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Drive Image

Last response: in Windows XP
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March 20, 2003 8:05:34 PM

I'm posting this message for Toey. I did purchase Drive Image. Got a great buy "CD with Guide from Software Craze. I did save a drive image to my second partition. In XP do you keep system restore going or do you disable it. I have already uninstalled GoBack.Also you said that you back up to cd's weekly so are you using rewrite disk. It will take 7to 10 disk to make a image. I heard that the rewrite disk are not as reliable as record disk. let me know how you handle the Images. The program is pretty easy to use as long as you read all the lines. thanks Bruce

Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?

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March 20, 2003 9:39:20 PM

I have System Restore disabled, because if I have a valid image, having the utility running is unnecessary.

I disable anything that might be taking up hard drive space before creating an image. I delete all temp files, which are located in C:\Documents and Settings\" your user name"\Local Settings\Temp. I keep my <i>main</i> Paging File on another partition on a separate hard drive, and only use a 2MB paging file on C:, as this is all that is needed to boot the system safely, and then I don't have to back up a file of this size along with everything else. This is also the same reason that I install all games on a partition other than C: ... which means I am only backing up the <i>shortcuts</i> on the Start Menu that point toward the application .exe's of the games instead of several enormous files, some of which, with modern games, can be around a gigabyte in size or more.

Think of it this way ... when creating an image of the system partition, in order to facilitate the ease of backing up (and to keep the image to a minimum of CD's) the image should really contain only the operating system, and any other programs that absolutely <i>must</i> be installed in Program Files or run as a Service, like an AntiVirus program or a third-party Disk Defragmenter. Anything else can be installed on another partition and backed up at your leisure.

This kind of layout is worth considering, since this means the system partition doesn't need to be any larger than 10GB at the maximum, and you can get by with much less. (I usually just go with 10GB to leave room for expansion.) That leaves most of the free space on a hard drive for your own personal files and programs, which is a plus in my book.

I am using CD-R disks, not rewritables. I buy CD-R's in bulk, so in the end, the cost of a single CD is very low in comparison to a CD-RW disk. And yes, I also think that CD-RW disks are not as reliable, and it takes longer to burn to this kind of disk than CD-R's.

Note: I never burn directly an image directly to CD's. The possibility that the image will be corrupted is far higher using this method, even if it appears that the burning process was successful. I always burn the image to the hard drive and verify it during the creation process. Then I burn the image to the CD-R disks with Nero (never burning any faster than 12x, for safety, and because faster speeds are more likely to induce errors, even with BURN-Proof enabled), and I take the time to verify that the data was correctly written to the CD's with the program. Then ... I re-verify that the image is valid on the CD-R disks. There are two methods to doing that, and one is to boot with the Drive Image floppy disks, select the image file name, and then choose to verify the image once the "Verify" button is highlighted. The other is to use ImageExplorer while still in Windows. There is a "Verify Image" command under the File menu, which can verify the image wherever it is located.

This might sound like overkill, but the whole point of having the image is to 1:} Back up data so it is safe. 2.) Be able to use the image to repair a partition, restore data, or even transfer the image to a new hard drive. The last thing you want to discover at a critical moment is that the image is corrupted. Much better to be safe than sorry.

Currently, it takes only two CD-R disks to image my entire system partition using high compression, which makes backing up a fast and easy proposition. I also generally leave the most recent image files on the hard drive, as this means I have more than one way to restore the system partition, and I like redundancy in matters such as this. If the hard drive that contains the image fails ... I've got the CD-R disks. If the disks somehow become corrupted, I've got the files on the hard drive. I think the likelihood of both failing at the same time is rather slim.

It must work, as I've never lost a single byte of data since I started imaging regularly several years ago ... and how many people can say that, even with modern hardware?

Toey

P.S. By the way, I also run CHKDKS.exe and completely defrag the partition before imaging, as I don't want any file system errors, and I prefer to back up as little free space as possible. Just the files, if you please.

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
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March 20, 2003 11:25:16 PM

I have used the exact same "technique" that Toey just described and it has worked perfect. I had some trouble with my computer booting off the emergency floppies but got that corrected by booting to a different version of DOS first. Other than that works great on all 5 of the computers I currently take care of. Btw all 5 are different in hardware, and OS. Works great on all 5 :) 

Psyko

<A HREF="http://forums.btvillarin.com/index.php?act=ST&f=41&t=42..." target="_new">Psyko's Rig</A>
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March 20, 2003 11:38:58 PM

Hi, Mike!

Long time, no talk. ( My fault, too.)

Glad to see that everything is working out well for you!

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 20, 2003 11:46:29 PM

As usual thanks for a great response. I see right now I am a sloppy house keeper. Up to this time I have installed everything to C:\ and just kept other data such as downloads, music on my other partition. I used partition magic to make the other partition.I guess I could uninstall what games I have and reinstall them to my second partition and just keep my important stuff such as ,firewall antivirus,business data on the first drive. I got alot of work ahead and this is the time to do it, I broke my foot and still have four weeks in the cast. thanks again. Bruce PS Are there any sites that give you a lot of insight to organizing a hard drive. Bruce

Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?
March 21, 2003 12:14:55 AM

One more question. I was always told that if you install another program or game to a different partition other than "c" it will still put critical files that are need to run that program under "c".So if you did have to format C drive and left the second partition alone it would make those programs unuseable because of the lose of data in C drive.I guess with drive Image you don't have to format so you don't lose those files any way. thanks Bruce

Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?
March 21, 2003 12:29:34 AM

I found a few sites that offer tips on organizing a hard drive, but to be perfectly honest, most of them were created by inexperienced users, and I didn't agree with the majority of the information! (Except that I agree with them when stating that keeping as much as possible off the root of C: is a good idea.)

Most of what is required to organize your drive is just common sense and some forethought. Only you are aware of how you use the system, and can adjust things accordingly.

I'll give you an example of what I've got going on my "backup" networked system I am currently using:

Two 120GB hard drives, each with two partitions.

HDD 0 - C: Operating system, and programs that must be installed in the system partition. 10GB E: Photographs and my music. 110GB

HDD 1 - D: Paging File, Games, and a folder called My Software, which contains all the programs I want installed on the system organized into sub-directories, all the drivers needed for the hardware, game patches, e-mail and Favorites backups, my main downloads folder, and any personal documents. I consider this the most important folder on the computer, as this contains <i>everything</i> that was used when the installation was new. All the programs from Photoshop 7 to the latest codecs. 20GB. F: Image files (because it's the "safest" partition, and if the drive fails, I may be able to access the partition through DOS, even if the primary DOS partition is wiped), more photographs (I'm really into scanning and collecting celebrity images!) and any movies I've downloaded or created. 100GB.

You can tell from the way that I'm organized that I am very interested in graphic arts, games, music, scanning, and using many different music and graphic programs. And that's that way I like it.

Your computer use may be entirely different.

The best advice I can give in this respect: one separate partition for the OS, and another for programs like games. Everthing else for your personal files, and you can organize them anyway you choose, although I suggest using subfolders listed alphabetically so it's easy to locate a folder or file. No more than 4 partitions per disk in Windows, preferably.

Is my way the best way? Not necessarily. But it's easy for me to manage ... I have enough space for the type and size of files I usually work with, and it suits me. And that's all the counts, in the long run.

Toey


<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 21, 2003 12:58:51 AM

Here's the thing when installing programs like games into a different partition ... keep track of the drive letters.

Here's an example:

First, let's assume that you've been diligent and have everything recently imaged. Now, we have a single HDD with two partitions ... C: containing the OS and the Registry (which holds all the information about installed programs which are "registered), and (D:)  where you installed the games and additional programs.

This hard drive is an old IBM and it fails, which is no big surprise. Supposedly. EEEKK!

You excitedly install a replacement hard drive that's got 4 times the cache and is blazing fast. But NOW what do you do?

You would first create a Primary DOS Partition on the new drive the same size (or larger) as the similar, previous partition on the old drive, and that would be C: Then you would create an Extended partition that contains a Logical Drive ... again, the same size or larger as the previous partition. That would be D:. Any optical devices would be assigned drive letters that come after D: once the system image was placed on the new hard drive. If there was any problems in this area, you would simply use the Disk Management tool to move around the drive letters as you see fit. For games, it is <b>important</b> that they locate a drive letter that is the same as the optical device that was originally used to install the program.

Once the partitions are created, you'd place the image of the system partition on C:. The new partition will overwrite the partition table, and adjust the size of the partition, if you prefer. Then you'd place the image of D: on (your first two guesses don't count) D:

Everything would be exactly as it was before, with no problems. The key here is that you cannot place an image into a partition that is smaller than the original.

Quote:
So if you did have to format C drive and left the second partition alone it would make those programs unuseable because of the lose of data in C drive.

Yes, that's exactly right. Temporarily out-of-commission. Heck, no OS ... nothing runs! But with a valid image of the system partition in hand you wouldn't be down long ... and the programs on the other partition would function correctly once the imaged OS was back in place.

It sure beats re-installing the OS, and starting over from the beginning, and having to also re-install all those programs on the separate partition. Or relying on the iffy Microsoft procedures for repairing the OS, if something critical goes wrong.

Toey

<font color=red>First Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=17935" target="_new"><font color=green>Toejam31's Devastating Dalek Destroyer</font color=green></A>
<font color=red>Second Rig:</font color=red> <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?rigid=15942" target="_new"><font color=green>Toey's Dynamite DDR Duron</font color=green></A>
________________________________________

<A HREF="http://www.btvillarin.com/phpBB/index.php" target="_new"><b><font color=purple>BTVILLARIN.com</font color=purple></b></A> - <i><font color=orange>A better place to be</font color=orange></i>. :wink:
March 21, 2003 12:25:27 PM

Thanks Toey.I am on the way to esay computing!!!Fingers crossed. I ahve always be organized to the point I can find any thing I put on my PC because of the way I arrange it. I ahve two partitions one "51.91 and "24.42 ". I will begin to organize one day at a time. This does beat sstarting from scratch.I ahve done that many times. Thanks Again for your time. Bruce

Is it true that cannibals don't eat clowns because they taste funny?
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