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bats's Avatar
bats bats is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: CANADA
27-Apr-2007, 08:30 AM #16
External Hard Drive
I am fairly new to computers and my son signed me in to your web site. Could you help me with a purchase. I have read that it is very important to back up your information and I am contemplating the purchase such a device. My son has a desk top with approx 180G of information which is for personal use and I have a laptop also for personal use. Is it possible and/or advisable to back up both systems on the same device? Can you advise me which brand and model would be the best one to purchase for this application.
Thank you in advance for any help you can supply.
Bats mom.
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ZeRealBigBoss ZeRealBigBoss is offline
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27-Apr-2007, 07:08 PM #17
You would need an external hard drive with a USB connection; with that you can back-up both machines on the same disk in two different main directories. As the main brands all have good quality, make and type are not important, but choose one with enough capacity for both computers, i.e. the sum of both hard single drives, though.
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bats bats is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: CANADA
30-Apr-2007, 06:30 PM #18
Dear ZeRealBigBoss
Thank you very much for your advice. I purchased a Western Digital "500G" hard drive.
I phoned the help line and they have assisted me in reformatting the drive (they said if I had not done it wouldn't have worked). My original plan was to make more than one partition so that information from my computer would be in a different location than my son's. Western teck guy said that this is not necessary and to just make a file folder and use Windows XP backup software to back up both computers on the same partition.
Do you think that the software that comes with XP is sufficient for backing up my computer or is there another program that any of the members here would recommend. Please remember that I am brand new to this, some people say I need to separate the data from operating system. I don't even know what that means - is this something I need to do and where can I find instructions to do it.
Thank you so much.
P.S. I will be getting my own logon soon.
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ZeRealBigBoss ZeRealBigBoss is offline
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30-Apr-2007, 08:34 PM #19
The separation of the OS, Windows, from the data means that there should be a smaller partition, say 15GB, for Windows and the programs only and a big partition of the rest of the disk for your data; C: would be the small partition, D: would be the big one. This is only necessary for your first disk; other disks in your system and the back-up disk can be one big partition. When then Windows goes haywire, C: can be formatted again and everything is re-installed, so you have an optimally running system again without the risk of losing data.

When you buy a computer hardly any supplier takes the trouble to do that, regrettably. Changing that afterwards means that you have to copy everything of your first disk to an other, repartition, reformat and re-install your windows, copy everything back now onto D:, re-install all programs, make the settings again the way you want them and delete the Windows and Program Files directories from D:. It is not difficult, but count on a day of work; furthermore, you need to have all original program CDs, what with many pre-installed computers is not the case. In your present case I would not really bother until your Windows stops running; then it can be done in one go with the re-installation.

On the new disk, make a directory that is called e.g. Mom and another that is called Bats. Copy everything from your computer, eventually minus the Windows and Program Files directories, into the Mom directory from your computer and everything from the other into the Bats directory.

As said, one partition on you back-up drive is OK. A back-up is nothing else but a copy of your data, so you don't need a special back-up program; just mark everything you need and copy it over to the other disk. After that you just copy only the new and the changed things, so then it goes much faster.
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30-Apr-2007, 09:28 PM #20
Quote:
Changing that afterwards means that you have to copy everything of your first disk to an other, repartition, reformat and re-install your windows, copy everything back now onto D:, re-install all programs, make the settings again the way you want them and delete the Windows and Program Files directories from D:. It is not difficult, but count on a day of work; furthermore, you need to have all original program CDs, what with many pre-installed computers is not the case. In your present case I would not really bother until your Windows stops running; then it can be done in one go with the re-installation.
Or you could do a drive image to CDs or other drive, partition the way you want C and D and lay the image back down on C..

I've read discussions about using 'Disk Management' in win2k and XP, but I've not tried using it that way.
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