New PC - Partitioning and Disc Images

  Patientedd 21:50 23 Nov 2006

I have just purchased a new PC, due to arrive tomorrow. I have decided to keep on top of things on my PC this time round and make sure it runs smoothly and things are backed up in case of an emergency.

I intend to use my PC as part of a home network, with my Xbox360, mainly so I can access pictures, videos and music from around the house(PC will have Media Centre). Also will keep various documents. Play lots of online poker and have some very important programs/files relating to poker.

I have read some things lately about partitioning your hard drive and creating images. I have never done this in the past - is it necessary? I think I understand about partitioning but really am not sure about images. I thought system restore backed up your data.

Any advice would be appreciated.

  Technotiger 21:53 23 Nov 2006

Hi, by far the safest way is to have a usb external drive and Acronis True Image to back up your entire pc to the external drive.


  Patientedd 22:00 23 Nov 2006


Thanks, so I have to have purchase software to be able to make an image?

  Technotiger 22:03 23 Nov 2006

Yes, it is very well worth the small outlay to protect your pc.

click here|726752417&gclid=CPe0_r6T3ogCFTlGMAodRg9RjA


  Technotiger 22:04 23 Nov 2006

Me again - ignore all the figures there.

  Patientedd 22:16 23 Nov 2006

So am I right in saying I must back up my data off of my PC and it there is nothing else I need to do to back up my data. And it is easy to use!

  GaT7 22:22 23 Nov 2006

I'd second Technotiger's suggestions.

For the True Image, if you prefer retail boxed versions from Amazon:

v10 £23.97 click here

v9 £13.96 click here

Btw, System Restore doesn't backup any personal data - only core system files, registry & similar. G

  Patientedd 22:28 23 Nov 2006

Thanks. I'll do that.

Any thoughts on partitioning your hard drive, must admit I like to be organized!

  Nosmas 23:00 23 Nov 2006

I go along with the suggestion to buy Acronis True Image. Why not download the User Guide click here and have a read to see how it works and what it will do? I have version 9.0 which I feel is adequate for home use and do not feel the need to upgrade to the recently released v10.0

On the subject of partitioning, the simplest way is to have one partition to hold the OS and application programs (system partition) and another to hold your own data files (data partition). That way you can make an image of the system partition so that in the event of a catastrophe perhaps needing a re-format, you can re-format only the system partition and then restore from the backup image, leaving your data files unscathed. Whenever you make a significant change to your system e.g. install another program, you would then make a further backup. This can be another 'full' backup image or an 'incremental' or 'differential' backup (all explained in the User Guide). You should of course also make backups of your data partition on a regular basis.

Ideally the backup should be saved on an external HDD and not on the internal HDD because if that fails you may well be unable to recover the original data or the backup. I save my backups to a WD USB External HDD which I can store in a safe location in case my PC is stolen or damaged. Hope this helps.

  Patientedd 09:27 24 Nov 2006

Thanks Nosmas, very helpful. So when I load a new program I would put it in the C: drive, for example, and then if I created a spreadsheet, picture, music file etc.. it would go in to the D: drive. What if your program saves files to it's own folders in the system partition. Can you tell programs to save data where you want it, i.e. on to the D: drive.

  Ptolemy 09:48 24 Nov 2006

I go about it a different way.

I have a partition separate partitions for the OS and installed program files:
C: OS 15MB
D: Program Files 10MB
E: Files & Folders - Documents, mp3s, mail backups & copies of cookies, favourites etc - 60MB
?: Acronis Secure Zone 25MB - locked partition created by Acronis for image of c&d drives

I then have a separate hard drive (X:)on which I make a copy of of E: using the MS Briefcase.

Because the image is on the internal HD I can create a new image to it or restore from it in a few minutes.

If my main HD fails I'll have to install the OS etc again, but I do that periodically anyway and it's the contents of E: that I really want to make sure I have safe.

I'm uncertain if there are any advantages to having the OS and installed files separate except that defrag seem much quicker this way.

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

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Fujitsu Lifebook P727 laptop review

Microsoft Paint set to die after 32 years

Mac power user tips and hidden tricks

Comment désactiver la saisie intuitive et paramétrer votre clavier ?