XP Backup Utility vs. Disk Imaging?


G

Guest

I have a brand new notebook (XP MCE) that I have just spent a lot of time
configuring and loading software onto. It uses a Core 2 Duo proc. and SATA
drives. I'm seeing some nightmarish experiences other users have had in
trying to use disk imaging software (Ghost, Acronis etc.) with these new
systems. Does anyone know the basic difference between these disk imaging
utilities and the Windows backup utility? Is the Windows backup utility not
as thorough? I would like to back this up before it goes into use. Thank You.
 
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K

Kerry Brown

Although they overlap in functions they are fundamentally different tools
with different uses. A disk imaging program makes a copy of whole disks or
partitions. A backup program can be used to backup individual files or
folders. With a laptop you would be better to use a disk imaging program.
Laptops usually have one or more hidden partitions for diagnostics and
system recovery purposes. I disk aiamging program would be able to make
copies of these. The Windows backup tool would not. Once you have an image
of your drive you could use the Windows backup utility to backup your data
on an ongoing basis.
 
G

Guest

Thank you for your response Kerry. Your post dated 6/18 piqued my interest
(Back Up . . .please help . . .), where you referred to NTbackup. Although
not very experienced, I wouldn't mind learning an arcane method of doing this
if it gets the job done (& I don't have to shell out $50 for something that
might make things worse).
 
J

John Barnett MVP

AmyM, I'm not a big fan of Windows Backup. Personally it is okay for backing
up your files, favourites, etc but i wouldn't use it for anything else. I
much prefer complete disk imaging. I suppose, with disk imaging, problems
can occurs with the new systems when the software doesn't happen to be the
latest version. Many people are still using disk imaging software from 4 or
more years ago. A lot has improved since then.

--
John Barnett MVP
Associate Expert
http://xphelpandsupport.mvps.org
http://vistasupport.mvps.org

The information in this mail/post is supplied "as is". No warranty of any
kind, either expressed or implied, is made in relation to the accuracy,
reliability or content of this mail/post. The Author shall not be liable for
any direct, indirect, incidental or consequential damages arising out of the
use of, or inability to use, information or opinions expressed in this
mail/post..
 
G

Guest

Thank you for your response. Here is an amusing chat dialog I just had with HP:
HP:
Since you have createed recovery cds, you need not worry.
HP:
Though you have created recovery CDs still the recovery partition would be
there on the notebook.
Me:
I have spent a lot of time customizing this unit, and deleting all of the
bloatware and registry entries that HP seems to think we need. I don't want
to spend that time again.
Me:
Any recommendations on a disk imaging software that will be suitable to this
model?
HP:
Could you please give me a couple of minutes to work on the issue?
Me:
Sure.
HP:
Amy, unfortunately there is no disk inmaging software availble now.

SFX: Head beating against the wall.
 
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B

Bob Harris

I also vote for disk imaging software. I have actually had good luck with
both GHOST and True Image. However, when I first built my PC, SATA disks
were new and I had to wait a bit before the vendors of image software caught
up. Today SATA disks should not be a problem.

That said, I would suggest testing any imaging software you may get. Making
an image is usually not the hard part. It is the recovery. I have learned
that if the recovery software, can "see" the image and also "see" the target
partition onto which you would recover it, then the odds are good the
recovery will work. To "see" this stuff you need to pretend to be doing a
restore, but stop just before pressing the final "OK" button. When I had
problems with GHOST and TrueImage, this simple test was enough to tell me
that I needed to upgrade or contact their support group. TI8 support was
helpful, but took a while to fix my problem; GHOST support pointed me to a
pre-canned answer that translated to we don't support that type of hard
drive.

I am not a fan of tricky software that you start in Windows, then jumps to
DOS, then back again (e.g., GHOST 2003). Such software often utilizes a
hidden partition, and thus needs to plays games with the partition table.
If something goes wrong the PC may be left unbootable.

Making an image from within Windows seems safe, at least it works for
TrueImage. But, common sense dictate that you should close all user
processes while making an image.

For restoring the image, look for something that runs outside of windows, in
case windows won't boot. Also, look for something that runs without your
hard drive, since you might need to recover to a new (clean) hard drive, in
case of a physically damaged drive. Most modern backup software will
provide some option to boot from CD. A few might still use floppies.

All this said, there are many possible backup programs, and some are even
free. Start looking at Major Geeks, category backup:
http://www.majorgeeks.com/downloads3.html. Also try Google searches on
"backup software" or similar.
 
G

Guest

That majorgeeks site looks like it has every backup utility known to mankind!
I think I am going to try the Basic edition of HDClone 3.1, which looks
interesting. It installs its own operating system so it runs independently of
everything else on the computer. All I have to lose at this point is time, so
the worst that could happen is I have to reconfigure my system again. Thanks
so much to everyone for all of your insights.
 
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K

Kerry Brown

You have to take problems posted on the Internet with a grain of salt. I
have used Acronis products for many years and True Image since version 7. As
with any utility that does low level hardware access some systems will have
problems or be incompatible. I have found Acronis' email tech support to be
excellent, quickly resolving any issues I have had. That said I usually
don't upgrade their's or anybody's products until they have been released
for a while and the initial bugs have been worked out. I wouldn't use TI
version 10 for a while yet.
 
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