Posted 13 December 2008 - 02:35 PM
In the old days imaging software was much simpler to use. Today we're having problems at work with the Acronis True Image program - because it's too complicated for most users.
In short, you use the software to make an "image" of your hard drive. This is a picture of your hard drive as it exists at a certain point in time. It includes the exact locations of the files on the hard drive so that they can be put back in the same place.
Then, when you need it, you can restore the image to your hard drive (wiping everything out in the process) and the system will be back as it was on the day you made the image.
There's lot's of issues that crop up later in the process. If you hard drive dies, then it may be difficult to restore the image to a new hard drive and get Windows to work properly (we can usually work around that). But if you get a new computer, then it's going to be much more difficult to do this. This also happens if you start installing new hardware devices on your system - each device makes it less likely that Windows will work properly when you restore the image.
This is most handy for people who are planning on keeping their computer for several years (because of the problem with new hardware) - although there are ways around this also - but they require a bit more knowledge about Windows than most users have.
Finally, the newer software has so many features that it's hard to find out exactly which button to click to make an image. I had a customer yesterday who took 20 minutes of my time to explain the differences in Acronis True Image Home v11
Another downside of imaging is the size of the images - they're huge and take a lot of storage space.
Another suggestion would be to contact the computer manufacturer for a set of recovery/restore disks - they'll be cheaper than having someone install XP.
Another option would be to get your own copy of an XP CD that's designed for your system. Then make a backup of all your drivers on another CD (so you can reinstall them if need be). The drawback to this is that it won't have any of the built in applications that are usually bundled with a new system.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able. - John
(my website: http://www.carrona.org/
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