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Copying entire hard drive

By mmogano ·
Does it make sense to copy my entire hard drive including the Operating System (XP)(used space 15Gb) to a mobile hard drive via USB2 and would this provide me with a complete backup if my drive ever crashed?

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by rkuhn In reply to Great advice (build a bac ...

Here in Indianapolis, Fry's Electronics will sell you a GQ (mega generic) PC for $159.

If you already have a keyboard and mouse, just buy a removable drive bay (what $20-$30) and now it is offsite. Take it to work with you every morning.

Problem solved. BTW, NAS Lite is not bad.

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Double Handling?

by ozi Eagle In reply to Precisely

If I understand you correctly, you are saying to acquire a second, old ( cheap ) PC, fitted with a removable drive ( USB or hot swap ) and set this up as a backup system.


If you have a removable drive, just use it in your main PC, as you suggest to use it in the second PC. Saves all that space otherwise taken up by the second PC.

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by rkuhn In reply to Double Handling?

Well, you do have a point, however, with a second PC you can share files with others more easily and have that second PC for uses other than just storage.

I use mine for remote access, website serving, etc.

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And far more importantly

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Redundancy

You can never have to much BACKUP ever!

Col ]:)

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YES ! it can...

by mlogsdon In reply to Copying entire hard drive

I work at a State Capital.
We need backups, sometimes of the complete
Hard Drive. It has the OS included. If I need
to put a Senator or the Secretary's data back, it
would do no good just to have the data without
the programs. Then I would have to install again
on another PC. And hopefully get it running again.
I use Acronis True Image ***
I was using the Ghost, but found it would not
work with the new double partition on Dells.
Acronis - Works Great !
Plus I can take an image of a hard drive and put
into a data/file format. Then I can put about 10 hard drive backups onto 1 larger hard drive.
When I restore an image I get the drive ready to
put back into the PC, and its up and running with
all of its programs, ready to run with data.

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Acronis works but with errors and all

by Cool IT Guy In reply to YES ! it can...

at my job we use acronis and it seems to be working fine. but if im not mistaken, it images EVERYTHING; good, bad and the ugly.

also i heard the same thing about dell and acronis having problems with recovery. look into that and let us know what you find

from what i've seen from ym coworker, who won the coin toss to be in charge of images, its been great but i did see him struggle a bit with one image in particular. he ended up using someone else'e image :)

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The good, bad & ugly

by ozi Eagle In reply to Acronis works but with er ...

Of course it images everything, that's what its supposed to do. If you want a clean backup, you need to clean up your HDD before backing up.

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Many thanks

by mmogano In reply to Copying entire hard drive

Thank u for all the suggestions.

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Yes and No

by drbali In reply to Copying entire hard drive

As far as I know, Windows XP will not boot from an external drive (Micro$oft designed it that way.)

Hard drives are still very cheap these days. If it were me, I'd buy a new internal HDD and clone the old one to it using the free version of XXClone. That program will clone everything from your old drive to the new one (including your XP installation) AND make it self-bootable.

You can do just about the whole lot while you're still using Windows! (No need for boring re-boots, etc.) And no need to change jumper settings or physically change drives around.

An added bonus is that it defragments your source drive on-the-fly (again, no need for re-boots). It can also mix and match different file systems, such as FAT, FAT32, NTFS.

I've used it and in my case, it worked superbly. It's a small download (1.2MB) from

Runs rings around the often bloated, expensive and flaky alternatives out there.

Enjoy. (Did I mention that you don't have to be a rocket scientist to use it?)

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