backing up operating system

Discussion in 'Windows XP Help' started by Guest, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    can'nt find out how to backup windows xp
    --
    les
     
    Guest, Feb 12, 2006
    #1
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  2. Carey Frisch [MVP], Feb 12, 2006
    #2
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  3. Guest

    Guest

    les wrote:
    > can'nt find out how to backup windows xp
    > --
    > les


    not a win xp q
    clone the whole hdd eg norton ghost or acronis or free equivalent
     
    , Feb 13, 2006
    #3
  4. les wrote:
    > can'nt find out how to backup windows xp



    How To Use Backup to Back Up Files and Folders on Your Computer
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308422

    Yes - you still need some sort of external media to store the results
    on, but you could schedule the backup to occur when you are not around,
    then burn the resultant data onto CD or DVD or something when you are
    (while you do other things!)

    Another option that came to my attention as of late:

    Cobian Backup
    http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianbackup.htm

    A lot of people have wondered about how to completely backup their system
    so that they would not have to go through the trouble of a reinstall..
    I'm going to voice my opinion here and say that it would be worthless to
    do for MOST people. Unless you plan on periodically updating the image
    backup of your system (remaking it) - then by the time you use it
    (something goes wrong) - it will be so outdated as to be more trouble than
    performing a full install of the operating system and all applications.

    Having said my part against it, you can clone/backup your hard drive
    completely using many methods - by far the simplest are using disk cloning
    applications:

    Symantec/Norton Ghost
    http://www.symantec.com/sabu/ghost/

    Acronis True Image
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage

    BootItT NG
    http://terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html

    --
    Shenan Stanley
    MS-MVP
    --
    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
     
    Shenan Stanley, Feb 13, 2006
    #4
  5. Guest

    Anna Guest

    "Shenan Stanley" <> wrote in message news:%23guv%
    (SNIP...)
    A lot of people have wondered about how to completely backup their system so
    that they would not have to go through the trouble of a reinstall..
    I'm going to voice my opinion here and say that it would be worthless to do
    for MOST people. Unless you plan on periodically updating the image backup
    of your system (remaking it) - then by the time you use it (something goes
    wrong) - it will be so outdated as to be more trouble than
    performing a full install of the operating system and all applications.

    Having said my part against it, you can clone/backup your hard drive
    completely using many methods - by far the simplest are using disk cloning
    applications:

    Symantec/Norton Ghost
    http://www.symantec.com/sabu/ghost/

    Acronis True Image
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage

    BootItT NG
    http://terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html
    --
    Shenan Stanley
    MS-MVP
    --
    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html"


    Shenan:
    You're obviously a very experienced (and I assume, competant) PC user so I
    find your negative comment re using a disk imaging program for conducting
    routine backups of one's system very puzzling. (All the more so since you
    later list a number of disk cloning software applications for precisely this
    purpose).

    In my view, for the vast majority of PC users, the most effective backup
    system one can employ is using a disk imaging program (such as the ones you
    mentioned) to routinely & systematically back up one's system. The enormous
    advantage of "cloning" one's working HD to another HD cannot be
    overestimated. For all practical purposes, the resultant "clone" is a
    bit-for-bit copy of one's source disk and, again in my view, is a near-ideal
    backup system for most users. By creating this "clone" of one's day-to-day
    working HD, the user has at hand an exact copy of his or her operating
    system, registry/configuration settings, *all* their programs &
    applications - in short, *everything* that's on their source disk. What
    backup system can be better? And an added crucial advantage is that where
    the recipient of the clone is another internal HD, that drive will be
    bootable. (While the recipient of the clone can be a USB/Firewire external
    HD, that device is not ordinarily bootable in an XP environment, although
    its cloned contents can be re:cloned to an internal HD for restoration
    purposes should that need arise).

    The disk imaging programs you mentioned, i.e., Symantec's Norton Ghost and
    Acronis True Image (I'm not experienced enough with the BootIt NG program to
    comment on it) are basically simple to use, relatively fast in carrying out
    their disk cloning function and most important in all, effective in their
    results. Cloning speed will vary, of course, depending upon the user's
    system. Given modern processors and internal HDs, data transfer speed will
    be in the range of 800 MB/min to 1.5 GB/min (and up). Cloning to & from a
    Firewire/USB external HD will be slower - in the order of 450 MB/min to 800
    MB/min.

    Consider the multitude of postings to this and similar newsgroups, the vast
    majority of posts pleas of help from users who have run into one problem or
    another, for example...

    "I just installed SP2 and now my computer won't boot. It was working
    perfectly before."
    "All of a sudden I get this blue screen with some gibberish on it and now my
    computer won't boot. It was working fine till I installed this "Soup Up Your
    PC" program yesterday."
    "A friend recommended I make this registry change which I did and now my
    computer won't boot."
    "The other day I mistakenly deleted some important personal files and now I
    can't get them back. They're not in my Recycle Bin. What do I do now?"

    This never-ending list goes on & on doesn't it? Yes, in some cases the
    System Restore utility will return the system to a functional state. And
    hopefully the user has maintained some sort of backup program so that his or
    her data files can be retrieved. But consider the number of times the System
    Restore function and simple data backup schemes are unable to restore the
    system to its previous workable state.

    As you may know from my prior postings on this subject, I am a strong
    proponent of the Norton Ghost 2003 disk imaging program for carrying out the
    disk cloning process. I find that program superior to the later Norton Ghost
    programs in terms of ease of use for basic disk-to-disk cloning operations.
    My experience with the Acronis program (version 8) has been positive as
    well. If any reader is interested in seeing step-by-step instructions for
    using either of these programs, I'll be glad to post them.

    But whatever disk imaging program a user chooses, the point remains that
    basic disk-to-disk cloning is a practical, day-in-day-out near-failsafe
    backup system for most PC users.
    Anna
     
    Anna, Feb 13, 2006
    #5
  6. Shenan Stanley wrote:
    <snipped for brevity>
    > A lot of people have wondered about how to completely backup their system
    > so that they would not have to go through the trouble of a reinstall..
    > I'm going to voice my opinion here and say that it would be worthless to
    > do for MOST people. Unless you plan on periodically updating the image
    > backup of your system (remaking it) - then by the time you use it
    > (something goes wrong) - it will be so outdated as to be more trouble than
    > performing a full install of the operating system and all applications.
    >
    > Having said my part against it, you can clone/backup your hard drive
    > completely using many methods - by far the simplest are using disk cloning
    > applications:
    >
    > Symantec/Norton Ghost
    > http://www.symantec.com/sabu/ghost/
    >
    > Acronis True Image
    > http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage
    >
    > BootItT NG
    > http://terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html


    Anna wrote:
    > You're obviously a very experienced (and I assume, competant) PC user so
    > I find your negative comment re using a disk imaging program for
    > conducting routine backups of one's system very puzzling. (All the more so
    > since you later list a number of disk cloning software applications for
    > precisely this purpose).
    >
    > In my view, for the vast majority of PC users, the most effective backup
    > system one can employ is using a disk imaging program (such as the ones
    > you mentioned) to routinely & systematically back up one's system. The
    > enormous advantage of "cloning" one's working HD to another HD cannot be
    > overestimated. For all practical purposes, the resultant "clone" is a
    > bit-for-bit copy of one's source disk and, again in my view, is a
    > near-ideal backup system for most users. By creating this "clone" of one's
    > day-to-day working HD, the user has at hand an exact copy of his or her
    > operating system, registry/configuration settings, *all* their programs &
    > applications - in short, *everything* that's on their source disk. What
    > backup system can be better? And an added crucial advantage is that where
    > the recipient of the clone is another internal HD, that drive will be
    > bootable. (While the recipient of the clone can be a USB/Firewire external
    > HD, that device is not ordinarily bootable in an XP environment, although
    > its cloned contents can be re:cloned to an internal HD for restoration
    > purposes should that need arise).
    >
    > The disk imaging programs you mentioned, i.e., Symantec's Norton Ghost and
    > Acronis True Image (I'm not experienced enough with the BootIt NG program
    > to comment on it) are basically simple to use, relatively fast in carrying
    > out their disk cloning function and most important in all, effective in
    > their results. Cloning speed will vary, of course, depending upon the
    > user's system. Given modern processors and internal HDs, data transfer
    > speed will be in the range of 800 MB/min to 1.5 GB/min (and up). Cloning
    > to & from a Firewire/USB external HD will be slower - in the order of 450
    > MB/min to 800 MB/min.
    >
    > Consider the multitude of postings to this and similar newsgroups, the
    > vast majority of posts pleas of help from users who have run into one
    > problem or another, for example...
    >
    > "I just installed SP2 and now my computer won't boot. It was working
    > perfectly before."
    > "All of a sudden I get this blue screen with some gibberish on it and now
    > my computer won't boot. It was working fine till I installed this "Soup Up
    > Your PC" program yesterday."
    > "A friend recommended I make this registry change which I did and now my
    > computer won't boot."
    > "The other day I mistakenly deleted some important personal files and now
    > I can't get them back. They're not in my Recycle Bin. What do I do now?"
    >
    > This never-ending list goes on & on doesn't it? Yes, in some cases the
    > System Restore utility will return the system to a functional state. And
    > hopefully the user has maintained some sort of backup program so that his
    > or her data files can be retrieved. But consider the number of times the
    > System Restore function and simple data backup schemes are unable to
    > restore the system to its previous workable state.
    >
    > As you may know from my prior postings on this subject, I am a strong
    > proponent of the Norton Ghost 2003 disk imaging program for carrying out
    > the disk cloning process. I find that program superior to the later Norton
    > Ghost programs in terms of ease of use for basic disk-to-disk cloning
    > operations. My experience with the Acronis program (version 8) has been
    > positive as well. If any reader is interested in seeing step-by-step
    > instructions for using either of these programs, I'll be glad to post
    > them.
    >
    > But whatever disk imaging program a user chooses, the point remains that
    > basic disk-to-disk cloning is a practical, day-in-day-out near-failsafe
    > backup system for most PC users.


    Most users will not keep up with it and will not bother to make an image
    right before what they assume to be a harmless patch. They do not have the
    technical fore-thought to have investigated SP2 (or other patches) to know
    that one may mess up their system. They do not think that uninstalling
    Norton Internet Security might disable the systems ability to boot. They do
    not know that they downloaded that movie and it was actually a virus that
    might wipe out their system.

    I never said "DON'T use these systems" - I gave my opinion that for most
    people - they would not be using the tool to its fullest potential - mostly
    because people do not have the resources to do so or - in their mind - the
    one to two hours to wait while their 14GB backup finishes. It's a matter of
    choosing the lesser of two evils. If someone wants to use imaging - I don't
    deny them that - I warn them that it takes more fore thought and effort than
    scheduling a backup to external media - including system files - so they can
    make up their own mind.

    In every example you gave - other than SP2 - I can see most people not
    bothering to make a ghost image of their machine so the backup would be
    current. Matter of fact - in my experience - if a normal user backs up
    their machine at all - it's a miracle. And even those who do - if they do
    it more than once a month - it's amazing. I would say that most - including
    some very experienced users - trust their hardware too much - trust their
    experience too much - until the worst happens. In that case - a ghost
    backup made 30 days ago would be all but worthless unless supplemented by a
    nightly backup regime. And again - a 30 day old ghost image is optimistic
    at most.

    I realize that Norton Ghost 2003 is greatly improved - and can do some
    things "automagically" - but I still say that "it would be worthless to do
    for MOST people." I phrased that carefully originally and I still stand by
    it. Most people do not have 3GHz machines with 250GB hard drives and an
    external 250GB they are willing to set aside for just ghost images. Most do
    not have some server they can back up to. Many have multiple machines they
    would need to backup. For most people - it's just not doable. For those
    for whom it is - I happily volunteer the name of those applications capable
    of doing it. It wasn't until mere months ago that it started become an
    offering from Dell and such companies to have what they phrase as a "hidden
    hard drive" - which is actually a mirrored RAID setup. In my opinion - that
    beats imaging hands-down - but still does not substitute for a periodic file
    backup to external media. And I certainly would never want anyone to think
    because they have a ghost backup or a mirrored drive - they were safe from
    data loss. *smile*

    --
    Shenan Stanley
    MS-MVP
    --
    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
     
    Shenan Stanley, Feb 13, 2006
    #6
  7. Guest

    Guest

    wrote:
    > les wrote:
    > > can'nt find out how to backup windows xp
    > > --
    > > les

    >
    > not a win xp q
    > clone the whole hdd eg norton ghost or acronis or free equivalent


    Correction. In retrospect, *I think* it images individual partitions.
    Not the whole hard disk
    Which is fine - you can image each partition separately, but that
    distinction is important.
     
    , Feb 13, 2006
    #7
  8. Guest

    Anna Guest

    "Shenan Stanley" <> wrote in message news:%23guv%
    (SNIP...)
    A lot of people have wondered about how to completely backup their system so
    that they would not have to go through the trouble of a reinstall..
    I'm going to voice my opinion here and say that it would be worthless to do
    for MOST people. Unless you plan on periodically updating the image backup
    of your system (remaking it) - then by the time you use it (something goes
    wrong) - it will be so outdated as to be more trouble than performing a full
    install of the operating system and all applications.

    Having said my part against it, you can clone/backup your hard drive
    completely using many methods - by far the simplest are using disk cloning
    applications:

    Symantec/Norton Ghost
    http://www.symantec.com/sabu/ghost/

    Acronis True Image
    http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage

    BootItT NG
    http://terabyteunlimited.com/bootitng.html
    --
    Shenan Stanley
    MS-MVP
    --
    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html"


    Anna responds...
    Shenan:
    You're obviously a very experienced (and I assume, competent) PC user so I
    find your negative comment re using a disk imaging program for conducting
    routine backups of one's system very puzzling. (All the more so since you
    later list a number of disk cloning software applications for precisely this
    purpose).

    In my view, for the vast majority of PC users, the most effective backup
    system one can employ is using a disk imaging program (such as the ones you
    mentioned) to routinely & systematically back up one's system. The enormous
    advantage of "cloning" one's working HD to another HD cannot be
    overestimated. For all practical purposes, the resultant "clone" is a
    bit-for-bit copy of one's source disk and, again in my view, is a near-ideal
    backup system for most users. By creating this "clone" of one's day-to-day
    working HD, the user has at hand an exact copy of his or her operating
    system, registry/configuration settings, *all* their programs &
    applications - in short, *everything* that's on their source disk. What
    backup system can be better? And an added crucial advantage is that where
    the recipient of the clone is another internal HD, that drive will be
    bootable. (While the recipient of the clone can be a USB/Firewire external
    HD, that device is not ordinarily bootable in an XP environment, although
    its cloned contents can be re:cloned to an internal HD for restoration
    purposes should that need arise).

    The disk imaging programs you mentioned, i.e., Symantec's Norton Ghost and
    Acronis True Image (I'm not experienced enough with the BootIt NG program to
    comment on it) are basically simple to use, relatively fast in carrying out
    their disk cloning function and most important in all, effective in their
    results. Cloning speed will vary, of course, depending upon the user's
    system. Given modern processors and internal HDs, data transfer speed will
    be in the range of 800 MB/min to 1.5 GB/min (and up). Cloning to & from a
    Firewire/USB external HD will be slower - in the order of 450 MB/min to 800
    MB/min.

    Consider the multitude of postings to this and similar newsgroups, the vast
    majority of posts pleas of help from users who have run into one problem or
    another, for example...

    "I just installed SP2 and now my computer won't boot. It was working
    perfectly before."
    "All of a sudden I get this blue screen with some gibberish on it and now my
    computer won't boot. It was working fine till I installed this "Soup Up Your
    PC" program yesterday."
    "A friend recommended I make this registry change which I did and now my
    computer won't boot."
    "The other day I mistakenly deleted some important personal files and now I
    can't get them back. They're not in my Recycle Bin. What do I do now?"

    This never-ending list goes on & on doesn't it? Yes, in some cases the
    System Restore utility will return the system to a functional state. And
    hopefully the user has maintained some sort of backup program so that his or
    her data files can be retrieved. But consider the number of times the System
    Restore function and simple data backup schemes are unable to restore the
    system to its previous workable state.

    As you may know from my prior postings on this subject, I am a strong
    proponent of the Norton Ghost 2003 disk imaging program for carrying out the
    disk cloning process. I find that program superior to the later Norton Ghost
    programs in terms of ease of use for basic disk-to-disk cloning operations.
    My experience with the Acronis program (version 8) has been positive as
    well. If any reader is interested in seeing step-by-step instructions for
    using either of these programs, I'll be glad to post them.

    But whatever disk imaging program a user chooses, the point remains that
    basic disk-to-disk cloning is a practical, day-in-day-out near-failsafe
    backup system for most PC users.
    Anna


    Shenan responds...
    Most users will not keep up with it and will not bother to make an image
    right before what they assume to be a harmless patch. They do not have the
    technical fore-thought to have investigated SP2 (or other patches) to know
    that one may mess up their system. They do not think that uninstalling
    Norton Internet Security might disable the systems ability to boot. They do
    not know that they downloaded that movie and it was actually a virus that
    might wipe out their system.

    I never said "DON'T use these systems" - I gave my opinion that for most
    people - they would not be using the tool to its fullest potential - mostly
    because people do not have the resources to do so or - in their mind - the
    one to two hours to wait while their 14GB backup finishes. It's a matter of
    choosing the lesser of two evils. If someone wants to use imaging - I don't
    deny them that - I warn them that it takes more fore thought and effort than
    scheduling a backup to external media - including system files - so they can
    make up their own mind.

    In every example you gave - other than SP2 - I can see most people not
    bothering to make a ghost image of their machine so the backup would be
    current. Matter of fact - in my experience - if a normal user backs up
    their machine at all - it's a miracle. And even those who do - if they do
    it more than once a month - it's amazing. I would say that most - including
    some very experienced users - trust their hardware too much - trust their
    experience too much - until the worst happens. In that case - a ghost
    backup made 30 days ago would be all but worthless unless supplemented by a
    nightly backup regime. And again - a 30 day old ghost image is optimistic
    at most.

    I realize that Norton Ghost 2003 is greatly improved - and can do some
    things "automagically" - but I still say that "it would be worthless to do
    for MOST people." I phrased that carefully originally and I still stand by
    it. Most people do not have 3GHz machines with 250GB hard drives and an
    external 250GB they are willing to set aside for just ghost images. Most do
    not have some server they can back up to. Many have multiple machines they
    would need to backup. For most people - it's just not doable. For those
    for whom it is - I happily volunteer the name of those applications capable
    of doing it. It wasn't until mere months ago that it started become an
    offering from Dell and such companies to have what they phrase as a "hidden
    hard drive" - which is actually a mirrored RAID setup. In my opinion - that
    beats imaging hands-down - but still does not substitute for a periodic file
    backup to external media. And I certainly would never want anyone to think
    because they have a ghost backup or a mirrored drive - they were safe from
    data loss. *smile*
    --
    Shenan Stanley
    MS-MVP


    Anna responds...
    Shenan:
    Let me respond to the points you've made...

    First of all, we're talking about computer users who have an interest in
    backing up their systems in some orderly, systematic, comprehensive manner
    that is reasonably simple to undertake & reasonably quick to undertake. If
    you start off with the premise, as you apparently have, that most users are,
    for one reason or another, uninterested in backing up their systems and
    therefore will not perform *any* backup system, then, of course, the
    discussion ends right there. But we're trying to reach those users who *do
    have* an interest in determining what sort of routine backup system they
    should employ. To that end we believe they should give serious consideration
    to employing a disk imaging program to routinely & systematically clone the
    contents of their working HD to another HD.

    You mention an example (presumably related to the disk imaging programs
    under discussion) that a 14 GB backup will take one or two hours to
    complete. You have grossly overestimated the processing time in most cases
    where the user is working with reasonably modern equipment. The actual data
    transfer speed (disk cloning speed) would be rather in the order of 12 to 25
    minutes with internal HDs and somewhat longer cloning to a USB/Firewire
    external HD. The disk cloning process is, by & large, not an onerous task to
    undertake either in time or difficulty.

    The frequency with which a user will or should use a disk imaging program to
    clone the contents of one HD to another HD will, of course, depend upon what
    he or she determines to be reasonably effective and practical in their
    particular circumstances. In many cases, once a week would be sufficient.
    Some users might prefer to do this daily or somewhat more frequently than
    once a week. In most cases there is no need to constantly perform the disk
    cloning operation just prior to installing a new program although there is
    no harm in doing so should this be the user's inclination.

    With respect to your comments about the reluctance of users to "set aside"
    another HD for purposes of using that drive as the recipient of the "clone",
    is this really an overriding issue at this point in time? Hardly a week
    passes where one or another of the Office or other mass merchandise stores
    (let alone online vendors!) aren't hawking large-capacity hard drives for as
    little as 20 to 30 cents (cents!) per gigabyte. Surely at this time the cost
    of purchasing another HD for this purpose imposes no great financial
    hardship for most users.

    Please understand I have no problem with users employing other backup
    strategies to safeguard their precious data. The use of flash (jump, thumb,
    etc.) drives and CD/DVDs to store created data is certainly desirable in
    most cases. But I believe these backup devices should be an adjunct or
    supplement to a basic backup system that employs a disk imaging program to
    routinely clone the contents of one HD to another HD. Is the use of a disk
    imaging disk-to-disk cloning program a guaranteed failsafe backup system? Of
    course not. But it comes closer than any other system I've used.
    Anna
     
    Anna, Feb 13, 2006
    #8
  9. Anna wrote:
    > Let me respond to the points you've made...
    >
    > First of all, we're talking about computer users who have an interest in
    > backing up their systems in some orderly, systematic, comprehensive manner
    > that is reasonably simple to undertake & reasonably quick to undertake. If
    > you start off with the premise, as you apparently have, that most users
    > are, for one reason or another, uninterested in backing up their systems
    > and therefore will not perform *any* backup system, then, of course, the
    > discussion ends right there. But we're trying to reach those users who *do
    > have* an interest in determining what sort of routine backup system they
    > should employ. To that end we believe they should give serious
    > consideration to employing a disk imaging program to routinely &
    > systematically clone the contents of their working HD to another HD.
    >
    > You mention an example (presumably related to the disk imaging programs
    > under discussion) that a 14 GB backup will take one or two hours to
    > complete. You have grossly overestimated the processing time in most cases
    > where the user is working with reasonably modern equipment. The actual
    > data transfer speed (disk cloning speed) would be rather in the order of
    > 12 to 25 minutes with internal HDs and somewhat longer cloning to a
    > USB/Firewire external HD. The disk cloning process is, by & large, not an
    > onerous task to undertake either in time or difficulty.
    >
    > The frequency with which a user will or should use a disk imaging program
    > to clone the contents of one HD to another HD will, of course, depend upon
    > what he or she determines to be reasonably effective and practical in
    > their particular circumstances. In many cases, once a week would be
    > sufficient. Some users might prefer to do this daily or somewhat more
    > frequently than once a week. In most cases there is no need to constantly
    > perform the disk cloning operation just prior to installing a new program
    > although there is no harm in doing so should this be the user's
    > inclination.
    >
    > With respect to your comments about the reluctance of users to "set aside"
    > another HD for purposes of using that drive as the recipient of the
    > "clone", is this really an overriding issue at this point in time? Hardly
    > a week passes where one or another of the Office or other mass merchandise
    > stores (let alone online vendors!) aren't hawking large-capacity hard
    > drives for as little as 20 to 30 cents (cents!) per gigabyte. Surely at
    > this time the cost of purchasing another HD for this purpose imposes no
    > great financial hardship for most users.
    >
    > Please understand I have no problem with users employing other backup
    > strategies to safeguard their precious data. The use of flash (jump,
    > thumb, etc.) drives and CD/DVDs to store created data is certainly
    > desirable in most cases. But I believe these backup devices should be an
    > adjunct or supplement to a basic backup system that employs a disk imaging
    > program to routinely clone the contents of one HD to another HD. Is the
    > use of a disk imaging disk-to-disk cloning program a guaranteed failsafe
    > backup system? Of course not. But it comes closer than any other system
    > I've used.


    All I can say is your customers (non-corporate/business customers, mind you)
    must be better off financially and more willing to input time into their
    systems than most that I deal with here and in real life. To most of the
    users I deal with outside of business (where I completely control the backup
    procedures and the likes anyway) - the computer is something they surf the
    web on, get email with, maybe do some video/picture editing/storage, play
    games on, etc. Most of the users that come to these newsgroups have issues
    they want to resolve and that is one part of the many maintenance tasks I
    feel they should learn to perform (backups.) I recommend against it in the
    spiel (and it is part of a larger spiel) because for these people - they are
    not interested in that. They want Game A and Web Page B to work - they
    don't care nor want to understand much else. Their toaster is broken, their
    cable television only goes up to channel 362 and that clock on the VCR is
    still flashing. That may sound a little cynical - but it is what I see
    every day.

    That's - again - why I recommend against imaging for MOST users - because
    they will waste their money and time learning to do something they will do
    once or twice and then never do again. I would rather get them setting up a
    backup schedule and using it along with properly protecting their system
    against everything else than worrying about imaging their PC..

    If it stops booting for whatever reason - in my career - I have only come
    across 3 out of thousands that was completely unrecoverable. Either by
    making an image of the system and pulling the data from the image, booting
    with a utility CD and pulling the data off that way - even changing out
    circuit boards on a HDD and getting the platters to spin up. I've even had
    the occasion to drop a drive to break the platters loose long enough to get
    it spinning and keep it that way until I got all the data off I could.

    We are *not* disagreeing here on whether or not Ghosting is a fine way to
    backup. I use ghost so often - it's ridiculous. And the last time I used
    it (last night) on a 3.6GHz machine - 140GB SATA 150 HDD - it took 2 hours
    to apply a 14GB uncompressed image over a 100gb network connection. I use
    it to push out hundreds of machines ever few months. I heartily agree that
    Symantec Ghost is a fine product. It has done more for me than any other
    product - including Windows - has. And despite my not recommending it for
    MOST users - I leave it in there so that those who are interested - who are
    not 'MOST users' - will go ahead an do it. Not to mention - it may just
    convert some of the 'MOST users' out of a competitive spirit.. ("why if some
    do it, can I not.. sounds neat"..)

    What we seem to be disagreeing on is the definition of "most users". You
    seem to think that most would be interested in ghosting while I seem to feel
    they would not. As there is no definitive way to answer that - we'd just
    have to disagree on that opinion - and that is all it boils down to. You
    are optimistically giving users credit where I am pessimistically NOT giving
    them credit for wanting to do this.

    In this particular thread - I grant you - I should have changed the wording
    from my spiel. The OP demonstrated patented interest and I should have
    taken advantage of that. I neglected to do so out of haste or neglect - I
    do not know - and you have me there. However - in the large spiel this is a
    part of - I am hesitant to change things because of the audience it is
    directed at usual differs from this OP.. =)

    However - I am glad we had this discussion and I am glad this thread came
    about. You never know - there may be some slightly re-worded spiels coming
    out of me soon enough because of this. *grin*

    --
    Shenan Stanley
    MS-MVP
    --
    How To Ask Questions The Smart Way
    http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
     
    Shenan Stanley, Feb 14, 2006
    #9
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