Welcome to Open Discussion

  • Welcome to Open Discussion

    • Hi @all,
      according to my experience I'll suggest the following feature:

      A browser to show (and extract) the content of an image file (.img) by file/folder.
      Additional this feature could be an addin for diverse explorer/commander  e.g. "Total Commander".

      Best regards
      a interested user

    • JensH

      Hi interested user,

      thanks for giving feedback. I totally agree that this would be a useful feature. This is however not trivial to implement. Without trying to interpret the filesystem yourself on the disk image it would require a device driver for a disk drive. This is possible and there are other open source components that could help. I will have a look at this.

    • Jay Lyons
      Jay Lyons

      I have a question about the Disk Options. I have 'Save only used blocks' marked and then made an image of my hard drive. The capacity of the hard drive is 74.5GB, with only 6.55GB used. The resultant image file is 74.5GB. I was expecting that the image would only be around 6.55GB. Am I misunderstanding what 'Save only used blocks' means?

      Thanks in advance,

      - jared

    • JensH

      Hi Jay,

      you are right. Normally the image should be around 6.55GB (the size of the used partition). The only reason that could explain what you mention is if you did not save a partition but the complete hard disk. A hard disk can contain multiple partitions (which you normally see as different disk drives). Each partition can have a different file system. Therefore it is not possible to backup just the used blocks. If you take an image of a complete hard disk always all blocks are saved. Could you repeat taking your image and ensure that you just select the volume and not the entire disk? I hope that this would solve your problem. I will look for a way to improve the user interface here in one of the next versions, currently this is confusing. Also the Windows Explorer always shows used/free space only for a partition never for an entire disk. Hope that helps.

    • Jay Lyons
      Jay Lyons

      Thanks for the explanation... that makes sense. I do have 2 partitions on the disk.
      Partition1 is 39.19MB
      Partition2 (C:\) is 74.46GB

      The reason I made an image of the entire disk is that when I tried to make an image of just Partition2, it reported "You should not save the Windows system volume (the resulting image will be corrupt!) Press Cancel to abort".

      I'm trying to use ODIN to make an image of a clean Windows XP with all the drivers and software that I want on it so that when I want to re-install the OS in the future, I won't have to do all the Windows updating, installing drivers, software, and other machine setup.

      I have a couple more questions...

      1) Is what I want to accomplish with ODIN possible with the 75.5GB image that I made?

      2) Why will the resulting image of the Windows system volume be corrupt? Will it ever be possible to make an image of my C:\ drive that will only be 6.55GB?

      Thanks again for answering questions and for offering the software!

    • JensH

      Hi jay,

      let me start with 2)

      ODIN can make a snapshot of a disk only if it is in a consistent state. The problem is that Windows all the time uses the disk itself, for writing temporary files, in the registry and so on. So it is never consistent at any point in time and it can't be unmounted. There is a way out of this. Windows can make a virtual snapshot and keep the existing area consistent while writing all modifications in the unused area. This is called VSS (Volume Shadow Copy). VSS is not yet supported by ODIN, but I plan to support it in the future.

      I fear also that your image of the entire disk might not be able to boot for these reasons. It's just not detected by ODIN (and perhaps again something that could be improved).

      You still can do what you want but it is not as convenient as with VSS. You need to boot your system from a CD or USB stick, so that your Windows partition does not get touched. BartPE is a great tool that accomplishes this (see http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/\). There exist others as well. As ODIN does not require an installation you can run it from such a CD or USB stick as well. In this way your Windows partition can be backuped.

      BTW I entered a bug report in the tracker to improve the UI as mentioned in your initial post (no 2216722).

    • Edifying One
      Edifying One

      There's another way that you could accomplish this; it's the way I do images like that, always: take the drive out and put it in another box so it's just another hard drive. I actually have a USB adapter for SATA/PATA/MiniPATA hard drives that saves me a LOT of grief in this regard (I work on computers as a business) You can successfully image anything as long as it's not being booted from (and hence running Windoze.)

      I have just discovered this program today out of sheer frustration with Seagate Discwizard. It's a somewhat scaled-back version of Acronis TrueImage that only works if it detects a Seagate drive in your computer. It's a great program, but it locks my computer up a LOT with the BSOD and IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL, but nothing else does. I guess it's just not compatible with something in my box.

      Anyway, the feature that I would like to see available is on the restore end: the ability to automatically create a partition on a blank drive of the appropriate size to hold the image that was backed up. That way, you just select the drive (not a partition) as the destination, the image as the source, and tell it to go. It might ask, "Create a partition for this image?" If you select no, the operation cancels with a message of "You must either select an existing partition to restore into or allow ODIN to create one." If user selects yes, then it checks for available unallocated space. If there is sufficient unallocated space, ODIN makes a new partition of the size of the image, and proceeds to restore the image into it. If there is NOT sufficient unallocated space, but there is enough total space, then it should prompt: "Insufficient unallocated space on destination drive to create partition. Would you like ODIN to erase all data on the destination drive and proceed anyway? WARNING: THIS CANNOT BE UNDONE!" If yes, ODIN erases all partitions on the destination drive, creates a new one perfect for the image, and proceeds. If no, it just cancels (no message is really necessary then.)

      At least that idea should be simple enough to implement. 8^) I would prefer to use that ODIN makes the partition approach because I am hesitant about potentially restoring an image into an improperly-sized partition. It sounds like a formula for trouble to me. At best, there's wasted (unusable) space at the end but CHKDSK can fix it. At worst, the partition will corrupt itself because of the mismatched sizes between the partition and the filesystem.

      By the way, EASEUS Partition Manager will allow you to resize partitions very easily (as long as they're healthy) and the home edition is free. I know it's not open-source, but on that I don't think there's a need to reinvent the wheel. I've used this tool very successfully in my clone process; image partition(s) to disk, restore to new disk, resize with EASEUS, and back in business with a new hard drive. I do this several times a week; no problems yet. (Except that I really would like to start using ODIN instead of the horrible locking-up Seagate thing!)

      As for the drive-letter .img file access, I suggest you  back-burner that. It's not necessary for what (I imagine) most of us wish to use this program for, and it will be a pain to implement. Furthermore, it will probably be a reliability issue. My Seagate Discwizard offers it, but it's a bit buggy (not so that it crashes the computer, but it can ruin the image.)

      As for cloning, that's what I'll use it for, but I only attach one drive at a time, so save to image then restore is fine for me. But it should be easy to implement direct cloning based on all the features you've already got in place. Just put another option in the "Operation" box which is "Clone" and then when users select clone, the "Store/Load Image File(s) at/from" box changes to another drivelist like is present at the top, and you select the destination partition/drive. If a drive is selected, it should ask about creating a partition like I described above. Reuse or reference the same code; you're doing exactly the same thing.

      I can't program anything more sophisticated than automated tracking of scrabble scores (with manual entry), but I'll provide creative ideas! (I think....you might not 8^)

    • JensH


      I like your ideas about automatically creating partitions of the correct size before a restore. I will consider your ideas for my future versions. Thanks for such valuable feedback. I think another useful feature in this area would be to just allow save/restore the partition informations and boot sectors.

    • ali

      I would like to be able to save the the backup files to cd/dvd disks; and also being able to restore the OS by booting from those disks. Something like the hp recovery disks. By the way here is a cool trick I found about HP recovery disks


      • JensH

        Hi ali,

        thanks for providing feedback. Bootdisks with ODIN are possible using Windows PE (preinstallation environment). You can create your own disks using something like BartPE:
        or WinBuilder

        It's not a "one click and runs" but it is possible with a little effort. ODIN runs under WIndowsPE and you can either integrate it in those boot disks or just boot from those disks and run ODIN from a memory stick or CD. If you have Vista you even can just boot from the Vista installation disk and open the command prompt option after the first screen to chose language and keyboard layout. Start ODIN from there by just typing x:\mydir\ODIN.exe with the correct path for your environment and you can restore your system.

        It is not possible to deliver all this out-of-the-box with ODIN as the required files are property of Microsoft. I hope this helps and I have to provide more documentation about this. This will come soon.

        Hope that helps a bit....

    • Rob Aronson
      Rob Aronson

      I am in the middle of a large data migration project. We are moving from direct attached storage to SAN for 30 servers. There is a mix of windows 2003-32 bit/ windows 2003/64 bit, citrix server and some older redhat es3 hosts. I have been looking for a disk to disk cloning tool, something like gparted does but with more options and feedback. The things that have been difficult are dealing with information in master boot records, ntfs volumes that required chkdsk after copying partitions, partitions that don't align properly, citrix remapping the C drive on windows (the drive id is in the MBR and doesn't always get copied completely.

      Perhaps a too that has a migration mode to take some of these issues into account would help

    • JensH

      Hi Rob,

      if you are looking for a direct disc-to-disc cloning option that's not yet possible. Currently you have to clone from disk to file and then restore the file to the new disk. With ODIN 0.2 however you can save the master boot record and all partitions of a this drive as one step (backup an entire disk, option only used blocks). You can then restore the entire disk (restore and select the .mbr file) and use an entire disk as target. Or you can restore the created .img files individually to new blank partitions. For a larger server landscape you probably would like to have some mechanisms that you can automate things. I plan to have a command line interface so that you can run tasks from a script. Also I see that the direct clone from disc to disk would be a nice option to have.

    • bukakke


      This project of you is very interesting even if it's in it early stages of developing. There are many features requests stated above but I think the most interesting one is a command line interface. This will add the capability of automation. I am looking forward for this announced feature and I would like to see it implemented as soon as possible. If you need help on this matter I will be more then happy to give it. So, can you tell me when a CLI will be available for ODIN?

    • JensH

      Thanks for the feedback. I started looking at a command line interface but did not start coding. I plan to have this for the next version but I can't commit a date yet. This depends on the bugs that appear in the code and on the amount of time I can spend on this. I agree that this is an important feature to have.

  • Nam Truong
    Nam Truong

    It's been a while, but is there a way to view the content of the image file?


  • Anonymous

    kaltduscher, I take it "Take snapshot" is a new feature that does the VSS stuff you mentioned here? Nice feature, that.

    Anyway, the only big thing it really needs now (besides more testing :P ) is a way to convert the images into some kind of standard format, rawrite .img etc. so they can be manipulated with other tools e.g. ImDisk or Partition Image. Then you just let said other tools fill the gaps, in particular reading, extracting data from, and manipulating images without restoring and re-imaging.

  • Guimenez

    What a great software.

    Please, can you make an option to mount hidden partition to save the backup, and when restoring mount again the hidden partition?



  • Anonymous

    Are there any plans to add XZ or LZMA2 compression?

  • Sumanai

    Do you have a typo on the main page, on line
    ODIN supports snapshots can be run from command line or with a GUI and runs on 32-Bit and 46-Bit operating systems.

  • Mark Stolp
    Mark Stolp

    I backed up a Window Embedded XP image to a .img file (no .mbr was create) using ODIN.  Then I restored the .img file to a new HDD via ODIN while running under Windows XP.  The HDD boots up fine on the target system.

    After having some success, I tried restoring the same .img file to a clean HDD using ODIN while running on Windows 7.  This time the HDD does not boot up on the target system.  It looks to me like the MBR is missing but I"m not sure how to find out if this is true.  The missing MBR appear way back in 2009 comments on this forum but I haven't been able to find any comments about a missing MBR using version

    Do you know if using ODIN in Windows 7 has a problem updating the MBR?



  • Anonymous

    Hi there.

    First, let me say that this is a great little imaging tool! I've used it recently to image a RAID1 mirrored disk from an old software RAID controller to a newer hardware-based RAID controller, and it worked like a charm (though I did have to remember to disconnect the old array before restoring the new array, or Windows gets upset that the new partitions have the same ID as the old ones, and ODIN aborts).

    I have been looking at using the command line options to do automated image backups of boot partitions on servers. I have it working now via the Task Scheduler in Windows Server 2008 R2. There are a couple of small things missing that would really make this work perfectly:

    - Exit codes from ODIN to indicate if there was a problem. As it is now, it appears that ODINC.exe always returns 0 for it's exit code, regardless of what happens. If ODIN reported an exit code other than 0 for errors, we could have the Task Scheduler in Windows notice that and send an e-mail to an administrator to look into it.
    - Speaking of notifying an administrator, it'd be great if ODIN could be told to save output to a file, so we could attach that file to the outgoing e-mail so there was some clues as to what went wrong.
    - And finally, I found a small bug - if we use the -makeSnapshot option, ODIN tells us that the snapshot feature wasn't enabled (even though we just asked it to enable it with the -makeSnapshot option) and must be to image a system disk. At that point, ODIN waits for the user to press a key, which of course halts the task in it's tracks. We got around the problem by using the -force option to keep things moving forward, which seems to work out ok.

    I look forward to your comments.

    Thanks again for the great tool!


  • Anonymous

    I suppose I should tell you what version I'm using, too. That might help. I'm using the latest x64 version, 0.34.

    Thanks, again!