1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

backing up PC

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by copiman, Dec 29, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. copiman

    copiman Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Let me start by saying I am a student studying computers and networking. I obtain PCs/laptops from family and friends to work on. What I want to do is back up the PC/laptop prior to working on it. When I say back up, I mean everything, (apps, OS, files, etc...). This way if I really mess it up, I can get the PC/laptop back to where it was before I started working on it. I have read about clone and image, but am still a little unsure as to exactly what they are and how to do one and then put it back on the PC/Laptop. I see XP,Vista,7, and 8. Any guidance in this area would be very helpful. Also, at this point, I'm only concerned about getting the thing back to where it was. Not concerned with continual back ups at this time.
     
  2. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    76,391
    First Name:
    Terry
    I use Macrium Reflect Free to make an image to a USB external hard drive all the partitions or selected (e.g., those needed to restore the OS) partitions. You also use the program to make a "rescue CD" so that if disaster strikes you can boot to that and re-image the hard drive. I've used it with all Windows versions from XP through 8.1.

    Another popular free utility is Easeus Todo Backup.

    Some people prefer to clone the hard drive to another one. Then if the primary one fails they can simply physically swap in the clone.
     
  3. copiman

    copiman Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Thank you for responding. I have looked at Macrium, but am still a little shaky on what and how to. My understanding is when you clone a drive, it is an exact copy of the drive. This includes everything on the drive (OS, files such as (docs,pictures), and other programs such as (adobe, microsoft office, and other applications). Then you just swap the drive and your back to where you started. Can you not swap the drive and just wipe the drive in the PC and copy the clone back to it? My understanding of image is the same as my understanding of clone, except you don't swap the drive, you copy the drive back to the drive in the PC after you wipe the drive in the PC.

    I have never done this before, which is why I'm asking. I have a PC with XP I will be using to experiment on. If I mess it up, its ok. Can you elaborate more about this process. I am still a little unsure as to how to accomplish putting the PC back to the state prior to working on it.

    Another grey area for me is once you have it on the external drive and need to reload it back to the PC, does the software (Macrium) have a selection that will do this? My only experience is using recovery CDs or loading a OS. Sorry for the long post, but I want to make sure I'm communicating. I'm sure its not all I'm making it out to be, but again I have never done this, and a little nervous. Any input you can give would be great.

    Update: I think I got it. Found info on Macirum website. I think what I want is to image the entire drive. It shows how to do this with pictures(Yea!!!). I will try this tonight and see if it works. I do want to clarify image versus clone though. So, if you could elaborate on it, I would be very grateful. Thanks again for your help.
     
  4. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    76,391
    First Name:
    Terry
    When you clone you make an exact copy, so the new copy can take the place of the original drive.

    When you image, even if you image the entire drive (all the partitions), you get a file that can be used to reproduce the original (imaged) partitions. But you can't boot from the image and can't make use of the image file except by an appropriate program (e.g., the program that is put onto the Macrium Reflect "Rescue CD").

    If you were working on three computers at the same time you would need three hard drives to use the cloning technique. Or, you could just use one external hard drive and image all three systems to it.
     
  5. copiman

    copiman Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    Thanks again. I will definitely use image. I looked at Macrium site to try and understand what the rescue CD is and how to create and use it, but I just can't figure it out. There is no support for the free version and I don't want to buy it until I know for sure I can operate it. I guess I will look around for another software to see if I can utilize it.


    Thanks for your help. I now understand the difference between cloning and image.
     
  6. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    76,391
    First Name:
    Terry
    You're welcome. :)

    There's no reason to buy an imaging tool unless you know that you need a feature that is not available in one of the free ones. Making a Rescue CD is simple--Macrium Reflect Free, for example, will prompt you to make one--just stick a blank CD in the writer and go. When and if needed you boot to that CD--same way you'd boot to a Windows installation CD or DVD--and "restore" the image back to the hard drive.
     
  7. copiman

    copiman Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    4
    I'll give it a try. I will use the older PC that has XP on it. If I mess it up, no loss there. May have to wait till New Years Day so I can devote the time needed.


    TerryNet, thank you for helping me on this. I have learned a lot. Glad your on this forum. Have a wonderful New Years and be safe.
     
  8. vjw_65

    vjw_65

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    273
    Thank you for that link
    I looked to see how long the trial is good for
    maybe it says in the coming e-mail
     
  9. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/1116277

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice