Partitioning and backing-up aew PC, HDD and OS

  MRMC 10:37 22 Jun 2008

Hello all!

My PC runs XP Home. Thanks to occasional hardware upgrades and regular cleaning/tweaking of the OS, I have managed to nurse it along for almost 6 years (!). But it is now definitely time for a new machine. (I have one on order from

Being more PC-tech-savvy than I was 6 years ago (not least thanks to this forum!), I want to ensure that this time I set up the new PC to ensure that I have structured, automated back-ups of various configurations of the OS and My Docs. I have not used any disk imaging or partitioning software before and so I would really appreciate your advice on the issues below.


- I currently have 2 x HDDs. One drive (80GB) contains the OS and all My Docs etc on the main partition. (The other partition was on the HDD when delivered and contains some files I have never looked at, and the notice "This drive contains advanced diagnostic, repair and system files. Do not add, remove, execute or alter this drive in any way! Mis-use WILL seriously damage your system".) The other drive (160GB) has two partitions: I back-up My Docs to one partition (using Super Flexible File Synchronizer) and the "System State" to the other partition (using Windows Backup).
- The new PC will have 2 x 250GB HDDs (not in RAID configuration).
- The first/main new HDD will have two partitions: the new OS (Vista Premium) will be on a 50 GB partition and I will keep My Docs etc on the 200GB partition.

My questions are:

- How do I set up a "My Documents" folder on the new 200GB partition, if that folder is already a default one in the OS in the 50GB partition? Do I simply create and name a new My Docs folder in the partition and just not use the default My Docs in the OS partition?!
- Can I make a mirror image of the brand new, unused OS on a dedicated partition on the 2nd HDD so that, if and when things start to get slow and messy, I can later overwrite the OS and start afresh? (I assume that having separate partitions for the OS and My Docs on the 1st HDD will facilitate this.)
- My overall intention is to have the following partitions: 1st HDD - one for the OS, one for My Docs: 2nd HDD - one for a copy of the unsued, original OS (which will remain untouched), one for the current state of the OS and one for a copy of My Docs etc. Does that sound feasible/sensible?
- Is there any need for any other separation of "stuff", or are OS and Docs the two main components of a PC? (I have read about having a partition for the page file - is that worth it?)
- Is Acronis True Image suitable for achieving all this?

Having set things up appropriately:

- What is the best way to transfer all my current docs etc from my current, back-up HDD to the 200GB partition on the first new HDD? Can I get a caddy, insert the HDD and transfer across by USB, and then back up to my 2nd internal HDD (using Super Flexible File Synchronizer and/or Acronis)? Do I just drag and drop from the current HDD to My Docs in the relevant partition on the new HDD? (I intend to then use the old 160GB HDD in the caddy as a further, portable back up of My Docs.)
- Is there anything apart from My Documents that I need to copy over to the new system? (I will reload all my software, and I don't want to transfer my registry settings - I want to start afresh.)

Thank you!!


  MRMC 10:38 22 Jun 2008

Sorry - the title of this thread should have read: 'Partitioning and backing-up a new PC, HDD and OS' !!

  Pamy 10:51 22 Jun 2008

Before anyone else answers, will you be provided with an Operating System Disk ie. Vista Premium? or will it be pre installed

  MRMC 11:31 22 Jun 2008

The PC will come with a Vista disc.

  Pamy 12:01 22 Jun 2008

It is possile to just put Vista on a small partition, and all your progs and files on anoher partition or separate dive. but others will have to advise on this procedure or try Google for how to do it. Having the full retail Vista disk makes it easier.

  Pamy 12:09 22 Jun 2008

Found this forum on google click here

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