Backing up to a hard drive for the 1st time

  haricot 08:41 10 May 2009

Having just been helped out by some great guys on this site I thought I would try my luck again.

I have lots of music and other stuff ie addresses , letters etc etc on my computer and I have heard that the best way to back-up these days is to do it with an external hard drive.

I need to ensure that I dont lose what I have got so it is necessary to protect it,especially the music.

Having never done anthing remotely like this before (not even backing up on disc) some help would be really appreciated, if it is'nt going to be too difficult.


  exodus 10:14 10 May 2009

Install the hard drive and ensure it is recognised by your operating system. The data you wish to backup can then be manually copied to the external drive.
Software is available to do this for you, such as Acronis True Image, Ghost, XXcopy and XP's Backup facility.

Whichever method you use, providing you follow the instruction that are relevant for the application in use, then the original data will remain intact.

  haricot 10:20 10 May 2009

Thanks Exodus, Tis good of you to come back so quick.

I think that I would like to get an External Hard Drive so I can put it away after transferring all the stuff.

I have Vista by the way so can I ask if that Software that you suggested is Vista compatible and are they freebies or do they cost?


  haricot 10:27 10 May 2009

OH I forgot to ask......

do you happen to know (and I am unfortunately ignorant on most matters computer) if once I have copied all the stuff I have on my computer over to the External Hard Drive , can I update it with new stuff as time goes on OR do I have to wipe it clean and reinstall the complete computers worth of info when I decide to do it again.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:35 10 May 2009

You can just copy new stuff across anytime.

Acronis True Image is probably the best software to use if you want to automate your back ups.

This will also copy across your operating system and allow you to reinstall it if your main hard drive crashes.

  exodus 10:46 10 May 2009

Most of the software mentioned will be compatible with Vista.
If backing up manually, then you can either copy the new folders or data or just copy the complete folder again. The latter will copy new data and overwrite existing copied data, though it may take some time with large folders. You do not need to wipe existing data.

Acronis True Image can be set to copy a complete drive or certain folders. It can be set to do incremental backups which just copies new data.

True Image and Ghost are not free.

This may help for Vista backup and xxcopy.
click here

click here

xxcopy is not so user friendly as the above until you become accustomed to it.

  haricot 11:18 10 May 2009

Thanks Exodus , much appreciated and I'll have a go.
Also many thanks to Fruitbat.

To either of you can I ask something else please...

Being one of the big dumbo's when it comes to computer things , can you give me a run-thru sequence of how to put something on to this Forum like Exodus just did , when he just says
"Click here ".


  The Kestrel 12:12 10 May 2009

To put a web link (click here) on the forum is quite simple.

1. Call up the web page you wish to show the link of.
2, Click on the web address at the top of the screen so that it turns blue.
4. Right click of the blue web address and choose copy.
3. On your forum response right click where you want the web link to go and choose paste.

When the link appears on screen after submission, the 'click here' in blue will appear.

  haricot 12:38 10 May 2009

Kestrel, you are a star ! Thanks very much indeed.

I have always wanted to know how to do that and now I can (hopefully).

Really very much appreciated.


  john bunyan 13:55 10 May 2009

When you get your external HD, the first thing to do is to ensure it is formatted to NTFS - often when you buy them they are formatted in FAT32, which limits folder / file sizes. If you want to do a simple back up of data, not programmes, you can , if you like, just copy the "My Documents" folder to the HD, then delete it and replace it when you back up again. This makes it easy to retrieve back ups. A better way, in my view, is to follow exodus' reccommenadion and get Acronis True Image. Then you can do incremental images /back ups of the whole of your PC. Some like to keep their system on one partition and data on another, but partitions were not part of your enquiry at this stage. To format to NTFS there should be instructions with the HD

  haricot 14:10 10 May 2009

Thanks very much John. That sounds really good advice which I will most certaily take onboard.

Most grateful.


This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

OnePlus 5 review

Alice Saey's mesmerising animation for Dutch singer Mark Lotterman

iPad Pro 10.5in (2017) review

Comment booster votre iPhone ?