I have a Pentium III 500 desktop machine with 192 MB RAM & 40 GB hard drive.
I have partitioned the 40 GB hard drive in 5 partitions namely C, D, E, F, & G. I have installed Windows 98 Second edition on partition C and Windows XP Home edition on partition D. They are all FAT 32 partitions.
Here is what I would like to do.
I would like to make an identical copy of this hard drive on another 40 GB hard drive with same number of partitions & same order operating systems & back it up daily at the end of the day or better if back up process goes on automaticaly in the background during the day while I am using my system . In other words I would like to have an extra copy of the current hard drive with all the settings and OS's & data ready so that if anything goes wrong with the current drive I can immediately switch to the second drive without wasting time to recover or repaire the original drive & get back to work in few minutes.
I am sure there are many software that can do the job but I don't understand or am confused as to the various names used by the software companies such as (1) Image (2) Ghost (3) Clone (4) Mirror Image (5) Exact Copy (6) Drive To Drive ..... and so on.
One thing I am sure is that I do not want to go thru the hasssel of installing the Operating Systems & applications software & data on a new hard drive. I want a Duplicate Copy or Exact copy or Photocopy or Carbon Copy of the original drive that will not interrupt my work more than a few minutes except the time it takes to switch to the second drive and I can be back to work in few minutes & worry about the crashed drive later.
I would also prefer to work with Windows interface if possible because I don't know the "abc" of DOS.
I have heard of the few names such as (a) "Xact Copy" by Duocor ( Does not support XP) (b) "Drive Image 5" by Powerquest (c) "Ghost" ( Uses DOS) by Norton (d) "Paragon drive back up 5.0" (e) "Drive To Drive" and they all use above 6 names that I mentioned.
(1) Can somebody clear up the above 6 different names as to what they mean or a site or forum or a thread on some forum or newsgroup that would help me understand those terms?
(2) I would appreciate any feed back or recommendations as to which one would fulfill my needs, such as (1) Win XP (Home & Professional) Support, (2) easy to use (3) has preferably windows interface or if not has good manual or user guide and require least technical knowledge. Price is not a factor. I have paid a hefty one when my first drive crashed.
(3) In order to make an image on a second hard drive how do I set up the second hard drive? I mean do I connect it as a slave?
(4) Do I have to partition and format the second drive or do I just hook up a brand new 40 GB drive as a slave and the program will automatically partition & format & copy everything?
(5) If something goes wrong with the original drive than what procedure do I follow to get going with the second drive with an image or clone or ghost or exact copy on it ? Do I just make the slave drive with image as master and start working or is there a procedure involving transferring the image to another third hard drive?
(6) If I get hit by a virus, would that be transmitted to the second drive making the image? If yes, is there a way to avoid the transfer of virus besides using the antivirus software?
(7) Can I keep the antivirus software running while making an image in the background?
I would really appreciate any help in understanding the software & names & choosing the right product. I am sure those who had their drives crashed & did not have back up will understand & feel my pain.
I am no computer expert so please, any detailed explanation would be highly appreciated.