My parents have asked me to back up their computer because they are buying a new one and want everything on their current computer put on the new one.
The deal is I can have their old one if I save everything on it and put it on an external harddrive. The haven't bought a new one yet but said If I just save everything I can have their computer and go and reformat it. How can I save a copy of their computer?
I have an external harddrive. There is only 211/700g free space left.
The internal C:/ has 84/456g available free.
It is their external HD.
When I am actually ready to save a copy do I just click on the C:/ and hit copy and then open an external and right click paste??
Will that sufficiently make a copy and save everything?
If the C drive is using 372GB and you only have 211GB of space left on the external, you won't be able to get it all on there, but that should be a fairly easy issue to fix. You can either format the external hard drive, delete some of the stuff on it, or get a new one specifically for the purpose of backing up this drive.
Also, can I get a bit more information about your OS? What's running on the computer now, and what OS do your parents intend to get on their new machine?
It's important to note that most likely you won't be able to bring all of their programs over, although you should be able to get all their files. You'll have to reinstall their programs on the other drive.
In any case, you should simply be able to plug the external hard drive in, and when it asks if you want to use it as a backup, say yes. This will back your files up.
Do the user state backup as above to backup to an external drive. Then, before you mess around with the system, remove their existing drive from the computer and install a new one, install Windows on that again. Or just create a new user account on their existing setup.
If you format the drive and something goes wrong with the backup, the old data is gone (outside of trying to run a recovery software). That will not make your parent's happy.
Using a second drive instead or creating a new account for you and not touching the existing files is a safer thing. Every time I upgrade to a new computer, or want to re-build mine, I use a new hard drive rather than re-using the old one. Less chance of drive failure due to age, and also you are safe with your data.