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Best, cheapest backup method

by KentuckyBlue / June 20, 2007 11:54 PM PDT

When I bought this computer (see specs below) I used PC Relocator and it completely copied my old computer's contents, files and software, to this computer. It was perfect, to my way of seeing it. I booted it up and went about my business as if it were the same machine.

I need to be able to do that now. It's too long to explain why, but the folks at Dell, hardware and Dell On Call software support tell me the only way to solve a problem I have is to format the hard drive and reinstall Windows. Can I do this with a SCSI drive ad PC Relocator or a similar product??? What SCSI drive do you recommend.

System specs:
System Manufacturer Dell Computer Corporation
System Model Dimension 8300
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9 GenuineIntel ~2992 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Dell Computer Corporation A05, 2/23/2004
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Boot Device \Device\Harddisk0\DP(2)0x2738a00-0x1bee05f000+2
Total Physical Memory 512.00 MB

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Taking a different approach...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 20, 2007 11:58 PM PDT

You can find members here who report Dell tells them to format and we find another way.

Sorry but PC Relocater is good stuff. Try cloning the entire drive and see if PC Relocate can use that before the format.

Bob

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Best, cheapest backup method
by KentuckyBlue / June 21, 2007 6:37 AM PDT

I will await someone's message regarding the best way to go thru this. I'm also awaiting a call back from Dell. I replaced the two CD/DVD drives that Dell sent and I received Wednesday. I still can't use the drives, so I expect someone from Dell to tell me to format my hard drive. I can't do that until I have a backup of the drive.

Can I use PC Relocator by connecting a SCSI drive to my computer??

Kyblu

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I can't answer that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 21, 2007 6:45 AM PDT

I have little to work with as to if you know about SCSI, drivers for such, and more. So without some long "interview" I'm going to skip to some other solution I've seen.

1. Get some USB hard disk.
2. Clone your system to that with Acronis.
3. Run PC Relocator and see if it would recover from that.

I've seen that work so for me this would be best to repeat former succeses.


"I still can't use the drives, " Again, it wouldn't be funny to read your real issue and then have it one of those things we fix in the forums daily... For all I know it could be that old UPPERFILTERS, LOWERFILTERS registry entry we delete and the drives show up. Or your choice of cd/dvd recording software went south. We have replacements such as CDBURNERXP.

I'm sure you would not be happy if it was one of the usuals.

Bob

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I don't understand what you wrote
by KentuckyBlue / June 21, 2007 11:50 PM PDT
In reply to: I can't answer that.

I'm new to these fora although I used the ZDNet communities many times, so :
What is an Interview?
What is a USB hard disk
What is Acronis?
and
How do you mean for me to use PC Relocator?

I'm sorry to be so dense, but it's been a long time since I've needed help and never with this computer, so I'm really in the dark here.

I talked to the guys from Dell last night and I asked if I could install Windows on a SCSI drive, but I just realized I don't know how to do that. He said that would work, i.e., installing Windows on the external drive, copying the computer drive using PC Relocater, format the drive and then using PCR again from the external drive to the computer.

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I decline to answer "easy"s.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 12:01 AM PDT

"What is an Interview?
What is a USB hard disk
What is Acronis?"

Are all at your fingertips at google and other sites.

We have however dropped BIG HINTS that the root cause of your issue (no CD/DVD drives) could be a simple issue to fix. However you haven't written enough about that for us to say "try this."

Why not tell about your issue and let's fix that?

---------------------break------------------------
"I talked to the guys from Dell last night and I asked if I could install Windows on a SCSI drive, but I just realized I don't know how to do that. He said that would work, i.e., installing Windows on the external drive, copying the computer drive using PC Relocater, format the drive and then using PCR again from the external drive to the computer."

I agree that should work too, but "how to install Windows" is another topic I don't discuss. Why? There are thousands of web sites about that and fine books. No need to duplicate effort here. I'll stick to the more oddball issues and try to help people dodge a reinstall.

Bob

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What do you need to know?
by KentuckyBlue / June 22, 2007 12:22 AM PDT

I'd be happy to give you whatever information you need if I knew what it was. I also obviously don't know what the BIG HINTS are nor do I recognize the simple fix. I would say it if I knew what it was. PLEASE HELP.

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What's missing is..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 12:29 AM PDT

A paragraph about the issue that is causing you to install Windows. I see passing statements about CD/DVD access but never a flatout statement of the REAL problem.

Bob

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REAL?
by KentuckyBlue / June 22, 2007 12:51 AM PDT
In reply to: What's missing is..

The problem is the CD/DVD drives. I can't use them and after a chkdsk test run by Dell on Call and before that a whole nite with the hardware warranty folks, plus the installation of two new CD/DVD drives yesterday, it was determined by those people at Dell that there are currupt files in Windows and the only solution is to reinstall the OS which for this computer is Win XP HE.

I don't have any other REAL problem, at least none that I know of. I'm not trying to be cute or unable to face the REAL problem. This is all I know about my problem. I have listed the specs about my computer in my profile, but here they are again:
System Manufacturer Dell Computer Corporation
System Model Dimension 8300
System Type X86-based PC
Processor x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9 GenuineIntel ~2992 Mhz
BIOS Version/Date Dell Computer Corporation A05, 2/23/2004
SMBIOS Version 2.3
Windows Directory C:\WINDOWS
System Directory C:\WINDOWS\System32
Boot Device \Device\Harddisk0\DP(2)0x2738a00-0x1bee05f000+2
Time Zone Eastern Standard Time
Total Physical Memory 512.00 mb

Somewhere along the line, the Dell on Call guy installed service pack 2 of Win XP.

Whatever else you need you'll have to ask me.

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Re: "Can't use the CD/DVD-drives".
by Kees Bakker / June 21, 2007 6:46 AM PDT

The two ways to see if this is a Windows issue or a hardware issue:
- try to boot from a Windows XP CD (be sure the BIOS is set to boot from CD) - if that doesn't work, it's hardware
- if your machine is able to boot from USB, you can find a Linux distro to put on it (I don't know which one, but they do exist) and see if they work from Linux

And generally, there's no need to format. The Windows XP setup offers 3 options: (1) on top of the existing installation, (2) delete Windows folder, keep data and (3) delete everything (= format). Generally, #2 suffices.

There are known causes for disfunctioning CD's. They include a history of packet writing software or install and incorrect uninstall of burning software and upper and lower filters that came into the registry somehow. If you tell more, somebody might be able to help.

Kees

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Will that save files?
by KentuckyBlue / June 21, 2007 11:54 PM PDT

Will I lose files and software installing WinXP over the top of the current installation?

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I tried to boot from Windows
by KentuckyBlue / June 22, 2007 12:17 AM PDT

It booted from the Windows disc, and was trying to run Setup -- that's what it said it was doing -- and I interrupted it and went back to a normal start up.

Does that mean it is a Windows problem, and if so, what should I do now??

Thanks.

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You didn't take the hint!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 12:19 AM PDT
There are known causes for disfunctioning CD's. They include a history of packet writing software or install and incorrect uninstall of burning software and upper and lower filters that came into the registry somehow. If you tell more, somebody might be able to help.

I see no reason to install Windows yet.

Bob
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I'm not understanding you
by KentuckyBlue / June 22, 2007 12:32 AM PDT

I'm not sophisticated enuf to know what you mean by ``history of packet writing software or install and incorrect uninstall of burning software and upper and lower filters that came into the registry somehow.''

`` If you tell more, somebody might be able to help.''

What more do you need?

Last Sunday I tried to drag and drop some photos from my husband's golf trip from my hard drive to a new CD-R to give to a friend of his. I have two CD/DVD drives. When I tried to copy them to the top drive, it told me to put a disc in the drive. It already was in the drive. I put a prerecorded DVD in the same drive, but the drive didn't see it either. Neither did the bottom drive, although sometimes I can copy the pictures to a blank disc in that drive.

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That's close but a murky story.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 12:37 AM PDT

You've told a partial story but haven't taken the time to condense it down to "When I do this, that happens." Instead we read about a golf trip which while interesting it begs the question. How does this gold trip affect the CD/DVD drives.

But that story was barely enough for me to tell you this.

TRY THIS!!! ->>>
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314060

If you don't try this and don't tell a better story then I'm going to take it that you are looking for tech support and not self support. Here the forums are people helping people help themselves. And for tech support you have to usually pay for that.

Bob

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When I do this, this happens
by KentuckyBlue / June 22, 2007 1:01 AM PDT

When I try to copy data to the top CD/DVD drive, it tells me to put a disc in the drive. IT'S ALREADY THERE.

When I put a pre-recorded DVD in the drive, it tells me to put a disc in the drive. IT'S ALREADY THERE.

When I put a pre-recorded DVD in the second drive, then try to open the drive from My Computer, there is nothing there.

Sometimes when I try to copy data to the bottom drive, it works and sometimes it doesn't.

I'm sorry, but that's all I know. I've used similar fora for help that I thought was technical support. I don't know the difference with people helping people with technical problems and technical support.

When you asked what happened and I told you what happened you said I wasn't telling the REAL story. When I tried to embelish it in hopes I would say something that you needed to hear, you told me you weren't interested in my husband's golf trip. I don't know what to say.

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Here's the problem.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 1:04 AM PDT

Now that it sounds like the usual, I have now shared a Try this but in your reply you don't note the outcome.

We have 16 posts here. How many to see if this is the real issue?

Yes, there is a difference between a self help forum (here) and a technical support forum. Most of it has to do with the owner having to get out and push to the solution. Tech support sites would take control of the issue.

Bob

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Beyond try this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 1:10 AM PDT
In reply to: Here's the problem.

The article about removing the registry entries should allow the drives to work as CD/DVD drives but not as "recorders." That's another issue.

To use said drives as recorders we have to use additional software such as ROXIO or NERO. So far your posts have neglected which title you use.

It is worth noting that Windows XP native CD recording is not reliable. I can offer links about it but if you expect for that to work I must unsubscribe if you feel it should work. There is no known FIX!

However current versions of Roxio and Nero seem fine. You also need to know that Drag and Drop to the CD/DVD recordable media is also unreliable. Again there is no known cure for that. But we can always format a fresh disk and use that again till it fails. And again I must unsubscribe if you feel it should work 100% of the time.

Here's what I find works 99.9999% of the time. Software that we run to record to media like CDBURNERXP. That software is free, easy to use and doesn't suffer the issues of drag and drop recording.

I hope I've made my position clear and hope you can start executing some repairs.

Bob

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So far.................
by KentuckyBlue / June 22, 2007 1:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Beyond try this.

I was reading the site you listed in your message before this one.
I have and use both Nero and Roxio, but I had come up on Sonic as I read thru my software and was trying to uninstall it. The help site you listed suggested I uninstall all such software, and I'm in the process of doing what the site recommends. I'm going to continue that and I'll get back to you when I've finished. You and it have too many suggestions for me to do at the same time.
I don't know what most of the information you provide below means. I have to do this one step at a time.

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I only have noted one TRY THIS!!!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 1:28 AM PDT

And I take it you haven't completed it so I can't move to the next steps.

Bob

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CLONE.... That's the name of the game.
by Parikshit Goutam / June 23, 2007 3:14 PM PDT

I did not notice if you were changing hard drives in your present computer or if you were moving your "goods" to another computer.
Either way the solution is simple.
IF you are putting a larger hard drive in your same DELL computer then get a copy of ACRONIS True Image. Attach your new hard drive to your primary slave ... that's the second extension of your primary IDE cable. IF you don't have a cable with connections for 2 hard drives. AGAIN, solution simple. IF your pc will still boot, then disconnect your CD-ROM (DVD, etc.) and plug your new hard drive into the IDE the CD was plugged in and be sure to plug in the power supply. Boot up ... if BIOS should tell you your configuration has changed, press F1 or the option it gives you to accept.
Windows will boot up on your current hard drive. Install Acronis True Image.
Open Windows Explorer and where your CD-DVD was will now appear your new empty hard drive.
The CLONE command in Acronis is a little hard to find, as the natural thing is to look at the items on the screen. It's not there. It is under the File Menu ... File, Clone .... it will ask for your Source drive (current drive) and your Destination drife (new drive). Give it the information and let it work it's magic.
After it is finished, unplug your current hard drive ... plug your new drive in where the current one was located; being sure to attach both IDE and power supply --- (cord with 4 wires) ...
Before attaching / installing the new drive check that the jumper is set to Master or to Single drive ... different drives use different terms. Plug your CD-DVD back in where it was.
You'll boot back into your computer as though you'd never made a change.
If you're changing to a different brand of computer ... you may want to boot into Safe Mode on the first boot, by pressing F8 every second or so as you pass the BIOS screen ... from the menu choose Safe Mode. From there you can remove Dell Drivers if necessary and let XP pick up your necessary drivers until you can get on the web and get the most current drivers.
IF you simply need to back-up data ... get that extra hard drive still and plug it in where your CD is. When you boot up then copy all the data you want to save to the extra / new drive.
If you plan to use a new drive and want to reinstall XP ... then still plug the new drive in where your CD goes. Then use a partitioning program, such as Partition Magic to split the drive into the sizes you want. The user interface is very user intuitive.
Save your vital files to the newly created partition which will actually be a logical drive in an extended partition. You'll run across those terms during the partitioning. Copy your vital files to the new partition.
Put the hard drive in where yours is now. Plug your CD back in. Check the SETUP / BIOS to enable booting off CD ... I'll bet it's already set that way. When you boot up watch the screen for the ... Press any Key to Boot from CD ...
Windows XP setup will start and choose the empty partition to ue for your new install. That will be your new C or root drive.
Hope that is of some benefit.

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HEY Proffit
by rsternb / June 22, 2007 10:09 AM PDT

you are not being very helpful. your answers to this
newbie have even confused me.
try asking blunt questions so she can give u straight answers.
this line was going nowhere fast LOL
it sounds like she is haveing a software problem and or
usage of software problem. Nero can be a pain in the butt to
a newbie.
ted
Happy

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Never wrote about Nero.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 11:30 AM PDT
In reply to: HEY Proffit

I have only suggested ONE procedure and it's far easier than an OS reinstall then PC Relocator. If you feel you can get this one item explained better I encourage you to rewrite it better.

Bob

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The last you will hear from me.
by KentuckyBlue / June 22, 2007 11:42 AM PDT

I am a writer and have been one for more than 30 years. Maybe you're not a good reader. You certainly know little about spelling and sentence structure.

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Read my profile.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 11:45 AM PDT

I am not spell checking anything and rarely give a post a second reading. I've shared the most likely cure to your issue and you seem to take offense at this.

Sorry to read that but I will still be subscribed if you want to save yourself the pain of the reinstall of the OS.

Bob

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Nevermind
by KentuckyBlue / June 22, 2007 11:40 AM PDT
In reply to: HEY Proffit

I wrote the following before I read this posting. I'm not a newbie. I have actually helped others with their computer problems, and helped keep a computer system at my work running and I thought someone here could do the same for me. I had gotten so much help over the years from the folks at ZDNet that I often wished I could be of that kind of help.

I came here earlier today asking what was the best way to make a copy of my hard drive, both files and software. (See my initial posting for more information.) My CD drives don't work and the folks at Dell, both warranty hardware technical advisers and fee-based software technical advisers, said there must be a corrupt Windows file and the best option was to format my hard drive, reinstall my operating system and copy my applications and files back to the hard drive.

When I first started working with them, they both promised me this would not be necessary, but later determined they had been wrong. They came to this conclusion by my allowing them to use Dell Connect and roam around in my computer. At least one of them ran regedit, because I sat here and watched them do it and work with registry files.

I tried to explain this here, but I was told I was being lazy, was not asking the correct question, was ignoring hints and was asking someone to do my work for me. When I asked: ``I'm new to these fora although I used the ZDNet communities many times, so :
What is an Interview?
What is a USB hard disk
What is Acronis?
and
How do you mean for me to use PC Relocator?''

At that point, Mr. Proffitt wrote: ``I decline to answer ?easy"s (sic). No one ever answered those questions, and I'd still like to know

I recognize there are differences of opinion about how my CD drives can be made to work, but I had decided to follow the suggestions from Dell and hoped someone here could advise me about the best way to save the contents of my hard drive. I already have replaced the two CD drives with two new ones and they don't work, either.

I had decided on a solution. I wanted to know how best to do it. I was not trying to get someone to help me fix the drives, as badly as Mr. Proffitt wanted me to ask him how to do it.

My initial plan was to purchase a SCSI drive, install Windows on it and then use PC Relocator to copy my hard drive contents, but I wasn't sure how to do it and came here for that advice. I realize asking a question put me open to his comments, but rather than help me, I was insulted, misled and threatened with the loss of Mr. Proffitt's wisdom. I won't seek his or anyone else's help here ever again.

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Why a SCSI drive?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 11:43 AM PDT
In reply to: Nevermind

These tax the technicians we find in today's service shops.

As to my declining the easy questions, I have to do this. Not only do I encourage all our members to take a stab with google.com on this but it's also so they become more self reliant.

We have nearly 20 posts with ONE try this that could save you countless hours yet I read nothing that you are going to try that.

Your choice here.

Bob

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If you had read the first post in this thread....
by KentuckyBlue / June 22, 2007 12:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Why a SCSI drive?

You'd know where the SCSI drive came from.

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Here's hoping you can TRY THIS!!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / June 22, 2007 12:58 PM PDT

Your machine's issue however is one that is common and been solved many times in these forums. It's sad to see a member struggle over this one and maybe ignore the common fix due to what may be hurt feelings.

I've spent many posts with you trying to ask in a number of ways to describe the issue. Since that seems to be over I'm now going to remove the gloves and be blunt and not sugar coat any further reply.

This is to strike to the heart of the matter and hopefully save you many many hours.

But that's your choice. I think I've noted one and only one TRY THIS!!! post and now the work is up to you to do the work. If not, please write back so I know that you are unwilling to try this common fix so I can leave you in the capable (but costly) hands of Dell and the Geeksquad.

Bob

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Yes, we have been
by KentuckyBlue / June 22, 2007 1:13 PM PDT

thru many posts and you have yet to give me a straight answer to my problem. You promise to take off the gloves and the sugar coating, but that's all you do is promise. WHERE IS THE SOLUTION? PLEASE, WHERE IS THE SOLUTION TO MY ORIGINAL QUESTION. STOP TELLING ME HOW MUCH YOU KNOW AND OTHERS KNOW AND ANSWER MY QUESTION.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO BACK UP MY HARD DRIVE WITHOUT LOSING MY SOFTWARE AND DATA FILES SINCE MY CD DRIVES DON'T WORK?

I have used PC Relocator and I am looking for a way to do the same job as it does without having to buy a new computer.

I can't make it any clearer. I GIVE UP.

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Do you still have the Dell Resource CD?
by ChrisFST / June 22, 2007 2:07 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes, we have been

This sounds like your missing the Drivers for your CD/DVD drives.
I also suggest during the boot phase to press the F12 and run the Diag's from the "Boot Uitily Part". This utility is pre-loaded at OS installion on Dell systems. Run the Express test as a start, then continue to the more advanced tests as needed.

Doing a "backup" via your USB External Drive, is currently your best option, if the above doesn't correct the problem.

Chris

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