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Yes, you can copy your hard drive to an external drive.
If you simply drag files and folders over in Windows Explorer, a few “System” files will not copy over as they are in use.
A number of folders and files such as your temporary internet files and the page file have no value on a backup.
Keep in mind that if your existing hard drive fails, you cannot just simply copy the external hard drive to a new hard drive and boot up.
There are utilities such as Norton Ghost that allow you to create an image of your hard drive that is easy to restore if your hard drive fails or your system gets a serious infection.
Personally, what I do is back up my personal files and the hardware device drivers for the system.
In case of failure, I install Windows, desired updates, and only the software that I actually use. Then restore my data files.
whoa, chas! notice the os.
with 9x, it is cake to do what he wants.
you use xcopy32 from command prompt in Windows (very important, xcopy32 switches vary depending on ‘shell’ you are in. ouch. you gotta be within windows running command prompt for this to work)
put in your second hd and make sure windows can see it. let’s call it d:
boot into windows, click Start/run/command
xcopy32 c: d: /c /h /e /k /r /f
use xcopy32 /? to see what these and other switches do. or support.microsoft.com
you can run a daily backup of just the changed stuff after this
you will end up with almost exact copy of windows. only pagefile missing. no matter, you can recreate that in windows later. if you ever need to boot that drive you will have to sys the drive and use fdisk make it active. write back if you need more help with that.