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Winclone tool for Boot Camp imaging comes back as paid app

Say the word "Winclone" to any Mac-centric IT person and you'll likely get a wistful sigh in return. The original Winclone utility, which provided a handy GUI wrapper around CLI tools such as the open-source NTFSprogs, did a spot-on job of backing up and restoring the Boot Camp partition of a dual-boot Mac.

After Mike Bombich's NetRestore was EOL'ed, Winclone became a de facto standard; it made it into the workflows of enterprise desktop management systems like JAMF's Casper. (The NTFSprogs project, by the way, lives on as part of the NTFS-3G code and the commercial Tuxera NTFS driver for OS X.)

Something so useful and free besides: it was bound to end, and so it did when the original developer of Winclone ceased work on it some years ago. Subsequent system updates broke the tool, and although third parties patched some of the underlying scripts to keep it limping along with Snow Leopard and Lion, it just wasn't all there. There are other tools, of course (like the open-source and powerful DeployStudio) but Winclone was so simple and straightforward. We missed it.

I bring you good news, though, you toilers in cross-platform support land: Winclone is back, baby. New owner Tim Perfitt has revitalized the app and the twocanoes.com domain, and is now selling an updated and Lion-ready Winclone version 3 for a modest $19.99. Yes, it used to be free; yes, you could still muddle through with the hacked older versions -- but for anyone who's using Winclone in a professional environment, I strongly urge you to pony up for a license and support the resurrection of a vital Mac imaging tool.

Hat tip to John Welch.

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