As the software I'm writing is using instrument I/O, I cannot use virtual machines to test my software in different configurations. Therefore I'm looking for the best way to make snapshots at different states, and restore them quickly for tests.

What tools do you use? Right now I see:

  • Windows system restore
  • Clonezilla (not in love with it, sometimes failed for me)
  • Acronis TrueImage

What are your advice?

  • This question belongs on SuperUser.
    – Job
    Feb 9, 2011 at 19:54
  • My question is specific to snapshot practices in the context of software testing, so I think it belongs here
    – CharlesB
    Feb 9, 2011 at 20:13

3 Answers 3


You could take images of your os and use something like norton ghost to restore them. Ghost is nice because after you have created your images you can place them in a network repository for ease of access. The restore process is pretty fast as well. The downside is you will need to spend the time to create each of the states you are looking to test.


I have had good luck with Drive Snapshot back when I used to do this sort of thing a lot.

It is reasonably fast, can do a bare metal restore from various sources, and can be used for backing up a running system through volume shadow.

The ability to mount the backup as a virtual drive has saved me from a lot of full restores as well.


a small linux boot cd and dd always work.

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