Image for DOS – Making a Full Backup

The following tutorial walks you through backing up your computer to an external hard drive connected to your computer through a USB port using the most commonly selected options. You can back up using other target devices and use other options; please see the Image for DOS manual for complete details. Using Simple Operations mode is not shown in this tutorial. Image for DOS does not support booting on systems configured for UEFI/GPT booting (use Image for Linux, TBWinRE, or Image for UEFI).

While this tutorial shows using Image for DOS GUI, the steps are basically the same if using the CUI version. In Image for DOS GUI you can use both the mouse (if supported) and keyboard to interact with the program. In Image for DOS CUI you use Tab and the arrow keys to select the desired option and then press Enter to display the next screen. You can press the Esc key to undo menu selections and move back to the previous menu. Even if you press the Esc key, Image for DOS remembers the selections you have already made throughout the Image for DOS session.

  1. Attach the external hard drive you intend to use to store your backup to a USB port on your computer. While most systems will need to have the USB drive connected before booting the Image for DOS boot media, some systems may support connecting the drive afterwards (Step 3). An internal drive can also be used for backups and may be faster.

  2. Insert your Image for DOS boot media into the appropriate drive or USB port and boot your computer. If booting from CD/DVD and your computer contains more than one CD/DVD drive, please make sure that you insert your Image for DOS bootable disc in one drive and no other CD/DVD drive contains a bootable disc.

    To boot your computer using this boot media you might need to edit your computer’s BIOS settings to reorder your drives and permit your media (CD disc, USB flash drive, etc.) to boot your computer before the operating system. As your computer begins to boot, you should see a message—before you ever get to Windows or your operating system—that tells you what key to press to enter Setup—typically the Delete key, F2, or F12. Once in the BIOS, follow the instructions provided in your BIOS to reorder the boot sequence and permit your boot media (or drive) to be examined for boot information before your hard drive. If your system starts by offering you the option to select a boot menu, you can use the boot menu to identify the drive you want to use to boot.

    Note: If your computer tries to boot from the external hard drive verify the boot order is set correctly to boot the boot media first.

  3. On the Image for DOS Select Operation screen shown below, select Backup and press Enter.

    Note: If your external hard drive isn’t attached, attach it, wait about 10 seconds, and then select Backup and press Enter. If the drive doesn't show up in the later steps you'll need to connect it prior to booting Image for DOS (Step 1).

  4. On the Backup/Select screen shown below, select Full Backup and press Enter.

  5. On the Backup From/Select Drive Interface screen shown below, select BIOS or BIOS (Direct) and press Enter.

    Note: Selecting BIOS (Direct) is faster in most cases, but, if you encounter problems using this choice, try selecting BIOS instead.

  6. On the Backup From/Select Source Drive screen shown below, Image for DOS displays all available hard drives. Select the drive or the drive containing the partition(s) you want to back up and press Enter.

  7. On the Backup From/Select Item to Backup from HDn screen shown below, select the drive that you wish to backup by highlighting the drive and pressing Spacebar (or by checking the drive's box).

  8. Use the Backup/Select screen shown below to select Single File Set and press Enter.

  9. On the Backup To/Select File Access Method screen shown below select File (Direct) and press Enter.

  10. On the Backup To/Select Drive Interface screen shown below, if backing up to a USB drive, choose USB. If backing up to an internal drive or if the USB drive doesn't show up when using the USB method, select one of the BIOS options. After making your selection, press Enter.

  11. Image for DOS displays the screen shown below while searching for your external USB drive. If Image for DOS can’t find your external USB drive, see the following Knowledge Base article for suggestions: USB Drive is Not Found or has Errors when Using Image for DOS

  12. Select the USB drive and press Enter when Image for DOS finds your external USB drive and displays the screen shown below.

  13. On the Backup To/Select File Location on HDn screen shown below, select the partition on which you want to store the backup and press Enter.

  14. The next screen (shown below) suggests a name for the image file. The suggested filename includes information that identifies the backup. In the default name (as shown below), “b” stands for BIOS, “0” represents the drive being backed up, and “$~YYYY$-$~MM$-$~DD$-$~HHMM$” represent the date (in 4-digit year, 2-digit month, and 2-digit day format) and time (in 2-digit hour and minute format) the backup started. If you opt to back up a partition instead of an entire drive, the partition ID follows the drive number. You do not need to type the .tbi file extension—just the path and filename itself; Image for DOS will automatically add the extension.

    After selecting the folder and filename, press Enter.

  15. On the Backup Options screen that appears, select the options you want to use. Many people select Validate Byte-for-Byte along with the options pre-selected by Image for DOS. Selecting this additional option makes your backup take longer but ensures the integrity of the backup by catching any unknown system related problems; by selecting this option, you’ll know you have a valid backup in case you need to restore it. For details on using the rest of the options shown on this screen, see the Image for DOS manual.

    To select these options, use Tab and the arrow keys to highlight the option and press Space Bar (or check the appropriate box).

  16. Select Next to display the Summary screen, which summarizes the parameters of your backup.

    Select Start and press Enter (or click Start). The imaging process begins, and a progress bar appears on-screen. You can interrupt the backup and validation operations at any time by clicking Cancel or pressing the ESC or F12 key. Image for DOS will ask you to confirm that you want to cancel before it interrupts the current operation. When Image for DOS finishes, this message appears:

  17. When the backup finishes, press Enter to redisplay the main menu for Image for DOS shown below.

  18. Select Exit and, when prompted, remove the Image for DOS boot media and press Enter to reboot your computer.