How should I back up C Drive data

  LARGO 15:24 11 Dec 2013

I would like to back up the data on my C Drive on a second drive, D Drive which had been an external expansion drive but is now installed in my PC. There are several options and I would appreciate any advice or opinions. I am using Windows Vista.

I have Norton Ghost 2003 on a disk and considered copying and saving a complete image of the C Drive but this looks a bit complicated as I am by no means an expert on these things.

The second option is to copy and paste the Documents, Downloads, Pictures, Videos, Music and Windows Mail folders from the C to D Drives. Any other folders I would need to copy?

Should I also install Vista (or older 2002 Windows XP) on my D Drive in case I cannot boot up on the C Drive or is this unnecessary?

  The Kestrel 16:04 11 Dec 2013

If you only want to back up files, pictures, music etc. you can use the back up facility in Vista, found on the Control Panel. You can choose where you want the back up to be stored - so on your D drive. If you want to make a complete image of your C drive then you will need to use Norton Ghost, Acronis, or similar program.

  Forum Editor 16:08 11 Dec 2013

"Should I also install Vista (or older 2002 Windows XP) on my D Drive in case I cannot boot up on the C Drive or is this unnecessary?"

It's unnecessary.

If you simply want to make a backup of your data files (images, documents, videos and music), my advice is that you should use an external drive. I see little point in backing up data files on the same computer that's used to create them. If the machine fails you'll have to extract the drive, and either put it into a new computer, or into an external drive caddy. Far better to have the backup off the machine.

If what you want is a system backup as well, then creating s drive image is a sensible route to take.

I back-up all my data files across my network to external media every 15 minutes, using automatic backup software. In all the years I have worked with computers (and it's a lot of years) I have not once created a drive image.I know a lot of people feel strongly that it's necessary, but I don't.

  bumpkin 18:52 11 Dec 2013

I have used this in the past as very easy to do. click here free version does not support external drives which why it is no longer my current backup software.


  muddypaws 20:59 11 Dec 2013


I agree with your link. I'm still on XP, but have used it for years. Creating a bootable clone on my second internal 'Q'. Don't think it makes a bootable in W.7 or 8 and the free one doesn't do incremantals so I paid.

  muddypaws 21:00 11 Dec 2013

' incrementals'

  bumpkin 22:17 11 Dec 2013

thanks muddy, OP is using Vista so it should be OK as long as he uses the "cool tools" option for the boot files. Not used it for a while so a bit out of touch.

  LARGO 00:19 12 Dec 2013

Thanks a million to all who have replied. Your advice has been excellent and I have now successfully cloned my C Drive to the expansion D Drive, using xxclone.

I am aware that having both drives on the one machine is unwise so the next step is to purchase a portable hard drive. Security is a concern so my non-expert solution is to buy an encrypted hard drive. Does anyone see a problem with this approach? How secure is the encrypted drive and could anyone with a little bit of technical knowledge get into the encrypted data?

I have had a lucky escape with a problem on the C Drive recently which is what has prompted me to have the data properly backed up.

  wee eddie 00:59 12 Dec 2013

My feeling is that unless you have commercial secrets or an interesting love life, having an encrypted hard drive is slight overkill.

Most External Hard drive come with quite passible backup software included

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