Article - Buying a computer? Ask these 3 questions!

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

1. Why do you need a computer?

Whether you are a new user or advanced one, whether this is your first
computer or second (or even third), be clear as to why you want a
computer before you even think of buying one.

How will you use your computer? Are you only interested in browsing the
Internet and checking e-mail? Do you plan to use your PC as a
programming machine? Do desktop publishing or video editing feature on
your agenda? Or is it a gaming rig? What is a computer:
http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com/

Consider these factors before stepping into a hardware shop.

The basic components of a computer system are the motherboard
(containing the processor and memory), keyboard, mouse, monitor,
diskette drive, CD-ROM drive and hard drive.

In addition, there are several other types of devices you may or may
not need. A trackball, joy stick, modem, tape drive, zip drive,
printer, plotter, scanner, sound card and speakers, television card and
video capture card, to name a few.

Whether you buy these will depend on what you need the computer for and
which software applications you intend to use.

Remember the golden rule: the fastest or most expensive computer is not
necessarily the one you need.

Finally, the length of time that you plan to own the computer before
replacing it will also help determine which computer to buy.

2. What is your budget?

This is the next thing you need to be certain of. How much are you
willing to spend on a PC?

After you arrive at a figure, keep a margin of a few thousands. It will
give you some room for flexibility. If you are short on money when you
buy your computer and cannot add all the peripherals you want, be
smart.

Buy as much as you can afford. Don't cut corners on the main system
unit (monitor, processor, memory, disk space).

Remember, you want the computer to last at least four years. You don't
want to run out of disk space or memory in the very first year, all
because you trimmed down on the memory or got a smaller hard drive.
Internet Explorer:
http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com/archive/index.php/f-11.html

Hard disk capacity matters a great deal as it takes no time for data to
fill the available space. A 40 GB hard disk is sufficient disk space,
but 80 GB is the standard recommendation.

Random Access Memory is the amount of memory available for use by
programmes on a computer. One of the important factors to ensure the
smooth running of your system is the memory available.


The more the memory, the better it is. Make sure you can upgrade your
computer's memory as and when required.

The RAM chip comes in capacities of 128, 256, 512 MB, even 1 GB. Most
computers function efficiently with 256 MB RAM, though a 512 MB RAM
does offer you an edge.

Hold off on the printer or a software application and other accessories
that you really don't need right away. You shouldn't have any problem
installing these after the original purchase has been made. Just ensure
you buy components that are compatible with your system.

3. Should you go for a branded PC or an assembled one?

Assembled machines are popular because they are more economically
priced.

Branded PCs cost around 35 to 40% more than their assembled
counterparts.

Besides, you can choose your own specifications with assembled PCs. You
are not forced to accept a rigid component configuration. You cannot
customise a branded PC to suit your exact requirements. Hardware:
http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com/archive/index.php/f-21.html

With the same price that you would pay for a branded piece, you will be
able to own a superior assembled PC.

Make sure the components purchased for the assembled PC are original.
Take along an informed, reliable assembler to purchase the components
so that you are not fooled by counterfeit parts.

The advantage of a branded PC is the reliability of the brand, the
after sales service and the technical support. On the flip side, the
after sales services and repairs offered by the brands are a tad
expensive and not prompt most times.

Don't forget to look at the warranty. Generally, a warranty period of a
year is normal for all major parts of the PC. But there are good brands
that offer either more years or the option of an additional payment to
top up the warranty period.

Talk to your friends and colleagues who have assembled PCs. Ask them
about their experience and recommendations on whom to approach.
Question them as to what happened when they had a problem. Was the
individual easy to access? Did he offer prompt service? Does their
computer give a lot of trouble?

If possible, meet two or three individuals before you finally zero in
on one.

Spend some time on these three issues and you will be all set to buy
your very own PC!

Adam Fletcher is the webmaster of Hardware Software Articles
http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com .
9 answers Last reply
More about article buying computer questions
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    Seems rather simple approach for "why you need a computer?"
    Most new users haven't the vaguest idea what they will do with the PC in the
    first year. Just a a few simple ideas. If they find they want to do more,
    the minimum PC for their original ideas are out the door.
    Yet, you changed that basis as the hardware ramble goes on throughout the
    OP.
    No one has a crystal ball for anyone's potential usage of a PC. You can
    overbuild, or underbuild a PC for potential usage. Thing is, no one can
    know what that will be. Including many users that will take possession of
    same.

    All PCs are assembled from parts. What those part performance is,
    performance in relation to the rest of the system, and its actual use is
    what matters. Brand name PCs may suffer due to minimal hardware
    performance, little add-on capability both hardware and bios natured, a
    buttload of minimum capability software (that you may not want, or is
    weighing down the system or both), an inability to recover anything but the
    orginal OS. Some custom PC assemblers will build to suit. But, most give
    you a list of what you can have, and the customer chooses from that list.
    In some cases, some of this hardware may be of the same minimal performance
    nature of the brand name PCs. So, its not a black and white issue as you
    portray.

    Don't see how you can make recommendations for physical memory (RAM)
    capacity unless you know its actual usage at anytime. Most PCs have
    "breathing problems" with video editing, decoding/encoding with 512MB of RAM
    in an XP environment. Yet, you mentinoned in the OP as video editing a
    possble usage.

    Again, the new user doesn't know for sure what he/she is going to do with a
    PC in the long haul. If they don't get that "loaded" PC, the headache of
    adding the hardware and drivers can be too technical for some. Especially
    if its internal to the PC case/enclosure.

    The days of the single physical hard drive are gone. One needs 2 minimum
    nowadays. Personal PC usage recovery environment is still is not an issue
    with PC customers due to the lack of information here as well. Especially
    name brand PCs. It won't sell either, as the competition will provide only
    one hard drive, which the competition could not compete with 2 or more
    physical hard drives. Not hard to implement, just difficult to compete.
    But, down the road, it sure becomes an issue to the user when he/she has no
    choice but to new install the OS. Capacity needed, again, depends on the
    usage.

    Tech support may vary from someone who barely speaks English to a seasoned
    veteran, a phone number that takes two hours to talk to a person to a few
    minutes, on site repairs, send the PC for repairs, bring the PC in for
    repairs, repairs that involve warranty and non-warranty (not free) work,
    remote VPN entry into the system, parts only covered by the warranty, no
    labor. The amount supports varies widely. Also depends on the warranty
    package that you may choose to buy. Which, can push the total investment to
    much more that orginally anticipated. Talking with 3 other people about
    this can give appropriate or inappropriate advice as it varies both with
    their attitude, the service rendered, the warranty package that each owned,
    their perceptions of all of this and what they aren't telling you or
    refusing ot accept.

    <adamfletcherone@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1120999535.106189.246310@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > 1. Why do you need a computer?
    >
    > Whether you are a new user or advanced one, whether this is your first
    > computer or second (or even third), be clear as to why you want a
    > computer before you even think of buying one.
    >
    > How will you use your computer? Are you only interested in browsing the
    > Internet and checking e-mail? Do you plan to use your PC as a
    > programming machine? Do desktop publishing or video editing feature on
    > your agenda? Or is it a gaming rig? What is a computer:
    > http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com/
    >
    > Consider these factors before stepping into a hardware shop.
    >
    > The basic components of a computer system are the motherboard
    > (containing the processor and memory), keyboard, mouse, monitor,
    > diskette drive, CD-ROM drive and hard drive.
    >
    > In addition, there are several other types of devices you may or may
    > not need. A trackball, joy stick, modem, tape drive, zip drive,
    > printer, plotter, scanner, sound card and speakers, television card and
    > video capture card, to name a few.
    >
    > Whether you buy these will depend on what you need the computer for and
    > which software applications you intend to use.
    >
    > Remember the golden rule: the fastest or most expensive computer is not
    > necessarily the one you need.
    >
    > Finally, the length of time that you plan to own the computer before
    > replacing it will also help determine which computer to buy.
    >
    > 2. What is your budget?
    >
    > This is the next thing you need to be certain of. How much are you
    > willing to spend on a PC?
    >
    > After you arrive at a figure, keep a margin of a few thousands. It will
    > give you some room for flexibility. If you are short on money when you
    > buy your computer and cannot add all the peripherals you want, be
    > smart.
    >
    > Buy as much as you can afford. Don't cut corners on the main system
    > unit (monitor, processor, memory, disk space).
    >
    > Remember, you want the computer to last at least four years. You don't
    > want to run out of disk space or memory in the very first year, all
    > because you trimmed down on the memory or got a smaller hard drive.
    > Internet Explorer:
    > http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com/archive/index.php/f-11.html
    >
    > Hard disk capacity matters a great deal as it takes no time for data to
    > fill the available space. A 40 GB hard disk is sufficient disk space,
    > but 80 GB is the standard recommendation.
    >
    > Random Access Memory is the amount of memory available for use by
    > programmes on a computer. One of the important factors to ensure the
    > smooth running of your system is the memory available.
    >
    >
    > The more the memory, the better it is. Make sure you can upgrade your
    > computer's memory as and when required.
    >
    > The RAM chip comes in capacities of 128, 256, 512 MB, even 1 GB. Most
    > computers function efficiently with 256 MB RAM, though a 512 MB RAM
    > does offer you an edge.
    >
    > Hold off on the printer or a software application and other accessories
    > that you really don't need right away. You shouldn't have any problem
    > installing these after the original purchase has been made. Just ensure
    > you buy components that are compatible with your system.
    >
    > 3. Should you go for a branded PC or an assembled one?
    >
    > Assembled machines are popular because they are more economically
    > priced.
    >
    > Branded PCs cost around 35 to 40% more than their assembled
    > counterparts.
    >
    > Besides, you can choose your own specifications with assembled PCs. You
    > are not forced to accept a rigid component configuration. You cannot
    > customise a branded PC to suit your exact requirements. Hardware:
    > http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com/archive/index.php/f-21.html
    >
    > With the same price that you would pay for a branded piece, you will be
    > able to own a superior assembled PC.
    >
    > Make sure the components purchased for the assembled PC are original.
    > Take along an informed, reliable assembler to purchase the components
    > so that you are not fooled by counterfeit parts.
    >
    > The advantage of a branded PC is the reliability of the brand, the
    > after sales service and the technical support. On the flip side, the
    > after sales services and repairs offered by the brands are a tad
    > expensive and not prompt most times.
    >
    > Don't forget to look at the warranty. Generally, a warranty period of a
    > year is normal for all major parts of the PC. But there are good brands
    > that offer either more years or the option of an additional payment to
    > top up the warranty period.
    >
    > Talk to your friends and colleagues who have assembled PCs. Ask them
    > about their experience and recommendations on whom to approach.
    > Question them as to what happened when they had a problem. Was the
    > individual easy to access? Did he offer prompt service? Does their
    > computer give a lot of trouble?
    >
    > If possible, meet two or three individuals before you finally zero in
    > on one.
    >
    > Spend some time on these three issues and you will be all set to buy
    > your very own PC!
    >
    > Adam Fletcher is the webmaster of Hardware Software Articles
    > http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com .
    >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    In news:uqyWz8VhFHA.1948@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl,
    Lil' Dave <spamyourself@virus.net> typed:

    > The days of the single physical hard drive are gone. One needs
    > 2
    > minimum nowadays.


    This is a *drastic* overstatement. Although there are clearly
    merits to having multiple hard drives, stating that "one *needs*
    2 minimum" is completely false. Only a very small percentage of
    personal computer owners have multiple drives and the others get
    along very well without such a configuration.

    --
    Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    Please reply to the newsgroup
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    adamfletcherone@gmail.com wrote:
    > 1. Why do you need a computer?
    >
    > Whether you are a new user or advanced one, whether this is your first
    > computer or second (or even third), be clear as to why you want a
    > computer before you even think of buying one.
    >


    Nothing new here. The same principle applies when buying anything: a
    pair of shoes, a toaster oven, an automobile. Does the object being
    purchased meet one's needs? I believe this is called Shopping 101.


    >
    > Whether you buy these will depend on what you need the computer for and
    > which software applications you intend to use.
    >


    Repeating the obvious, yet again.

    >
    > After you arrive at a figure, keep a margin of a few thousands.


    You're joking, right? Or are you referring to "thousands" of pennies?
    Now, allowing a leeway of a few hundred dollars makes a certain amount
    of sense.


    >
    > Buy as much as you can afford. Don't cut corners on the main system
    > unit (monitor, processor, memory, disk space).
    >

    But you haven't said why. This is particularly true because computer
    hardware generally becomes obsolete after 18 months to two years. By
    purchasing the best that he can afford, the buyer increases the useful
    lifespan of the computer.


    > Remember, you want the computer to last at least four years.


    Says who? This claim is far too general to have any value as advice.
    In computing terms, four years is two generations. While some people
    may be able to continue using dated equipment and software well beyond
    the two-year period, many others, whose livelihood may depend upon the
    computer, may well not be able to do so.


    >
    > Hard disk capacity matters a great deal as it takes no time for data to
    > fill the available space. A 40 GB hard disk is sufficient disk space,
    > but 80 GB is the standard recommendation.
    >


    Recommended by whom, and for what reason? Please cite your sources.
    The amount of hard drive space required is entirely contingent upon the
    number and type(s) of applications installed, the type and amount of
    data that needs to be stored, and the specific operating environment in
    which the computer operates. Again, this "tip" is of no real value, as
    it doesn't begin to address the specifics.


    >
    >
    > The more the memory, the better it is.


    Only up to a certain point. The amount of RAM required is entirely
    contingent upon the number of type of applications installed and used,
    the type and amount of data that needs to be accessed, and the specific
    operating environment in which the computer operates. Beyond that
    point, added RAM is simply a waste of money.


    >
    > 3. Should you go for a branded PC or an assembled one?
    >
    > Assembled machines are popular because they are more economically
    > priced.
    >
    > Branded PCs cost around 35 to 40% more than their assembled
    > counterparts.
    >

    You've got that exactly backwards. Branded computers from large OEMs
    are almost always going to be less expensive than custom-assembled PCs
    simply because the large OEMs can purchase components in large
    quantities at lower prices. There's no way that a custom assembler can
    match a large OEM's purchasing power or lower labor costs (a result of
    assembly line manufacturing).


    > Besides, you can choose your own specifications with assembled PCs. You
    > are not forced to accept a rigid component configuration. You cannot
    > customise a branded PC to suit your exact requirements.


    Which is another reason custom-assembled PCs costs more than mass
    produced, brand-name computers do. However, many OEMs do allow a great
    deal of customization which, while it increases the cost of the PC, can
    usually meet the needs of all but the most discerning consumers.


    >
    > With the same price that you would pay for a branded piece, you will be
    > able to own a superior assembled PC.
    >

    Again, this is completely untrue.


    > Make sure the components purchased for the assembled PC are original.
    > Take along an informed, reliable assembler to purchase the components
    > so that you are not fooled by counterfeit parts.
    >

    Huh?


    > The advantage of a branded PC is the reliability of the brand, the
    > after sales service and the technical support.


    Tell this to owners of HPs, Compacs, Sonys, eMachines, or Packard
    Bells. They'll laugh you out of the room. Even Dell's support is slipping.


    > On the flip side, the
    > after sales services and repairs offered by the brands are a tad
    > expensive and not prompt most times.
    >

    Actually, such support is generally free. But then, that's about all
    it's worth.


    > Don't forget to look at the warranty.


    Just like when buying an automobile, toaster oven, or any other
    consumer product. Too obvious a "tip" to really need mentioning, isn't it?


    --

    Bruce Chambers

    Help us help you:
    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html

    You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having
    both at once. - RAH
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    I don't understand.....
    Is this a question, or are you just tooting your own horn?

    BTW I was puzzled at your statements that

    > 3. Should you go for a branded PC or an assembled one?
    >
    > Assembled machines are popular because they are more economically
    > priced.
    >
    > Branded PCs cost around 35 to 40% more than their assembled
    > counterparts.
    >
    I honestly have not found that to be the case. Branded PCS come in diffrent
    product lines, and YES you will pay more for the latests greatest systems.
    The greater cost is because of tech support and bundled software. Also the
    Testing involved with ensuring all your hardware and software works out of
    the box with no hassles.

    I was in PCs for quite a while and assembled PCs (good tested and supported
    assembled PCS) always cost more. Its a numbers game. HP, for example, can
    afford to buy thousands of motherboards in bulk and therfore pass the
    savings on to the consumer.

    > Besides, you can choose your own specifications with assembled PCs. You
    > are not forced to accept a rigid component configuration. You cannot
    > customise a branded PC to suit your exact requirements.

    Again, what are you talking about? The PC manufacturers give you many
    options to choose from to meet the most common base configs. With a few
    extra dollars you can update certain properties at any value added reseller.


    <adamfletcherone@gmail.com> wrote in message
    news:1120999535.106189.246310@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...
    > 1. Why do you need a computer?
    >
    > Whether you are a new user or advanced one, whether this is your first
    > computer or second (or even third), be clear as to why you want a
    > computer before you even think of buying one.
    >
    > How will you use your computer? Are you only interested in browsing the
    > Internet and checking e-mail? Do you plan to use your PC as a
    > programming machine? Do desktop publishing or video editing feature on
    > your agenda? Or is it a gaming rig? What is a computer:
    > http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com/
    >
    > Consider these factors before stepping into a hardware shop.
    >
    > The basic components of a computer system are the motherboard
    > (containing the processor and memory), keyboard, mouse, monitor,
    > diskette drive, CD-ROM drive and hard drive.
    >
    > In addition, there are several other types of devices you may or may
    > not need. A trackball, joy stick, modem, tape drive, zip drive,
    > printer, plotter, scanner, sound card and speakers, television card and
    > video capture card, to name a few.
    >
    > Whether you buy these will depend on what you need the computer for and
    > which software applications you intend to use.
    >
    > Remember the golden rule: the fastest or most expensive computer is not
    > necessarily the one you need.
    >
    > Finally, the length of time that you plan to own the computer before
    > replacing it will also help determine which computer to buy.
    >
    > 2. What is your budget?
    >
    > This is the next thing you need to be certain of. How much are you
    > willing to spend on a PC?
    >
    > After you arrive at a figure, keep a margin of a few thousands. It will
    > give you some room for flexibility. If you are short on money when you
    > buy your computer and cannot add all the peripherals you want, be
    > smart.
    >
    > Buy as much as you can afford. Don't cut corners on the main system
    > unit (monitor, processor, memory, disk space).
    >
    > Remember, you want the computer to last at least four years. You don't
    > want to run out of disk space or memory in the very first year, all
    > because you trimmed down on the memory or got a smaller hard drive.
    > Internet Explorer:
    > http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com/archive/index.php/f-11.html
    >
    > Hard disk capacity matters a great deal as it takes no time for data to
    > fill the available space. A 40 GB hard disk is sufficient disk space,
    > but 80 GB is the standard recommendation.
    >
    > Random Access Memory is the amount of memory available for use by
    > programmes on a computer. One of the important factors to ensure the
    > smooth running of your system is the memory available.
    >
    >
    > The more the memory, the better it is. Make sure you can upgrade your
    > computer's memory as and when required.
    >
    > The RAM chip comes in capacities of 128, 256, 512 MB, even 1 GB. Most
    > computers function efficiently with 256 MB RAM, though a 512 MB RAM
    > does offer you an edge.
    >
    > Hold off on the printer or a software application and other accessories
    > that you really don't need right away. You shouldn't have any problem
    > installing these after the original purchase has been made. Just ensure
    > you buy components that are compatible with your system.
    >
    > 3. Should you go for a branded PC or an assembled one?
    >
    > Assembled machines are popular because they are more economically
    > priced.
    >
    > Branded PCs cost around 35 to 40% more than their assembled
    > counterparts.
    >
    > Besides, you can choose your own specifications with assembled PCs. You
    > are not forced to accept a rigid component configuration. You cannot
    > customise a branded PC to suit your exact requirements. Hardware:
    > http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com/archive/index.php/f-21.html
    >
    > With the same price that you would pay for a branded piece, you will be
    > able to own a superior assembled PC.
    >
    > Make sure the components purchased for the assembled PC are original.
    > Take along an informed, reliable assembler to purchase the components
    > so that you are not fooled by counterfeit parts.
    >
    > The advantage of a branded PC is the reliability of the brand, the
    > after sales service and the technical support. On the flip side, the
    > after sales services and repairs offered by the brands are a tad
    > expensive and not prompt most times.
    >
    > Don't forget to look at the warranty. Generally, a warranty period of a
    > year is normal for all major parts of the PC. But there are good brands
    > that offer either more years or the option of an additional payment to
    > top up the warranty period.
    >
    > Talk to your friends and colleagues who have assembled PCs. Ask them
    > about their experience and recommendations on whom to approach.
    > Question them as to what happened when they had a problem. Was the
    > individual easy to access? Did he offer prompt service? Does their
    > computer give a lot of trouble?
    >
    > If possible, meet two or three individuals before you finally zero in
    > on one.
    >
    > Spend some time on these three issues and you will be all set to buy
    > your very own PC!
    >
    > Adam Fletcher is the webmaster of Hardware Software Articles
    > http://www.hardwaresoftwarearticles.com .
    >
  5. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    "Ken Blake" <kblake@this.is.an.invalid.domain> wrote in message
    news:ONKG1VWhFHA.2644@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > In news:uqyWz8VhFHA.1948@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl,
    > Lil' Dave <spamyourself@virus.net> typed:
    >
    > > The days of the single physical hard drive are gone. One needs
    > > 2
    > > minimum nowadays.
    >
    >
    > This is a *drastic* overstatement. Although there are clearly
    > merits to having multiple hard drives, stating that "one *needs*
    > 2 minimum" is completely false. Only a very small percentage of
    > personal computer owners have multiple drives and the others get
    > along very well without such a configuration.
    >
    > --
    > Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    > Please reply to the newsgroup
    >
    >

    In denial of requirement of a complete OS backup with user customizations
    and application installs. Only viable location for such is a separate hard
    drive, preferrably an image backup to file(s).
    Many "get along" without it, but they may wish they had same in many
    instances. Of course it keeps the MVPs hopping to help fix such, not always
    successful, that could easily restored instead from an image.
  6. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    In news:%237UJUXhhFHA.2484@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl,
    Lil' Dave <spamyourself@virus.net> typed:

    > "Ken Blake" <kblake@this.is.an.invalid.domain> wrote in message
    > news:ONKG1VWhFHA.2644@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    >> In news:uqyWz8VhFHA.1948@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl,
    >> Lil' Dave <spamyourself@virus.net> typed:
    >>
    >>> The days of the single physical hard drive are gone. One
    >>> needs
    >>> 2
    >>> minimum nowadays.
    >>
    >>
    >> This is a *drastic* overstatement. Although there are clearly
    >> merits to having multiple hard drives, stating that "one
    >> *needs*
    >> 2 minimum" is completely false. Only a very small percentage
    >> of
    >> personal computer owners have multiple drives and the others
    >> get
    >> along very well without such a configuration.
    >>
    >> --
    >> Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    >> Please reply to the newsgroup
    >>
    >>
    >
    > In denial of requirement of a complete OS backup with user
    > customizations and application installs.


    I don't think it's a "requirement," but for many people I think
    it's an excellent idea. In fact I do such a backup on all my
    machines and recommend the same to many others. However what kind
    of a backup one needs differs depending on how one uses his
    computer.


    > Only viable location for
    > such is a separate hard drive, preferrably an image backup to
    > file(s).


    I don't agree. The following is an excerpt from a message I've
    posted many times to these newsgroups:


    "I don't recommend backup to a second non-removable hard drive
    because it leaves you susceptible to simultaneous loss of the
    original and backup to many of the most common dangers: severe
    power glitches, nearby lightning strikes, virus attacks, even
    theft of the computer.


    "In my view, secure backup needs to be on removable media, and
    not kept in the computer. For really secure backup (needed, for
    example, if the life of your business depends on your data) you
    should have multiple generations of backup, and at least one of
    those generations should be stored off-site.


    "My computer isn't used for business, but my personal backup
    scheme uses two identical removable hard drives, which fit into a
    sleeve installed in the computer. I alternate between the two,
    and use Drive Image to make a complete copy of the primary drive.
    "


    --
    Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    Please reply to the newsgroup


    > Many "get along" without it, but they may wish they had same in
    > many
    > instances. Of course it keeps the MVPs hopping to help fix
    > such, not
    > always successful, that could easily restored instead from an
    > image.
  7. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    "Lil' Dave" <spamyourself@virus.net> wrote in message
    news:%237UJUXhhFHA.2484@TK2MSFTNGP15.phx.gbl...
    > "Ken Blake" <kblake@this.is.an.invalid.domain> wrote in message
    > news:ONKG1VWhFHA.2644@TK2MSFTNGP09.phx.gbl...
    > > In news:uqyWz8VhFHA.1948@TK2MSFTNGP12.phx.gbl,
    > > Lil' Dave <spamyourself@virus.net> typed:
    > >
    > > > The days of the single physical hard drive are gone. One needs
    > > > 2
    > > > minimum nowadays.
    > >
    > >
    > > This is a *drastic* overstatement. Although there are clearly
    > > merits to having multiple hard drives, stating that "one *needs*
    > > 2 minimum" is completely false. Only a very small percentage of
    > > personal computer owners have multiple drives and the others get
    > > along very well without such a configuration.
    > >
    > > --
    > > Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    > > Please reply to the newsgroup
    > >
    > >
    >
    > In denial of requirement of a complete OS backup with user customizations
    > and application installs. Only viable location for such is a separate
    hard
    > drive, preferrably an image backup to file(s).
    > Many "get along" without it, but they may wish they had same in many
    > instances. Of course it keeps the MVPs hopping to help fix such, not
    always
    > successful, that could easily restored instead from an image.
    >

    Not really - you do need a backup, but with two partitions, you can
    make a backup of the first to the second, then when you are done,
    write the files to CD-R or pref, DVD (or move them to another
    machine if you have one over the network). Multiple drives are nice,
    however, there are ways of working the backup issues that does not
    require a second drive - only a second partition for temp storage
    until you can write the backup onto some other media.

    mikey
  8. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    "Ken Blake" <kblake@this.is.an.invalid.domain> wrote in message
    news:eIjCUtihFHA.3732@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    [ bunch of good info snipped] >
    > I don't agree. The following is an excerpt from a message I've
    > posted many times to these newsgroups:
    >

    I would agree with everything you said with the following
    additions to your comments:

    >
    > "I don't recommend backup to a second non-removable hard drive
    > because it leaves you susceptible to simultaneous loss of the
    > original and backup to many of the most common dangers: severe
    > power glitches, nearby lightning strikes, virus attacks, even
    > theft of the computer.


    Or as in the case of my daughters computer, the power supply
    failed and let the magic smoke out of several chips on the hard
    drive as well as toasting the motherboard and several other things.


    > "In my view, secure backup needs to be on removable media, and
    > not kept in the computer. For really secure backup (needed, for
    > example, if the life of your business depends on your data) you
    > should have multiple generations of backup, and at least one of
    > those generations should be stored off-site.

    I would also add to that the backups should be validated periodically.
    There have been quite a few reports recently in the video newsgroups
    etc. of DVD media that instead of being permanent, have started
    "forgetting" bits within a matter of months. If they are really important
    data and you are using DVD media (or CD-R), make duplicate
    backups on two different brands of media (both good). Periodically
    verify the image (there are a number of utilities to verify they can read
    the whole disc). Any errors on one, use the other as a master and
    make another copy. Some people have been reporting DVD
    media losing the bits in less than 4 or 5 months.

    One other thing I would *strongly* suggest - if you can come up with
    a spare drive, just for the sake of working the bugs out in your system,
    pretend you had a drive failure. Disconnect your drive, put in a new
    blank drive and see if your restore process works as expected.
    Nothing like having most (but not all) of the pieces in place to be able
    to do a restore (like - oops, I need to have a copy of driver xyz
    to be able to do the restore). I gives you a good feeling when you
    can put a blank drive in and shortly the system comes up (it's also
    nice to find that missing piece BEFORE you need it).

    > "My computer isn't used for business, but my personal backup
    > scheme uses two identical removable hard drives, which fit into a
    > sleeve installed in the computer. I alternate between the two,
    > and use Drive Image to make a complete copy of the primary drive.
    > "
    > --
    > Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    > Please reply to the newsgroup
    >
  9. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.general (More info?)

    In news:%23NyMO4ihFHA.2544@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl,
    Mike Fields <spam_me_not_mr.gadget2@comcast.net> typed:

    > "Ken Blake" <kblake@this.is.an.invalid.domain> wrote in message
    > news:eIjCUtihFHA.3732@TK2MSFTNGP10.phx.gbl...
    > [ bunch of good info snipped] >
    >> I don't agree. The following is an excerpt from a message I've
    >> posted many times to these newsgroups:
    >>
    >
    > I would agree with everything you said with the following
    > additions to your comments:
    >
    >>
    >> "I don't recommend backup to a second non-removable hard drive
    >> because it leaves you susceptible to simultaneous loss of the
    >> original and backup to many of the most common dangers: severe
    >> power glitches, nearby lightning strikes, virus attacks, even
    >> theft of the computer.
    >
    >
    > Or as in the case of my daughters computer, the power supply
    > failed and let the magic smoke out of several chips on the hard
    > drive as well as toasting the motherboard and several other
    > things.


    Yes, thanks for the addition. I meant my list as a series of
    examples, not necessarily a complete list.


    >> "In my view, secure backup needs to be on removable media, and
    >> not kept in the computer. For really secure backup (needed,
    >> for
    >> example, if the life of your business depends on your data)
    >> you
    >> should have multiple generations of backup, and at least one
    >> of
    >> those generations should be stored off-site.
    >
    > I would also add to that the backups should be validated
    > periodically.
    > There have been quite a few reports recently in the video
    > newsgroups
    > etc. of DVD media that instead of being permanent, have started
    > "forgetting" bits within a matter of months. If they are
    > really
    > important data and you are using DVD media (or CD-R), make
    > duplicate
    > backups on two different brands of media (both good).
    > Periodically
    > verify the image (there are a number of utilities to verify
    > they can
    > read the whole disc). Any errors on one, use the other as a
    > master
    > and
    > make another copy. Some people have been reporting DVD
    > media losing the bits in less than 4 or 5 months.
    >
    > One other thing I would *strongly* suggest - if you can come up
    > with
    > a spare drive, just for the sake of working the bugs out in
    > your
    > system, pretend you had a drive failure. Disconnect your
    > drive, put
    > in a new blank drive and see if your restore process works as
    > expected.
    > Nothing like having most (but not all) of the pieces in place
    > to be
    > able to do a restore (like - oops, I need to have a copy of
    > driver xyz
    > to be able to do the restore). I gives you a good feeling when
    > you
    > can put a blank drive in and shortly the system comes up (it's
    > also
    > nice to find that missing piece BEFORE you need it).


    Both excellent suggestions.


    --
    Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    Please reply to the newsgroup


    >
    >> "My computer isn't used for business, but my personal backup
    >> scheme uses two identical removable hard drives, which fit
    >> into a
    >> sleeve installed in the computer. I alternate between the two,
    >> and use Drive Image to make a complete copy of the primary
    >> drive.
    >> "
    >> --
    >> Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP Windows: Shell/User
    >> Please reply to the newsgroup
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