Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Backing up a hard drive

Last response: in Storage
Share
July 16, 2009 8:23:22 AM

Hi:

I'm new here and just a *tad* rusty when it comes to DOS commands.
Also, please forgive me if this particular issue has been dealt with in this forum.
I suppose it to be a very basic (and vital) issue though.

We have Dell GX-280 desktop machine which is now about 5 years old running Win XP Pro, currently upgraded to SP 3.
It came supplied with a 160 GB SATA drive, which is the C: drive.
I also keep a lot of music, photos and some movies on an external drive, connected to the system via a USB port, so I called it the U: drive.

As I am now becoming increasingly concerned about drive failure and therefore want backups, I'd like to know if the xcopy command, properly employed, is sufficient to the task.

Soon we'll purchase a new drive, possibly a Seagate FreeAgent 1.5TB External USB drive, which I'd like to partition, one partition to hold the entirety of the C: drive, O/S and all, the other to include all the material on the current external U: drive.

Now I am aware that it's no problem copying everything in this manner, in terms of music files, videos, and the like, as I just tested it.
From U:\My Music I used: xcopy *.* U:\COPIED /e/h and I see that all 2170 files and 19 folders were copied.

But here is the issue with which I'd like your help:
Can I back up EVERYTHING on the current C: drive to another drive, a fully operational BOOTABLE drive, including the O/S, using XCOPY, or do I have to approach this otherwise?

Here is my intent: If the C: drive goes up in a puff of smoke (or smokelessly) one day, which I suppose to be inevitable, I want to be able to unplug it and plug in another to replace it and, without further ado, be up and running again with all original data.
More likely though, hopefully before disaster strikes, I'll soon replace the current 160 GB C: drive with a new Seagate drive, perhaps 750 GB or 1 TB, and copy everything to it, O/S included.

So, to XCOPY or not to XCOPY?

Your help would be much appreciated.

Cheers!

Michael

More about : backing hard drive

Best solution

a b G Storage
July 16, 2009 8:33:41 AM

XCOPY will not work for what you want to do. XCOPY is great for moving data or folders around, but it won't organize them in a bootable form.

I use the Acronis disk backup program.
Share
July 16, 2009 8:47:59 AM

jsc said:
XCOPY will not work for what you want to do. XCOPY is great for moving data or folders around, but it won't organize them in a bootable form.

I use the Acronis disk backup program.


Thanks very much for your reply, and so quickly!
Your concise, to-the-point response and the software suggestion is much appreciated.
I'll look into it.
Cheers!

Michael
m
0
l
Related resources
a b G Storage
July 16, 2009 2:02:17 PM

Use Acronis True Image to clone the drive to the USB drive.
If the drive is removable from the Seagate FreeAgent 1.5TB External USB drive, you can boot from it in the computer.
Best if you buy separately the USB external enclosure and a hard disk drive and put them together. You can get these parts from Newegg.com.
m
0
l
a b G Storage
July 16, 2009 2:04:43 PM

If you want to replace the drives, make sure the interface is the same. SATA versus SATA.
You can make a backup like UK_newbie says and restore it with an Acronis rescue CD without removing drives.
m
0
l
July 16, 2009 10:22:46 PM

Thanks for that addition.

OK - like for like.
With that in mind, if I were to install a SATA 2 drive to replace the original SATA, would that cause a problem? I understand that SATA 2 is backwards compatible but in this case, I don't know.
The larger capacity drives on offer now (750 GB, 1-2 TB) are SATA 2, I believe.

Michael
m
0
l
July 16, 2009 10:30:27 PM

evongugg said:
Use Acronis True Image to clone the drive to the USB drive.
If the drive is removable from the Seagate FreeAgent 1.5TB External USB drive, you can boot from it in the computer.
Best if you buy separately the USB external enclosure and a hard disk drive and put them together. You can get these parts from Newegg.com.



Right. That is what I did when purchasing a 320 GB external drive over a year ago.
I bought a separate enclosure for a Seagate drive, and one with a switchable fan. It seems to me that even though many external enclosures might be cool enough, it isn't likely to hurt having the extra cooling capacity of one that is fan cooled. Certainy the enclosure is cooler to the touch than is the case when the drive has been running awhile without the fan switched on.

Michael
m
0
l
July 17, 2009 3:49:46 AM

evongugg, using Acronis, you don't have to worry about drives or drive controllers, you can inject the correct driver set to the imaged machine and have everything work correctly...
m
0
l
a b G Storage
July 17, 2009 12:26:38 PM

UK_newbie said:
OK - like for like.
With that in mind, if I were to install a SATA 2 drive to replace the original SATA, would that cause a problem? I understand that SATA 2 is backwards compatible but in this case, I don't know.
The larger capacity drives on offer now (750 GB, 1-2 TB) are SATA 2, I believe.
Michael


SATA2 drives work with SATA1 ports.
If not you can put a jumper on the drive to limit it to SATA1 output.
m
0
l
!