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By kamsan ·
Sirs - I've a notebook running under XP Home with 40GB harddisk. I've also an external notebook harddisk 40GB connected via USB 2.0. My question is how do i fully backup what i ve in my notebook to this external harddisk. My idea is that when my notebook harddisk fails, all i need to do is replace it my external one without much lost of time. Pls assist. 95 points

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by Xanderoth In reply to Backup

unfortunately, if your internal HD fails, you will probably not be able to boot to your external drive, unless your bios supports it. So you would be able to backup the data only with a simple batch file and access that data with another machine if the laptop fails, but you still have downtime with the notebook itself.

create a new text file on your desktop and edit it with the following:

xcopy <source><directory>\<data> <destination>: /v /c /r /e /y

Or backup the entire drive with
xcopy <source>*.* <destination>: /v /c /r /e /y

where source is your data drive and data is the files you want to copy, use *.* if you dont know, and destination is the drive letter of the external drive.

Then go to file>save as and enter backup.bat as file name and change "save as type" to all files.

double click the file to test, it should save your specified files to the external drive.

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by pctech In reply to Backup

I would approach this by removing the laptop drive and setting it aside in a safe place. I would then install the hard drive from the external case and do a clean install with the restore disks provided by the laptop manufacturer. Install all of your drivers and Windows updates. I would then install any applications that you are currently using and their updates, if any. You can create any user profiles that are on the original drive with the same usernames and passwords, if any of this already exists. Now you have a bootable hard drive with all of your apps installed and ready to go. All you need to do now is to reinstall the original hard drive and copy over any data to the reinstalled usb drive. This would typically include "My Documents", "Favorites", "Desktop", emails, address book, and app specific data such as Quicken or MS Money. Also do an export of each email account settings and save this to the "My Documents" directory of the associated user profile. Do a daily backup of the data files to the usb drive to assure your data remains current across drives. You can create batch files to simplify this process for you. While this process will involve some time initially, maintaining it should be simple. I would, on regular intervals, reinstall the usb drive back into the laptop and catch it up with any Windows updates and app installations and uninstalls you had changed since the last time this was done. Now, should your laptop drive fail, you are only 15 minutes from being fully operational again.

I hope this helps you.

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by pctech In reply to

I would have suggested Norton Ghost but, I am unsure it will support imaging to a usb device drive.

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