Hardrive back up/cloning advice

  hiwatt 15:14 24 Feb 2010

Hi folks
I would like to do a complete back up/clone of my hardrive icluding my OS as I think it may be on it's last legs.I don't have an external hardrive however I do have an old computer with an 80gb drive which is enough.What would be the best way to do this without having to remove the internal drive from the computer and could I then transfer from this old drive to a newer external9When I get one).Also I don't have acronis so I would really appreciate advice as to which free software would do the job best.Many thanks.

  scotty 15:39 24 Feb 2010

I prefer to use linux for this type of work but if you prefer Windows you could try this click here

  scotty 15:43 24 Feb 2010

I think you will need to have both drives on the one computer to perfrm the cloning. There may be solutions to do it over a network but I do not know of one. Also, it would be slow to perform this task over a network.

  retep888 16:15 24 Feb 2010

You can create a backup image of your source disk and place it onto the destination disk(80GB) through networking 2 PCs together but not cloning though.(It's best done with both drives in the same PC)

If your source PC has a WD hard drive then you can download this free WD version of TrueImage from click here

Otherwise you can get some free wares from click here

Other forum members may suggest more alternatives.

  john bunyan 16:20 24 Feb 2010

Some of this may be relevant:
click here

  johnmathew395 16:45 24 Feb 2010

I would suggest u to use some external hard drive to back up ur whole data else u can use software such as Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image is favored by information technology professionals, but there are a number of free or free-for-personal-use options out there, such as Runtime's Shadow Copy or Macrium Reflect.click here

  hiwatt 16:51 24 Feb 2010

Thankyou for the suggestions.I really must get myself an external drive and quickly.If I save my image of my current drive(including my OS)and say for example my current hardrive fails.Can I then use my external drive to boot from and can it then become my main drive from which I can boot into windows from?Thanks.

  john bunyan 17:08 24 Feb 2010

With ATI (I think!) you can use the ATI disc or a recovery disc made with ATI to boot from , then restore the image to the (new) drive.Maybe other more experienced ATI users will comment. An external HD is essential in my view. So many folk loose precious music etc in the event of a drive problem, and the likes of PC Techguys charge £90 for data recovery - nearly twice the price of a 500 gig HD.

  retep888 17:08 24 Feb 2010

No,if your hard drive fails then you can't do nothing unless you mean the Windows fails to boot.

Anyway you can save the image on the same drive then use a program to burn it onto DVDs.

If anything happens then you can boot from a bootable disk and restore Windows from this image.

  john bunyan 17:11 24 Feb 2010

ps - if you think your HD may fail, a clone is better. I do a clone on a second internal HD and images on an external one.As scotty says, why not put your spare drive as a slave in the better PC?

  hiwatt 17:27 24 Feb 2010

What would be the best way to do this?Would I need a caddy or would I be able to fit it in the computer tower?What's the difference between a clone and an image?I have "most" of my documents backed up to dvd's but I dont have any windows discs and it's my windows XP I'm trying to "back up" incase this drive fails completely.So if this drive fails and I have a clone/image of it on an external I still wont be able to boot into windows?Is that right?Sorry for all the questions :)

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