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Snowflake25

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Nov 6, 2007
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Hi,
I'm hoping someone can help me with my problem. I have Windows Vista Home Premium in an HP Pavillion. It's only 6 months old, and suddenly I'm getting constant messages that my Recovery (D:) disk is full. When I click on the option to clean up files, the only option that comes up is the Recycle Bin. I click OK to empty it, but of course that frees up almost nothing, so that's not going to make any real difference. My question is how do I free up more space in Recovery? Compressing didn't work either, and I'm afraid to touch anything else without knowing exactly what the result will be.

I am also getting constant reminder to run a system backup, but of course there is no space to do that. So what can I do to get rid of these messages? I read some other posts regarding backing up on a DVD, but to be honest I don't even know how to do that. I'm assuming it's simple enough to figure out, but is that really what I should do? And if I do, how can I be sure I've done it correctly? I'd hate to think I had a back-up handy and then find that it doesn't work when I need it.

So any hints/tips/instructions would be greatly appreciated, especially if they come with detailed instructions. And if you don't mind, I would also appreciate it if you could talk to me as if I'm a three-year-old. I'm a very fast learner, but I am new to vista and so far have only learned the basics of computers.

Thanks in advance!
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
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The D:drive is the partition that contains the recovery image to reinstall your computer to factory settings. That partition should not be used for anything else. You are not alone however; when running Windows backup, windows looks for a partition to back up on. It's a common mistake.

What to do;
Check your manual and there should be instructions on how to create recovery disks for your computer. Once that is done we can work on clearing that partition and just leaving the factory recovery image. Don't clean-up the partition before creating the recovery disks as you don't want to delete or corrupt the recovery image.
 

Snowflake25

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
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5
Thanks so much for your response, I really appreciate it. Okay, so I made my recovery discs, but I'm assuming that just means I've backed up my current settings, etc.? Do I still need to back up all of my files before I can fix the recovery drive?

I use the computer for photos, music and school. I wouldn't particularly care if I lost the music, but it's important to me that I not lose any photos or schoolwork. So I'm wondering if I should get an external hard drive to keep that stuff on? Or if there's a way to save them all to CD's or DVD's? I tried to use the wizard to back them up to DVD, but it didn't work. It said there was not enough storage space, but I think I am just using the wrong DVD (they are just leftovers from a while ago, thought I'd try them before buying anything else).

And when you keep files on an external drive does that mean they are safe if my computer gets a virus or something? And does it also mean that I could use that external drive on a different computer and still have access to all my files? And then how do I figure out how much space I need in an external drive, if that is the best route for me?

I know, it's a lot of questions. I'm so new at this, it's really pathetic! But everyone has to start somewhere, right? Anyway, I'd really appreciate any more advice you can offer.

Thanks again!
 
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Jun 9, 2005
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You can't use MS Backup to back up to cd/dvd. You need a cd/dvd burning program; you should have one on the computer if the pc came with a burner. If not, there are free ones on the net.

Buying an external drive is a good option and yes you can use it on mostly all other pc's. Personally, I prefer to use a disk imaging program for backup. I use Acronis True Image, about $50 on the Acronis site but can be bought considerably cheaper if you google search or use Pricewatch.com or NewEgg.com. You will still need a place to store the image however. The image can be spanned across several dvds or to another hard drive. The program is actually pretty simple to use and you can set it to back up automatically (daily, weekly, etc).

Once you have a backup in place, you can work on deleting the info off of the D:Recovery Partition, being careful not to delete the Recovery Image, which may be a hidden file. I'd still prefer a disk and you can in fact order a recovery dvd for your computer from hp for about $20.00. This can be done on the hp support page.

FWIW, the reason a recovery partition is a bad idea is if your hard drive dies, so does the recovery partition.... (same hard drive).

Question for you... do you have more than one computer and if so are they networked?
 

Snowflake25

Thread Starter
Joined
Nov 6, 2007
Messages
5
Alright, I looked around in here and found Roxio - I guess that's my DVD burning program.
But now you've lost me... disk imaging program? Is that like a DVD burning program, or different? If I get an external hard drive do I still need a program like Acronis True Image to back everything up? I did find an option in the backup and restore center to select a different backup destination, so couldn't I just select an external hard drive instead of D:? And finally, if I want to set up a regular back up schedule, I guess then an external hard drive would be the easiest route? And can I also set it up to delete previous back ups? Or do I have to do that manually? Because wouldn't the external hard drive just end up full like my D: drive is now?

I do have a second computer and it was networked with this one, but we cleaned it out and dismantled it - it lives under the stairs right now until we decide what to do with it.

Once my backup is in place, how do I go about deleting info off the D: Recovery without touching the Recovery Image? And why do I need the Recovery Image if I've backed everything up elsewhere?

I know... lots of questions. But I do really appreciate your help. Without it, I'm stuck paying someone else to do all of this, and then I don't learn anything at all. Besides, last time I paid someone else to "fix" things for me it was a disaster... Hence, the new computer :)

Thanks again!
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Messages
1,469
Alright, I looked around in here and found Roxio - I guess that's my DVD burning program.
But now you've lost me... disk imaging program? Is that like a DVD burning program, or different?
I suggested a disk imaging program simply because it makes thinks much easier; to answer that question, no it is not the same as a DVD burning program. Disk imagers take a snapshot of your hard drive or just the files you want to back up, if your hard drive dies, you put a new drive in and you can move the image to that drive. (no need to reinstall windows, programs and drivers).

If I get an external hard drive do I still need a program like Acronis True Image to back everything up? I did find an option in the backup and restore center to select a different backup destination, so couldn't I just select an external hard drive instead of D:?And finally, if I want to set up a regular back up schedule, I guess then an external hard drive would be the easiest route? And can I also set it up to delete previous back ups? Or do I have to do that manually? Because wouldn't the external hard drive just end up full like my D: drive is now?
No need for a disk image program, it just makes life easier.
Yes you can use the external instead of D:...
As far as setting up the backup software to delete previous backups, that depends on the capability of the program you are using. Some you run a full backup and then you can set it up to run incrimental backups there-after. Some will remove the older unneeded backups; again it depends on the given program.

do have a second computer and it was networked with this one, but we cleaned it out and dismantled it - it lives under the stairs right now until we decide what to do with it.
If you network that computer (lets call it computer A) (your new computer B) then you could keep the backup of A on B and the backup of B on A. Chances are both computers are not going to go down at the same instant.

Once my backup is in place, how do I go about deleting info off the D: Recovery without touching the Recovery Image? And why do I need the Recovery Image if I've backed everything up elsewhere?
I believe the recovery image is easy enough to spot on an hp computer. Open Windows Explorer - go to Tools - Folder Options - View - put a tic in Show hidden files and folders and uncheck Hide protect operating system files, Then you should be able to find the hp files. We can cross that bridge when you get the backup straightened out.

The Recovery Image contains everything that came on your system out of the box (Windows Vista and all programs). Some users that do have recovery disks opt to remove the D drive and merge it with C, thus creating a larger C drive. Me personally, I'd leave the D alone for now.

Question for you, how many dvd disks did it take to backup your 'puter?
 
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