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General Guide to Save Partition with Partition Saving (NTFS)

November 6th, 2006

I was requested to backup a partition of a PC, which will be very troublesome, if were to be reinstalled. The first thing that came to my mind was Norton Ghost. Since I was required to get a license for it, I search for open source alternative and I found Partition Saving. Here's how I did the backup, which I hope it would act as a general guide for you (and also for me to refer in the future).

PC Configuration:

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Pro
  • Filesystem: NTFS
  • Number of Partitions: 2 (1 for OS, 1 for Backup)
  • Hard disk size: Approx. 80GB in each partition


  1. Go to windows explorer and rename your hard disk partitions to clearly differentiate them. I renamed my C: to "OS" and D: to "BAK".
  2. Download partition saving. Choose language, then find download link at side bar.
  3. Create a boot disk using format function in Windows XP.
  4. Unzip the downloaded savepart.zip.
  5. Copy the savepart files into the boot disk, except the "doc" folder.

Create blank files (only for NTFS):

  1. Run savepart.exe from your desktop (it would be slower to run from floppy disk).
  2. Choose "Create some files on NTFS drive." and then "Ok".
  3. Create as many files you want at your backup partition (e.g. backup01, backup02 ... backup15). The maximum file size for each backup file is 2GB. So, I created 15 blank files to backup 25GB of data in my OS partition. With 15 blank files, I can backup up to 30GB of data.

Save partition:

  1. Boot your PC with the boot disk you created.
  2. When the system show you "A:>", launch "savepart".
  3. Choose "Save an element".
  4. Select the partition you want to save, see the last column. I choose the partition labeled "OS".
  5. Then, go for "Occupied sectors".
  6. When you were requested to choose save file location, you must mount the drive first if you are using NTFS at backup partition.
  7. After mounting, select the file in the drive, e.g. backup01 that you have created. Then "OK" to overwrite.
  8. Select the maximum size. I go for the default, 2GB.
  9. Compression ratio, go for 2, as recommended in the long user manual.
  10. You will be prompted to choose file 2, 3... n until the backup ends.
  11. In the end, the program will prompt you whether you want to save a config file to future ease save/restore. Choose "Yes" then select a file.

That's it. You have completed your backup. I wrote this with what I still have in my mind, without much verifications. If you found something is missing, please update me.

How about restoration? Not now!

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2 Responses

Leo says:

I was looking for an alternative to Ghost a while back, I ended up creating a slipstream XP disc which installs to operating system and program files. I then have a second partition for documents, which also allows me to access my files from Linux.

EngLee says:

Sounds interesting. Any details?