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  1. #1
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    Default Best ghost/imaging solution?

    Hi,

    In the past I have spent entire weekends trying to clean viruses off my daughter's system. She is 16, knows the main security things, but despite my best efforts to protect her system invariably she gets the worst viruses out there.

    I now have a clean used system for her but she is forbidden to use it until I find the best solution for creating some type of recover CD for the system. She does not install anything that can't be reinstalled easily later and I've had experiences with viruses messing with restore points in the past so what I want to end up with is something that I can use that will put the computer back to the condition it is now in. I've read info on Norton Ghost and True Image (Acronis product, I think). Anyway, both of them have customer reviews which say to avoid the product at all costs.

    So I'm asking here for the best option. I'm a programmer so I'm comfortable with computers, but not so good with OS and hardware intricacies. I know I'm going to have to "restore" her system at some point (probably monthly) and just want an easy button!

    The system is running xp Pro, but ask if you need additional information.

    I really appreciate the quick and patient help I always get from you folks.

    Thanks in advance...

    -Carolyn
    Carolyn

  2. #2
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    Default

    First of all, I don't use either one of them, so I can't speak from personal experience. But they are probably two of the more popular ones out there. Are there people that have problems with them ? Sure are, just like any other program out there.

    If you back up files/programs that are "infected" when you do the "restore" it very well may still be infected. These don't clean things, just restore things like they were at a given date.

    What is she doing that she always getting problems ? Guessing things like
    Peer to peer (P2P) file sharing, or maybe My Space.

    Putting my parent hat on here, after about the second time I help them with same problem they need to learn on how to reinstall everything or have the money to pay to have it fixed.

    If you have not wiped it clean, maybe if you post a HJT log, we can save you the trouble of a clean install.

    Let us know.

    BG

  3. #3
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    Yes, to the reasons it happens. I went the hijack route before and that is how I came to appreciate the help on this forum. However, I never did get things back to normal (on an administrater account no icons show up on the desk top. You need to start the explorer task manually to get them to show up).

    I've decided the lowest stress option is for me to put the normal protection items in place (virus scan, spam, etc.). Remind her what to not do. Do routine virus scans and cleanups, etc. But as my fall back, if (when?) bad things finally happen I just want a quick "go back to a clean system" option.

    I would like to create a CD that I can file away and then when needed install it to recreate a clean copy of the computer again.

    My concern is that with these 2 programs, there seem to be plenty of comments that when they finally needed to use them to recover their computer, they did not work and in some cases made things worse.

    I don't have the original OS disks for her computer (it was already loaded when I bought this used). I don't have the disks for MS Office for this system. I have them for my other system, so I could reload that if needed. I don't trust setting up restore points because the last virus messed with those. I don't want just a boot disk because I'm going on the assumption that the system, even if I get it to boot, is still going to be very messed up.

    Help me find a simple solution please! I know most of you enjoy a challenge, but I'd rather spend my time in the vegetable garden or with a fishing pole than figuring out how to outsmart the latest virus variant.

    Thanks,
    Carolyn
    Carolyn

  4. #4
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    Default More info

    I forgot to say, that right now the system is clean and working fine. I want to capture an image of it like this and file that away.

    Right now I don't need help cleaning anything (other than the house).

    Thanks...
    Carolyn

  5. #5
    Administrator Help2Go Administrator Canuck's Avatar
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    Here's an excellent article on cloning, http://www.directron.com/ghosting.html , in the end, it's up to you to decide which one to use. For what it's worth, a number of our members use Norton Ghost and I haven't heard of any problems ... that's not to say there aren't any, as your research points out.

  6. #6
    Member Spyware Fighter Grim322's Avatar
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    I have used a free program, Drive Image XML- available here:
    http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm

    it has worked well for me, but you should know that the free version doesn't have tech support, but there are forums available for questions. Charlie