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Want to experiement on crippled system, need way to back it up first

By Slayer_ ·
Basically I got an XP home machine that is fairly crippled and would require several hours of fixing. However that is cheaper than the 100 bucks computer shop wants to reinstall OS (They refuse to give me the disc, even though I have the key).

So I want to go Nix on it, preferably Mandriva or Ubuntu, I'll try both. However, if neither work, I need a backup plan to get the system back up. I still want to do this as cheap as free :).

I figured the best way to do this is to make a ghost image of the drive. And store the ghost on another computer or on a CD for a later restore if needed.

How can I do this?


The system in question DOES NOT have a CD burner, only a standard CD drive, a single HDD (40gb). It is network capable. The NIC is onboard.
It has USB drives and I have a USB HDD that could hold the ghost image.


So what can I do to ghost it and save it somewhere else so I can rebuild it later if neither Nix distro works?

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Easier option would be ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Want to experiement on cr ...

Buy another HDD and forget about ghosting.

It's only a 40GB HDD so rather than ghost it, just keep the original. If it's a 40GB system disk it's got to be getting on in years now, so best to not put it under unnecessary strain.

Whatever HDD you buy will be larger than what you've got at present (at least 80GB). You'll then eventually end up with a twin HDD system.

Don't forget - if you ghost the system, the ghosted image retains ALL your present system problems - just like the existing HDD is capable of doing.

With today's hardware prices there can't be much difference between the cost of a ghosting program and the cost of a brand new, warrantied, 80GB HDD.

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If nix works, good chance I'd never go back

by Slayer_ In reply to Easier option would be .. ...

The system is too meek to game on, so Nix would be perfect. I have no doubt the XP problems are fixable. But just not worth it. I'd rather not buy another HDD, that drive is not terriably old, I think it saw 3 years of use... then has been sitting since then. The computer itself is not worth a penny... I think it only has 1.3 ghz CPU and 512 mb of RAM. I have some spare RAM chips if needed from my last system rebuild. It absolutly crawls with XP home on it. The entire drive used space is probably only 6gb.

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Well IMHO - any 40GB HDD is a lot older than 3 years...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to If nix works, good chance ...

Not to mention the fact that if the system is NOT working at present, there is as much likelihood the cause could be imminent hard drive failure as system corruption.

You might be better to 'fix' the existing XP installation if for no other reason than to ascertain the health of the HDD.

You could attempt to ghost it, rely on the ghosted image, only to eventually discover that the ghosted image didn't 'take'. Then you've lost the XP install forever.

But as usual, I'd always look for the path of least resistance (and most reliability).

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The XP install is wrecked from contact with bloatware

by Slayer_ In reply to Well IMHO - any 40GB HDD ...

The accountant that used it, installed all mannor of crap on the system, and completely slowed it down. It's twin system can do simple things 4 times as fast. However I have checked SMART on the drive and it shows good. After 3 years of use, the business went belly up and the system has just been sitting. Turned on only occasionally to get accounting files off of it. The Xp system needs a good scrubbing but it still works fine.

If the ghost doesn't take, well thats just how it is then. I of course am going to locate all my driver CD's and such first for that system, and write down all the drivers that windows reports so I can find them again later should I need to rebuild it from the ghost. But like I said, it is an old system with no real worth to me. I want to place it in my bedroom on a currently empty computer desk to simply display a slideshow of the house and house information, etc. for when we sell this place. Also I would like to just set up my email on it and use it for that and surf the web a bit. Maybe stream the odd video from a system in my basement to my bed room, and onto my TV and watch dl'd TV shows. I'm sure Nix MUST have an equivenlent to GOM player.

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Ghost for free with PING

by seanferd In reply to The XP install is wrecked ...
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argh, why do sites insist on registration

by Slayer_ In reply to Ghost for free with PING

Especially since I always give bogus information (thankyou sharpmail :) ).

Anyways I'll give this a shot when i get back next week, thanks :).


Currently downloading Mandriva from jaqui, hes got a sad internet connection but its stable :).

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IDK, but in reference to your discussion thread

by seanferd In reply to argh, why do sites insist ...

there is an easier way for you to laod live cd iso into a vm. Revisit your thread, or just go here
http://www.vmwarez.com/2006/02/livecd-player-virtual-machine.html

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An alternative

by Jacky Howe In reply to Want to experiement on cr ...

Quick and dirty guide to create PE boot key and capture/apply images using imagex

http://www.ocztechnologyforum.com/forum/showthread.php?p=343802

With a decent size USB stick you can capture and save the OS to the USB drive.

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