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Does "Back up your system" mean "Create a Restore Point"?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by marie500, Oct 1, 2004.

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  1. marie500

    marie500 Thread Starter

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    When installing SP2 on my computer, there was a box that recommended "Backing up my system" before proceeding. So I created a restore point. I will install it on my daughter's computer next, and would like to know if I was supposed to do anything fancier than creating a restore point before installing SP2?
     
  2. telecom69

    telecom69 Gone but never forgotten

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  3. marie500

    marie500 Thread Starter

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    Hi again, you've helped me a lot lately :)
    I see in the first link,
    Protect your important files.
    We strongly suggest you back up or make a copy of your important and irreplaceable personal information, such as pictures, documents, music, and financial data.

    Her computer doesn't have a second hard drive so I'll have to burn lots of files to CDs. She's away at school, I was going to go there to do this but wasn't planning on moving in. Oh well, really have to WORK for this update!

    The folks in the second link sound just like me! - not knowing if system backup equals creating a restore point, yes..my kind of people indeed.
     
  4. telecom69

    telecom69 Gone but never forgotten

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    As well as depending on how important those files are of course, its ALWAYS better to be safe than sorry :) you could always take a chance of course :rolleyes: only you can decide,good luck and take care .....

    Adding a bit more info from another site

    In recent Windows operating systems, a restore point is a saved "snapshot" of your computer's data at a specific time. By creating a restore point, you can save the state of the operating system and your own data so that if future changes cause a problem, you can restore the system and your data to the way it was before the changes were made. When a restore point is established, your computer creates a backup copy of all data at that particular time. The possible types of restore points are: system checkpoints, which are scheduled restore points that your computer creates; manual restore points, which the user creates; and installation restore points, which are automatically created when you install certain programs.
    It's a good idea to create a restore point before you make any changes to your computer that could potentially cause problems or make the system unstable. When you run the System Restore utility, it displays a calendar that lists the restore points created (every day that your computer is used will have at least one restore point and some may have several, depending on usage). Even if you haven't manually created a restore point, you can specify restore points that have been automatically created. If you get in trouble, you just select a restore point that predates the difficulty, and System Restore will undo any changes since then. Windows XP creates a restore point each time: an unsigned device driver or a System Restore-compatible application is installed; Windows Update is run; or an earlier restore point is restored.

    To create or choose a restore point in Windows XP: from the Start menu, select Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore. From the System Restore window you can select Restore my computer to an earlier time or Create a restore point. If you choose the first option, you will be able to select a restore point that is already stored in your computer. If you choose the second option, you will be asked to give the restore point a descriptive name to help you identify it, and the utility will back up all the data and save it with the restore point's name, and the time it was created. Then, if need be, you can select this restore point in the future by following the same route, and choosing the option to restore your computer to an earlier time.

    So all in all creating a restore point for just the installation of SP2 should be sufficient I would think ......
     
  5. marie500

    marie500 Thread Starter

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    Thanks telecom69! I'll save the bare basics for her, you're right, better safe than sorry, especially where schoolwork is concerned.

    EDITED TO ADD: I'll do that in addition to creating the System Restore.
     
  6. telecom69

    telecom69 Gone but never forgotten

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    I would be interested to know how the installation goes if you would be good enough to keep me informed ?....
     
  7. marie500

    marie500 Thread Starter

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    Happy to! Not sure when I'll be doing it for her though, I'm thinking I might wait awhile just because it's kind of a pain to go for this one thing. (She could care less.) This was interesting - the week the kids were moving back into the dorms and setting up their computers was the same week SP2 was being made available via the Automatic Updates. The school announced they'd automatically block all computers from receiving SP2 downloads on the network until they ironed out network issues.
     
  8. Funkmeister

    Funkmeister

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    Just my tuppence-worth guys - System Restore does NOT backup your personal files (eg. music, photos, files etc). What it does is backup SYSTEM files such as drivers and critical OS files. This is done so that in the event that a program you install or a change you make using software that changes these files can be undone and 'reset' back to the way it was prior to the action you took.

    Your personal data is at risk if you do not have a backup - it is worrying how easily hard drives can 'let go'. What is more alarming is that people don't bother to back things up and then act all indignant when they lose their data - you wouldn't not bother to lock your car and you certainly wouldn't complain if it was nicked whilst unlocked - you have to take precautions! I have had it happen twice recently, the first time I lost 100Gb (which I eventually recovered after days and days with a great piece of recovery software called Easy Recovery Pro). Second time I was ready - all data and software backed up on a 2nd drive - back up and running as usual within hours..

    Seriously, go and buy a second hard drive - you can get a 160Gb SATA or IDE for about the same price (in fact the SATA was marginally cheaper when I looked - check your motherboard can handle a SATA (Serial ATA) disk). I don't know where you are Marie, but in the UK it's about £60 for one. Easy, quick, and saves significant amounts of time and heartache. Just remember to actually copy your data over from time to time!

    Best regards,
     
  9. marie500

    marie500 Thread Starter

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    You talk good sense. I ought to backup my own computer regularly since I have a second drive. These are Dells, which have that proprietary hardware thing going on. Non-Dell, affordable HDs won't physically fit in the slot and Dell HDs, which do fit, cost practically what the whole computer cost. My son had to do a lot of creative thinking to physically wrangle my second drive in there. He'll pass out when I tell him I'd like him to do the same thing for hers!
     
  10. boyoh53

    boyoh53

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    Andy11 Computing.net wrote

    I just happen to agree with that thinking. :)
     
  11. Funkmeister

    Funkmeister

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    Marie - there is an alternative in that you could buy a hard drive caddy that sits in the front panel with the CDROM drive(s). That way you wouldn't have to worry about siting them in the machine. I'm fairly certain that you can put any drive in a Dell machine - I upgraded a friend's Dell with a spare 80Gb drive for exactly the same reasons as those above and it went in no problem. If it's still under warranty you might invalidate it by opening the machine but then you can always use an external hard drive via USB. There are many ways to remove the hide from a kitten.. ;)

    Best,
     
  12. marie500

    marie500 Thread Starter

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    That sounds like a winning idea. These Dells are just one year old. My old (circa 1998) Dell was happy to accomodate any old thing thrown in there. The innards of this one are tiny.

    Boyoh53, I totally agree, I do!, but I just worry about future Critical Updates that require SP2 to build on. For example, I think the recent jpg exploit was something that's no longer a hazard under SP2..but, I could be wrong..I thought I read something saying you aren't vulnerable if you have SP2. I delayed putting mine in until I thought I was missing out on patches and fixes.
     
  13. Funkmeister

    Funkmeister

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    In response to a lot of the scares about SP2 that were going around I think the consensus is now that SP2 is fine in the vast majority of cases. I think where people have had problems are on machines that have issues in the first place. I did my 5th SP2 install tonight and it went beautifully (as did the previous four).

    I run several bits of software to keep my machine running well and recommend them to everyone:

    Spybot Search & Destroy 1.3
    AdAware SE
    SpywareBlaster
    CWShredder
    WinPatrol
    Advanced Uninstaller Pro 2004
    ZoneAlarm Pro
    Avast Antivirus

    Each piece of software has a purpose and function and between them all they provide incredible protection and resilience against spyware, adware, malware and security breaches. These programs have all been installed on the machines I've installed SP2 on.

    Some may call it paranoia, others may think they have better things to do with their time but it only takes a few minutes once a week or so to make sure I'm secure. You would have something to say if a stranger installed CCTV in your home, but not many people even care when the same is done on their PC. Spyware is exactly that - it reports on your net usage, keystrokes....even screenshots.

    Most folks think it's 'Other People' or companies who get hit by crackers and bandits - well it's time to smell the coffee folks, 'they' don't care who you are, you're just another IP address to a cracker, spammer or scammer..

    I suggest that people take the time to at least understand the basic functions of the above software to ensure its effectiveness. Don't just install it and assume that's it. If you're stuck, I'd be more than happy to help out.

    Sorry if it's a little bit off-topic and it isn't meant as a rant!! :) I'm just passionate about IT security!

    Best regards,
     
  14. Bob Cerelli

    Bob Cerelli

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    Whenever doing a major update like from a service pack it is good to do a backup. The post that - a restore point is a saved "snapshot" of your computer's data at a specific time - is incorrect as someone else pointed out. This is a critical piece of misinformation. Restore Points to not backup data. Just system files.

    If the update to SP2 does not go as you like, you can go to a restore point from before this.

    But you also need to backup your data. The easiest way is keep all your data in an easy to find location. For example, all my data is kept on or below a \data directory. Then to backup I simply that directory to another hard drive.
     
  15. marie500

    marie500 Thread Starter

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    Just wanted to let you know everything went fine. I backed up the Documents to a CD, she didn't have many. I also helped a pal install his SP2 yesterday which also went fine. Now they think *I'm* the expert, LOL!
     
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