stupid question

  castiel333 21:30 01 Nov 2004

Ive often seen people being told to back up their hard drive or registry but being fairly new to computers I dont know how to do this and I get the impression that this is something that I really should know how to do.I would be grateful if someone could please tell me how and I appologise for asking what must sound like a really stupid question.

  PA28 21:35 01 Nov 2004

A realistic pessimist! Yes, you should back up your hard drive and registry, but I wouldn't worry about the latter unless you're intending to tinker (which doesn't sound likely at the moment).

You can use Windows backup facility to back up your hard drive but if you've a CD or DVD writer then why not make a regular copy of "My Documents" onto a CD or DVD? I use this method and it has saved me a number of times. Your Program files can be reinstalled if you have a catastrophic failure (as you will eventually) at some time - it is your data (documents, files and in particular, digital photographs) that cannot be recreated that you need to protect.

  VoG II 21:37 01 Nov 2004

Not a stupid question at all!

Which version of Windows do you have, do you have a CDRW drive, zip drive and so on?

  castiel333 21:47 01 Nov 2004

Thank you very much PA28. your advice is lovely and clear too (which I think you figured out I needed)and your right I wouldnt do anything to the registry even If I knew how to get to it. thanks again raindrop

  castiel333 21:50 01 Nov 2004

Vog I have windows xp home edition and I do have a cdrw drive but im not sure what a zip drive is

  VoG II 22:03 01 Nov 2004

In Windows XP Home Edition then you have Windows Backup but it is not installed by default. To learn how to install it click here

Microsoft, in its "wisdom", has not enabled backing up to a CDRW but you can backup to your hard drive (usually C:). Once installed you should find Backup if you go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Backup. Just follow the "wizard" to decide what to backup - usually "My Documents" is sufficient. You will need to specify a location on your Hard Drive to backup to.

Once you have backed up to your hard drive, you can if you wish copy the backup to a CD using the software that came with your CDRW drive. This is an extra precaution in case your hard drive fails.

As for the registry, do not go there if you are a novice. It is easy to back it up but you should only venture there if you have a specific problem that requires this.

Finally, if you don't know what a zip drive is, you probably don't have one. They are a bit like floppy disk drives but take special disks that hold more data. You don't especially need one.

  castiel333 22:19 01 Nov 2004

Vog thank you so much for all your information Im going to try all this now.And also thank you for not making me feel quite as stupid as I thought I would. regards raindrop.

  VoG II 22:37 01 Nov 2004

I could fill this forum with tales of my ineptitude with computers. I won't as the Forum Editor would probably delete them to save my embarrassment.

Any problem, big or small, you are welcome to post here. We all had to start somewhere and most of us are still learning. So feel free.

If my guidance on backup was unclear, please ask again (in the same thread).

  SANTOS7 23:45 01 Nov 2004

A wise man can learn more from a stupid question than a fool can from a wise answer......

  PA28 08:49 02 Nov 2004

You'll be OK, simply because being a new user you've already realised the potential pitfalls and dangers of your computer going down and have had the savvy to (1) get into this forum in the first place and (2) ask what to do BEFORE things go wrong.

What really worries me is the thousands that walk into the likes of Currys and PCW, buy a PC like they would a telly, and then expect that the thing will work like a telly - totally reliable and if all goes AWOL switch it off and start again. Computers are reliable, probably much more reliable than tellies; the danger is because of their versatility there are so many outside factors (including - primarily - the user) that can make them wobble into oblivion. Just the build up of old files and crud on the hard drive will gradually erode performance if no maintenance is carried out - and how much maintenance is expected on a telly?

I wonder just how many perfectly good PCs will be junked in the future, simply because their disillusioned owners believe that they're "broken"?

  Gem 09:17 02 Nov 2004

I had to restore my system last week, and was advised to install some sort of spyware, just in case my problem had anything to do with having to restore in the first place. Anyway, I did install Spybot sometime this year only to find that it seemed to completely mess up my computer at the time. I could no longer access the Internet, check emails... So, in the end I got rid of it again, as well as restore my computer again.

Why would Spybot have caused thosed problems at the time. and whay can i do to prevent the same from happening again should I want to install again? And, is Spybot the best freeware I could use?

Adaware - would it do the same as the ad-blocking in Norton Internet Security?


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