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Backing Up Windows

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Microsoft Newsgroups, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Microsoft Newsgroups

    Microsoft Newsgroups Flightless Bird

    Could anyone tell me if it is possible to make and exact copy of my primary
    (C) drive so that if I need to I have it available?

    Perhaps, is it possible to use the File Settings & Transfer wizard to copy
    the drive to the other internal drive and then boot from that drive if
    possible?
     
  2. Spamlet

    Spamlet Flightless Bird

    "Microsoft Newsgroups" <njitgs@verizon.net> wrote in message
    news:uWZ35DOMLHA.5776@TK2MSFTNGP06.phx.gbl...
    > Could anyone tell me if it is possible to make and exact copy of my
    > primary (C) drive so that if I need to I have it available?
    >
    > Perhaps, is it possible to use the File Settings & Transfer wizard to copy
    > the drive to the other internal drive and then boot from that drive if
    > possible?
    >


    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/index.html
     
  3. Paul

    Paul Flightless Bird

    Microsoft Newsgroups wrote:
    > Could anyone tell me if it is possible to make and exact copy of my primary
    > (C) drive so that if I need to I have it available?
    >
    > Perhaps, is it possible to use the File Settings & Transfer wizard to copy
    > the drive to the other internal drive and then boot from that drive if
    > possible?
    >


    A method I use, which is free -

    1) Download and burn a Ubuntu CD (ubuntu.com). Cost to you - one CD,
    plus the download time.

    2) Boot Ubuntu. Open a terminal window. Locate the hard drive.

    ls /dev

    3) You may see entries like hda1, hda2, which might be your hard drive.
    Perhaps sda is your external USB drive and so on.

    4) Linux understands NTFS and FAT32. For this job, the backup file will
    be huge, so the external backup drive should be formatted NTFS. You
    can format the drive in Windows first, to make it easier to do.

    5) In Linux, use the file manager, and click on the external drive. That
    will mount the file system for you. It helps, if you have "labels"
    applied in Windows to each of your partitions. For example, the label
    on my C: drive is "WinXP", the label on my backup partition is "Dumping"
    and so on. Using labels in Windows, those labels show up in Ubuntu.

    6) Once the external drive is mounted, you can copy C:

    dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/media/dumping/winxp_Jul_31_2010.dd

    The dev syntax, is a raw device (i.e. working at the sector level).
    hda1 means use disk "hda", and copy partition 1 from it. The
    entire partition is going to be copied, sector by sector.

    The output in this case, is going to be one *huge* file, containing
    an *exact* snapshot of my C: drive. For example, I do this process
    regularly, and it puts a 76GB file on my NTFS dumping partition.

    7) Now, say one day, I get a virus on C:, or my hard drive craps out or
    whatever. As long as the new drive is partitioned *exactly* like the
    old one, I can boot Ubuntu again, and reverse the process, putting the
    contents of C: back.

    dd if=/media/dumping/winxp_Jul_31_2010.dd of=/dev/hda1

    Using PTEDIT32, free for download, I can get info on the original
    partitioning scheme. (Example picture here.) In this example, the
    C: drive would be partition 2, perhaps "hda2" when copying it.

    http://www.vistax64.com/attachments...n-partiton-recovery-dell-xps-420-dell-tbl.gif

    ( ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/PTEDIT32.zip )

    8) Another thing you can back up from the original drive, is the MBR.
    The MBR has the primary partition table. Saving a copy of that,
    means you'd taking a snapshot of how the disk was set up (at least,
    for the primary partitions). Note that this is not a complete
    specification - if you have an extended partition, with logical
    partitions inside, you'd need to snapshot some other things as well.
    This is effectively saving the stuff shown in the previous picture.

    dd if=/dev/hda of=/media/dumping/MBR_Jul_31_2010.dd bs=512 count=1

    That backs up a single sector and gives a 512 byte output file.

    So it is possible to do backups, for the cost of a burned CD, plus
    the cost of your external USB hard drive. The main reason for
    wanting to boot Ubuntu to do this, is Windows is shut down, and
    the C: drive is not "busy". That allows an exact copy to be made
    without corruption.

    If you have the money for backup software (which I don't), then
    that software is going to be easier to use than the above procedure.
    The nice thing about the above method, is it copies everything
    *exactly*, because it works at the sector level, rather than the
    file level. It is wasteful of disk space (using another backup
    method, I might be able to save C: in only 30-40GB of space), but
    it is an exact copy, copying all the "blank" space as well.

    And when your Windows won't boot, having that CD to boot is
    comforting. At least you have some way to run the computer,
    prove the hardware is OK and so on.

    Paul
     
  4. choro

    choro Flightless Bird

    (PeteCresswell) wrote:
    > Per Microsoft Newsgroups:
    >> Could anyone tell me if it is possible to make and exact copy of my
    >> primary (C) drive so that if I need to I have it available?

    >
    > Yes. It's called "Disc Imaging".
    >
    > Two general kinds of programs:
    >
    > 1) Those that run under Windows. They are more
    > intuitive, but slower and - I think - more
    > expensive. Example: Acronis' "TrueImage".
    >
    > 2) Those that run from a DOS boot floppy or
    > CD. Faster, cheaper.... but not quite
    > as intuitive, lacking the Windows UI.
    > Example TeraByte's "Image".
    >
    >
    > I've tried the Acronis product and it certainly seems slick.
    >
    > But I've always used the TeraByte DOS product and am comfortable
    > enough with it that I wouldn't switch unless I needed some
    > additional functionality - like Acronis' ability to change
    > partition size.


    Incidentally has anyone tried both Acronis and Paragon to see how they
    compare?
    --
    choro
    *****
     
  5. NJITGS

    NJITGS Flightless Bird

    Hi Paul-

    And thank you for your reply. However, even though I ordered the Ubuntu
    disk from the Netherlands, I don't that is going to be an option as it's a
    bit too confusing to me and I don't want to take and risks with my sensitive
    data.

    It was my hope that I could use either the Windows NT Backup utility or the
    Files and Settings Transfer Wizard for this.

    Anyone else have any suggestions...?

    BTW- Since you used external hard drive as your example I thought that now
    would be a better time than ever to mention that the drive that I would like
    to make a backup copy of my primary drive with operating system is also an
    internal hard drive.

    "Paul" <nospam@needed.com> wrote in message
    news:i3296a$k92$1@speranza.aioe.org...
    > Microsoft Newsgroups wrote:
    >> Could anyone tell me if it is possible to make and exact copy of my
    >> primary (C) drive so that if I need to I have it available?
    >>
    >> Perhaps, is it possible to use the File Settings & Transfer wizard to
    >> copy the drive to the other internal drive and then boot from that drive
    >> if possible?
    >>

    >
    > A method I use, which is free -
    >
    > 1) Download and burn a Ubuntu CD (ubuntu.com). Cost to you - one CD,
    > plus the download time.
    >
    > 2) Boot Ubuntu. Open a terminal window. Locate the hard drive.
    >
    > ls /dev
    >
    > 3) You may see entries like hda1, hda2, which might be your hard drive.
    > Perhaps sda is your external USB drive and so on.
    >
    > 4) Linux understands NTFS and FAT32. For this job, the backup file will
    > be huge, so the external backup drive should be formatted NTFS. You
    > can format the drive in Windows first, to make it easier to do.
    >
    > 5) In Linux, use the file manager, and click on the external drive. That
    > will mount the file system for you. It helps, if you have "labels"
    > applied in Windows to each of your partitions. For example, the label
    > on my C: drive is "WinXP", the label on my backup partition is
    > "Dumping"
    > and so on. Using labels in Windows, those labels show up in Ubuntu.
    >
    > 6) Once the external drive is mounted, you can copy C:
    >
    > dd if=/dev/hda1 of=/media/dumping/winxp_Jul_31_2010.dd
    >
    > The dev syntax, is a raw device (i.e. working at the sector level).
    > hda1 means use disk "hda", and copy partition 1 from it. The
    > entire partition is going to be copied, sector by sector.
    >
    > The output in this case, is going to be one *huge* file, containing
    > an *exact* snapshot of my C: drive. For example, I do this process
    > regularly, and it puts a 76GB file on my NTFS dumping partition.
    >
    > 7) Now, say one day, I get a virus on C:, or my hard drive craps out or
    > whatever. As long as the new drive is partitioned *exactly* like the
    > old one, I can boot Ubuntu again, and reverse the process, putting the
    > contents of C: back.
    >
    > dd if=/media/dumping/winxp_Jul_31_2010.dd of=/dev/hda1
    >
    > Using PTEDIT32, free for download, I can get info on the original
    > partitioning scheme. (Example picture here.) In this example, the
    > C: drive would be partition 2, perhaps "hda2" when copying it.
    >
    >
    > http://www.vistax64.com/attachments...n-partiton-recovery-dell-xps-420-dell-tbl.gif
    >
    > (
    > ftp://ftp.symantec.com/public/english_us_canada/tools/pq/utilities/PTEDIT32.zip )
    >
    > 8) Another thing you can back up from the original drive, is the MBR.
    > The MBR has the primary partition table. Saving a copy of that,
    > means you'd taking a snapshot of how the disk was set up (at least,
    > for the primary partitions). Note that this is not a complete
    > specification - if you have an extended partition, with logical
    > partitions inside, you'd need to snapshot some other things as well.
    > This is effectively saving the stuff shown in the previous picture.
    >
    > dd if=/dev/hda of=/media/dumping/MBR_Jul_31_2010.dd bs=512 count=1
    >
    > That backs up a single sector and gives a 512 byte output file.
    >
    > So it is possible to do backups, for the cost of a burned CD, plus
    > the cost of your external USB hard drive. The main reason for
    > wanting to boot Ubuntu to do this, is Windows is shut down, and
    > the C: drive is not "busy". That allows an exact copy to be made
    > without corruption.
    >
    > If you have the money for backup software (which I don't), then
    > that software is going to be easier to use than the above procedure.
    > The nice thing about the above method, is it copies everything
    > *exactly*, because it works at the sector level, rather than the
    > file level. It is wasteful of disk space (using another backup
    > method, I might be able to save C: in only 30-40GB of space), but
    > it is an exact copy, copying all the "blank" space as well.
    >
    > And when your Windows won't boot, having that CD to boot is
    > comforting. At least you have some way to run the computer,
    > prove the hardware is OK and so on.
    >
    > Paul
     
  6. wilby

    wilby Flightless Bird

    On 7/31/2010 12:48 PM, Microsoft Newsgroups wrote:
    > Could anyone tell me if it is possible to make and exact copy of my primary
    > (C) drive so that if I need to I have it available?
    >
    > Perhaps, is it possible to use the File Settings& Transfer wizard to copy
    > the drive to the other internal drive and then boot from that drive if
    > possible?
    >
    >
    >


    Use freeware version of Macrium Reflect. It will create an image of your
    C: drive on another drive (external is best).

    Now make the bootable Macrium CD and save it.

    If you lose your C: drive, install a new drive for C:, then boot the
    Macrium CD, and from there you restore the image mentioned in line one.

    Presto, you are right back to the point in time when you created the
    image. Your brand new drive is up and running.

    I make a new image every week or so and keep them all on an external drive.

    Wilby
     
  7. Shenan Stanley

    Shenan Stanley Flightless Bird

  8. Shenan Stanley

    Shenan Stanley Flightless Bird

    <snipped>

    NJITGS wrote:
    <snipped>
    > BTW- Since you used external hard drive as your example I thought
    > that now would be a better time than ever to mention that the drive
    > that I would like to make a backup copy of my primary drive with
    > operating system is also an internal hard drive.


    I would like to address just that part...

    This is my opinion - but I am betting many others who may either backup data
    for a living or just had experiences surrounding backups (good or bad) will
    agree:

    Having your backup reside internally (same system) is not a backup in truth.

    A backup is there in case you need to restore if something happened to said
    data. While there are many things that could happen that would not affect
    the other internal drive - there are many things that could. It is my
    opinion a backup should reside external to the machine - whenever possible -
    in a completely different physical residence (not even the same house when
    practical, at least in some protected area of the same house - like a
    fireproof/waterproof safe otherwise.)

    Sound like overkill? Won't if lightning fries your computer and both hard
    drives. Virus corrupts everything it can touch. The entire physical
    machine is stolen. Etc and so on...

    To me it's a lot like people who setup a mirrored 'array' and think their
    data is now safe - they are wrong, they just don't know it. ;-)

    --
    Shenan Stanley
    MS-MVP
    --
    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
     
  9. Paul

    Paul Flightless Bird

    Shenan Stanley wrote:
    > <snipped>
    >
    > NJITGS wrote:
    > <snipped>
    >> BTW- Since you used external hard drive as your example I thought
    >> that now would be a better time than ever to mention that the drive
    >> that I would like to make a backup copy of my primary drive with
    >> operating system is also an internal hard drive.

    >
    > I would like to address just that part...
    >
    > This is my opinion - but I am betting many others who may either backup data
    > for a living or just had experiences surrounding backups (good or bad) will
    > agree:
    >
    > Having your backup reside internally (same system) is not a backup in truth.
    >
    > A backup is there in case you need to restore if something happened to said
    > data. While there are many things that could happen that would not affect
    > the other internal drive - there are many things that could. It is my
    > opinion a backup should reside external to the machine - whenever possible -
    > in a completely different physical residence (not even the same house when
    > practical, at least in some protected area of the same house - like a
    > fireproof/waterproof safe otherwise.)
    >
    > Sound like overkill? Won't if lightning fries your computer and both hard
    > drives. Virus corrupts everything it can touch. The entire physical
    > machine is stolen. Etc and so on...
    >
    > To me it's a lot like people who setup a mirrored 'array' and think their
    > data is now safe - they are wrong, they just don't know it. ;-)
    >


    When, some time ago, I happened to describe the nightmare scenario, where
    a computer power supply puts out 15V on the 12V rail, and ruins *all* the hard
    drives inside the computer, I had one poster post back a reply, saying
    exactly that happened to him. So unfortunate incidents like that, have
    happened. It isn't just a theoretical consideration.

    That's why a hard drive in an external enclosure, disconnected when you're not
    using it, has some additional value. Because if the power supply fails
    in just the right way, it can ruin practically everything inside the computer.
    (The CPU and memory DIMMs typically survive such an event, other things don't).

    External disks are available with USB, Firewire, or ESATA interfaces. Any of those
    are options, as long as the computer case has the matching connector for it.
    USB2 is the most common choice on PCs. ESATA gives good performance, but
    isn't as common.

    Paul
     
  10. pjp

    pjp Flightless Bird

    "Paul" <nospam@needed.com> wrote in message
    news:i32nlr$30t$1@speranza.aioe.org...
    > Shenan Stanley wrote:
    >> <snipped>
    >>
    >> NJITGS wrote:
    >> <snipped>
    >>> BTW- Since you used external hard drive as your example I thought
    >>> that now would be a better time than ever to mention that the drive
    >>> that I would like to make a backup copy of my primary drive with
    >>> operating system is also an internal hard drive.

    >>
    >> I would like to address just that part...
    >>
    >> This is my opinion - but I am betting many others who may either backup
    >> data for a living or just had experiences surrounding backups (good or
    >> bad) will agree:
    >>
    >> Having your backup reside internally (same system) is not a backup in
    >> truth.
    >>
    >> A backup is there in case you need to restore if something happened to
    >> said data. While there are many things that could happen that would not
    >> affect the other internal drive - there are many things that could. It
    >> is my opinion a backup should reside external to the machine - whenever
    >> possible - in a completely different physical residence (not even the
    >> same house when practical, at least in some protected area of the same
    >> house - like a fireproof/waterproof safe otherwise.)
    >>
    >> Sound like overkill? Won't if lightning fries your computer and both
    >> hard drives. Virus corrupts everything it can touch. The entire
    >> physical machine is stolen. Etc and so on...
    >>
    >> To me it's a lot like people who setup a mirrored 'array' and think their
    >> data is now safe - they are wrong, they just don't know it. ;-)
    >>

    >
    > When, some time ago, I happened to describe the nightmare scenario, where
    > a computer power supply puts out 15V on the 12V rail, and ruins *all* the
    > hard
    > drives inside the computer, I had one poster post back a reply, saying
    > exactly that happened to him. So unfortunate incidents like that, have
    > happened. It isn't just a theoretical consideration.
    >
    > That's why a hard drive in an external enclosure, disconnected when you're
    > not
    > using it, has some additional value. Because if the power supply fails
    > in just the right way, it can ruin practically everything inside the
    > computer.
    > (The CPU and memory DIMMs typically survive such an event, other things
    > don't).
    >
    > External disks are available with USB, Firewire, or ESATA interfaces. Any
    > of those
    > are options, as long as the computer case has the matching connector for
    > it.
    > USB2 is the most common choice on PCs. ESATA gives good performance, but
    > isn't as common.
    >
    > Paul


    Gonna be that extreme (justified or not) might as well make it an external
    enclosure so after the backup is made you can take the disk out and put it
    somewhere for safe keeping given that a "hardwired" external drive still has
    some electrical components can fail which would make accessing the drive
    difficult where-as an enclosure just pop the drive in another one.
     
  11. Anthony Buckland

    Anthony Buckland Flightless Bird

    "(PeteCresswell)" <x@y.Invalid> wrote in message
    news:3qj9561t0ofch3rmpsd0eq7mcieb215s73@4ax.com...
    > Per (PeteCresswell):
    >>But I've always used the TeraByte DOS product and am comfortable
    >>enough with it that I wouldn't switch unless I needed some
    >>additional functionality - like Acronis' ability to change
    >>partition size.

    >
    > I should add that one should look into the concept of separating
    > system and data.
    >
    > Without going into the full rant, there's a case for partitioning
    > one's hard drive into, say, 50 gigs for the system (AKA "C:") and
    > the rest for data (AKA "D:")
    >
    > After that, one moves all their "MyThis" and "MyThat" folders to
    > the "Data" partition.
    >
    > System backups, then are only taken occasionally - when some
    > significant change has occurred and one knows that the system is
    > good - i.e. not infected with anything.... and not otherwise
    > corrupted.
    >
    > Data, OTOH, is backed up daily at least...keeping old copies as
    > well.
    > ...


    A problem is that the partitioning between data and
    system isn't that simple. For example, the default
    location of Outlook Express' mail files is not in My
    Documents, but in an obscure place in what would at
    first glance look like system files (a problem I fixed by
    moving the mail files into My Documents). Other
    applications have more or less important components
    in odd places that would be lost with loss of the
    system partition.

    Making full backups of everything in a single, rather than
    divided, partition saves worrying about all these odds
    and ends. Nevertheless, I do make more frequent
    saves of My Documents to a flash drive so that a
    complete restore wouldn't destroy my recent data
    irretrievably.
     

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