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Like most people I tend to be far too slack when it comes to backing up my files. At best my backup method is pretty much to duplicate files either on to Zip disks (which I rarely remember to do) or to the other machine on my two computer home network. Now this is okay as far as it goes, but it's not ideal and it certainly does not help with the second issue - re-installing windows....
After a year or so of installing software, trying things out and generally abusing my main machine I usually start to experience problems with Windows to some degree or another, whether it's start-up or shut-down problems or generally just playing up more than it ought to. Ideally therefore I need a simler solution to the usual format then reinstalling the OS, drivers and software. Basically this is too long winded.
I did at the weekend buy Norton Ghost on the understanding it would solve my problem. Easy create an image of the primary HD and just a simple restore to get Windows up and running again. Unfortunately trying to get the poxy thing working over the network was hopeless, Ghost went in the bin in pieces and was uninstalled. :(
I have since downloaded a trial of Drive Image, but I've found that to be even less user friendly and have already decided to give that a miss - I'd sooner buy another copy of Ghost!
Anyway, the current situation is this... It seems to me the only painless way of getting this imaging thing to work it to have a second HD in each machine and save an image of each primary drive to the repective second drive of each machine...
The main machine has a 20gig main drive and 6.4Gig second drive.
The second machine (used for gaming and gfx work) only has a 20gig HD.
I was planning at some point to upgrade the second machine's HD for something larger - 80-120gigs. Now it seems I will probably be better off getting two new HD's for it (same type speed etc.) either two 80gig or one 120gig and 80gig as a second drive. Then using the redundant HD from the second machine to replace the second drive in the 1st machine - LOL with me so far? =-O
The end result being that the main machine would have two HD's both 20 gig, one for the OS etc and the other as a storage drive for backup images and files. Likewise the second machine would have a similar set-up albeit with much larger drives - because it would have games installed and image files.
Naturally I'll also have to buy another copy of Ghost I guess. Anyway - does anyone have a better solution? :(
I used Ghost 2003 intially - that ended up in the bin due to me getting too hot and bothered trying to locate the drivers for my on-board NIC port so I could save an image of the HD over the network to the other computer's HD. :(
Just been trying this evening to use the trial version of DI7 on the XP machine (the second machine) and version 2002 on the main machine (windows 98se). Again no joy trying to do it over the network - I gave up - got bored. :(
Guess I should have stuck with Ghost or walked away - should not have tried to do it on the hottest day of the year when I was not being rational. :( Still I think I would be better off fogetting the network as a useful solution to store image files of the respective HDs.
Acronis True Image works entirely within Windows, so you should be able to back up over your network to a mapped network drive.
If you own Ghost, there is a promotional offer which lets you buy TI for about £6 - as long as you have ghost installed when you install TI (you can then delete ghost)
Once you get your second Hard drive or partition installed OK, have a look at XXCOPY at click here.
This program will clone your main drive on to your second drive and will include all system files, registry, programs and data files.
It's quick, easy and FREE.
I've used it for nearly two years and (touch wood) never had a problem.
If your main drive goes belly up, simply clone your second drive back again.
I know you are looking down the Drive Image / Ghost path but i use EzBackitup (free) to copy my files from my C Drive to my D Drive. I only select this files / folders that need doing and have a desktop icon there to run the job in 20 seconds with a quick double click.
Thanks for the suggestions.
That was something I was thinking of doing before I decided that a simpler way to re-install the OS would also be a great benefit. This really has become something I really want to be able to do now, so that I don't have to spend hours on end re-installing drivers and software - just one simple and easy solution is required.
Looks like the best option is pretty much along the lines I'm now thinking of. Not the cheapest way but long term it may be the easiest method of getting back to a fully funtioning computer with the majority of required software already installed. No doubt a useful system when it come to trying out software and game that would otherwise lead to an accumalation of unwanted registry entries and other files being left on the disk when the software is uninstalled again.
On a related subject, I've pretty much narrowed my choice of HD's down to the following two models...
Seagate Barracuda 80Gb 7200rpm UDMA100
£64.62 inc VAT (£129.24 for two) - Ebuyer
Maxtor Diamondmax Plus 9 80Gb 7200rpm 8mb Cache ATA133
£66.70 inc VAT (£133.40 for two)(Ebuyer)
So price wise little in it, but the Segate seems to be better with regards to noise levels and generally well thought of going by the customer reviews on Ebuyer's site. The Maxtor on the other hand obviously benfits from being ATA133 and has the 8mb cache. Any suggestion as to which would make the better buy? Would be going in a fairly well equiped machine...
* Asus A7N8X delux mother board
* AMD 2500XP barton processor
* 512Mb Samsung PC3200 memory
.. so more than capable of making use of the faster drive I would have thought? :)
Anyone? <sniff> :(
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