Disk Images & Backups

  johndrew 15:09 24 Apr 2006

I have been advised that a good way of protecting my PC from loss of data is a disk image of my C: & D: drives.

Unfortunately, although I believe that a disk image is a `total` picture of a hard drive containing every thing necessary to produce a new hard drive by simply copying the data to a new drive, I have now idea how to achieve this or whether it is the right thing to do.

Obviously I would need to update the backup with MS updates, documents, photos, etc. but I am also unsure whether this can be done simply or if I would need to replace the whole disk image on a regular basis.

Currently I rely on System Restore and Windows Backup but recognise these are not going to protect me in the event of a hard drive failure nor is the Backup feature an easy way to protect my data as it requires a full regular run if I am to ensure the MS updates are saved. The Backup data is stored on a large external drive.

Is there a prefered way of securing all the data on a drive, updating it regularly and providing secure way of recoving it to a new hard drive if the need arises.

  [DELETED] 15:31 24 Apr 2006

I never do a disk image of my C: drive. I always clone it to a completely separate hard disk which is then removed from the computer and stored. Very little changes on my C: drive so I only need to do it about every 3 months. If my C: drive fails I only have to put the cloned drive in as master and reboot. Then repeat the procedure again.

All my other drives and partitions are backed up regularly to CD and now DVD, again not with drive image but just using Nero and copying.

  [DELETED] 15:41 24 Apr 2006

Acronis True Image software is an ideal method for this. It will produce a complete "clone" of your installation, that can be re-installed on a new drive (should the need arise) - with a bootable CD (which it makes) to mastermind the procedure.

TI will also do incremental images, as often as you wish.

My preferred method (which use, of course) - is to have a seperate drive for the images - I use plug-in caddy mounted drives, but a USB external drive could be used too. I do a complete new imae evry month - and in between, every few days, an image update.

Keeping the backup drive out of the system, also protects against power disasters too. TI images both of my Windows partitions, AND my Linux partition, all in one go - beacause the image is compressed, the image is about 50% of the regular size.

  [DELETED] 15:42 24 Apr 2006

If you get Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image you can easily set up to make images at the interval you wish.

  Diemmess 16:36 24 Apr 2006

Fortunately backing up (only) your data is a snip with EZbackitup a freebie click here

Like making a CD, you choose what you want to backup and where to save it.
This can take a few minutes but your customising can be altered any time.

Then it may take a minute or so to run for the first time, but after that running will take only a second or even less.

You can configure so that it will only overwrite changes to the data.

No excuse left not to backup at least once /day

  johndrew 14:58 25 Apr 2006

Thanks people.

From what you say, it looks as if my knowledge was `generally` correct. I like the method that you use pj123, but which would be the simplest software to use for the clone and could I store (if thats the right word) it on an external hard drive?

I have Nero and have downloaded EZbackitup to try and find which of these is the better/easier for me.

Always open to suggestions and more information. Thanks again.

  [DELETED] 15:27 25 Apr 2006

Well, I am running Win 98SE so I use the built-in xcopy. If you are running Win XP then either xxcopy or xxclone would be worth looking at.

xxcopy from click here

xxclone from click here

From other peoples feedback xxcopy is probably the one to go for.

I don't see any reason why it shouldn't clone to any drive that is seen on your system.

  johndrew 16:23 25 Apr 2006

Thanks for the info. but I see a major problem from my point of view. xxcopy is run from the CLI; I have no expertise or knowledge on that particular piece of black magic. Being only a novice I can manage only very small steps in this vertical learning curve!

I have also looked at xxclone and although it appears to be used from a GUI it also says it has problems as it isn`t yet finished.

Any better ideas for someone wearing the large `L` plate?

  iscanut 16:27 25 Apr 2006

Acronis True Image will be fine for you. Easy to use.

  [DELETED] 23:06 25 Apr 2006

If you only have os and progs on c then backup using acronis either to d or ext drive, use d for all data, pics, downloads etc. I use EA8 to backup all emails, OE accounts and other things (see EA8 try before you buy). If you add progs just do an incremental backup, it only takes me 15 mins to restore back to a clean install of xp and progs if I have probs. Acronis makes a cd that you boot from if you have major probs with OS and lets you restore from a windows like interface.

  [DELETED] 09:39 26 Apr 2006

Drive Image XML from

click here

It does not need a "parent" programmme to view the image as does Drive Image or Ghost - and it's free. It is very easy to use and backs up to DVD / CDr.

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