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More Backup Questions--got the external drive. Now what?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by thepcjanitor, Feb 26, 2006.

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  1. thepcjanitor

    thepcjanitor Thread Starter

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    I need to learn more about backups. Bottom line is what do I do right now to make sure what I need is saved, because there's some indications that my hardware may be failing. But I want to do it right from the git-go so I don't waste a lot of time redoing things.

    Here's where I'm at:

    A) I have read the 1/26/06 thread started by cway's question--["Originally Posted by cway I am a 'Novice' to Backups, but am trying to learn..."]. It all seems to make sense to me. :)

    B) Now I want to use what Stallcup (in that post) suggests as the 3rd option--["3) You want to avoid having to reinstall WinXP and have the quick, less labor intensive way of frequently backing up programs files and data." namely "frequently clone the system HDD to the backup HDD. In this way, if the system HDD gets corrupted, I can clone the backup HDD back to the system HDD"]

    C) I have MAJOR concerns about what Bob Cerelli mentions about having outdated datafiles backed up--["...data has changed since the image was made, you will have old data restored. But a lot depends on how the computer is orgainized. For example, if just the OS and programs are on one partition which is imaged, and data on another, then restoring that first partition it will not affect data."] I have ADD-like memory problems about when I back up what, and I can't afford to overwrite new data with old...:eek:

    Soooooo...
    I'm planning to buy a 200gb external hard drive. Then what? :confused:

    1) what software do you recommend?
    a) Should I use the HP software that came with my computer? or buy something?
    b) Ghost? is that Symantec?
    (Can someone say more about the concerns with using that software?)
    c) Does "ghosting" mean the same thing as "cloning" (in Stallcup's post--#2 above)?

    2) how do I know if all my OS and programs are on one partition? (I have an HP and the hard drive is obviously partitioned into "HP_Pavilion (C)" and "HP_Recovery (D)".
     
  2. Dan O

    Dan O

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    I recommend disk imaging. Yes, Symantec owns Ghost and they own Drive Image as well. No, it does not clone, it images. You must restore it to use it. If drive D: is "HP_Recovery" everything should be on the C: drive, but you can check it by running MSINFO32 and checking out the Software section.
     
  3. thepcjanitor

    thepcjanitor Thread Starter

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    Thanks, Dan O. Followup questions:

    a) images you must restore to use? could you explain that more? and then what does clone mean?

    b) I totally don't understand your comment about D: & "everything should be on the C:". Can you say more? and more about MSINFO32

    Thanks :)
     
  4. Dan O

    Dan O

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    A. Cloning a drive means to make a mirror copy that usable. Imaging is a backup process that compresses the data for later use.

    B. Run MSINFO32 and you will see what I mean. It will show you the drive letter used for all your applications and data. It will not harm anything to use it.
     
  5. thepcjanitor

    thepcjanitor Thread Starter

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    When I run msinfo32, all I get is an HP "pop-up" from the "Help and Support Center"
     
  6. thepcjanitor

    thepcjanitor Thread Starter

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    oh, it's not really an HP thing, but an XP Home Edition support thing...
     
  7. Dan O

    Dan O

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    To run a system tool
    Open System Information.
    On the Tools menu, click the tool that you want to run.
    Notes

    To open System Information, click Start, and then click Help and Support. Click the Support button on the toolbar, and then, under Tools and Links on the left side of the window, click Advanced System Information. In the details pane, click View detailed system information.
     
  8. thepcjanitor

    thepcjanitor Thread Starter

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    I clicked support. I don't see "tools and links in the left side of the window"
     
  9. Dan O

    Dan O

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    Then go to a command prompt and type: Set

    and click the Enter key. Then look for any references to d:

    If none are found then everything should be on drive C: you can image drive D: as well if you like.
     
  10. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    I'm really amazed that no one has mentioned Acronis True Image yet ...

    Acronis TI Backup software .. home page with information …
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/
    Download ATI from here … $30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681279691SF
    Buy CD from here … $30
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16832200204


    The free trial download is fully functional for 14 days ... and comes with the pdf instruction maunal.
    It Clones and Images ... and I've heard - is more reliable than Ghost when using with External HDs

    What's the Model of your HP computer ??
    I've removed all my HP software and D: recovery partition ... no longer needed.
     
  11. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I have to second the recommendation for True Image. Once I started using it, I left GHOST in the dust. :) I also use Cobian Backup for my data backups, free and very slick. :)
     
  12. thepcjanitor

    thepcjanitor Thread Starter

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    Dan O: What do you mean by a "command prompt"? DOS? How do I get there?

    NoyB: Can you say more about removing HP software and the D: partition?
    (My box is an HP Pavilion with an AMD Athlon 3000+, 2.10Ghz chip and 448 MB of RAM.)

    JohnWill: Is Cobian savvy enough to scan for what's been updated since the last backup?

    Anybody: Can you say more about "cloning" vs "imaging". Sounds like cloning is the simplest. Are there disadvantages?
     
  13. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    Cloning makes an exact copy of your Hard drive.
    This clone can be used to replace your system HD.
    The disadvantage .. it uses up the whole HD.
    You can clone to a slave drive or a HD in an External enclosure.
    Are you comfortable with changing HDs in your HP ???

    Imaging makes a file that can be used to restore your computer back to exactly the way it was when you made the recovery image.
    You can save several of these recovery images in one external HD or in an internal slave drive/partition.
    With these recovery Images ... the HP recovery partition is no longer any use .. since it restores to an obsolete system.

    Still could use the HP Model number ... will save a few other questions.
    Can say more about trimming HP software .. If you get to that point - and decide to.
    A Screen Shot of your Disc Managment screen will also be helpful. .. like so ..
     

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  14. thepcjanitor

    thepcjanitor Thread Starter

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    Noyb: Model number is a510n
    Where's the disc management screen found?

    & yes, I have changed hd's. Would rather not, which is why I'm buying an external. I'm assuming a crash would be rare, at which time if I've cloned to the external, I can clone from it to the new hd. Am I thinking straight out that?
     
  15. Noyb

    Noyb Trusted Advisor

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    right click "My Computer" > Manage > Disc managment ....
    Carefull what you do here ... it can kill.

    Imaging is your best way to go.
    Cloning is nice if you want to make a backup HD to use if the main one goes up in smoke.
     
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