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Back up advice prior to the unwanted hard disc failure!

Can you help? I am confused by the various methods of backing up and worried that if I ever do have a hard disc failure, that although I seem to have most files saved on DVD, I may still have a major problem if I don?t also ?Ghost? or ?Disc image? my whole hard drive. I am trying to avoid having to reload all the various software packages and keep all my settings as they are in the event of a catastrophy. I have XP on a Dell 5150 dimension with 145GB HD. 20Gb incl programs. 7Gb data.
Do I also need an external hard drive?

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For that you need to clone...

In reply to: Back up advice prior to the unwanted hard disc failure!

If you wish to backup all of your programs and settings your only option is to clone (ghost/disc image) your hard drive using Norton Ghost, Norton Save & Restore, Acronis True Image, etc. An external hard drive would make it easier since you wouldn't be as restrained when it comes to capacity, but CDs and DVDs would also be valid options to backup to. It would likely require close to 7 DVDs or 45 CDs since the total capacity must be at least that of all the used space on your hard drive, including your programs, files, and Windows itself. There are compression options to reduce the size of the backups, but it's still a lot of data.


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Cloning software

In reply to: For that you need to clone...

Many thanks, John. Do I need any specialist knowledge to use the programs you suggest? and are there any 'moves' I need to know before buying an external hard disc. In other words, is this a fairly simple task with associated wizzardry to help a layman like myself achieve a safe and useable clone in the event of hard disc failure?

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Pretty much straight forward...

In reply to: Cloning software

They've certainly enhanced the product lineup over the years to make it far more user-friendly. There is the occasional glitch now and then, but aside from that the user guide and user interface should walk you right through it. It's really not that much harder than backing up your personal files to DVD using Nero or Roxio, which you've already accomplished.

Good luck.

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