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What is the Best Way to Back Up Entire Dual Boot HDD including two OS?

By robertq
Jun 26, 2008
  1. Hi,

    I would like to back up my whole Hard Disk including OS & all partitions few times a day everyday so that if something goes wrong I should have another Hard Disk Ready To Go in matter of few minutes without having to do anything.

    I have been doing this with a software called XACT Copy that makes an exact copy of the whole hard disk on a slave drive with OS & all the settings & programs & all the data. In case something goes wrong with one drive I can just replace it with a second drive in less than a minute by connecting the second drive.

    The only problem with that software is that it works only with Windows XP & not Windows Vista.

    But now am switching to dual boot system with Win XP on C drive & Windows Vista (Ultimate) on the next drive to learn Vista before I switch completely to Vista as my main OS.

    Can you guys tell me how do I achieve my above objective ?

    Raid -1 is not a good alternative because if Virus is caught it will corrupt both drives and I am not sure if Raid-1 will work with Dual Boot system.

    Please help me.

    Thank You Very Much.
  2. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    Look at products from Acronis.

    I use Acronis True Image Home for imaging my drives (some dual boot). True Image doesn't keep a "hot stand-by copy" vs. providing a backup image copy on an external drive(optionally compressed, up to you) which can be be easily recovered.
  3. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Total backup several times a day is surely overkill. A full image once a month or so, plus some means of backup up changed data on a frequent basis is better and less time consuming.

    I can recommend SyncBack http://www.2brightsparks.com/ which is cheap at $30 and very, very effective. Possibly not the easiest interface to get to grips with, but that is because it is so comprehensive.

    I set up backup schedules with various time lengths, and basically forget about it, it does the job.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Use a USB enclosure with two hard drives back up each partition to their own drive... or use something good like Seagate Free agent. Those hard drives perform a backup with a press of one button... and are trouble free. We have a large number of clients on them. Less trouble than Ghost, Partition Magic, Acronis, or SyncBackj.
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