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Backing up

brookie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Registered: 05-10-2009

Backing up

I am struggling with backing up my system and programs. My data is easy, but backing up the system is causing me headaches.
I have installed the Windows XP Backup component and it is easy enough to run.  The problem is that there is not much point in storing the backup on the same hard disk, as it would be useless if the hard disk stopped working !
Ideally I would like to store the backup on a CD or DVD if necessary.  I think that my system is about 13 Gb.  A CD is only 650 Mb and even a DVD is only 4 Gb.  So what is the best way to do this ?
If it cannot be achieved using the XP Backup, is there a way to take an image of the system partition, for instance ?  Can anyone recommend some freeware software which will let me burn an image of the system onto a DVD ?
I used to do back-ups easily in the old days with Windows 98 when everything fitted onto a single CD, but to be honest, I have always dreaded having to try to do it with XP because the system and program files are huge by comparison..  After several years of trouble free computing, I am scared to push my luck any longer, and need to take some precautions against hard disk trouble.
Any suggestions would be most appreciated.
5 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,139
Thanks: 4
Registered: 20-07-2007

Re: Backing up

I use a USB external hard drive to do my backps to.
Bob
N/A

Re: Backing up

I too have an external hard drive which works well but I only back up files and not the whole system.
Might be wrong in this, but if things became so bad that I needed the system backup I would rather install a fresh new copy of the OS.
mentalist3d
Grafter
Posts: 371
Registered: 20-08-2009

Re: Backing up

Personally, I don't do a full back-up, like Poppy, I prefer to back-up just my files to an external drive, and if I ever have problems, a fresh install of the OS and software. And the reason I do this, is that any problems with your system set-up, may not at first be apparent, so when your system does eventually fail, you may be using a back-up that is corrupt in some way, or has the original problems.
A techy I know, usually installs the OS and then the software, then before the machine is being used makes a "Ghost" copy of the machine onto DVD, and then never makes another backup, any problems get fixed with the "Ghost" copy. That way you only need to back-up your files on a regular basis
QUICK EDIT
Just googled on the Ghost copy and returned:

  • http://www.astahost.com/info.php/create-quotghostquot-images-norton-windows_t9061.html

  • http://www.ozzu.com/mswindows-forum/creating-ghost-image-for-windows-the-like-t495.html


Community Veteran
Posts: 6,332
Thanks: 478
Fixes: 43
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Backing up

As Bob suggests, get a USB external drive , they're pretty cheap these days.
If you want to do an image backup then take a look at Clonezilla ( http://clonezilla.org/ ). It's Linux based GPL(free) software similar to Norton Ghost.
You boot it from a CD/DVD (or a USB stick) and it can take a complete backup of your system to an external USB drive.
You could use this as mentalist3d suggests to take a complete backup of a working system, and then just use backup on a regular basis to backup your files.
Community Veteran
Posts: 14,017
Thanks: 539
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Backing up

another alternative is to use virtual machines. You can then copy those as part of a normal file backup..
IT is a bit of agro though waiting for 2 OS's to boot... although I normally just suspend my VMs.
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