Is there software that backs up any files onto a bunch of DVDs?

By ¼ of a hotdog
Jun 22, 2010
  1. I got a copy of windows 7 professional and it will not allow me to just upgrade to it from vista home basic so I have to back up a lot of random stuff onto DVDs. I 136GBs of steam games and I would rather not have to download them all again once I install windows 7. Is there a way I can divide my 136gb steam apps folder amongst a bunch of DVDs then extract it into a new steam installation in windows 7? I would rather not use 7z to make a bunch of seperate files because it would take so long. Though if you know of settings that would allow it to compress everything into a bunch of seperate files faster please tell me!
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 854

    That's going to be a lot of DVD's. You don't have a spare hard drive sitting around that you can use for backups? How about just buying a cheap HD and using that for the OS and the current drive for games/files?
  3. ¼ of a hotdog

    ¼ of a hotdog TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 188

    Well I have 3 hard drives in it right now, could I make a partition on one and put it all there or would it erase that when I install 7?

    excellstore jupiter 160gb (the one that vista is on)
    WD caviar cant remeber what color 500gb (steam is on this one)
    WD caviar black 640GB (I have a bunch of games on it but all the disks are right next to me so I could format it and reinstall them all quickly on 7)

    Edit: Could I just put all the files I want to keep onto hard drive 2 and install windows 7 on hard drive 1 or 3 without it formatting hard drive 2 during installation? If it would format it could I just unplug the SATA cable to hard drive 2 before installation and then plug it back in after installation and still have windows 7 read it fine?
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    I do this all the time. Just install your Windows 7 onto the HDD you intend to be "C:/". In fact, you only put your OS drive in the computer, and leave the rest out until the OS is installed.
    After that, all ya gotta do, is just power down the PC, and stuff the drive(s) with your data on it, into the case. (Well ya gotta plug 'em in too). Windows should pick it up as a "volume".

    The problem you will have however, is that you will have to reinstall all your games. Just make sure you have the installer packages for them ready to go.
  5. ¼ of a hotdog

    ¼ of a hotdog TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 188

    Thank you! Hmmm now I need to decide which hard drive to install it on. Would installing it on the much faster WD caviar black lower boot time over the Excellstore Jupiter series blah blah blah unicorn drive? It cut Crysis loading times in half but would it do something similar for windows 7?

    Also thanks again both of you!
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    Either of the WD drives would be better than the brand X. The 640 "Black" is probably the best of the bunch. Just make a big partition for the OS, (up to 200 GB) and then you won't ever have to go through this again. In the event of a disaster, you reinstall Windows to that partition, and anything on the rest of the drive would not have to be touched in any way.
  7. ¼ of a hotdog

    ¼ of a hotdog TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 188

    Should I format the partition I am going to put 7 on or will it recognize the unallocated space and format it itself? Should I unhook both the drives I'm not putting 7 on and then format the "Brand X" one that has vista on it after I have installed 7 or should I format it before I install 7? My OEM vista product key was rendered invalid after I installed a new motherboard so it would be no use to dual boot it.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    It's less risky or confusing to install any OS, with only the intended OS drive installed. I never install the secondary drives until the PC is up and running in Windows.

    Windows 7 will ask you to create a partition, then it will format it during the install. The "unallocated space" will be the remainder of the 640GBs.

    IMO dual booting is sort of a novelty anyway. There is not much difference between Vista and Win 7 anyway, with Win 7 being the much better of the 2. If you're going to be using Win 7 Pro (or better) you can install XP Mode in the M$ "Virtual PC" software., in that instance, you run XP from inside Windows 7 as a program. The only consideration for a gamer possibly, is a loss of speed due to XP not running natively, but rather inside the virtual machine.

    BTW, "Virtual PC" and "XP Mode" (full version of XP Pro 32 bit" are free to the owner of a copy of Windows 7 Pro or better, pending WGA validation.
  9. ¼ of a hotdog

    ¼ of a hotdog TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 188

    By unallocated space I meant I went into disk management and shrank the volume so that there was 300gb of unallocated space on the hard drive for windows 7 to format. Should I extend it back to normal and have 7 just format the entire drive and partition it later or did you mean I should just install it with only that drive connected let 7 format all of it and make a partition later.

    Sorry for asking so many questions.
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    No, the only thing you're going to allow Windows 7 to format, is the partition you're going to install it on. The rest of the drive will either be formatted afterwords separately, or not tampered with at all, if it is already formatted and contains data. Is that clear?

    Windows should name the partition you install in on "C:/", then you go into disc management to deal with the rest of the space on the drive.
  11. ¼ of a hotdog

    ¼ of a hotdog TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 188

    Ok thank you! Sorry about my inability to understand what you had said, I just don't want to mess up and spend more time trying to get it right.
  12. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,456   +1,759

    Good luck with your install, I'm sure it will go just fine.
  13. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    Likely his store brand drive is actually a real drive, there aren't too many HD manufacturers.. Hitachi, WD, Seagate, Fujitsu, Samsung?...
  14. ¼ of a hotdog

    ¼ of a hotdog TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 188

    Went great!!! The only problem I had was that I got a driver disk covered in my own dandruff. After a few messages about how It failed to be read, I looked at the bottom of the brand new disk and... I need some dandruff shampoo pretty bad apparently.

    No idea, here is there site and the newegg page if your interested though. Its an Excelstore Jupiter ESJ8160

    I posted a thread about it making a lot of noise a while back and put a link to the recording that I put on youtube. It hasn't failed but I think I will only use it for downloads and such.

    Might as well ask this now, would Microsoft security essentials be better than avast?

    Thanks everyone!!!
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,689   +395

    I'm using Microsoft Security Essentials on all my PCs, I'm pretty impressed with it. It seems lightweight, and I think it does a decent job at finding things. It also pops up a warning if something is going on that it isn't sure about (like a .sys file if you are creating a bootable USB linux stick). You can also tell it not to scan certain areas if you know they contain false positives.

    So IMO, its pretty good, and I removed Avast from my dad's computer to put MSE on.
  16. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    honestly - I don't know anyone who uses optical media for backup anymore. It's far cheaper, practical, and much less expensive and less time consuming to backup to a jumbo external drive.
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