Alienware 17 R4 2017 review
can anyone tell me what the most reliable way to back my hard drive up before i do a format, the computer has been used, and constantly upgraded for a good few years now, i think its time to format my snall drive. i have another hard drive installed, which is much larger than the boot drive, also, how do i format it?
The easist way to back up to another hard drive is a program like Acronis or Ghost.
The only problem with this is that if there is any crap it will back that up as well and when you restore it to your nice new shiny install it will put all the crap back on. And before you can install the back up you will have to install Acronis or Ghost.
To format your computer for a fresh install go in to the BIOS and set your CD or DVD to first boot, press F10 then enter to save the changes, insert your XP disk then follow the instructions to format your drive and reinstall Windows.
If you do a new install you will need the driver disks for the motherboard and any other peripherals you need to install.
I'll have a read of those links, thanks for your help up to now
Most Reliable way? - Probably Acronis True Image.
If you have a Seagate or Maxtor drive you can get a free (restricted) version from the Seagate site - look for Seatools or Maxblast.
However - why do you feel you want to do this - I've haven't done this for probably four years (and even then it was because I screwed up the system myself (!). My system still runs clean and fast, by using the appropriate cleanup utilities.
And remember you'll have a VERY, VERY large number of Windows updates to download to get you going again (and updates for all the rest of the software.)
by these do you mean disk defrag and stuff like that? i think there is a cleanup thing on there too, would that be a good thing to try first? i am wanting to do it because there has been alot of messing around done on the computer, like optical drives replaced (upgraded) and an extra hard drive installed, massive amounts of large and small programmes installed and uninstalled, been messing around with it for about 5 years now. the computer frquently, but not consistently freezes, doesn't always turn on, and is generally slow and unreliable.
I would go for the format and fresh install,hopefully now you will have the core set up of programs you would like on the pc.
Best advice is to prepare drivers and back up your key info to external hard drive and blank media.
your likely to need and have sp2 pre burned to disc,also note the updates post sp2 dont take too long though.
Personally i downloaded the programs and drivers i wanted to my external drive and once ready, installed them,it didnt take long and the whole process only took a few hours,a long defag would take longer.
once you have done the install etc use acronis or the seagate free equivalent (if your drive is seagate)and make an image of the drive.
It will now be in its best state post xp fresh install/sp2 and updates,drivers and your core programs installed,then you can restore the system back from it and you shouldnt need to format again.
once you have that image,it will only take about 20 mins to 30 mins to do a improved format equivalent in the future.
thank you all for your help, just need to dig out my xp cd now.
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