Bootable Backup

I am running WinXP Pro and reformat my hard drive every six months or so and I am beginning to think the job is too time consuming to reinstall, then install all of the programs and then run internet updates on everything. It would be nice to have a set of CD's or DVD's that would reformat and restore my system from scratch (to the way I have it configured now), similar to the restore cd's that computer manufacturers supply with their comps. Which programs will do this if any? Thanks.
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  1. try getting a copy of drive image or norton ghost. both of those allow you to make burnable images of your HDD. that way all you will have to do is
    1. reinstall computer with everything you need(all desired proggies)
    2. burn image to a cd or dvd.
    3. every six months run the image proggie and there ya go.

    i have used both and they take about 5-10minutes to reload a whole machine with your image, alot faster than manually reloading.

    <A HREF="" target="_new">drive image 7</A>

    <A HREF="" target="_new">norton ghost 2003</A>

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  2. PowerQuest Drive Image 7 can clone your HD into CD or DVD.

    :smile: Good or Bad have no meaning at all, depends on what your point of view is.
  3. I highly recommend Drive Image 7. The downloadable version comes with a .ISO image (which can be burned to CD or DVD), and this can not only be used to install the program, but it's useful to boot the system and make repairs, such as replacing damaged files, or restoring an entire partition. In addition, the program can store or retrieve an image of a partition across a local network. You can schedule a backup, too ... if you prefer doing something like this without manual intervention, such as during the night.

    I don't use it every six months ... I run it whenever I make a change to the system that I want to save, such as before and after tweaking the registry, for example. Or before installing and testing a new program. I never go more than a couple of weeks without making a new image, because even in that short of a time span, I've often made too many changes to a system to want to start over from a month back, or more.

    I'm running WinXP on a 10GB partition, with 60% free space. It takes about 4 minutes to back up the partition to a folder using standard compression, and another 5 minutes to burn that to a DVD with Nero. I also usually copy the file(s) across the network for redundancy ... just in case.

    Note 1: Although DI 7 can burn directly to CD or DVD, IMHO, it's usually faster to first save the data to a folder on a separate partition, and then use your customary burning program to copy the image to removable media. This kind of redundancy gives you more than one option if you need to retrieve the data. It's also interesting that DI 7 allows for the image to be mounted ... with a drive letter. That can prove to be useful, in certain situations.

    All in all, it's certainly not a time-consuming process, and worth it's weight in gold, as far as I'm concerned. Being able to boot the system with a DVD, and restore the primary partition in less than 15 minutes is an option that every user should have ... because if something can go wrong, it will. Better to be safe than sorry.

    The good thing is, as long as you own your computer, and if the majority of the hardware remains the same, with a valid image on a disk, you'll never again have to re-install the OS. Boot up, restore the image, and you're off-and-running. You won't even need to defrag the partition, afterwards, if the partitions was checked for errors and defragged before the image creation. Once it's installed, you're ready to go.

    Note 2: DI 7 needs Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 in place before installing the program, so be sure to get that from Windows Update, or install it from the PQRI .ISO disk after it is burned to a CD or DVD.


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  4. Hi there Toey,
    Good explanation ol’son!
    The DVD option is a great idea although I have found it to be a little slow in comparison to a set of CD's IMO as my DVD reads at 1or2X. However I do make an image as 1 file when booting from the floppies to another separate hard drive and as long as I can access the drive partitions the images can be reinstated very fast. But still you are right about the extra redundancy, I am just to lazy to burn the image. :wink:

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by scotty35 on 07/16/04 01:49 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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