I hate to admit this, but I come from the old school of computers when you always got a restore/boot disk when you got a machine. I recently got a new machine, and have not succeeded yet in making either a boot dvd or a total restore dvd for the OS (Vista Ultimate). After trying unsuccessfully to do this, just wanted to know if there is an especially good, step-by-step, article, post, or sticky that would walk me through both creating a boot dvd and a restore dvd?
All advice is most appreciated.
Easiest thing to do actually would probably be to use a program called Norton Ghost. It basically takes a snapshot, or what we call a "image" of your machine, saves that file, I recommend a secondary or an external drive for that, or create another partition on your hard drive, just a small one should suffice. Then if you have a crash, you can boot from the Norton disk and load the image you made and it should put it to exactly as it was when you made the image. That said there is a free program that's called clonezilla. Though I've never used it, it's supposed to do the same as norton ghost. But it's free. Might be worth checking out.
I use Acronis 10. I found the software to be somewhat complicated, but I have manged to backup all my systems to storage HDs and/or Data DVD. You can recover all or part of you installation or choose any files you wish including the entire OS or entire HD recovery.
What kind of computer and are you trying to do this on your own or are you trying to use the tools that the manufacturer provided? If worse comes to worse, you can always order a set of discs from the manufacturer... they usually charge $10 - $20.