Backing up OS

HI folks,
I just found out my c drive has some issues ad I'm replacing it before it fails(just ordered new drive).
My question is:
I have two other drives on my machine one of which is empty.
Is there a way to back up my entire c drive OS and all to the empty drive then when I install new drive and OS just copy the back up to it so I don't have to start from scratch with all my setting,programs etc.
Or is there a better way without having to buy some $50.00 software program.
I am running windows home XP, I have installed the back up utility form xp disk
I really don't want to start completely from scratch like I had to do once before..
TY for any help in advance.
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about backing
  1. Best answer
    You can download free disk cloning applications from HDD manufacturers websites. Seagate and Western Digital are two that I know of that provide their own version of Acronis True Image.
  2. The NTBackup program in Windows XP is very solid for file backups, but I've never managed to get it working for a complete system restore. The "System Image" backup in Windows 7 is much better.

    For XP a disk cloning program is probably a better bet, and "ko888"s suggestion of checking the website for your disk manufacturer is an excellent one, IMHO.
  3. ko888 has it right . . . if one of your HDs is a Western Digital, for example, the software comes from Acronis (Truimage Home) and is very good:

    If you have no real backup software, you might want to consider buying the real Acronis software as well.
  4. Two of my disk are WD's but the disk I want to back up is a Maxtor
  5. Doesn't matter - only one need be WD . . . typically this software would be used to replace someone else's brand HD with a new WD . . . which is what it looks like you are doing.
  6. That,s what I'm doing. I am replacing a Maxtor with a 1TB seagate.
    I have two other hard drives on my system (both WD's)one that's empty.
    What I am trying to do is not have to re-install all my programs,games,software,etc.
    I did look at seagate site and found something called disk wizard but when I was looking at instructions they were for a laptop and talked about using a external enclosure(which I don't have)
    My drives are internal SATA drives on a desktop.
    Thank you for all the help guys. This is my first time trying to do this without starting from scratch and the help is GREATLY appreciated!!
  7. Try using the WD stuff. It will certainly work for the outbound leg (to the WD disk). It should also work the other way . . . but the worst case is you'd have to buy the full Acronis TruImage Home software. And a product like that is really something everyone should have for backup:

    I use the product, and have for several years. There are probably some other free ways to do it, but I haven't bothered seeking them out beyond the HD manufacturers "products".
  8. Thx for all the help guys. After thinking about it I have decided to go ahaead and buy acronis since my local best buy has it for $39.99 for the 2011 edition
    Again thanks for the help.
    This is the best site to come to for help since everyone here is helpful and don't talk down to newbies ad novices like people on some other sites do
  9. Best answer selected by gatonius.
  10. gatonius said:
    This is the best site to come to for help since everyone here is helpful and don't talk down to newbies ad novices like people on some other sites do
    Yeah, but if you're a freshman, watch out! :wahoo:
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