System Backups

  Carronade 11:31 07 Nov 06

Re €dstowe's post
click here

what is the easiest way to create a systems backup on a CD Rom?

  Batch 11:52 07 Nov 06

Use something Acronis True Image. BUT if you are using CDs it may take an awful lot of them.

Most people have their system set up as a single drive partition (i.e. C: ), as supplied by the vendor. So a backup would have to contain all of this.

Much better is to create separate smaller and more manageable partitions. E.g.

C: - Operating System, Programs etc. Back this up periodically (e.g. before Windows monthly updates downloaded).

D: - Volatile Data (i.e. what you work on all the time, such as documents, emails etc. and should be backed up daily).

E: - Stable Data (things that don't change much, such as music, photos and may be backed up periodically).

  xania 12:48 07 Nov 06

I would go one stage further and have C:\ only for Windows and hardware drivers. Have a 4th partition for storing all your Software. True, your software will normally add additional files to C:\ but still this drive will stay much smaller so backs up will be that much easier. Of course, you won't need to back up your programs partition if you have all the original installation CD's, but you may want to backup any and all downloads/software updates etc, so these might well go onto yet another virtual drive. Me - I've gone even further and keep my games on a separate partition to my other software.

  Batch 13:31 07 Nov 06

I have to say that, apart from keeping the size of the C: drive down, I see very little benefit in creating yet more partitions.

One great advantage of having OS and programs on one partition is that a complete restore takes a few minutes (last time I did mine it took 4 minutes).

Unless one backs-up separate OS and program partitions at the same time (and restore at the same time), restores of one or other or both can give rise to all sorts of synchronisation problems.

Not backing up the programs but re-installing from the original CDs can also give rise to synchronisation issues and is somewhat labourious. As I said, I much prefer a few minutes that does a complete restore of OS & programs.

  €dstowe 15:04 07 Nov 06

I wouldn't recommend making backups to a CD and even less to a DVD.

There are also hazards in putting a backup on to the same physical drive as your operating system is on. This drive works very hard and if it fails you have lost everything - including the backup.

I suggest installing a secondary hard drive (they aren't very expensive now) and keep that solely for your backup.

  xania 10:41 08 Nov 06


Not quite right. I normally find that a restore of a curent backup works very well with the existing Programs partitions. And, of course, there's less space to reformat or data to transfer.


With the current price of both internal and external HDDs, this has got to be the way to go. And externals have additional benefits if you have large amounts of data to move between PC's.

  Carronade 12:04 08 Nov 06

I am grateful for all the replies. I think an external HDD, kept solely for system files, is the answer.

My thanks to all for your help in an area of computing I know little (i.e. nothing) about.

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