One-shot system restore?

  splinternet 21:43 13 Jun 2006

Apologies to regular forum watchers if this item has already been raised (I did a search but couldn't find anything which hit the nail on the head).

I've just bought a "new" laptop with XP pre-loaded. I copied across all my data from my previous m/c and setup all my applications, printer drivers etc... the whole process took about 8-10hrs across two long evenings.

I then came across a problem which the laptop manufacturer's helpdesk couldn't solve - they could only recommend running the system restore CD that came with the laptop. So I did this, followed by another 8-10hrs as per above. I'm glad to say it was worth it as the original fatal error has disappeared, so it was obviously something wrong with the previous XP installation.

I now find that there is a significant problem with either the keyboard and/or the mouse; as I'm typing, the cursor will spuriously be repositioned further back in the document and new text gets positioned there. What's worse is that if I'm typing an email in Outlook Express, it will suddenly get sent without me knowing - I've had half-a-dozen emails today that have gone out in mid-sentence. The mouse/cursor also does strange things when I'm navigating web pages - it jumps about all over the place, selecting things at random. (The mouse worked perfectly on my previous laptop, so I assume I can discount this as the cause of the problem?)

The upshot, I guess, is that the machine will need to be sent back and fixed under warranty and it's quite likely that the system will need to be restored again. In fact, I would want to remove all my data files before sending it back.

Which brings me to the point: my will to live will be placed under severe scrutiny if I have to go through yet another 8-10 hrs systematically reloading my data and applications, so can I take a complete snapshot of my system/applications/data (I have plenty of room on an external HDD) such that when I get the m/c back, I can do a simple one-shot restore?

I'm aware of the systen restore facility in XP, but can this back everything up to an external HDD ready for a simple restore?

  VoG II 21:48 13 Jun 2006

System Restore won't do this. Norton Ghost or Acronis will.

  splinternet 22:09 13 Jun 2006

VoG - would you recommend one over the other? Or are they both pretty much the same - in which case perhaps pricing is the only differentiator?

  woodchip 22:09 13 Jun 2006

You have got to be using a Optical mouse. Suggest you try using it on different surfaces

  VoG II 22:11 13 Jun 2006

My preference is Norton Ghost - despite my general hatred of other Norton products. That is a purely personal preference. Either will do what you want.

  terryf 23:29 13 Jun 2006

I prefer Acronis but this is because I had problems with Symantec products in the past. Acronis does a backup for me in about 15-20 mins and restores in a similar time using an ext usb drive

  terryf 23:31 13 Jun 2006

PS if you keep only os and progrs on C drive and data on d drive then a snapshot image and restore becomes a doddle because you don't lose current data (which is on d drive) during a restore from the image

  terryf 23:33 13 Jun 2006

Does the touch pad work ok? has the optical mouse got failing batteries?

  splinternet 23:37 13 Jun 2006

Woodchip - yes, it is an optical mouse with 3 buttons + wheel, connected via USB. However, even if I take out the USB connection and just use the Touch Pad, I still get the problem. I just looked up Toshiba online help forum; someone has suggested disconnecting the Touch Pad (Fn + F9) and then using the mouse, which seems a bit drastic but appears to cure the problem. I also looked up MS KB, it seems there is an incompatibility between the signals from the Touch Pad (3-bit?) and the mouse (4-bit?). This is a 6 month old Portege S100; the mouse worked perfectly well with my old M100 Portege (which has a cursor nipple in the middle of the keyboard rather than a touch pad - this worked ok too). I'm bemused why this problem should start appearing on a newer laptop,

  woodchip 00:13 14 Jun 2006

Try downloading the latest touchpad and keyboard drivers

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