Computer Help

Question

BACK UP ENTIRE PC INCLUDING PROGRAMS, APPLICATIONS, DATA

by cpmadave / December 27, 2012 4:19 AM PST

I am a complete amateur. My family has two desktop pcs, and a netbook (specs follow). Most of the programs, applications, software etc. on these have come already installed, so we have no CDs to re-install them. I am looking for backup programs that will back up not only my data, photos, and files, but also all of the applications and software. (I have, what I assume, is an adequate malware suite, firewalls, etc.) . My purpose is to insure that, no matter what happens to my hardware, or software, I can reconstruct everything and GO.

Acer desktop, Windows 7 pro, 32bit, with SANDBOXIE.
HP desktop, windows 7 pro 64 bit.
Gatweway netbook, windows 7 starter.

Thanks for any and all help.

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All Answers

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Answer
Re: backup everything
by Kees_B Forum moderator / December 27, 2012 4:27 AM PST

Acronis True Image is nice. If your PC has a WD (Western Digital) disk it's even free from http://support.wdc.com/product/downloaddetail.asp?swid=119 (that's the 2009 version, I think). Otherwise you have to buy it: http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/ sells the 2013 edition for $39.99 at the moment. Might be worth the money.

Of course, if anything happens to the hardware, you have to repair that first before you can GO again. And remember that such an image can NOT be restored to a PC with, for example, another motherboard or another graphic card. It only works on the original PC.

Kees

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Answer
Here're my recommendations
by wpgwpg / December 27, 2012 4:51 AM PST

I had some really bad experiences with Acronis True Image 2010, and I suggest you get away from the Windows backup program and get yourself a good commercial backup program. I've seen forums fraught with problem reports for the Windows one. I know I was very unimpressed when I tried it. Three I'm familiar with and like are Norton Ghost (which I've been using for 8 years without the 1st problem), Easeus Todo Backup Free, which you can download from http://www.todo-backup.com/products/home/free-backup-software.htm and Memeo which has a 30 day free trial and you can buy it for $29.99 - you can download it from http://memeo.com . You can get Ghost for next to nothing (like I did) if you watch the sales.
The March 2012 issue of PC World was very high on the FREE program from Easeus and so is CNET. In my experience with a variety of configurations I have to say I'm very impressed. Like Ghost it will back up to a networked drive, and it will create a boot CD for when your PC won't boot. See CNET's review of it at
http://download.cnet.com/Easeus-Todo-Backup-Free/3000-2242_4-10964460.html?tag=mncol;1#editorsreview .
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CNET has a lot of backup program reviews at
http://download.cnet.com/windows/backup-software/?tag=contentBody;sideBar .

Some of these are free (last time I checked there were over 300), some have free trials (over 1000), and some are purchase only (over 200).
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External hard drives are best for backup. You can get a 500 GB one for around $60 and a 1 TB one for around $70. You can also buy a 32 GB flash drive for under $15. It's the best insurance you can ever buy!

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I hope this helps. Good luck

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Answer
Remember: Win7 Can Create Its Own System Image Backup- Free
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / December 27, 2012 7:35 AM PST

Windows 7 has the ability to create its own System Image natively. I believe its available on the "Starter" edition also. There's really no need to use third party utilities unless you feel like it. Open the Control Panel, then the "Backup and Restore" section, then create the backup stuff.

See the links below to create both a "System Repair Disc" and "System Image Disk". (You'll want both for use when should you need to recover after replacing a dead hard drive.):

http://www.windowsvalley.com/create-or-backup-system-image-on-windows-7/

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4241/how-to-create-a-system-image-in-windows-7/

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/Restore-your-computer-from-a-system-image-backup

Hope this helps.

Grif

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THANK YOU ALL!
by cpmadave / December 27, 2012 1:07 PM PST

It appears that you have answered my question.
Thank you, again

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