Monday, May 28, 2012

WINDOWS - Backups Revisited

I am re-posting this subject because of several queries via Usenet.

Having a good backup utility is the absolutely best way for restoring your system. And by "good" I mean an image backup utility, NOT a file backup.

An image backup utility takes a "snap shot" of sectors on your hard drive (not just files) which means you have your boot sector and everything else. The most efficient will image only used sectors, not the entire drive (used and blank).

I use "O&O DiskImage Pro" (compatible with all versions of Windows)

It has saved my WinXP SP3 desktop 2 times in the years I've use it.

I also use it to load a new hard drive (I needed a bigger one), connected the new drive (IDE HD0) jumpered just like the old one, booted to the DiskImage CD, recovered my backup to the new blank drive (DiskImage asked if I wanted it bootable, yes of course) booted to the drive with absolutely no problems. Already had a partition tool (link follows, Windows Disk Management cannot do this without loosing data) installed and use it to expand the used space to include the entire (now bigger) drive.

EaseUS Partition Master Professional Edition

Purchase of "O&O DiskImage Pro" includes a Boot ISO image you can write to a CD/DVD. Boot to the CD and it runs the ENTIRE DiskImage utility (Backup AND Recovery). I use this method to create backups to an external USB hard drive.

The Windows installed DiskImage (and you must install in on your system) allows you to mount your image backups as another drive, thereby you can recover individual files.

"O&O DiskImage Pro" is worth every dime ($30 for 1 copy, $50 for 3), from a very satisfied user not affiliated with O&O.

CAUTION: You should NEVER create backups WITHOUT running a virus scan FIRST!

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