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Backup - Where Is It?


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#1 Bone Idol

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 05:38 AM

Hi all. I'm just a beginner. I've been trying to Backup my computer with DriveImage XML... http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm ... I clicked Backup and it copied for over an hour and then it said Finished - which I clicked.

So where is it? Why isn't it telling me to put a DVD disc into the drive for me to make a copy? What's the point of a copy of my system being saved to hard drive? If my PC crashes I won't be able to access this copy to restore my system.

I still don't get it. Surely if your computer crashes then the solution is to put the Backup disc into the drive and copy it to hard drive?

I've found these in My Documents. Is the DAT file the one I should burn to a DVD disc?

Thanks for any help with this.

Posted Image

Moderator Edit: Moved topic to the more appropriate forum, and added a topic descriptor. ~ Animal

Edited by Animal, 04 August 2007 - 11:03 AM.


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#2 Budapest

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 05:52 AM

According to the documentation:

The backup will create two files, a *.XML which contains the drive description and a *.DAT which contains the imaged drive's binary data. *.XML can be opened with several different applications, for example any browser or even a simple text editor. The *.XML file not only contains information about the imaged drive's geometry, file system and the image itself, it also tells you for every single file in the backup the exact sector location in the *.DAT file, which contains the actual data. In other words - even if the image cannot for any reason be restored or you need to process the data in a different way, the data is still there, accessible and usable.


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#3 pascor22234

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 10:57 AM

"Since this program is currently distributed as freeware, we don't offer technical support for it. Please refer to the program's help file and documentation. "


"Images are stored in XML files, allowing you to process them with 3rd party tools."

Gee, It would be nice if they told us what those tools are !

"Never again be stuck with a useless backup!"

It sure sounds like you are now stuck with a "useless backup" ! At least the backup files can be deleted.

There seems to be a "Catch-22" in using this free utility: to restore a system the OS must be up and running. However, if XP crashes and won't restart there is no direct means to run the restore operation.

They say that that it's possible to use Bart's PE Builder to create a bootable disc which contains the backup/restore utility, but they give absolutely no information about how to accomplish this.

Well, it's free, isn't it ? I suggest that you look into other utilities and be prepared to spend a little money for a more capable program. A proper backup utility will provide a self-contained solution, that is, will have a means to create a self-booting CD or DVD that will run without having to rely on XP or "third party tools". You will be able to run the restore program off of its disc and then feed it other discs that have the actual backup data on them. It should be able to completely recreate your hard drive and retore it to exactly the way it was when you made the backup. When you search for another backup program make sure all these features are clearly stated in its description.

I understand that Acronis True Image is popular, but I have no experience with it.

#4 Bone Idol

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 04:11 PM

According to the documentation:

The backup will create two files, a *.XML which contains the drive description and a *.DAT which contains the imaged drive's binary data. *.XML can be opened with several different applications, for example any browser or even a simple text editor. The *.XML file not only contains information about the imaged drive's geometry, file system and the image itself, it also tells you for every single file in the backup the exact sector location in the *.DAT file, which contains the actual data. In other words - even if the image cannot for any reason be restored or you need to process the data in a different way, the data is still there, accessible and usable.


As a newbie I can assure you I haven't even the vaguest idea of what this all means. It explains nothing to me at all that I can understand.

On three occasions over the past two years I've had to have my hard drive clean-installed due to viruses. I had to take the PC into the shop to be re-formated.

To my commonsense it seems pointless to create a Backup of my system and have this stored to hard drive which at any time may need to be wiped clean and re-formated.

#5 Budapest

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 04:29 PM

Have you seen the FAQ for the DriveImage XML software?
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

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#6 Bone Idol

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 04:33 PM

Thanks pascor. I had Acronis recommended to me, but I thought I'd first try to find a freeware version that could do the job just as well.

I have my Windows XP Home Installation CD... not that its ever done me any good after my system has crashed-and-burned on three occasions. I'm hoping to have more luck with a Backup disc of my system.

Thanks for your interest.

I'll probably buy Acronis after all.

#7 Bone Idol

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 04:57 PM

Have you seen the FAQ for the DriveImage XML software?



Thanks Budapest, and I apologise for wasting everyone's time with this inquiry. I've read the FAQ - and it may just as well be written in Ancient Sanscrit. When I say I'm a newbie - I mean I never sat down to a computer in my life until after age 60.

Every sentence of their replies to the questions in the FAQ is meaningless gibberish to me.

I just want to get some software that does the job without me needing to first graduate with a PhD in computer science. I think my best bet is to go with Acronis.

But then again - as I asked in my first post - is the DAT file a Backup copy of my hard drive? If it is, then I can copy this to disc using my CopyToDvd application.

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#8 Animal

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 05:09 PM

But then again - as I asked in my first post - is the DAT file a Backup copy of my hard drive? If it is, then I can copy this to disc using my CopyToDvd application.

Posted Image

Yes it is a 'raw data' back up of your hard drive, basically in 'layman's terms' a file of ones and zeros, hence the .dat file extension. Which unless you have the knowledge and workable application of how to 'convert' the 'raw data' copy of your had drive. This .dat data file is worthless. So yes you can copy it, and do what with it? Seems like you are back to square one with your first post. How do you use this 'raw data' .dat file?

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#9 Bone Idol

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 06:03 PM

Thanks Animal.

The Acronis backup software costs $99.95. I may just as well take my PC to the computer shop for a clean-install for that price.

Edited by Bone Idol, 04 August 2007 - 06:04 PM.


#10 TMacK

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 06:32 PM

It's only $39.99 at Amazon.com
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

aaaaaaaa a~Suzie Wagner

#11 Bone Idol

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 06:59 PM

Thanks TMack - I'll check that out! :thumbsup:

I just tried again with Windows XP Backup. I printed out 5 pages of instructions off the web.

But it ends up the same every time.

Posted Image


Posted Image

#12 TMacK

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 07:12 PM

Are you giving the Windows Backup a path in Drive D to go to?
Or is D your external HD.
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

aaaaaaaa a~Suzie Wagner

#13 Bone Idol

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 07:37 PM

Sorry, I don't understand. The path would surely be the nearest route from the hard disc to the D: drive.

I understand my D:/ drive is where I insert a CD or DVD disc.

#14 TMacK

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 07:45 PM

When the backup Wizard window is open, it's asking you for the backup type, destination and name. (Shown in your screen shot)

Are you entering something from the drop down menu? In Choose a Place to Save Your Backup
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.

aaaaaaaa a~Suzie Wagner

#15 Bone Idol

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 07:47 PM

Wow! I think I'll reconsider my options!

Reading these reviews of Acronis has been a Wake Up call. I think I might look elsewhere.

Sounds like a bit of a lemon...




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