I need to send images and stop sending drives.
July 4, 2012 10:19 PM Subscribe
PC Tech filter: What's a common disk-image format that I can use for storing images of bootable flash media? Sending new media to customers so slow and expensive.
posted by Sunburnt to computers & internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My company is an OEM that ships rack-mounted devices containing PCs running Windows Embedded from either a CompactFlash (CF) or Solid State Drive (SSD). Because of changes in components, primarily motherboards, over the years, we have a few dozen disk images around that're currently stored in an old Norton Ghost format. I mention it's old, because the latest Norton Ghost can't use them-- compatibility ended around version 11.
Now that we're shipping on SSDs instead of CFs, the cost of the physical media is way way higher (practically negligible for CFs, compared to the order of $100 for the SSDs we use), that on the occasions where we just need to re-image the drive, we don't have an image to send the customer.
Most people want something like an .ISO, but my attempts at making ISOs from flash media failed-- .ISO applications assume that you're using optical media, every time, and I don't see a good way around that. There may be hacks, but we don't want the customer to have to hack anything to restore function to his machine.
I'm looking for a good, preferably free/open image or clone format can image a bootable flash-based OS drive of some kind, and write to CF or SSD drives to make them bootable when mounted. Put another way, writing the images should be free to our customers; it's a bonus if creating the images is also free. And Open, because I don't want to pay a license to use the format, if at all possible.
Most of our customers will be Windows users, but if Mac applications that can be made to use the format too, that would be great.