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Malleable

Program for COMPLETE backing up and reinstalling?

10 posts in this topic

So, ive been having some problems lately, and want to swipe and reinstall everything.

 

My main question is what is the best program to get for backing up everything on my harddrive. Actually I want the operating system, and all my normal programs. Antivirus, popup blocker, registry cleaner, trojan blocker, firewall, a tweak program, updated drivers.

When all thats installed, what program should I use to back everything up, so that I can swipe and reinstall quickly.

What program is the best for this?

 

Also, could I use this on other computers to basically clone them as well? I know that I would need to change the computer name so my router can see them all, but any other changes that need to be made?

 

Thanks,

Mal

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   When all thats installed, what program should I use to back everything up, so that I can swipe and reinstall quickly.

What program is the best for this?

 

For user data:

 

XP has a backup utility called Ntbackup.exe. In Home, this is not installed but can be installed from the Valueadd\Msft\Ntbackup folder on th Windows CD. It does not support burning to CD directly. Collect all your user data into the Ntbackup.exe's backup folder and then burn that folder out.

 

  Actually I want the operating system, and all my normal programs. Antivirus, popup blocker, registry cleaner, trojan blocker, firewall, a tweak program, updated drivers. ?

 

I may be misunderstanding you here. You can't copy the OS out - you can use apps such as Acronis True Image or Ghost to make an image (clone) of the HD or portions of it including the OS - but if you're doing this to "leave behind" problems, then all you'll accomplish is to get them back with the clone. So you're going to have to reinstall the OS + any updates to it - including drivers. Also all the software is going to have to be reinstalled, not copied because the fresh OS has to "register" them.

 

When all thats installed, what program should I use to back everything up, so that I can swipe and reinstall quickly.

What program is the best for this?

 

The two HD image programs I mentioned above. As soon as you have the installation the way you want, make the clone and use it to return to this state in case of need. You can also make subsequent updated versions.

 

Regards - Charles

 

EDIT: Forgot to add XP install references

 

http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/windowsxp_sg_clean.asp

 

http://www.theeldergeek.com/xp_pro_install_-_graphic.htm

Edited by Charlesvar

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How about Drive Image 7? By Power Quest, but bought out Symantec.

 

Not long after posting, my impatience set in and I ran to CompUSA and bought Drive Image 7. It was FREE after rebate! So even if it doesnt do what I need, it won't cost me anything.

 

It :

-backs up everthing without leaving windows

-creates drive letters for backups

-saves to DvD and CD

-saves to USB and Firewire devices

-saves to network drives

-creates exact hard drive duplicates with SmartSector Technology

-schedules unattended backups

-backups your operating system

-checks disk integrity

 

As per the box.

 

The Acronis one was mentioned in a PC World review along with Drive Image, and they said Drive Image was better (it can verify integrity of backups prior to reinstalling).

 

So I think I got something decent.

 

Anyone have any comments or advice on this?

 

Thanks,

Mal

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Hello Malleable,

 

I didn't mention Drive Image beause I didn't think of it - not because I think the others are better. I don't use this kind of software so can't make personal judgments about them.

 

By your description you got a bargain.

 

Regards - Charles

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Charles,

Thanks much. I bought the older version of Drive Image 2002, that wasnt that easy to use, and having some problems setting it up, I tossed it with my unused software.

So one of the $30 off was for upgrading (another $30 off for anothe mailin, and $10 off at the register).

This program seems much better that the previous version since you do everything in windows and backups are given drive letters. That may or may not mean its a partition.

 

Well, I think Ill swipe this computer and begin the long, arduous process of creating the clean machine.

 

Thanks again guys,

 

Mal

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Bear in mind that copying everything across to new partitions, may not give you a clean install if there is anything suspect on the old one. Ensure that there is no malware of any sort there first!

 

Other wise, just save know datafiles, and settings (favourites, emails etc) then wipe the drive, reinstall software from the original disks, and then copy across all the data and settings.

 

Another useful program for this sort of copying, is XXCOPY , which will do a byte by byte copy from one drive to another. and its free!

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That's a different approach.

 

If you want to duplicate the MBR, ntloader, boot sector and other hidden stuff which has a required fixed location on the disk, then you need a binary image. But really what Dave38 suggests is usually better unless you just want to clone a drive for some reason. As Dave notes, the clone won't be clean if the original wasn't.

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I installed Drive Image 7.0, and imaged it to a folder on my C drive. You can do this from Windows, and break file size, and burn to CDs.

It was locking up btw 70-85% when I used the "verify disk integrity" option. But it worked fine when this option wasnt used. I havent tried to reinstall with the backup yet, but figure I will pretty soon, to test it.

 

Thanks for the comments and advice.

 

Mal

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Ghost works best for me you can restore a complete system within 5 mins its best to backup to a partition or another drive though you can back up to dvd etc

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