since you haven't been very specific about your "not working" issues, I can only wonder, but I suspect your problems are not related at all to the backup or restore of images, but are coming solely from your GRUB setup.
If I'm wrong on this guess, you'll have to be a bit more specific about what symptoms are COMMON to all the software you've been trying.
OTOH, if I happen to be right, it won't matter at all if you use partimage, acronis, clonezilla, gparted, fsarchiver... or, for that matter, ext3 or ext4, as in both counts you'd be chasing the wrong rabbit.
If I'd were in your current situation, I'd do the following to further diagnose your issues (which you've probably already done at least in part anyway, but again, I'm guessing at what you DIDN'T say...):
1. Use a LiveCD after you've copied BACK a disk or partition; this might be either LMDE Live, or the excellent SystemRescue, or any other you might have handy. Then perform a general, overall, visual inspection of each copied partition, and check if the key files / folders are indeed where expected to be.
2. If #1 turns out OK, you can rule out issues with the image copy operations, and quit worrying about using this or that copy software - as any of them would give you similar results. You might then choose the software simply as a matter of personal preference. Then skip #3 and go to #4 below.
3. If #1 shows any issues, well... you should return with more details. And in that case I'd suggest that, if you plan to come back to this forum (or any Linux forum for that matter) for further help, you'd better have results from a non-proprietary software, like clonezilla, so that you can actually find people which could help you.
4. [continuing from #2] - now you'd have to do some homework - take notice of the exact issues that GRUB is reporting. You might do some Googling about that, but don't skip checking https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Grub2#GRUB%20Errors
. This points to one specific topic, but the whole, enormous page is just an awesome resource.
5. this might help you or not, but it seems you've been playing with, A - old PCs
, and B - large external drives with multiple partitions
. This was exactly the scenario which kept me stumbling for a while (although for me it was an install and not a copy), until I found - by performing similar steps to those I'm suggesting to you - that an old BIOS was losing track of partitions which were beyond a 32 or 137 Gb boundary, or in any case in a large HD where the numerical partition sequence went first to the end of the drive and then returned to its middle. You might take a look at this post
, or maybe the whole topic for all the gory details.
6. an additional corollary issue which has haunted me AFTER solving the boot issue, and might happen in your case or not, has to do with FSTAB entries, which might need some tweaking before everything gets smoothed out. In my case, I was prevented from logging in, since fstab misplaced my /home partition, and had to use a LiveCD to investigate and fix.
Good luck, man...@DataMan,
Last time I looked, Partimage does not support ext4 or ntfs.
Well, I guess that was a LOOOOONG time ago... I can't actually vouch for ext4, but, regarding ntfs, it's been for at least 5 years that I've been doing full backups and restores of Windows systems using Partimage from SystemRescue. I don't have the exact data at hand, but you can imagine how long ago that was if I say that I've already done B&R's of Windows NT, Windows 98, Windows 2000 Professional (and of course XP also).
Just shifted to Clonezilla when I noticed that it allowed me to do a multiple-partition or a full-disk backup in a single pass, instead of multiple passes as with Partimage - one pass for each partition, plus additional manual or scripted operations for MBR & partition tables. The thing really worked, albeit requiring a bit of manual chores.