Backup Advice Requested By A Novice

  dublincity 19:56 09 Mar 2003

I am new to computers. My PC is a Pentium(r).My OS is Windows 95.

I've attempted to do a complete backup, including registry files. My onscreen directions tell me that 8 floppies will be needed but 'Windows 95 for Dummies' tells me that 'hundreds' of floppies will be needed unless a tape backup is used. I spotted that after I had selected Drive A (the 3.5 in. Drive), the hound switched to Drive D, which I'd believed was dormant. I made a good start but aborted after watching a 'Preparing For Backup' box for 1 1/2 hours. It seems that I was premature since the exercise was proceeding but with only one file (out of 000's) having been backed-up. If it's going to be a round-the-clock tango then I wonder if I should enable the screen saver? My ex-wife has lent me a brand new CD-R/RW kit. I have only a vague idea about what that is. I had expected to be able to plug something in and 'backup' very quickly. I now know differently! I have since done a bit of research and read the items on this Help Site listed under 'Backup'.

Should I resume my attempt to back-up on floppies and if so, how long will it take and who is right about the number of floppies needed? Any advice will be gratefully received. Many Thanks. Mike.

  Stuartli 20:01 09 Mar 2003

Backing up to floppies is both cumbersome and not very reliable longevity wise. Each floppy can only hold 1.4MB, a little more if compressed, but still a seriously long and tedious job.

I don't know how Win 95 will cope with a rewriter - might be worth upgrading to 98SE if you can obtain it.

Perhaps you could elaborate a little more on your system and its components etc?

  dublincity 21:25 09 Mar 2003

Thanks Stuartli for your comments.

I will look into the possibility of upgrading to 98SE. Since I'm a novice, I'm not sure what else I should say about my set-up. I've read that there were about 7 versions of Windows 95 : something caught my eye which suggested that mine is version number 6. I believe that in about December 2001 (before it belonged to me) it was fitted with all of the Windows 95 upgrades (and some Microsoft software) then available.

My aim to backup was prompted by a total crash (which later proved to be a monitor failure). My local PC engineers charge £35 p.h. or £55 p.h. for home visits! Then,with a new monitor I had a problem connecting to the www, identified by the plusnet helpline as a corruption of my PC. Lost programs eventually re-installed themselves automatically. My www 'Save Password' facility was, and remains, disabled.I've got some gen on that and will worry about it later.

The beast is now behaving itself so my interest in backing-up is now one of curiosity rather than urgency. But I don't want to fork out another 200 quid. I would go ahead with continuing to backup on floppies if I had an idea of how long it would take. Mike.

  dublincity 22:36 09 Mar 2003

Novice is the word! I briefly saw messages here from maj and village idiot. Thanks to both of you. As of now, I can't find them. I will keep pressing buttons.Mike.

  DieSse 22:39 09 Mar 2003

It's not feasible to do a complete system backup onto floppies. Any indication you have that it will take 8 floppies is way, way, wide of the mark, and cannot possibly be a complete system backup.

For the moment, make copies of all your work onto floppies - this is irreplaceable - at a pinch you can always re-install programs.

For a longer term solution, the Win98 + CD-Writer is a much better idea. But it's not as simple as just upgrading to Win98 - it depends a lot on the specification of your system on how feasible this is.

  woodchip 22:46 09 Mar 2003

You can do a backup to the drive you are backing up if you create a folder and have enough room on you partition. you just tell it not to backup the folder that you are saving the backup to. I used to do this on a regular basis until I got drive Image from a CD

  wee eddie 23:39 10 Mar 2003

From what you say you have never ever done a full system backup.

Should any critical componant of the PC you are running, die. It will be almost impossible to replace and probably cheaper to replace the whole PC.

In which case a full system backup will be almost useless anyway. What you really need to do is to Copy all the Data files that you have, a much simpler job.

If the CD/RW is new and internal it will almost certainly prove incompatable with a W95 system.

If you have a later version of W95 you may be lucky and have a USB port otherwise you will have Serial and Paralell ports. Purchase an old ZIP Drive or external CD/RW. You should be ably to pick up a second hand one somewhere and just Copy the Data files you need to keep.

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