Win XP backup utility

Like many people my system gets clogged up relatively quickly. I tend to prefer having a nice clean system and have set up my numerous drives so that all my files and preferences are located on separate partitions to my C drive so that I can reinstall my c drive without losing data.

I was therefore wondering what would happen if I were to save a backup copy of my system state and my c drive after I had done a fresh install of xp and installed all my drivers, xp updates etc. Could i then simply restore the system rather than reinstalling xp and all the other updates and programs?

My main concern is that restoring in this way will change data on my other 4 drives (2-raid, 1 ide, 1 sata). Space, as you can see, is not an issue but I cant risk losing data on any partition other than the one I have backed up.

What does system state backup (I know registry etc) but does it back any system files for my other drives? In which case would restoring change them in any way? Or would I be completely safe?

Would reinstalling in this way change my partition information?

Someone please unwire me...the gadgets are taking over!
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  1. I have my system setup as

    5 GB C drive for windows
    40 GB D drive where I moved my desktop, My Documents, favorites, games, large programs anything with settings
    80 GB E drive for movies, MP3s, pics

    All Fat32, just saves me some hastle in recovering or taking drives to friends houses.

    After I load my computer the way I want it, I make a ghost image of C using norton ghost, then I can restore it anytime I want, without losing data.
  2. I have a very complex drive set up cause i like keeping everything in its place. I also have a raid 0 array which i use for video editing and for fast program launch etc.

    Overall i have over 6 partitions - that includes one for my c drive, 1 for my page file, a temp disk for video editing, a backup drive, a shared drive etc.

    I have about 600gb of space which i have allocated properly and given enough space for future expansion. I do also own a copy of Norton ghost 2003. I was going to use this to make an image but unfortunatley (as you may be able to see from previous posts) the program will not run as the raid array stops it. Although i am not using norton ghost on the raid array the mere presance of the array crashes the program and windows - so ghost isnt an option!!

    In summery i am still desperately trying to determine whether restoring my c drive and system state from a backup made after a clean install (and after i had installed all the various patches and fixes that ms have to offer, why cant ms make a working system?) will change any data on my other drives or change the way that the system runs?

    I assume that if i were to change partition sizes or create encrytion keys after the backup then this may bugger the machine but other than that other will the restore change anything else on my other drives?

    Cheers for your post though. Do you notice any probs when running fat32? Is there any performance probs or noticable differences compared to ntfs? I am tempted to run some of my drives in fat32 so that i can experiment with some linux os systems. I tried knoppix last night and kinda liked it as it was lightning fast and was very functional (oh and it was free!!) but it wont write to NTFS.

    Someone please unwire me...the gadgets are taking over!
  3. You may want some other people to tell you if this will lose any information from your raid, but have you ever tried taking the drives off the raid, or disabling raid, long enough to boot into Dos and run ghost? And are you running ghost from Dos?

    Then put them back in and windows will never know they were gone. I just don't know if the raid can survive being taken off for a single boot or not.

    I would hope it can, otherwise how would you troubleshoot hardware problems.
  4. Indeed i could take the raid disk offline but that would mean opening up the case and removing the connections - which i dont fancy doing everytime.

    I really wanna know about the backup function in XP, but cheers for the advice.

    I am however very interested in what you think of running fat32 rather than ntfs. Are there any problems that you have found? As mentioned above i am thinking of running linux so i would need fat32 drives but am unsure whether to convert all of my drives to an older system??

    Someone please unwire me...the gadgets are taking over!
  5. You run your computer with the case on? That's crazy man, Heh :)

    As far as Fat32, I don't find any problems with it, and it gives me the options to boot with a Win98 cd and play old dos games and specifically to run Dos utilities.

    I don't tend to make any of my partitions any larger than 50-80GB so I don't lose as much to cluster loss as someone with larger partitions where NTFS would be better.

    Also with all my drives as Fat32, I have the option of installing Win98 on the C drive, XP on the D drive, and being able to see all partitions with both systems.
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