In spite of a few typos in the (generally very helpful) descriptions (and the pun at the cost of poor Victor), this seems a very useful tool that gives you an overview of what you are embarking on when installing software, like so:
LessMSI allows you can even extract individual files to investigate further:
Moreover, it is extremely easy to install using chocolatey after which it is going to be in your PATH, to be called as “LessMSI.bat”.
Clonezilla was recently dismissed as “only free if your time is worthless”, which got me, who had just picked it for an imaging task, a bit worried, as the verdict came from the (as a terribly politically incorrect caricature of a Chinese in a cartoon of my childhood days used to say) “most honorable gentleman” Joel on Software. 😉
Now I am aware of the “free beer/kittens” analogy. But since I have used Ghost at work, I can say: I did not find Clonezilla’s learning curve steeper. The online help is quite inductive.
I admit, I put Clonezilla only through the simplest of tasks.
I have an old AMD 1.6 GHz computer which I (ab)use as as a secondary, entertainment center at home. It’s a bargain motherboard/cpu combo which I built into a case which barely survived the Orlando airport luggage handling staff (the original ingredients surely did not). But that is a story for another day.
The machine recently caught a Trojan, despite Avira being installed. I could not get rid of it, not even with a repair install of XP.
Virtualization would most likely be too demanding on this hardware.
So I started from scratch, configured everything (I could think of. Dotdotdot) to the way I wanted it, fully patched the install and then, before I even went online for the first time, other than to Windows Update, backed up the image with Clonezilla.
There were a few issues with the NTFS integrity which I could not get fully repaired from the Recovery Console. Despite repeatedly running chkdsk /p /r and restarting, Clonezilla kept complaining. Its in-built NTFS-repair got me passed that.
Then there were sector read errors in a segment of the hard drive – maybe the root of all these problems?
Nevertheless, I managed to reinstall the image. Chkdsk complained again when I first started the machine, but after one cycle, my fully configured entertainment center came up. Good to know, if things happen to go bad again…
OK, so surely my time is worth less than Joel’s (nice solid state disks ;-)). Nevertheless: Thank you, Clonezilla!
P.S. What may gift horse / geschenkter Gaul be in traditional Chinese? 贈馬?