Backup Question Via Second HDD

  ACOLYTE 13:49 08 Feb 05

I was thinking the other day after i made 3 backups to disc,if i could back what i wonted to my second drive?,it has mostly games on there and is 160 gig and if i formated my C: drive would i still be able to accses the F: after?.Is this a good idea,would save me loads of disc's.
The drive is formated to NTFS system and doesnt usually show up till i go in to device managment
and format it.Is there a way to save the F: drive from this?.

  Danoh 14:32 08 Feb 05

Trying hard to read and understand your question ~ apologies if I've misread ~ repost to clarify please. Your operating system and default file format (FAT32/NTFS) information would also be helpful.

You can backup to your 2nd hard drive (F: ?) instead of disk (CDs?) if there is enough spare space in the total 160Gb you mentioned, including allowing for the temp file space required when you run your games on that drive.

If you format your C: drive, you can only access your 2nd hard drive if; a) you install XP back into the C: drive to access the NTFS F: drive. b) you connect your 2nd hard drive (F: ) to another XP or Windows 2000 PC.

Presumably you are running Windows XP defaulted to FAT32, which is why you can not see the NTFS F: drive?

Of course, that is relying on the 2nd hard drive (F: ) never failing, rather than having your backups on CD-Rs, I presume.

Please post more descriptive information to avoid us having to guess what you are trying to do.

  ACOLYTE 14:42 08 Feb 05

LOL,i agree wasnt very informative,ok
I have 2 drives C/F both formatted to the NTFS file system.
I Install XP on my C drive and my games and other stuff on the F drive,when and if i have to format my C drive i would like to copy the things i need on to the F drive first.
After i have formatted the C drive and reinstalled XP on to it would the F drive still be visable to XP if i dont format this drive as well,i usually do after i have XP up and running
because the games on there add files to the C drive and they wont be there after the format.
The drive isnt partitioned its just one big 160 gig drive.Dont know if this makes things any clearer or not,lol.

  Danoh 14:55 08 Feb 05

Ok! Thats a lot clearer (except why you can't see F: at the moment unless you use XP's Device Manager, but that is one of a few separate items in your post).

1) If you format your C: drive only, anything you have on F:, including data you have transferred would still be there as long as you do not format the F: drive.

1a) If some (or all) of your games always installs onto your C: drive but you can specify that your games data is to be stored on F:, then you can reinstall your games and the games data will still be on F: and can be found by your games if you also re-specify that games data should be stored on F:

2) Back to why your current setup (& therefore potentially your new setup as well) can not see your drive F:

I presume you mean you can not see drive F: via My Computer, Windows Explorer, etc?? How did you add the 2nd drive F:? Is it a USB external drive or an internal EIDE or SATA drive?

  FelixTCat 15:41 08 Feb 05


Yes, what you are proposing is quite possible. If you have 2 hdd, the reformatting one will not affect the other. What may well happen is that, after you refrmat the C: drive and reinstall XP, the second drive will appear as D:, not F:. You can reletter it in Disk Management.

If I may make a suggestion, why not partition your system drive into, say, three: one for XP (C:), one for programs (D:) and one for data (E:). For backups, you can then just copy the data onto your second, 160 Gb, drive, which will now be F: automatically. Relabel your DVD, CD drives etc as Z:, Y:, X: etc so that they will never change their letter, even if you plug in USB drives etc.

Now you can reformat your C: drive without losing your data in the reformat because you only need to reformat C:. You will still have to reinstall programs and games.

If you have a disk-imaging program, do your basic XP instalation on C: and your standard programs (word processor, email, graphics driver, DVD burner etc) on D:, then image C: and D: and store the images on the second drive and/or DVD. Now, to get a fresh install all you do is reload the disk images and you have a perfect, fresh system.

  ACOLYTE 15:58 08 Feb 05

The F: drive doesnt show on the install screen for XP if i go into dick managment after XP is installed then the drive is there but unallocated i cannot acsess it untill its been formated using disc managment,thats why i usually format F: what i wonted to do was put what i wonted to save on F: without the format part happening so i can still see it after C: has been formatted.The games install on the F: drive but just as they start, they add things to C: and then continue installing on the F: drive.
I dont have any imaging software to back the drive up so i just save my downloads to disc usually but they are getting quite big about 8 gig's worth,both drives are normal IDE HDD.

  ACOLYTE 16:19 08 Feb 05

Brainwave, could i install 98se on the F: drive?
XP on C: drive? would the programs saved to a NTFS file system save to a FAT32 system and then work back onto a NTFS file system again?,this way both drives would work and i could keep my games.How would i get the NTFS file system off the other drive to put 98se on it?.Can this be done in drive managment?.

  FelixTCat 20:57 08 Feb 05

No. SE has to be installed on the first drive within the first 1024 sectors. You can dual boot SE and XP but SE has to be installed first. XP cannot then be installed on the same partition.

You can install XP on both drives and dual boot, but I really cannot see why you need two systems. Is your second drive (F:) set up as an extended partition with no primary partition?

My latest computer had a SATA hard drive with XP preinstalled. I put a new IDE hard drive in and installed XP on it. In my BIOS I can choose which hard drive I boot from; whichever I boot from, the other shows up in My Computer with only the drive letters changed. All the data is available (though only the progams installed with the relevant system will run). This is why I can't understand why you have to reformat your F: drive - it should simply show up (though with a different drive letter) whenever you reformat C: and reinstall XP.

You don't use dynamic volumes, do you?

  ACOLYTE 21:50 08 Feb 05

Sorry i have not answered been in a match,dynamic volumes? i don't think so,
i thought you could put 2 different OS on different hard drives and choose witch one to use?,extended partition if that is all the drive?
then yes i use that the primary hard drive is my C drive with XP on it.XP does all this for me when i select the drive i just click through the list that comes up and it formats the drive.I think i will just use disk's lol lots easier.

  Danoh 23:49 08 Feb 05

As your 2nd disk is already formatted, you will be able to see if after you have reformatted and installed XP on C: You won't need to format F: as you did when you first got the 2nd disk.

A new disk is not formatted and needs to be be in order to store data. But once it has been formatted it does not need to be formatted again.

  Danoh 23:51 08 Feb 05

P/S You will have to reinstall your games programs as they seem to be hardcoded to install some bits on a C: drive no matter what.

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