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Almost everyone in these forums tout the ''backup'' as a lifesaver(very true). What is also needed is any advice as to how. Windows XP NT backup utility is next to useless, unless you have floppy bulk buying privileges. Some recommendations for different backup programs, types, options and where to get them would be very helpful and welcome.
Any help would be greatly appreciated

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Backup to what


you haven't told us a thing about your system (as asked in red)- what backup devices do you have

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In reply to: Backup to what

I always forget the tech stuff.
O/s windows XP media center edition. P4 2.8g 512 ram
160g western dig. harddrive BenQ dvd-rw floppy

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Windows BU utility gives the option....

In reply to: sorry

to save to external media. I've used it to create a .bkf file to an external HD.

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Michael thanks for the info, can you expand?

In reply to: Windows BU utility gives the option....

how does the backup utility work, could you give me instructions and how to create the .bkf file and what external hardrive do you recommend. Also is possible to backup to cd or dvd or another intenal harddrive

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Taken from Windows Help and Support.....

In reply to: Michael thanks for the info, can you expand?

type in backup and you get this:

To back up files to a file or a tape
Using the Windows interface

Open Backup.
The Backup Utility Wizard starts by default, unless it is disabled.

Click the Advanced Mode button in the Backup Utility Wizard.
Click the Backup tab, and then, on the Job menu, click New.
Specify the files and folders you want to back up by selecting the check box to the left of a file or folder in Click to select the check box for any drive, folder, or file that you want to back up.
In Backup destination, do one of the following:
Click File if you want to back up files and folders to a file. This is selected by default.
Click a tape device if you want to back up files and folders to a tape.
In Backup media or file name, do one of the following:
If you are backing up files and folders to a file, type a path and file name for the backup (.bkf) file, or click the Browse button to find a file.
If you are backing up files and folders to a tape, click the tape you want to use.
Specify any backup options you want, such as the backup type and the log file type, by clicking the Tools menu, and then clicking Options. When you have finished specifying backup options, click OK.
Click Start Backup, and then make any changes to the Backup Job Information dialog box.
If you want to set advanced backup options such as data verification or hardware compression, click Advanced. When you have finished setting advanced backup options, click OK. For more information about advanced backup options, see To set advanced backup options.
Click Start Backup to start the backup operation.

You can use Backup to back up and restore data on either FAT16, FAT32, or NTFS volumes. However, if you have backed up data from an NTFS volume used in Windows XP, it is recommended that you restore the data to an NTFS volume used in Windows XP, or you could lose data as well as some file and folder features. Some file systems might not support all features of other file systems. For example, permissions, encrypting file system (EFS) settings, disk quota information, mounted drive information, and Remote Storage information will be lost if you back up data from an NTFS volume used in Windows XP and then restore it to a FAT volume or an NTFS volume used in Windows NT 4.0.
To back up and restore Microsoft SQL Server database files, it is recommended that you use SQL's built-in backup and restore utilities. For more information, see the Microsoft SQL Server documentation.
Some tape drives might not support hardware compression.

You must be an administrator or a backup operator to back up files and folders. For more information about permissions or user rights, click Related Topics.
To start Backup, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup.
If the Backup and Recovery Wizard does not start by default, you can still use it to back up files by clicking the Tools menu, and then clicking Backup Wizard.
If you want to back up your system, you should back up all the data on your computer plus the System State data, which includes such things as the registry and the Active Directory directory service database.
You can only back up the System State data on a local computer. You cannot back up the System State data on a remote computer.
Backup files usually have the extension .bkf, although you can use any extension.
Backup operators and administrators can back up and restore encrypted files and folders without decrypting the files or folders.
If you have Windows Media Services running on your computer, and you want to back up the files associated with these services, see "Running Backup with Windows Media Services" in the Windows Media Services online documentation. You must follow the procedures outlined in the Windows Media Services online documentation before you can back up or restore files associated with Windows Media Services.
Using a command line

Open Command Prompt.
To backup to a file or tape, type:
ntbackup backup @bks file name /J "backup job name" /F "file name" /T "tape name" /P "pool name" /G "guid name" /N "media name" /A

Value Description
@bks file name Specifies the name of the backup selection file (.bks file) to be used for this backup operation. The @ character must precede the name of the backup selection file. A backup selection file contains information about the files and folders you have selected for backup. You have to create the file using the graphical user interface (GUI) version of Backup. Alternatively, you could supply the path to the drive or file to backup, for example, D:\.
/J "backup job name" Specifies the job name to be used in the log file. The job name usually describes the files and folders you are backing up in the current backup job as well as the date and time you backed up the files.
/F "file name" Specifies the logical disk path and file name of the backup file. You must not use the following switches with this switch: /P /G /T.
/T "tape name" Overwrites or appends to this tape.
/P "pool name" Specifies the media pool from which you want to use media. This is usually a subpool of the Backup media pool, such as 4mm DDS. If you select this you must not use the following switches: /A /G /F /T
/G "guid name" Overwrites or appends to this tape. Do not use this switch in conjunction with /P.
/N "media name" Specifies the new tape name. You must not use /A with this switch.
/A Performs an append operation. Either /G or /T must be used in conjunction with this switch. Do not use this switch in conjunction with /P.
For information about additional file and tape backup options, see the ntbackup command-line utility.
For example, to create a backup job named "Backup Job 1" that backs up all the files and folders on the local drive D:\ to the file C:\backup.bkf, type:

ntbackup backup D:\ /J "Backup Job 1" /F "C:\backup.bkf"

All other options will default to those specified in the Backup program.

To open a command prompt, click Start, point to Programs, point to Accessories, and then click Command Prompt.
To view the complete syntax for this command, at a command prompt, type:

ntbackup /?

If you do not specify the other Backup options, ntbackup will use the Backup program's default values for the backup type, verification setting, logging level, hardware compression, and any other settings.
Related Topics

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In reply to: Taken from Windows Help and Support.....

This may be what I am looking for, and I'm going to print this, study, digest and try it. Looks complicated and I don't understand a lot of the terms or operations are such as path,log file type, backup type, ntfs, fat16,fat32, files and encrypting, etc. So I guess I will try google for this info. Who is the administrator, microsoft? And how do you get in touch with them? Also what might SQL server database be? I will try to find out more of what you are describing and get back to you on anything I can't find.Thanks

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what I need is options

In reply to: Backup to what

Options for other than floppys as well as some other program possibilities for backups

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Backup options.

In reply to: what I need is options

I do not use facny backup programs. I copy what I do not want lost to CD-R, i.e. I create data CDs. To restore, I copy back to the HD.

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Agreed, clean and simple. . .

In reply to: Backup options.

Back up what you can't afford to loose. Pictures, favorites, email, documents, music, etc. Everything else will have to be reinstalled.

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Coryphaeus- could you ?

In reply to: Agreed, clean and simple. . .

I understand how important backups are but my question is how? Maybe I was not clear, but I am new to this backup operation and need to know if possible step by step instructions on how to complete this process. I have tried windows backup function and it will only allow me to backup to floppys. To backup my files and settings was going to take an enormous amount of floppy disc's. I have already gone thru the new install, no drivers, back to the shop , down for the week fiasco. I am really needing assistance!
Thanks Jeff

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In reply to: Coryphaeus- could you ?

Do you have a good CD-DVD R/RW? If you have, and the programme for writeng to DVD is intact, then use this to back up all your e-mails and such that you do not wish to lose. Because of the amount of private data you can easliy accumulate on a hard drive, I tend to use a DVD-R to produce a data disk, at least this way, I can try to remedy the problem, and as a last resort, even re-format the drive - this last means re-loading the O/S and all the progrmmes and ALL the updates for the O/S. When you've managed to correct the problem(s), then see if any data needs re-loading.

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In reply to: Backups

I would write to cd or dvd if the program would allow me to. The backup function of windows XP works fine like I said, but will not let me write to anything but floppys. Have you tried writing to cd and how do you do it?

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Backup to CD-DVD

In reply to: THEMISIVE

All you need is a reasonable CD/DVD R/RW drive (it looks like a CD ROM drive) and a good CD/DVD backup programme - mine is Nero 6. Basically all I do then is to creat a folder (call it something like backup, and put 2 seperate folders in that, called C and D respectively - that's because I have 2 hard drives).

All your data, like your favourites from C:\Documents and Settings\yourname\Favourites and such other data you feel you may need from C drive, goes in the C folder, then all personal data from D drive is placed in the D folder. Next step, just write it onto a DVD-R (you'll probably find a CD is too small as well), but whatever you do DO NOT try to make CD or DVD backups using Windows backup - it won't work.

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to Thermisive

In reply to: Backup to CD-DVD

Well I asked for info and I got it, thanks. The problem I have is I don't understand hardly anything you stated. I don't know how to create folders or send the info to them and then how to write this to cd. This info is going to require a lot of study along with the detailed info I got from Michael. Thanks guys , I know this was a lot of work to compile these answers for me, and it is appreciated.
I am wondering however, if I will ever understand all of this well enough to actually make a backup or maybe just settle for the fact that I am going to lose data again next time the machine has a burp. This stuff is way over my head. So, thanks everyone, I think I will just plow ahead in blissful ignorance.

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Papa Echo good idea but how?

In reply to: Backup options.

I do not know how to copy as decribed. Can you give instructions on how you do this Thanks

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How ?

In reply to: Papa Echo good idea but how?

My method of copying files to a CD is to create a data CDs of those files -- the method depends on what burning program you use. E.G. for Nero Burning ROM, open up its file browser and drag and drop the files to the ''burning box''...but this is too simple. There should be instructions at ''Help'' of your burning program, or at the user manual. What CD burning program do you use ?

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backup program


I've had very good luck with a piece of shareware called Argentum Backup:

It's very simple... I set it up by pointing the interface at the local directories I want to include in a back-up (i.e. My Documents, Desktop, E-mail identities, my little USB Flash Drive, my Favorites)... and once a month I plug in a external harddrive and click ''go''. When's it's done... I take that USB drive and throw it in a firesafe.

It can even be set to back-up automatically, allows for different back-up ''jobs''... allows for zip compression or direct file copying.

Because I don't trust even the USB drive to run forever, I do the occasion back-up directly to DVD-RW. It's just a matter of changing the back-up's location in the Argentum program.

The nice thing about the program is I can also set it to back-up an entire directory minus any specified folder. (For example... I might not want to include ''My Videos'' in each monthly ''My Documents'' back-up).



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Thanks WKILC

In reply to: backup program

good this helps, and it gives me something to research

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Create a data CD or DVD

In reply to: Thanks WKILC

you don't need a backup program. Make a data CD or DVD using the CD/DVD burning software program installed on your computer. Have you ever made a CD?

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In reply to: Create a data CD or DVD

what does this entail, I do have the Nero program. How do you create this data cd and can it be used to recover info after a major problem. This is all I want to accomplish, so I can save my info this time, and not go thru the mess that just happened. I had to do a new install and lost everything including drivers . Will this burn cd operation do this for me?

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thanks glb613


just what the doctor ordered. between you and Themisive(via email) I think I can operate this program. Do you know if I have another crash and have to do a new install again, how easy is it to reload from these dvd/cd's written by Nero back into the O/S again? Is there a special procedure or is in the Nero tutorial? Thanks for the help. I really need it

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Saving your data, photos, downloads

In reply to: thanks glb613

is an ongoing process. As you add new "stuff" to your hard drive, you also need to save it somewhere else. You can create new CD-Rs or CD-RWs. If you ever need to reinstall the operating system or do a complete restore, you can put back the information saved. But doing a complete reinstall isn't the only reason for saving your data. Things can go wrong, files get corrupted and hard drives can fail. This should be something you do regularly.

Do you know how to use Windows Explorer? How about using copy/paste or drag & drop? These are computer basics that you need to know. You can find the instructions or information needed through help and support built into XP or doing a Google search.

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Great Link - thanks glb613

In reply to: Saving your data, photos, downloads

Great, this is some of the basic stuff everyone seems to take for granted and I really need to learn.
Thanks again

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I use Norton Ghost 9.0


Though it is a nice program and I like it, because it works for me fine. There are still people who have problems with it and I would not recommend it to someone who just wanted to backup a few files with ghost you have to image the whole hard drive and you are looking at disks if you have a pretty big hard drive and only have a cdrw drive and can not burn dvds. It took me 17 disks to create just one backup image and I will need all these disks to restore the computer in the event there is something wrong or another backup set.

There are a couple freeware programs (I think) if you are only looking to backup a few files on your computer.

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to - Metmichallica

In reply to: I use Norton Ghost 9.0

I will explore the Norton Ghost program option thanks for the tip. I do appreciate your input, and any help is appreciated and noted. Jeff

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In reply to: to - Metmichallica

Hi. People have strong feelings about what is the best backup method Many folks feel that CDs or DVDs offer a more convenient and more permanant form of storage.I respect their opinion but think that the storage life of these media are not as great as promised: as demonstrated by tests run by PC World magazine. Also price doesn't ensure quality as some of the no-names performed better than the premiums.
Apart from that I prefer to backup to an external disk drive and to run a ghost Image ( although I run a free program (HDCOPY) rather than GHOST). This avoids accumulating piles of CDs or DVDs. By the way if you use these disks use writeables and NOT rewrite, as the recording quality is not as good on the rewriters. I use an external USB dribe box as you can put different drives in them and they are also cheaper than an external HDD.
The argument offered against backing up to a ghost image is that if you have problems on your C drive you will reinstall them..This is very true if you reinstall the complete image but nobody says you have to. I find it very useful to have the entire conytent of the C drive in hand, warts and all. I have found that Transferring individual items to CDs involved scrubbing your Cdrive before reinstalling and I invariably hosed something that I needed later.
Whatever you decide to do, Good luck. Stewart

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to Stewart6

In reply to: Ghosting

Another good idea, and one that I did not know existed. Does it have to be a external hardrive? Would a second internal hardrive work as well? The external drive box you speak of, are they common,and would I have a problem finding one?
I was not aware there was two types of cd/dvd media that you mentioned, being writeable and rewriteable. Now I will be more careful. What media brand do you choose or use?
Do you know how I could access the testing reports of these media types you mentioned by PC magazine.
Also where could I find the software HD COPY you speak of?
I know I ask a lot of questions, but someday I will know everything ''LOL''.

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To Unomix.

In reply to: to Stewart6

Hello. No it need'nt be an external drive although an external drive gives you backup files security if your PC gets stolen or trashed, Also installation does not involve opening your computer and possibly jarrring some connection loose. A USB external box allows you to plug in different HDDs as well as any other device that runs on an IDE ribbon cable such as a dvd etc. Also these boxes accept normal internal devices which are much less expensive than custom external devices.
External drive boxes can be got for a few dollars on EBay. They come in two size: five and quarter inch for PC and two and a half inch for laptops
It's some time since I read the PC World article but as I recall it did not test for superior brands of CD but rather sought to establish the storage life of the media in general by running accelerated aging tests.I don't think I would worry too much about particular brands but to play safe I would rerecord after a few years if you have irreplacible stuff. On that subject, You should have duplicates of all CDs you value as they can be destroyed by a scratch on the surface.
Type HDCOPY (with no space between HD and copy) into Google and it will take you to the free download site. Make sure you download the English language version as the original developer is German. Hope this answers your questions Regards Stewart

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To Stewart 6

In reply to: To Unomix.

Basically all I want to accomplish is to be able to get my system up and running after a new install caused by a crash or in my most recent history, by my computer tech help line. I had to return to the store I bought it from and get the drivers and such reloaded and then after a week of smaller type problems, finally back to square one. Then attempt to reestablish my settings, favorite sites, etc. from memory and of course no way to get back all my saved emails. The data lost was not the end of the world stuff but important to me.
So to sum up my wants, is to never go back to the shop again and be able to save and restore every thing to the way I like it.
Help from you, and others I hope will allow me to reach my goal.

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