Backing up Bootcamp partitions - FAT32 or NTFS
You can use Disk Utility to backup both your FAT32 and your NTFS partitions. However, from OS 10 you will only be able to write the disk image back to a FAT32 disk, since OS 10 doesn't write to NTFS, only reads it. You could get around this by writing the NTFS disk image to a FAT32 partition, and then copying it back to an NTFS partition with an NTFS-enable utility of some type, like BartPE.
I have done both FAT32 and NTFS Disk Images using Disk Utility in OS 10. Restoring the data in the Disk images requires you to open the image up in the OS 10 Finder, and copy and paste the files from the Image to your FAT32 partition.
I followed the praiseworthy work of MacDadaVM(<<< this is a link), downloaded BartPE Builder and the DriveImageXML plug-in, and made my own BartPE Boot CD. This seems to me to by far be the best solution, since it's FREE. The BartPE environment boots independent of the Windows hard drive, allows you to read and write both firewire and usb drives, and makes an exact copy of the NTFS or FAT32 drive you choose. Then, you can restore it at any time.
A very solid and flawless solution for me. The BartPE environment is just like Windows, practically, with a start button and various programs installed on the CD for you to use, such as an Explorer file management program, Wordpad, calculator (I have no idea why anybody would want to use that), and several "plug-ins" you can include on the CD.
Anyway, MacDadaVM posted this information regarding a solution to something besides making backups of your Bootcamp partition, but I could tell it would make a great solution for NTFS backups as well as for what he was trying to do (transferring a Parallels VM hard drive to a Bootcamp partition).
Don't get too confused by his instructions if you just want to make backups of your NTFS bootcamp partition. It's a lot easier than what he was trying to do. I just want to give him the credit for finding BartPE and posting the info on the boards, here. If you have any questions, just ask here and I'll be happy to help out.
The only "hard" part (only because it was unfamiliar territory for me at the time) was having to burn the bootable CD properly, with the DriveImageXML "plug-in" included. If you have the time and bandwidth, I'd be happy to connect up with you somehow to give you my ISO of the disc, or mail you a copy.
=== One last thing to be mindful of is that the DriveImageXML program will not allow you to restore an image you have created, to a partition that is smaller than the one you made it from. OK if it is the same size, or bigger -- just not smaller. ===
Last edited: Feb 18, 2007