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As an O.A.P. my hobby is building and maintaining computers for my children and grandchildren. I have found when maintaining these computers, that the most time consuming and tedious part of it, is when I have to format the hard-drive, then install all the software again. I am presently using Win 98se, which does not have its own back-up system. To avoid formatting the hard-drives, and installing all the software again (including Outlook Express 6), can anyone recommend a good and reasonably easy to use, software package to buy, which would transfer all my hard-drive data onto cd's via my cd writer, and then allow me to reinstall onto a formatted hard-drive. Thanks for any interest shown.
If you have a good image, made when things were last in first class order, then "Restoring this image" to a messy drive will overwrite that drive and avoid the need even to re-format.
To make the Image you need Norton Ghost or Drive Image software.
It is possible to keep the image of each drive on CDs but I would dedicate a separate old HD, which can be piggybacked to a computer while you make an image and attached (temporarily) to the errant computer when you want to restore the pristine system, apps. and all!
The problem with what you are trying to do is it will only work providing you are using the same motherboard. A good backup to CD is Acronis which was free on a magazine coverdisk, but you would need to backup each individual computer. The ultimate for a new build computer is to buy another hard disk and, after fdisking and partitioning it use xcopy (which comes with Win98SE)to copy an existing hard disk. Again it will only work properly on another computer if the motherboards are the same. I build computers and have a master disk with Win98SE (only) on it which is xcopied to all new build computers (we use the same motherboard) the buyer then has to pay the license fee. You say you want to transfer all your hard drive data to install on another computer, but again, that will only work if the "other" computer is the same as yours and it is also illegal.
You cannot beat Drive Image 7 [Acronis, Ghost alternatives from a DI7 user].
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