo Results for deleting Older_C (no results = success) > Backup-Log.txt
    del H:\Images\Older_C.dat >> Backup-Log.txt 2>&1
    del H:\Images\Older_C.xml >> Backup-Log.txt 2>&1
    echo —————— >> Backup-Log.txt

    echo Results for renaming Old_C to Older_C (no results = success) >> Backup-Log.txt
    rename H:\Images\Old_C.dat Older_C.dat >> Backup-Log.txt 2>&1
    rename H:\Images\Old_C.xml Older_C.xml >> Backup-Log.txt 2>&1
    echo —————— >> Backup-Log.txt

    echo Results for renaming Drive_C to Old_C (no results = success) >> Backup-Log.txt
    rename H:\Images\Drive_C.dat Old_C.dat >> Backup-Log.txt 2>&1
    rename H:\Images\Drive_C.xml Old_C.xml >> Backup-Log.txt 2>&1
    echo —————— >> Backup-Log.txt

    echo Results for creating image named Drive_C on H:\Images (no results = success) >> Backup-Log.txt
    “C:\Program Files\Runtime Software\DriveImage XML\dixml.exe” /bC /tH:\Images\Drive_C /r- /s- /c /v 2> Backup-Log.txt 2>&1
    echo —————— >> Backup-Log.txt

    for /f “tokens=1-5 delims=/ ” %%d in (“%date%”) do rename “Backup-Log.txt” Backup-Log-%%e-%%f-%%g.txt

    for /f “tokens=1-5 delims=/ ” %%d in (“%date%”) do copy “Backup-Log-%%e-%%f-%%g.txt” H:\Images\Logs\Backup-Log-%%e-%%f-%%g.txt

  30. airjrdn said,

    December 10, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    You’re welcome, I’m glad it got you going.

    While testing it in the VM, are you going to install XP first to get a bootable partition or what are you doing to make it bootable?

  31. kimotheraphy said,

    December 20, 2007 at 10:39 am

    Forgive this newbie question … What does one do is Windows XP disks did not come with the purchased laptop? ie. I have a Thinkpad which did not come with Windows XP disks. Any way to use DriveImage XML for ppl with new laptops that did not come with SP disks? Any help would be appreciated .. thank you.

  32. airjrdn said,

    December 20, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    DriveImage XML will make the image without requiring you to have XP disks. The trouble might come when you need to do a full restore, and at that point, it’s the building of the BartPE disk that would hold you up.

    With no disks, I can only think of about 4 options….
    1 – Contact IBM and see if you can get the physical media for re-installation. If they aren’t responsive, try Microsoft, they actually might send you physical media for a very low cost.

    2 – Depending on the maker of your harddrive, you may be able to get a copy of Acronis True Image for free. If it’s a Seagate or Maxtor, you can get an OEM version of True Image free. Here are more details on that –

    3 – Use a disk from a friend to build your BartPE disk. You won’t be using their CDKey, so they won’t have to worry about you activating Windows with their key or anything. You’ll just be building your bootable disk with their CD.

    4 – Other products come with their own bootable disks. There might be free alternatives, but none that I’ve personally tested. Acronis True Image is probably what I’d spring for, and it’s on sale at 50% off right now for the holidays.

  33. Noby said,

    December 29, 2007 at 2:30 pm

    What’s if Drive Image not work correct and build no Image?
    I think you delete all previous images each time the batch is started.
    You shoud change your batch to this:
    IF not exist Drive_C.dat goto DRVIMG

    if exist Older_C.dat del Older_C.dat
    if exist Older_C.xml del Older_C.xml

    if exist Old_C.dat rename Old_C.dat Older_C.dat
    if exist Old_C.xml rename Old_C.xml Older_C.xml

    if exist Drive_C.dat rename Drive_C.dat Old_C.dat
    if exist Drive_C.xml rename Drive_C.xml Old_C.xml

    “C:\Program Files\Runtime Software\DriveImage XML\dixml.exe” /bc /t”E:\Images\Drive_C” /r- /s- /c /v

  34. Kooter said,

    December 29, 2007 at 10:46 pm

    I have an HP Pavilion zv5000 notebook with XP SP2. I tried to perform a backup using driveImage Xml. Problem is, 15 minutes into the process, I get the following read error that states Data Error (cyclic redundancy check) with the option to cancel, ignore, or retry. I performed a chkdsk on the drive and attempted another backup to no avail. Any ideas short of replacing the hard drive?

  35. airjrdn said,

    December 30, 2007 at 4:42 am

    Kooter – If you are getting CRC errors, a new HD is in your future anyway. Since an image won’t complete, do yourself a favor and backup all of your personal data to another drive.

  36. airjrdn said,

    December 30, 2007 at 4:44 am

    Noby – I don’t think it would delete all of them. After a few nights it would, but it wouldn’t on the first occurrence.

    I’m no batch file guru, will the if exist statements work, or were you just saying that’s what it needs to do?

  37. ted said,

    December 30, 2007 at 9:09 pm

    whats the best way?
    the laptop i am typing this on is filling up rapidly 48gig-44gigused!
    I would like to move the whole thing to a new 100gig laptop drive. I have a nice little usb caddy that will hold the new 100gig drive in it.
    If i use My Computer>Manage>Disk Management to format the new drive with one big partition of FAT32(same as the original internal drive).
    Then use driveimage xml running on the internal drive to put an image of the internal drive directly onto the external drive.(can you run on the drive your copying?or does it have to be inactive?)
    Then unplug the external drive and switch it with the previous internal drive.
    Then change the bios to boot from the new internal drive (probably called E: or F: or something due to previously being an external drive.)
    Then go into My Computer>Manage>Disk Management to rename the drive C:

    Is this feasible because i just dreamt it up and i have no knowledge of how to up grade my laptop drive….ide slave/master etc is all useless for my situation so if anyone has done a laptop upgrade, a step-through would be much appreciated.Thanks.

  38. airjrdn said,

    December 31, 2007 at 12:25 am

    If you are fairly new to upgrading laptop drives, then you’d probably better look into something that’ll handle everything for you, like making the drive bootable, writing boot sector info to the new drive, etc. DriveImage XML isn’t going to do that.

    For someone less experienced, I’d suggest something like Acronis Migrate Easy if the new drive you purchase doesn’t come with software to migrate your OS & data over.

    Acronis is pretty active in their forums, so any questions there will probably be answered timely. What would be optimal is if you could hook the new drive up via USB, run Migrate Easy, having it mirror the internal drive to the external one, then simply swap them out and be on your way. Without trying it myself though, I’m hesitant to fully suggest purchasing it. I believe there is a demo version available for you to try before you buy.

    If you have a 3rd external drive available, I would think you could use Acronis True Image to create an image of your internal drive stored on your 3rd external drive, then boot to the Acronis boot CD and restore that image to your new (replacement) internal drive.

  39. Josh said,

    January 8, 2008 at 4:56 am

    Ok I am able to do a complete restore on my drive c: using the bart pe cd…this is great however I would like to back up my backup image by writing the files to cd….i have it broken up into 650 m chunks so it can be written to cd….but which file do I burn first…should I burn them in any particular sequence….and when I do a systemn restore can I do it direstly from cd while using the bart pe disck in one rom drive and the back up files in my secondary cd drive…will it prompt me for the disks in a particular order? thankyou I hope someone can help me with this…

  40. Mad Ape said,

    January 10, 2008 at 10:18 am


    I had a complete hard drive crash so I put in a new one, reinstalled all software and documents and installed DriveImage XML.

    The very first time it ran I got the error message Data error (cyclic redundancy check) If I click the retry button it starts working again and completes properly.

    I doubt that my new hard drive is bad so I am thinking that this software has a bug in it.

    Any suggestions?

    The Mad Ape

  41. airjrdn said,

    January 10, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    Josh – If you broke them up into 650M chunks by telling DXML to do it, you can burn them in any order, and the restore will ask for them in the correct order I would assume. I’ve not tried this but I can’t think of any reason that wouldn’t work.

    Mad Ape – Every drive manufacturer has bad new drives. It would probably be a good idea for you to run some disk utilities to check the drive. Go to the site of the drive manufacturer (Seagate, Maxtor, etc.) and get their drive check utility. Run it and see what it says about your drive. CRC errors aren’t something you want to ignore.

  42. Pegasis7 said,

    January 15, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    Post #32 asked about how to create a Bart PE disk if you computer did not come with a Win XP disk. If your computer has an i386 folder all the necessary files for creating a Bart PE disk are located there (including the SP2 files if your system has been upgraded).

    I have created several Bart PE disk using this technique without needing the WinXP CD.

  43. Clauprevo said,

    January 21, 2008 at 11:55 pm

    I have an HP Pavilion that came with Windows Vista Home Premium with
    a recovery disk. Can I do something to create my Bart PE disk .

  44. airjrdn said,

    January 22, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    Maybe. According to post #43, all you really need is the i386 folder. If you still have XP installed, you can probably get what you need from there. Other than that, I’d say try one of the options from post #33.

  45. WPW said,

    January 31, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    Can dixml directly copy from drive to drive or does it always have to go via a local dump first?

  46. Ron Bertino said,

    January 31, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    For those having issues with creating a boot disk with BartPE, you really should take a look at the Ultimate Boot CD:

    It comes with a whole variety of extra plug-ins, including the one for DriveImage XML.

  47. WPW said,

    January 31, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    > The program allows you to:
    > ………
    > Copy directly from drive to drive

    Ahum… never mind 🙂

  48. bfwcom said,

    February 6, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    I have been having problems with restores. This is my setup:

    I have a bartPE disk with DriveImageXML plugin installed. I am using an external USB drive to store the backups directly to. This external USB drive is formatted Fat32. After booting from the bartPE disk I run the backup utility and create a compressed “Drive_C.xml and DAT file and place it on the external USB drive. The computer I am backing up is Dell laptop with a 100GB drive that is formatted NTFS and includes Windows XP. The backup runs fine.

    On the External USB drive I have created four separate FAT32 partitions and labled them according to the computer models I want to back up. This is so I can maintain separation of the image files. Each of the four patitions is about 10GB which is fine because the image is never larger than about 5-6 GB. So far I have had problems with all the backups I have created in the separate partitions.

    To test the restore, I replace the original 100GB disk in the laptop with a new identical, blank NTFS formatted drive. The disk’s geometry is identical. I get an error the states “the target drive must be the same size or larger than the source.” It is. If I replace the disk with a 120GB drive that I have partitioned and formatted NTFS, the restore completes, but the computer will not find a boot device after restarting the computer. What should I try next?

  49. airjrdn said,

    February 8, 2008 at 3:19 am

    First, a quick question. When you said “So far I have had problems with all the backups I have created in the separate partitions.” Did you mean you have had *no* problems, or were you saying you’ve had problems doing the restores every time?

    There are a couple of things to note here…

    1 – It’s just a guess, but unless those two 100G drives are actually identical (models, etc.) it’s possible that one is actually slightly larger than the other. That could be the reason for the restore/size issue.

    2 – If my memory serves me correctly, Fat32 has a file size limitation of 4G, so I’m not sure how you’re storing 5-6G images on Fat32 partitions.

    3 – I think the reason it won’t boot after restoring to the 120G drive is because the boot sector/master boot record (mbr) isn’t set. Have you looked at ?

  50. kabi said,

    February 13, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Anyone with experience at doing a bare metal restore to a dissimilar system using DriveImage XML and/or other solutions. (In the event of a mother board failure, etc., I don’t want to spend several days reloading XP and all my software with updates and drivers, etc.)

    Acronis purports to provide such a solution, but the programs have many other features and functionality that I’m not interested in using or having on my system.

  51. airjrdn said,

    February 14, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    I’ve used Acronis True Image in the past and like it. I had only used it to restore to the same hardware that I’d backed up from though. I personally would never use an image on a machine that had different hardware than the backup was made from. While I’m sure most things won’t have any issues, I’d prefer not to have drivers installed for hardware not currently in the machine.

    For some things it might not be bad, but chipset drivers, etc. get into questionable territory in my opinion. It would be one thing if you had replaced your soundcard and were doing a restore using a backup from when you had the earlier one, but totally different hardware is another thing.

    I don’t think there’s anything in DriveImage XML that would stop you from doing it, but I personally wouldn’t recommend it…regardless of the backup solution you used.

  52. ron said,

    February 26, 2008 at 3:09 am

    Am experimenting with this product at this moment and want to copy the results to DVD-R instead of CD’s. Is it possible to resize the output so that DriveImage XML generates files that match the size of the DVD’s?

  53. airjrdn said,

    February 28, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Not that I’m aware of. I just checked their command line options as well and didn’t see anything there either unfortunately.

  54. Dave said,

    April 17, 2008 at 10:35 am

    I also encountered this “Could not flush write buffer” problem, and found an explanation at the following URL:
    It seems the problem is that (as in my case) You are trying to backup to FAT32-formatted disk, and the backup file exceeds the 4 GB size limit of this file system. Try to activate the “split large files” option in the backup setup…

    Good luck!


  55. Frank said,

    May 6, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    Hi there,
    I seem to be having a bit of trouble with DriveImageXML. I had it working at first but now there seems to be a problem when I try to do Backups. Just as it starts the Backup process I get the following error: “Could not initialize Windows Volume Shadow Service (VSS). Code: ERROR 80042318. Make sure VSSVC.EXE is running in your task manager. Click Help for more information.” I have checked Task Manager and VSSVC is running. I have also checked Services in Administrative Tools and both MS Software Shadow Copy Provider and Volume Shadow Copy show ‘started’ as status.

    Has anyone run into this before? Do you have any suggestions that you think might help me? Thanks in advance.


  56. airjrdn said,

    May 8, 2008 at 2:24 am

    There are a couple of potential solutions on this page –

    But I personally haven’t had that issue. Since going to Vista though, I now boot up into a BartPE disk to do the backups, so I won’t be running into that problem. It’s not as convenient, but then again, neither is Vista. 😉

  57. Ralph said,

    May 13, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    You have to look at back-ups that are complete. Do you get bare metal restores? If not you can still have signigicant problems.

    You might want to look at a new media release by Storage Guardian that is offering online backup and bare metal restores with a special promotion – see for the release and for the company site.

  58. D H said,

    May 15, 2008 at 12:57 am

    I need help. I have an 80 GB HD with 3 partitions and I just purchased a 320GB HD. All I want to do is to copy each partition over to the new drive and then increase the size of each partition. Can I do this with “DriveImage XML using “Drive to Drive”? I thought I read somewhere that I could create the 3 partitions on the new drive with no need to format and then copy each partition over with no problem, but what about the boot sector?? I don’t understand this completely?

  59. airjrdn said,

    May 15, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    More than likely an easier way (which should handle the boot sector part correctly also) would be to use the free tool offered by your new drive manufacturer. If no disks came with the new drive, just go to the website of the drive manufacturer (seagate, western digital, etc.) and download their free tool to move the data to the new drive.

  60. Anthony said,

    May 30, 2008 at 1:28 pm

    I have downloaded DriveImage XML With three reasons in mind. The first is that it was made to work With SBS 2003 , Two, it says I can split the image up and put it on CD and restore from the CD’s, and three IT’S FREE. So far all of my reasons but one have panned out. It is restoring from CD’s that I am having trouble with. Runtime’s website leads you to think all you need is a bootable cd. Can anyone tell me where to find instrutions on this proccess or tell me? I am able to boot from bartPE, then I start XML and click restore. After adding a USB drive I was able to point the program to the file. It says it has begun to restore but within seconds, it is asking for the next disk, I have put in all of the disks knowing it was not restoreing, but thinking it was indexing the disks. But when I get to the last disk I get an error “error reading from Compressed stream” If anyone has an answer, I would like to know what it is. Please. Thank god I have just wiped out my laptop and not a workstation testing this software.

  61. airjrdn said,

    May 30, 2008 at 3:48 pm

    Every machine I setup has either multiple drives, or at least two partitions on a single drive, the 2nd partition being a data partition, and the place I keep images. On single drive setups, I periodically copy the images to either separate machines or burn them to DVD.

    For restores, I’ve always gotten the backups onto a harddrive, either internal or external, before hand. So, I’ve not personally attempted a restore from CD or DVD. This holds true for other imaging products as well, it’s just how I’ve always done it.

    That being the case, I’m not sure if the problem you’re having is typical or unique. Hopefully someone else will be able to weigh in and offer their experience.

    Have you tried simply copying the files from the CDs to the USB drive and doing the restore solely from it?

  62. Anthony said,

    May 30, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    Unfortantatly no, I do not have enough USB drives or one big enough to hold the whole image. That is , if I understand your question right.All of the machines have one drive and one partion, except the 8 meg partion that Windows put on the drive. I do have a few external drives, but don’t have much faith in the USB interfaces. and certinly not enough for all the Workstations that have to be back-up ASAP

  63. airjrdn said,

    June 1, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    Bear in mind, I’m talking about harddrives in USB enclosures, not those little USB memory sticks.

    You could also use something like GParted (open source competitor to Partition Magic) to shrink drive C and create a drive D to store the images on.

  64. Harleym said,

    June 24, 2008 at 12:18 am

    Hopefully someone can point out where I went wrong…

    My friends old PC died without backups. As the failure was power supply related, I attempted to create an image of the harddisk (win98) & run it in a virtual disk (ms virtual PC 2007 & VMWare workstation) I created the DriveImageXML files, created the virtual disk environment to hold the original disk’s 16Gb harddisk by making it bigger (25Gb), created virtual primary partition, made it active, booted with BartPE, setup network to read DriveImageXML image, restored all the files & then tried to boot off the new virtual drive…. Bootup just hangs (while looking for a bootable partition ?) I’ve tried in both VMWare & virtual PC environments & both do the same at the same point. I have booted up again with BartPE DVD can mount the new virtual drive see all the files including the hidden system files – all looks good except it won’t boot!! So close yet so far away… I’m missing something, can anyone suggest where? Thanks in advance

  65. airjrdn said,

    June 24, 2008 at 1:04 am

    That’s precisely the problem with DXML IMO. I’ve written them, and they don’t plan on doing the extra development that will allow DXML to do what most people would consider a “full restore”…which would make partitions active, setup the Master Boot Record (MBR), etc.

    Since writing this article, I’ve stumbled across Macrium Reflect. The testing I’ve done indicates that it’s got the same functionality as DXML, but also handles the booting aspects of the restore. I’d suggest giving it a go.

    The main website is at
    and I also mirrored the files at

  66. Harleym said,

    June 25, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Perfect!! Macrium Reflect free edition did just what I wanted! My friend’s harddisk boots up & runs happily in a win98 virtual window within my XP environment. I’ve run all the necessary programs to convert & export the data to their new PC (actually, I was able to email the data from within the win98 virtual window).

    The Macrium Reflect program was easy to use with BartPE once I understood how to add-in the required files which needed to be dragged into the BartPE file structure before building the ISO rather than just pointing to a .cab file as with DriveImageXML.

    Thanks very much for your help!!

  67. airjrdn said,

    June 26, 2008 at 2:05 am

    Excellent! I’m glad you got it going. I’d only tested it once myself, so your additional testament gives me a little more confidence in recommending it.

  68. Norman Watkins said,

    July 20, 2008 at 12:47 am

    Hi all, building on the good work done by Noby in #34 I thought I would apply a batch file to the free version of Macrium Reflect ….

    :Locate the Macrium “recent” folder on drive E:
    CD Macrium\recent

    :If an image file doesn’t exist in “recent” folder goto :REFLECT and then create one
    if not exist *.mrimg goto REFLECT

    :If an image file exists in “oldest” folder delete it
    CD E:\Macrium\oldest
    if exist *.mrimg del /q /f *.mrimg

    :If an image file exists in “older” folder move to “oldest” folder
    CD E:\Macrium\older
    if exist *.mrimg move /y *.mrimg E:\Macrium\oldest

    :If an image file exists in “old” folder move to “older” folder
    CD E:\Macrium\old
    if exist *.mrimg move /y *.mrimg E:\Macrium\older

    :If an image file exists in “recent” folder move to “old” folder
    CD E:\Macrium\recent
    if exist *.mrimg move /y *.mrimg E:\Macrium\old

    START /min D:\”Program Files\Macrium\Reflect\reflect.exe” -e -w “D:\My Documents\Reflect\Reflect.xml”

    This assumes the following …
    Image to be made of drive C:
    Folder on E: drive called Macrium.
    4x sub folders: recent,old,older,oldest
    Macrium Reflect installed in D:\Program Files
    Macrium Reflect xml file in
    D:\My Documents\Reflect\Reflect.xml

    I run this batch file from a free programme called MacroMaker using its scheduler to run it 1st,9th,17th and 25th of the month
    You eventually end up with 4x images with the oldest being deleted every 8 days or so.
    If the worst happens Macrium can create a Linux recovery boot disc so you can recover a recent image … priceless … well free actually !
    Enjoy 🙂

  69. airjrdn said,

    July 20, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    Thanks for the script. So far, I’m very pleased w/Macrium Reflect. I’ve had to use it for restores a handful of times, and it’s done what it promises each time.

  70. Frank said,

    July 28, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Hello. Thanks very much for your useful tutorials and info on DriveImage. I agree that it is an excellent program, and I have successfully backed up my entire C: drive.

    However, I have been unable to create a BartPE boot disk because my WinXP CD is a Dell OEM SP2 CD-ROM, and the problems with Dell disks are well documented ar Bart’s forum. I have tried many of the solutions offered there, but cannot create the BartPE CD.

    Obviously I won’t be able to take full advantage of a DriveImage recovery without being able to run the program from a bootable CD. So, I’m wondering if you know of a place where I can obtain a working BartPE CD with the DriveImage plugin (I got my wrist slapped when I asked that on the Bart forum), or would someone be willing to help me find one? Or do you know of another way to run DriveImage from a bootable CD?

    I’d really appreciate any help.


  71. airjrdn said,

    July 28, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Yeah, I can imagine the response you got. My best advice would be to locate a friend with an original CD to just see if you can make a BartPE disk from theirs. Heck, just ask them to make the disk. If you have a legal license for XP, I would imagine that you’d be fine.

    I thought I’d read a while back where you could make one from an installed copy of XP. You might look into that.

    Additionally, if the installed version is still fine, you could use Macrium Reflect (free also) and it comes with the ability to create it’s own restore disk. That’s what I’ve been using recently since it handles the MBR stuff automatically.

  72. RegLook said,

    October 13, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I need some help, I am only getting the one copy of the DriveImage on my backup location. I am getting the fist copy but not the renamings … any thoughts are appreciated, thanks.

    I am trying to get 4 copies of my C: onto my F: (one time each week – through Scheduleer)

    the code I am using for my “Backup Drive C.bat” is:

    del F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\3WeekOld_C.dat
    del F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\3WeekOld_C.xml

    rename F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\2WeekOld_C.dat 3WeekOld_C.dat
    rename F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\2WeekOld_C.xml 3WeekOld_C.xml

    rename F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\WeekOld_C.dat 2WeekOld_C.dat
    rename F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\WeekOld_C.xml 2WeekOld_C.xml

    rename F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\Drive_C.dat WeekOld_C.dat
    rename F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\Drive_C.xml WeekOld_C.xml

    “C:\Program Files\Runtime Software\DriveImage XML\dixml.exe” /bc /tF:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\Drive_C /r- /s- /c /v

  73. airjrdn said,

    October 13, 2008 at 7:38 pm

    Put quotes around your paths & filenames where necessary. I’d say that’s your problem.

    I’ll copy/paste your code w/the quotes, but you may need to replace the quotes WordPress puts in with real double quotes.

    del “F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\3WeekOld_C.dat”
    del “F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\3WeekOld_C.xml”

    rename “F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\2WeekOld_C.dat 3WeekOld_C.dat”
    rename “F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\2WeekOld_C.xml 3WeekOld_C.xml”

    rename “F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\WeekOld_C.dat 2WeekOld_C.dat”
    rename “F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\WeekOld_C.xml 2WeekOld_C.xml”

    rename “F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\Drive_C.dat WeekOld_C.dat”
    rename “F:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\Drive_C.xml WeekOld_C.xml”

    “C:\Program Files\Runtime Software\DriveImage XML\dixml.exe” /bc /tF:\My Backups\Weekly Full Images\Drive_C /r- /s- /c /v

  74. RegLook said,

    October 13, 2008 at 7:44 pm

    thank you. I appreciate that. I have looked at it 100 times and couldn’t see it.

  75. airjrdn said,

    October 13, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    That’s an easy one to miss. Anytime there’s a space involved, or (I believe) a file or folder longer than 8.3 (name.extension) characters, quotes will be required. That’s the reason there were quotes around the actual backup line, because “Program Files” has a space in it.

  76. Walter said,

    October 24, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    The first part of the batch file works OK for me, but when it gets to the part where it calls DriveImage XML to do the backup-

    “C:\Program Files\Runtime Software\DriveImage XML\dixml.exe” /bc /tD:\Images\Drive_C /r- /s- /c /v

    I get “The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.” (The program is in that location).
    What’s wrong?


  77. airjrdn said,

    October 24, 2008 at 10:41 pm

    Make sure to replace the quotes copied from the article with real double quotes after you paste that line into your batch file.

  78. Walter said,

    October 25, 2008 at 3:38 am

    Thank you, That worked. I really like using your batch file to run the backups. I am trying adapt the batch file to send the backups to an external hard drive, and I am running into trouble, I think, with the quote placement:
    rename D:\Images\Drive_C.dat Old_C.dat works, but
    rename “S:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Drive_C.dat Old_C.dat”
    returns “the syntax of the command is incorrect.”
    Here is a copy of the batch file that I am trying to run– I hope you can tell me where I am going wrong. Thank You, Best, Walter.

    del “S:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Oldest_C.dat”
    del “S:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Oldest_C.xml”
    rename “S:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Older_C.dat Oldest_C.dat”
    rename “S:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Older_C.xml Oldest_C.xml”
    rename “S:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Old_C.dat Older_C.dat”
    rename “S:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Old_C.xml Older_C.xml”
    rename “S:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Drive_C.dat Old_C.dat”
    rename “S:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Drive_C.xml Old_C.xml”
    “C:\Program Files\Runtime Software\DriveImage XML\dixml.exe” /bc
    /tS:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Drive_C /r- /s- /c /v

  79. Walter said,

    October 25, 2008 at 4:54 am


    BTW, are restores from a USB-2 External HDD dependable, or should I keep the backups on an internal drive?


  80. airjrdn said,

    October 25, 2008 at 12:37 pm

    A rename statement wants two separate parameters, the old and new filenames. That means you’ll need to pass it two sets of paths & filenames, each with their own set of quotes if necessary.

    So, you’ll want something along the lines of:
    rename “s:\Backup\Desktop (Eclipse)\Images\Auto\Drive_C.dat” “Old_C.dat”

    With only one set of quotes around the entire set of parameters, the rename statement thinks you’re only passing it one long parameter.

  81. airjrdn said,

    October 25, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    As for the dependability of internal vs external, the drives are often times identical. The difference will be in the luck of the draw from the manufacturer, and how hot the drives get inside the PC & inside the enclosure.

    If your external enclosure has it’s own fan, I’d say you’ll be fine. If not, and the enclosure itself gets hot to the touch, that will definitely shorten the life of the drive.

    I wouldn’t worry much about the external drives. I do a lot of backups to them now, and remember, those *are* your 2nd copy. If that drive goes bad, the machine you’re backing up is probably going to be fine while you get a replacement for the external.

  82. Cell B said,

    November 6, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    I have made a backup of all the data areas of D: drive; it contains a Windows installation. My C: and D: drives are identical in size. If I restore the D: drive image to C:, will the Windows work? Because when installing in D:, Windows had made all the folders as “D:\Windows” and “D:\Program Files”. The OS is XP SP3.

  83. airjrdn said,

    November 6, 2008 at 11:54 pm

    If I understand correctly, you have two instances of Windows XP installed, once to C:, and once to D:, correct?

    Assuming that’s the case, if you restore an image of D: to C:, I suspect it would work, until you deleted some of the files on D:.

    If you are wanting to dual boot, I’d suggest:
    C: 1G Boot partition
    D: 15G (or more) Windows XP
    E: 15G (or more) Windows XP

    In that scenario, C: is the boot partition and that’s where the MBR would be. C: and D: would be separate installations of Windows, and if one broke, the other should still work. You would however, need to image them individually because of path issues.

    That’s actually how I have mine setup, but after the 2nd Windows partition, I have a couple of partitions for Linux, and my Windows partitions are 50G.

    I’d also recommend using Macrium Reflect for your images over DriveImage XML now, because it handles building it’s own boot cd, and is able to backup/restore the MBR, etc.

  84. Cell B said,

    November 7, 2008 at 1:47 am

    Actually I installed XP SP2 on C: drive, then downloaded SP3, and used Nlite to make an installation, and this new XP SP3 I installed in D: drive. I have taken images of both drives with DriveImage XML, and I want to get rid of the C: drive SP2 installation, so I was thinking of restoring the D: drive image to C: drive. As far as MBR is concerned, I don’t know much about this stuff, but I have edited the boot.ini file on root C: many times; isn’t that the only thing that would be necessary?

    quote airjrdn: “Assuming that’s the case, if you restore an image of D: to C:, I suspect it would work, until you deleted some of the files on D:.” >>> This means that even if I do restore the image to C: drive, it would be picking up data from the D: drive installation?


  85. airjrdn said,

    November 7, 2008 at 2:07 am

    I supposed since you have images of both C: and D:, you could probably do the restore of D to C and if it doesn’t work, restore C to C.

  86. Karyudo said,

    November 11, 2008 at 5:57 am

    Couple of comments:

    1. I’ve got DriveImage XML working on my HP MediaSmart Server, with a batch file. Every morning at 4am, a backup is written. Takes 9 minutes to write about 8 GB. Pretty sweet! I’ve named the backups “today”, “yesterday”, and “day before yesterday”. I actually rename “day before yesterday” to “three days ago” first, then do the backup, and THEN delete “three days ago” — just so that I always have three backups, even if today’s backup fails. I got tons of space…

    2. Sadly, the free version of Macrium Reflect does not work on Windows Server 2003, which is the version that is apparently needed for Windows Home Server, which is the OS installed on the MediaSmart Server. Boo… So now I have to think about whether to pony up for the full version or not, right out of the gate. Hmm…

    Many thanks to airjrdn and those who have posted reviews, howtos, and batch files!

  87. Electriphead said,

    January 21, 2009 at 7:48 am

    I have 2 micro sd cards for my phone. I upgraded from a 1gb to a 8gb card. Now I am trying to copy All files from one to the other. Only problem is that once I copy (using DriveImageXML) the complete 1gb card to the 8gb card, It changes the available memory of the 8gb card to the same as the 1gb card. How do I get it to copy AND leave the free space? I found it has to be a RAW copy or else the info shows up as gibberish. And if I just plug it in my card reader and try to copy it just using windows, none of the games or programs saved to the card copy over. A little help please? Thanks a mil!

  88. airjrdn said,

    January 21, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I’ve never used a PC imaging application to image an SD card before. I suspect the issue you’re running into when trying a simple copy within Windows is due to the filesystem. Windows will work fine if it’s FAT, FAT32, or NTFS, but probably doesn’t natively support the filesystem the phone is formatting the card to have.

    Instead of using the card reader, can you connect the phone to the computer via USB or transfer files from the phone via Infrared or Bluetooth? If so, you could try:
    Connect the phone to the PC
    Copy the files from the phone to the PC
    Disconnect the phone from the PC
    Change SD cards
    Format the card via the Phone’s format function
    Connect the phone to the PC
    Copy the files from the PC to the phone

    If you do this, be sure NOT to format your original SD card on accident.

    I think that would get you what you are after.

  89. Electriphead said,

    January 21, 2009 at 8:40 pm

    Thanks for the suggestion, but it didn’t work. It copies the pics and other saves, but not the games and apps. As far as the phone is concerned, they don’t exist, but when I insert the original card, they’re there. My phone formats the 8gb card with a FAT32 file system. So I know that’s not the issue. I even tried to back up the 1gb card with DriveImageXML, then restore it onto the 8gb card, and again it changes the format from a FAT32 to a FAT16 and limits the available mem to 1gb, BUT all of my games and apps are there. My phone did realize the actual size of the 8gb card when copying that way, but says the space is used except for what was available on the original card. In this instance, how could I go about changing the file system from FAT16 to FAT32 and restoring the missing space in the partition while preserving the raw data? I tried using TestDisk, but I started getting cylinder ammt. errors, etc. That’s when I got lost. I’m a little new to this whole thing, but learning. Thanks for the help!

  90. Armin said,

    February 10, 2009 at 3:14 am

    I hope you can help me with this. my hard drive is partitioned into to drive. C and D. All the user profiles are on D. (Documents and settings folder). I used DriveImage XML and created to image, Drive C and Drive D and then restore them to another hard drive ( a bigger size that I partitioned into 2 drives). Drive C to first partition and Drive D to seconded partition.
    Problem is when I use the new drive, it loads windows but It does not find the used profiles and Default user folder on second drive and automatically logs off ! and never allows you to go to windows.
    I do have SP3 on windows XP pro.

    Thank you

  91. airjrdn said,

    February 10, 2009 at 3:49 am

    Is the original drive still in the PC? If so, have you tried removing it? Another thought would be to try logging in via safe mode and seeing if the drive letter for D has become E (and the CDRom has become D), or something along those lines.

  92. Terry said,

    March 12, 2009 at 8:59 am

    Hi there
    I’ve been trying to auto start driveimage xml via schedule task using the full compression parameter i.e. /c
    However it doesn’t seem to work, it always takes the default which is “fast” when I want ”good(slow)”
    My full script is…

    “c:\program files\runtime software\driveimage xml\dixml.exe” /bc /td:\image\drive_c /r- /s- /c /v

    Appreciate your help. TQ
    i’m using v1.31

  93. airjrdn said,

    March 12, 2009 at 10:59 am

    According to their site here –

    You need to pass in /c2 for good. Here’s the cmd line parm list:

    /bx Backup drive x, e.g. /bc
    /tx Write backup files to x, e.g. /td:\backups\drive_c
    /r Raw mode, e.g. /r or /r-
    /s Split image, e.g. /s or /s-
    /c Compression (fast), e.g. /c or /c-
    /c1 Compression (fast), e.g. /c1
    /c2 Compression (good, but slow), e.g. /c2
    /v Try VSS first, e.g. /v, do not use with /l
    /l Try locking first, e.g. /l, do not use with /v

  94. Jørgen Grunnet said,

    March 25, 2009 at 6:20 pm


    Anyone who knows how to avoid pressing Ignore numerous times when restoring a whole branch, using the Browse function?

    Best wishes

  95. Ryan Petta said,

    June 26, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you for this posting, this helped me out tremendously. I love the batch file that you created and have implemented that on my system. I also appreciate the explanation of the command line switches, I was confused about the dash after raw or split and you cleared that up for me.

    One problem I had with restoring my image was that the drive would not boot into windows after the restore. After many days of failure I finally tried running fixmbr in recovery console. After using fixmbr the drive booted into windows and everything was fine.

  96. airjrdn said,

    June 26, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    Thanks for the comment. If you check on DXML’s website, they mention something about setting the partition active I believe. I’ve since switched to Macrium Reflect Free for just this reason…it backs up the MBR. I don’t do the batch file backups with it, but I prefer the fact that the MBR is backed up as well.

  97. Zaheer said,

    June 28, 2009 at 10:20 am


    I have a minor issue. Can anyone help me find out if I can create a simple bootable cd and have a command line or “DOS” type driveimage xml application that i can use? basically BartPE cd works fine but it takes long time to boot and all I need is a fast boot to a command line and a simple utility without all the graphics and windows style interface, just to restore my system disk. I am using DriveImage XML via BartPE cd and it works fine however I have used Norton Ghost 9.0 before and it has a simple DOS style utility that boots a lot faster and does the job. Is there any other similar utility that provides a simple fast restore process than going through BartPE one?

  98. airjrdn said,

    June 29, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    I suspect you’ll find a Linux utility that would work that way, but it would probably mean you’d switch from using DXML to some other utility for image creation. Do you have a LOT of machines to restore, or are you simply that impatient? 😉

    I haven’t looked and don’t have time right now, but is there an option in the BartPE solution to skip the GUI and autoexec some program? If so, would that be an option for you?

  99. Zaheer said,

    June 30, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Thanks for your repsonse. You guessed it, I am a bit impatient and feel that I dont need to spend extra 5 minutes waiting for graphics to load when all I am doing is just re-writing a disk image. I dont have lots of machines to restore, so I will have to go along the normal BartPE solution then.

  100. Jose Marin said,

    October 14, 2009 at 8:32 am

    Good morning,
    Perhaps this question has already been replied, but to be honest i can not find it.
    Have we any way of hiding the windows (program) while we are executing a backup via Schedule Task ?, i means, i would like to have the task running but without any advise.

    Jose Marin

  101. airjrdn said,

    October 14, 2009 at 10:50 am

    Not that I’m aware of, but you could try contacting their customer support staff. They’ve responded to questions of mine in the past.

  102. Joe said,

    October 24, 2009 at 8:38 pm

    Still having one isolated problem – regsvr32 /i swprv.dll
    DllInstall in swprv.dll failed.
    Return code was: 0x8000ffff

    I have tried everything that all you guys before me have done, but
    nothing wants to get this file registered.

    I’ll take any and all the help i can get…


  103. Joe said,

    October 27, 2009 at 1:20 am

    Ok, i went thru this article slowly and carefully, and did everything (took some time to do), and I still have the same problem – DllInstall in swprv.dll failed. Return code was: 0×8000ffff

    Also noticed that I have this SAME Identical problem on 4 Different Machines, the only commonality is that they are all DELL machines – and all are Windows XP SP3.

    Am trying to get the DriveImage XML Program to run properly, but it cannot get the Shadow Copy Service to work properly.

    So, something is very wrong here, and am at wits end.

    Sorry for the 2 day late posting, but, I was doing all I could to get all this stuff done to see if any of it made a difference.

  104. airjrdn said,

    October 27, 2009 at 2:25 am

    Macrium Reflect Free also uses VSS to create images. See if you can get it to successfully build an image on one of those machines. Also, make sure the VSS service is started and set to Automatic.

  105. Joe said,

    October 29, 2009 at 6:40 am

    I tried Macrium, and it worked fine. However, I do not understand why that DLL (swprv.dll) will not register. I even ran a Repair on two machines’s OS – and it did not change anything – even with all new DLL’s and installs of the OS – which I am sure included the Shadow Copy Service.

    Now I need to find some others that are running XP and see it their machines say it registers, or if it bombs out with the same error – 0×8000ffff.

    VSS shows as being started, it is active in Task Manager, plus I can shadow copy successfully with the Macrium program suggested, also Acronis works fine – and it also uses shadow copy and locking – so, I am at a loss about this situation.

    Anyone else happen to have any suggestions……..


  106. Joe said,

    November 1, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    OK, I found the answer. Windows XP and Server 2003 share the same COM+ algorythms – and it causes problems. Here is the simple and easy fix for getting swprv.dll to register. Go to the Windows\System32 folder, and create a new folder under it named Dtclog. Open Notepad and save an empty file as %Systemroot%\System32\Dtclog\Msdtc.log. Now open a command prompt and type: msdtc -resetlog and press enter.
    Now, if you run the command (must be from the %SystemRoot%\system32 prompt) “regsvr32 /i swprv.dll” – it will register.
    This will also fix a problem you had in your COM+ applications that you never even knew existed. I won’t go into that here……
    Thank Microsoft for this wonderful error, and, BTW, just for info purposes, if Shadow Copy refuses to work trying to run DriveImage XML, it is because your OS has been restored previously from a backup – which leaves that info in your boot record, and Microsoft’s programming will not allow Shadow Copy to work normally if your boot record has been altered in any way other than from an original full install of the OS………. I assume other Backup Program Authors know this and have figured out a way to force the Shadow Copy to work with their Programs under this Microsoft fluke……….
    There are times when “Smarts” turn into “Stupids” – these Microsoft programmers don’t think far enough in advance to see these type of errors forthcoming – and screwing up the works……

    • barry said,

      June 19, 2010 at 3:58 am

      this dtclog\msdtc.log fix didn’t work for me.
      still getting 0x8000ffff on regsvr32 /i swprv.dll
      and i noticed that my COM+ install is hosed too.
      i think it just started after restoring to a Restore Point.
      did this work for anyone else??
      i’m running XP Pro, current on patches

      • Joe said,

        June 19, 2010 at 4:14 am

        You need to check that when you did your restore it didn’t take out the Dtclog folder and the dummy file that is in there. If so, just re-do the steps and you shoukld be in great shape. I have not had a problem with this since I did it , and it’s been more than a year now.
        BTW, I do not use Sysrem Restore, I back up faithfully every month, and that takes care of any problems that I might encounter….

  107. Richard said,

    November 7, 2009 at 12:20 am

    I have a PC with an unreliable disk drive, and no Windows CD”s.

    I want to buy another disk drive to replace it.

    Is it possible to:
    -clone the current drive to an external (USB) hard drive
    -remove the old disk drive & install a new drive
    -boot from the cloned USB drive
    -copy the clone from the USB to the new C: Drive
    -remove the USB and boot from the new C:


  108. airjrdn said,

    November 7, 2009 at 2:11 am

    Joe – thanks for the post, it’ll no doubt help someone else.

    Richard – If the drive is already producing bad sectors, just backup your data, and borrow a CD from someone and reinstall using your key. Magic Jelly Bean keyfinder will get your key for you.

    If the drive is still working ok for the time being, download & install Macrium Reflect free, make an image, writing it to your USB drive. Create the restore disk from within Macrium Reflect. Take the bad drive out, put the new one in, and restore the image to the new drive.

  109. Debbie said,

    January 11, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Hello and thanks for any future advice. I have recently upgraded to a laptop running Windows 7 Home Premium Edition. Before this I was using a desktop with Windows XP installed. I backed up my files from the desktop to my external drive using Drive Image, however now that I wish to restore them to my laptop, can someone please tell me if there is a way that I can restore only the programs that I want – not the whole backup? Thank you.

  110. Joe said,

    January 12, 2010 at 12:28 am

    Debbie – If you have Drive Image (XL) installed, I believe you can mount your image with it, then copy whatever files you want onto your new system hard drive. If they are programs, bear in mind that you will not be able to get the registry entries for them, so they more than likely will not work. But, just files, pictures, etc, should be just fine…….

    I am not all that familiar with Drive Image because I could not get it to work right for me, but most programs of that nature provide a way to get just select items off an image – either by mounting it, or some other way the program has built into it……….

    Hope that helps you…..

  111. Kozman said,

    January 25, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Gang,
    I somehow delete the “.xml” file of a hard drive backup. So all I have is a 13 GB “.dat” file. I emailled DriveImage XML for an answer. I received a reply that there is no support for the free personal version of DriveImage XML. They did send me to several links relating to the software. That is how I got here.
    Another problem is the drive I had the two files on had a mechanical fault so I could not even run undelete software. I know. Don’t ask me how I saved the large “.dat” file to a second drive but I did. Can anyone help?

  112. airjrdn said,

    January 25, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I suspect you’re out of luck. Depending on how much the data is worth, you could send the drive off to some company that could probably recover it for you, but that’s my best guess if the drive won’t even spin up.

    • kozman said,

      January 26, 2010 at 3:47 am

      The drive was turned in on warrantee to get a new one already. The data was not that important.
      But I still have the .dat file on an external drive. You are saying that it might not be possible to restore the image without the .xml file? I cannot find much help on the internet. Since I am a free user of the program I cannot get support. Oh well.

  113. Joe said,

    January 26, 2010 at 4:01 am

    you should never back up a drive on the same drive – if it goes south, so does your backup. I don’t quite understand what the 13 GB dat file is, but with out the XML file to decode it, it is worthless. It should have been put on the same drive as the backup was made on – so, maybe it is hidden?????

  114. Joe said,

    January 26, 2010 at 4:04 am

    Or, maybe you can UNDELETE the xml file if it’s still on the drive with the dat file…..

    Get an undelete program and try that……

  115. airjrdn said,

    January 26, 2010 at 11:57 am

    If I remember correctly, the dat file is the data, and the xml file indicates what (and where) the files are in the .dat file. You actually have a compressed version of the data, but you don’t have anything that says fileX starts here and ends there.

    I’d say if you bought a copy now, they’d work with you, but given that you are missing an important part of the backup, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to get you your data.

  116. April 7, 2010 at 3:44 am

    Please note there is a very nice, detailed recipe for this procedure at:

  117. airjrdn said,

    June 29, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    There’s a new kid on the block, see here – or here –

    Anyone tried it? Will it do single partitions, or just entire drives? What about the MBR?

  118. Petrus said,

    August 4, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I just like to point out an issue that post #61 might have. When using a bartpe cd you obvoisly boot from it. Once bartpe is booted up, you cannot take out the cd as bartpe reads from it to access programs. Removing the disk locks up bartpe. What you need to do is setup the cd to mount the bartpe iso as a ramdisk. This would allow you to take the cd out & put those backup cds in it. Here’s how I did this.

    1. Use a utility called flashboot to save pebuilder.iso as result.img.
    2. Open result.img in Ultraiso & save the iso in side it as flash.iso.
    3. I opened one of my acer backup cds in ultra iso.
    4. Extracted the boot sector.
    5. Then created a new iso.
    6. Copied the directory structure as seen in acer disk.
    7. Added boot sector file to iso.
    8. I then replaced the stcdboot.iso file with the flash.iso but kept the name stcdboot.iso. Saved iso & burnt with nero(any cd burner software should do). Now when you bootup the pc with burnt cd you should see something like loading ramdisk.

    You could also use just step 1 and let flashboot format a flashdrive to boot
    the barpe image for you. Just remember very old pc’s might not usb ports(p3) & those that do might only have usb 1 which is not bootable. As long as pc has 300mb ram the ramdisk cd should work.

  119. September 4, 2011 at 10:34 am

    After creating the boot disc, I noticed an error in the build which says that OEM versions can mean trouble. Any ideas what this means?? What should I do??

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  130. Terrance Traylor said,

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