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a good backup solution for 'on demand' system backup and recovery

By drwilkinson ·
I work for a small business. A dozen PCs and laptops. We are looking into a 'real backup' solution like either tapes or a networked RAID with offsite replication and all that, but I want to have more than one answer.

I am looking for an external USB drive and software that I can use to take a system 'snapshot' and then recover to a bare drive if I have to.

In other words, the backup needs to be 100% complete. Ideally, it would include any partition/volume info.

The software would create a bootable CD that can be used to boot the system, load any needed USB drivers, load the backup software and restore the backup from the external HD.

I am looking to specifically avoid the situation where, if you have a system that can't boot and you can't readily solve that issue, you have to format C: and spend a couple hours just to get a working install of Windows and the original backup software on the machine so that you can finally RESTORE the system. And heaven forbid it's not fully able to overwrite in-use files, the registry, etc. What a mess.

Am I talking about Norton Ghost here? It's been a while since I tried it... and back then, it did not have very good chances for being able to actually boot and restore from CD and external USB drives.

Thanks in advance.

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