Backup recommendation please

  HXP 22:30 03 Aug 2006

Recommendations please for a system image utility that I can run from an external (usb) HDD so if system fails I can rebuild with a disk image.

I am not sure if disk imaging means windows is installed without the damn copy protection .. ( it's genuine OEM copy so not trying to rip off Msoft)

Norton Ghost - will that do it - any better suggestions ?

See below for explanation

I had a strange problem with XP - I have 2 x sata drives (not raid)and windows froze taking 5 mins between clicking a menu and it carrying out the transaction.

To cut a long story short(2 days of hassle and slow mo windows)I traced it to the second SATA drive which when I disabled it in device manager meant the system ran normally.

But unfortunately I only came to this conclusion after using restore points,repairing windows which took 3hrs as I hadn't disconnected second drive at this point (including that infernal validation on the phone - I had disconnected from the net soon as I had problems as Norton security suite didn't seem to load) then I deleted lots of programs,repairing the registry and vitually wiping my system by unistalling lots of programs.

I ended up formatting the second drive from DR DOS which restored it to life but wiped it clean.

Luckily I had backed up My documents the week before to an external 250gb HDD.

So after wiping my system I then had to reload everything which I am still in the process of doing and some programms I can't find intall disks of (genuine copies - I am just stupid,careless and don't know where they are - and some were purchased web downloads for my ipaq and all the deleting I did included deleting ( stupidly ) those.

I know I should have backed up everything but I am dumber than I look and didn't as I had them backed up on my second (failed & formatted) drive ....

Foolish, formatted and foxed

At least if I have some imaging software I might stand a chance although it wouldn't solve what happened here it would have meant I could have reloaded windows after I discovered the real problem prsumably with all the apps working.I am also prepearing for the next disaster!


  westwit 23:52 03 Aug 2006

I also have two SATA drives and I back up all my data folders onto the second drive as a scheduled task each night using Microsoft SyncToy, available at click here

This is dead easy, and as long as you have closed down any program that might be locking your data files (such as Outlook and Outlook Express), everything you want 'mirrored' onto the other drive is done automatically.

You just create 'pairs' of folders on each disk and select whether to keep them in sync one way or both ways (for backup one way is what you want; for synchronising between a laptop and a desktop two way sync is the fellow).

  westwit 00:00 04 Aug 2006

On re-reading your post, I don't think SyncToy is what you're looking for. You want to image the whole disk rather than just back up data. Sorry.
Have a look at Acronis, Norton Ghost?

  FelixTCat 07:14 04 Aug 2006


I would suggest a 2-stage process. Carry out a basic install of Windows and your programs and then do a disk image of this. It will be a lot quicker to reload a disk image than a complete re-installation.

Then do very regular backups of your data, the frequency depending on the rate at which you add data and the value of the data.

If you are doing a complete reinstall, I would also recommend that you partition your disk so that you have separate partitions for system files (i.e. XP), program installations, data and original downloads. That way, you can reimage the system and the programs and leave the data untouched.

Norton or Acronis will both do, though personally I had trouble with Acronis and use Norton.



  rawprawn 08:07 04 Aug 2006
  HXP 08:38 04 Aug 2006

Thanks to all I will go with Norton

  Ankermi31 08:31 12 Sep 2006

Windows XP

C Drive has used 18.5 GB
C Drive Capacity 186 GB

Some photos but not many and no music

Never done a backup on system. Can someone recommend a straightforward back up programme to us.

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