Best way to back up my OS

  hiwatt 17:37 11 Jan 2011
Locked

Hi folks.I've just recently got an external hard drive(1tb)My internal hard drive is 80gb.I have all the documents on the internal drive backed up but I really want to back up/clone my OS as I don't have my original XP disc to reinstall incase of failure.I just want to be able to have a back up of windows XP incase my computer fails to boot.I would really appreciate help/advice on the best way to do this.The last time my computer failed I tried everything and in the end had to pay a shop to do a repair install.

  GaT7 17:47 11 Jan 2011

Unfortunately there's no foolproof way of cloning/imaging. Just read the user reviews of supposedly the best one: Acronis TI click here (I know others will probably differ).

Instead I'd try to buy a XP CD (disc-only, so the cost is low) from eBay or similar & use that to reinstall afresh. You'll need the same type (Home/Pro/Media Center) & version (retail/OEM) as the COA/product key is licensed to - look for the COA sticker on your PC/laptop.

Also make a written note of your XP product key - you can find it out with the help of the free Belarc Advisor click here. G

  robin_x 17:51 11 Jan 2011

This post earlier gives details of Image Backup programs.

W7 can make images, XP cannot. The 3rd Party progs are OK though.

click here

All the progs can make a single boot CD/DVD which you should do.

Keep the image on your new ext HDD.
Make regular images eg every week.
With 1TB you can afford to keep more than one image.
(they occasionally get corrupted)

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Should you ever require an XP CD for Repair purposes, you could try this

click here

I've never tried it and it looks a bit of a faff.

If you have a System Image saved it's probably easier just to restore that.

  GaT7 17:53 11 Jan 2011

Acronis TI Backup & Recovery Plus has gotten better reviews click here, but then again none of this type of software will always work perfectly. It may create the image OK, but restoring it may fail. G

  jamesd1981 18:11 11 Jan 2011

acronis is the best, but you pay for it, i use macrium reflect, and it hasn`t let me down as of yet.

  hiwatt 18:12 11 Jan 2011

Thanks for the replies folks.I've got all my documents backed up.I'm really just wanting to do a back up of windows xp itself so that if my internal drive fails(can't get into windows) I can boot into windows from within my external drive.Is this possible?

  hiwatt 18:12 11 Jan 2011

Thanks for the replies folks.I've got all my documents backed up.I'm really just wanting to do a back up of windows xp itself so that if my internal drive fails(can't get into windows) I can boot into windows from within my external drive.Is this possible?

  woodchip 18:25 11 Jan 2011

I do it and use Acronis to Image the Drive, Best way is by Booting with the Rescue CD then create the Image, do not try to Over Compress the Image as it will create errors in it when you check the Image to see if it works. Check the Image as its no good if when you want it, it does not work

  robin_x 18:31 11 Jan 2011

No. You would need two licences?

If your int HDD packs up, replace it and restore the System Image that you made to the new int HDD.

Image is the whole system, including Windows, not just your docs.

Are you sure you made an Image, not a Backup?

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If your int HDD did fail and you couldn't replace it immediately, you could still run a Linux distro from CD or USB in the meantime.

Always a good idea to have a distro burned for emergencies. At least you can still get on-line.

  GaT7 18:41 11 Jan 2011

I agree with robinofloxley regarding having a Linux disc handy. You'll need to download any one & burn it to a blank disc (CDr/DVDr or rewritables) as an 'image'. Slow burn recommended to minimise errors, & test the disc after creating it.

Here are a few popular ones:

Ubuntu click here
PCLinuxOS click here
Linux Mint click here
Puppy Linux click here

G

  961 18:50 11 Jan 2011

Why don't you try this?

click here

There's a free trial to see if it works for you and it will certainly create a disaster recovery disk

Unless you are able to set the BIOS to boot first from the external disk (not always possible if the USB system is not working, you'll do better to make a disaster recovery cd/dvd and boot from that

After years of struggling with Acronis and never being quite sure it would do the business this is really easy.

It will back up files from every half hour up to as long as you like. I turn on the external drive once a week and off it goes

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