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I need help backing up my system


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#1 Zer0_II

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 08:40 AM

I've actually never performed a backup. I would like to change that, only I'm not famliar with the process or various methods. I would like to backup my entire system. I do not have a DVD burner, and I have 11 gigs of free space. I can't afford any type of portable storage at this point in time. Would it be possible to store a backup on another partition, or would the backup be too large? I have Acronis True Image 9 and Partition Magic if that helps. I'm just not sure how large of a partition I should create. I have no idea how large a backup image file of my drive would be. My entire drive is 40gigs btw. TIA

Edited by Zer0_II, 03 October 2005 - 08:44 AM.


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#2 stidyup

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 09:17 AM

I doubt whether you have enough room to do a full backup if you only have 11gb free. The only way to do it would be to backup your current data to DVD then reformat and install the software you want and then take an image, without restoring your data. My True Image backup WinXP file is about 1.5gb on a USB hdd, this has AV/Firewall/Internet settings etc.. all configured, restoring via true image 9 takes approx 4 mins and then I'm back up and running. Imaging is far easier and better than a reformat install. When you can invest in a USB hdd. Obviously if you wanted to image your hdd as it is would take longer due there being more data on the disk.

True Image is all you would need if you can purchase a USB external hdd, currently drives about 40-80gb are very cheap.

Drive Image is currently freeware and I'd advise getting a copy.

Lexun Backup is also free and will backup selected folders or the entire drive, it also says you can archive to DVD/CD.

FABS autobackup is another good free utility that will backup important files/folders.

Edited by stidyup, 03 October 2005 - 09:20 AM.


#3 franktiii

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 10:27 AM

40 gig is not much for a hard drive these days, particularly with images, mp3s, etc. You might want to look into adding a second hard drive, moving everything over to the new drive and then using the old drive as a backup for 0S and applications.

Most hard drives come with software to move data, but if this is more than you want to try on your on, most computers places will do it for a nominal charge.

#4 usasma

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 10:40 AM

Have you used the Disk Cleanup Wizard on your drive? If not, go to Start, then to Run, and type in "cleanmgr.exe" (without the quotes) and press Enter. It'll prompt you through the steps to clean a bunch of stuff that you may not need on your system.

FWIW - I have a 36 gB hard drive for my operating system and a 74 gB hard drive for my data, files, and backups. And I use Acronis True Image on a regular basis.

Then I got a 120 gB USB drive because my backup drive died while I was formatting my primary drive. More stuff for Acronis to do!

The point here is that backing up is good - but it's no good if the equipment fails. You should see the lengths that business' go through to ensure that there's a backup available (some of the folks in New Orleans still have their data because they backed it up out of their region - just in case of a disaster like this).

Keep your eyes open for another hard drive on sale - you can find one fairly cheap that way. They're easy to install and you can't put a price on the data that they hold (my dead hard drive held all of my photos for the last 3 years - luckily I had a spare copy of my wedding photo's or the wife would have killed me! :thumbsup:

Finally, ensure that you've got adequate free space on your drives. I'd recommend 25%, but don't let it go under 15% - Windows uses that free space at times!
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#5 jgweed

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 11:24 AM

If you plan on keeping your computer for a while, buying a second hard drive is one of the best investments you could make (you can also transfer the entire drive to another computer if you buy one later), and 80GIG drives can be had for under 80 dollars US if you look around.
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#6 Zer0_II

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 06:14 AM

Thank you all for the helpful advice. I will take everything into consideration. At this moment I definately cannot afford an external HD, but I will be sure to get one in the future. Thanks for the freeware suggestions stidyup.

#7 acklan

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Posted 05 October 2005 - 08:22 AM

PriceWatch Has 60GB HD for $40, that includes shipping. You may consider an internal for now, if you can afford it. Buy an external case later.
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