Can I back up whole system?

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bj nick

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I recently had to restore practically the whole system (windows xp home) becuase of a glitch. I had my folders intact, but every app and setting had to be re-done.

Is there a way to have a backup where if everything blows up again, I could quickly restore everything? I should rephrase that: i know there are ways, but is there a way to do this for a consumer-level user with a budget?

thanks!
 

RAM-PAGE

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Here is what I do on my system.

Example of partitioning an 80Gb drive: (Maxtor Diamondmax 7,200 rev/min with 8Mb drive-cache.)

80Gb (Decimal size) = 80,000,000,000 Bytes , divide by 1024 three times to give the Binary sizing:

78125000 Kb
76293·95 Mb
74·51 Gb

(10·0Gb = 10,000,000,000 Bytes (÷ 1024) = 9765625 Kb (÷ 1024) = 9536·74 Mb (÷ 1024) = 9·313 Gb)

Drive C: 10240 Mb (10·0Gb) Operating System & Programming. 2000 Min & Max paging file. (2048Mb on the drive.) (Drive Image

Backup to CDRs or Data DVDs)

Drive D: 10240 Mb (10·0Gb) (My) Documents & Email Folders.
(Copy Backups to CDRs or Data DVDs)

Drive E: 20480 Mb (20·0Gb) Music only.
(Drive Image Backup, otherwise original Audio CDs)

Drive F: Remaining Drive Space. Archive, Video, etc.
(Archive Copy Backup to CDRs and/or Data DVDs)

Drive F: also has an Automated System Recovery (ASR) BackupC.bkf file for drive C: , to use with an ASR floppy.

All drives are partitioned & FULL formatted, directly from the Windows XP CD, to NTFS

Clean Install XP http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html

For inexpensive, and good, drive imaging software, try TeraByte Unlimited's Image for DOS.

You need to have a separate partition to store an ASR backup on.
 
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I use an extra Hard Drive (slave) for backing up my system. I use Norton Ghost to do the backing up. That mite cost you $130.00 for Ghost and the extra HD. On some XP Home versions, it won't let you make different partitions. Like on my friends hp 751 N. It just does what it wants. But I can't speak for your version.
 

RAM-PAGE

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prospect said:
On some XP Home versions, it won't let you make different partitions. Like on my friends hp 751 N. It just does what it wants. But I can't speak for your version.
Has your friend tried pre-partitioning the drive first with fdisk or with an MS XP CD and stopping before the install takes place, then using the HP restore system?

Or does the HP restore system wipe the partitions out?
 
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You know what Ram, I don't know what that stupid thing does. :eek: All I know for sure is that that particular model has the recovery disks on a different (hidden) partition. You have to hit F 10 if I'm not mistaken and it starts the recovery.

But here's another trick it does. :rolleyes: When you try using the recovery (all 6 of em) disks, it just starts the recovery process and doesn't let you do anything with the partitions. :D

Matbe I'm not holding my mouth the right way when I put in "disk one." :)

You know how I found this out? Well, I installed a slave HD in that computer, got that all setup, then I decided to give the computer a fresh install to save on the slave. ;) I have no idea how this happened, but it wiped out the OS on the C: and the CD'S decided to try and put the recovery on the slave drive. I went through the recovery process 5 times before I finally unplugged the slave. :eek:

So finally it installed on the C: and I looked at the slave and it had all the recovery stuff there. :rolleyes:

Computers: you got to love em. :(
 

RAM-PAGE

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I had something similar with a Packard-Bell and what they term "Smart Restore". The comp had a 60Gb single drive formatted to FAT32 running ME. In a word ... useless.

That is when I first got into partitioning. Made up the Master CDs from the hidden partition, deleted the hidden partition gaining 4Gb of drive space by booting to the first Master CD and re-partitioning. (This still leaves a small hidden sector on tattoed PB drives, btw, which contains hardware info so that setup can determine which drivers to load.)

But you say that HP doesn't give you that option. That is why I suggested pre-partitioning from another CD. MS advises OEMs to set up drives as a single drive and that is a mistake in my way of thinking.

I would far rather see OEMs put in a 20Gb partitioned (50/50) Master OS drive and 1024Mb of RAM and have a range of slave data-storage drives on offer at the time of purchase. But that means having technical staff at the point of sale, unless they use drive slots and swappable drives.

Then all they need is to remove a blanking plate and put in the slave drive of choice.

If there was a pre-install disk on which you could choose a range of partitioning options, or custom size your own, you could do a Preinstallation Environment and then do the installation.

MS offers the Windows Preinstallation Environment kit to manufacturers but not to the customers. Huh!

There must be a market for the Windows setup system right up to just before the installation starts, just so that people can do partitioning and formatting before installing from OEM recovery disk sets that don't offer this feature.

Otherwise if you Google for Windows PE you'll find a quite complex set of moves using ME fdisk and OFORMAT, etc. where the drive is partitioned, the partitions are formatted to FAT32 using a /Z:8 or /A:8 switch to force 4096 bytes to each allocation unit and then the drive(s) is/are converted to NTFS with 4096 bytes in each allocation unit.

I would guess that such a PE system could fit on one floppy, though I might be wrong. Never have found out why XP needs six floppies.

I downloaded BART PE the other day and burned it to a Mini CDR, but have yet to find a reason to use it to see if it'll do what I am thinking of.
 
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I'm running XP Pro retail, and it lets me do as I please. (y) And I only have 1 cd, not 6 cd's like hp does. :eek:

That just shows ya how much junk they are putting in those machines. :(
 

RAM-PAGE

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Me too, and if the six CDs were Five MS CDs, XP, Office XP, Autoroute, Encarta, and an-other plus Nero 6, I would be a very happy computer user and educator.

As it is it's just "selling more crap to rabbits", as I believe low-grade commerce is referred to, and might have been invented by Low Grade and Peter Styvesant in a bauble emporium.

Pity Styvesant ever got to New York IMHO.
 
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this would be a good time to get Norton Ghost and an external firewire or USB2.0 HD
 

redoak

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Why do folks buy name brand computers with all their inherent problems as outlined here and in many other threads? There are custom made computers available, if you hunt for them. I was fortunate to find one through a local computer repair/sales business. The computer came 'naked,' and I installed the OS and programs I wanted. {redoak}
 
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If you want to backup an entire disk, especially if it's one that contains the operating system you are using, I would recommend getting a drive image application such as Ghost or Drive Image.

Marcus
 

JohnWill

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redoak said:
Why do folks buy name brand computers with all their inherent problems as outlined here and in many other threads?
Some folks don't have the time or the desire to build their own machine from scratch. I think your tagline says it all, you enjoy tinkering with the machine.
 

GPE

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I wouldn't necessarily recommend Norton's Ghost or the recent version of drive image, which has been problematic, but I would recommend Acronis True Image, for ease of use, combined with an external hard drive.

GPE
 

JohnWill

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I'll go with GPE, I've dropped Norton GHOST for True Image, and I've started recommending it to clients.
 
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