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Backing up my laptop

By rl168
Jun 13, 2007
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  1. Guys,

    Is there a software or utility that will allow me to back up my HD, including the operating system onto a CD or DVD? So that if my HD crashed again, I will be able to boot from the CD and install everything into the new HD?

    Thanks!
  2. MMDominator88

    MMDominator88 TS Rookie Posts: 152

    Norton Ghost is a really good program, but it's not free

    Windows does have a backup utility, under the control panel, have U thought of using that
  3. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,251

    Really where, I cant find it under XP control panel

    Norton ghost, arcronis true Image and Powerquest image centre are the only programs I would recommend for what you want, all will write to a DVD or span the image across several CDRW's but ideally you would be better off partitioning your drive so that you have somewhere to store it on the HD, this is easier in the long run as restore times from the same HD are quicker than from a CD or DVD.

    Regards
  4. MMDominator88

    MMDominator88 TS Rookie Posts: 152

    go to the control panel, then "performance and Maintenance" and under the "pick a task..." heading, it should say "Back up your data"

    if it is not there, or your running XP home edition, you will have to download the backup utility from Microsoft or other websites, it is usually called "ntbackup.exe"
  5. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,251

    Nope its not there, and its XP Pro with all updates.

    Apart from which I believe most backup software just backs up specified files, it doesnt make an image of the drive.

    Regards
  6. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Take a look at www.acronis.com. Very good software for this task, and they have special prices for the downloaded versions. Look at Migrate Easy, True Image, and some of the power utilities. They offer trial downloads for many of their products... and seem to be a step up from Symantec Norton Ghost, System Commander, and Powerquest. But your mileage may differ.
  7. mikescorpio81

    mikescorpio81 TS Rookie Posts: 574

    I love Acronis, expecially the Enterprise Edition with universal restore :)

    $$$ - $$$ - $$$ - $$$ - $$$ - $$$ - $$$ - $$$ - $$$ - $$$ - $$$ - $$$
  8. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    there are dozens of backup programs out there. XP PRO has backup built in.
    Norton Ghost and Acronis are too good backup programs also.
    The best backup is to a second hard drive.
  9. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,407   +314

    While this is very convenient, it is also (imo) risky.
    There are two times a recovery using a backup is helpful;
    1) software/data errors which can be so severe that even booting is difficult
    2) real hardware malfunctions inside the HD; mechanical, electrical, or just real
    lousy sectors

    Having your backup on the same physical device in case (1) is just fine and
    you run the restore and your ready to go.

    For case (2), you're just S.O.L and up a creek with no alternatives and no
    way to access your backup image(s).

    I recommend that backups should always be written to some other device than
    that from which the data is being copied.
  10. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,407   +314

    >go to the control panel, then "performance and Maintenance" and
    under the "pick a task..." heading, it should say "Back up your data"

    it's under start->Help & Support->Performance & Maint :)

    >...I believe most backup software just backs up specified files, it doesnt make an image of the drive.

    Any backup program that's worthy of the name will copy allocated data within
    the partition
    , not take an image of the physical hd. A good backup will offer
    to capture the MBR, which is optionally restored when performing the corresponding restore --
    consider a restore onto your friends extra partition --
    not nice to overwrite his mbr!

    the mbr is outside all partitions and is usually recovered or rewritten as a separate task
    due to all the variations that might exist.

    GHOST is not a backup program, but rather a means to clone one HD onto another --
    typically used in corporations for creating a common system image that can
    be replicated to ALL pcs.
  11. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,251

    Slippery little sucker you can also go

    To start Backup, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup.
    I found it in there, never noticed it before, shows how much time I spend browsing around XP.

    I agree with your point about using a partition on the drive, if it does suffer a mechanical failure then yes your S O L as you say, however I neglected to mention that the backup image I take are usually of just a basic image it saves me having to do a full reload of XP should I screw something up.

    Regards
     
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