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Old 07. Jun 2010, 10:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Subject is...Backups


I'm having a tough time getting my head around the subject of backups. I know I should...but I'm running into a logical roadmap to follow doing them.

There are a number of backup programs available, and there are commercial sites available for a fee that will allow one to backup the whole blinkin' HDD. Part of my understanding however, is "why won't these sites allow a backup of the operating system itself?" Let's recognize that the OS manufacturer (in many cases that's Microsoft) would have DRM problems with being able to do so.

Still, if I have modified ("tweaked") the OS to work better for me, why should I not be allowed to make a backup of that...rather than having to repeat the process again?

Second, while I can understand why manufacturers of popular programs would maintain that "all you have to do is reload the program using the disk(s) you purchased, then go to the update support site to bring the program current," why should I have to WASTE MY TIME doing that just because my HDD decided to go to Atlantic City?

Third, any data that the programs require/use for setting the program up would be lost.

Fourth, what if I don't have any manufacturer disks for the program because I bought and DOWNLOADED the program over the net and didn't bother...or can't find... the receipt that has the unlock code printed on it?

Fifth, what about my data? You know, that stuff you have typed in over the years...with no paper backup for the information? And why...OH WHY...must the data files be on the same drive as the program?

These are the things going through my mind. A friend tipped me off to something called an ISO image file wherein that file would "make a picture" of everything on the disk so that if something DID happen...HDD crash, lightning strike, whatever...one could simply use a restore program to reload that disk image.

Would anyone be willing to educate me to a workable process to solve this?
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Old 08. Jun 2010, 12:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Soapymac
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There are a number of backup programs available, and there are commercial sites available for a fee that will allow one to backup the whole blinkin' HDD. Part of my understanding however, is "why won't these sites allow a backup of the operating system itself?" Let's recognize that the OS manufacturer (in many cases that's Microsoft) would have DRM problems with being able to do so.
Hello
Backing up an OS/system has evolved. In years past. Backup utilities would backup your valuable files even you whole system. My experience was a time consuming process often fraught with errors such as "Can not backup. File in use." Other pitfalls involve the media the backups are stored on. If you have 70 gigs tied up with your OS and files. This could involve many dvd's. If you have an external hardrive or a second internal hardrive it will make the process easier. There is a caveat
Do not expect to completely rebuild your OS from a backup in the event of a complete OS failure.

For this. You will need to restore from an Image.
Please read this worth while article from Gizmo himself. Never reinstall windows again What the article is describing is restoring your system from an image file. This will require a drive imaging program. I myself use Acronis Disk Image (Not Free!) However TSA has recommendations for The Best Free Drive Imaging Program. Restoring your system from an image file is relatively painless and far more efficient than reinstalling windows.

I still use backup software like MozBackup for FireFox and Thunderbird and and a free backup utility for system settings for specific restores. I also use free online backups like SkyDrive and DropBox. For important personal files. Just in case.

I hope this helps getting you pointed in the right direction

Cheers
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Old 08. Jun 2010, 05:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You don't mention which OS you use but Windows 7 comes with the ability to create basic backups and indeed full disk images built-in. It's easy to use and, by all accounts, reliable.

I too can vouch for Acronis under XP, and if your HDD is made by either Seagate or Western Digital then I believe you qualify for a free version available via their respective websites.

Last edited by Sope; 08. Jun 2010 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 08. Jun 2010, 05:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You might want to go back and read this similar thread. It has some useful information in it:

http://www.techsupportalert.com/free...p-restore.html
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Old 09. Jun 2010, 08:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Another very good, though not the easiest solution could be WinPE with imageX. Just google it, you will know how to create a WinPE cd with imageX plugin, with it you can pull a complete Image (OS) backup.WinPE back up everything file level rather than sector-by-sector, hence file integrity is better maintained and also if required you can mount the image (with imageX) and edit it too .
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