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Bought External Harddrive for Laptop Backup, What next??

by ClissaT / February 2, 2008 2:43 PM PST

I've been reading these pages till my brain hurts. There's so much info here.
I bought a Maxtor Personal Storage 3200, but when I opened it there wasn't any instructions, installation disc, or anything come up on the screen when I plugged it into the laptop. There's also no buttons or switches on the HD case.
The 2 seemed to be talking to each other OK, so I tried to format & partition it into an 80/120/120G but it didn't do that, just stayed as 1 partition but with the name I'd given the first partition.
The wizard seemed to be working OK so I figure there's a lot more I don't know about.
On this forum I found reference to a program Acronis Migrate Easy.

So my question is:- would the Acronis be the best way to go to manage the external HD right from the get go? I bought the HD with the intention of having a full backup, duplicate of my laptop, programs & all, which I would rebackup from time to time.
I also note some say to use CD's but it would take 26 of them just to B-up my laptop, let alone have extra for my movies, music, etc!!!! That's crazy! Very important individual files, yes definately.

OK the laptop details. OS XP Pro sp2, pentium 2GHZ, 60G. Um not sure what else you need to know here.

Thanks ClissaT

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 2, 2008 9:05 PM PST

1. Look up SYNCBACK and use it.

2. Acronis is nice. Sorry there are no instructions but the full retail version is cheap and worth it.

3. And most important. This is not backup. It's an convenient copy. To reach the point of BACKUP we need one more copy that is WRITE PROTECTED. These are not my rules on what backup is but those handed down over the years and accepted by many the world over. If you feel one copy of your files (that's one copy regardless how many times you put it on this drive!) is all you need then I implore you to read this forum where people plead for help getting their files off such a device. Where's the backup?


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Thanks Moderator
by ClissaT / February 3, 2008 7:16 AM PST
In reply to: Examples.

I'll look up SYNCBACK. I understand the final backup should be 'once only use' CD's. Mainly I would like a copy of this computer because I can't remember all the programs & 100's of hours of updates to goodness knows what that just happen of their own volitition. I wouldn't know where to start to discribe what's on this computer (I've totally lost track!). So figured a copy would at least give me a starting point should this machine go AWOL.

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Backups don't matter - RESTORES do
by mkoehne / February 14, 2008 7:38 AM PST
In reply to: Examples.

As a Storage/Backup Engineer for a large international company, we have a running joke. No one cares whether you do backups. All they care to see are successful restores. Point is - unless you are doing something to ensure that whatever method you are using to backup/copy your data is "reversible", i.e. unless you are capable of getting that data back in a usable format, then all the backups in the world are of no value. So don't just backup - perform test restores of that data on a regular basis.

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Re the did you try to partition the
by VAPCMD / February 3, 2008 12:24 AM PST

external ? Through 'Disk Management' ?

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(NT) Yes VAPCMD, through Disc Management.
by ClissaT / February 3, 2008 7:08 AM PST
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Ok...the delete the existing partition and try partitioning
by VAPCMD / February 3, 2008 10:17 AM PST

to coincide with your proposed strategy.

Like you, I want to back it all up and restore it all in as little time as possible if the primary drive should become corrupt beyond repair or fail. I don't want to spend time finding all the CDs, the product keys, reloading the OS, the MB and periperhal drivers, all the application software, set all the defaults etc., etc.,. Makes me tired even thinkin' about it. I create compressed, restorable images of my drive C (OS and APPs) and D (ALL DATA) to a second internal HDD. I also put copies of those images on an external HDD as well. It has really really served my well.


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Yep that did the trick !
by ClissaT / February 5, 2008 12:57 PM PST

Thanks VAPCMD, now it's all making sense. I often find the HELP menu doesn't give all the info required. It didn't say the active window of the installed external harddrive had to show unallocated space before partitions could be made. There was no mention of deleting partitions to make it all unallocated. There was no mention of the words 'unallocated space'.
To my mind that was the most important piece of info that should've been in the HELP menu !!
Of course it would also help if the device came with a few instructions of it's own !
I'm finding more & more that device makers assume buyers know about everything these days.
Anyway all done now & I have a copy of the computer to put away just incase.
Thanks everyone for your help here.

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by Neil Bradley / February 13, 2008 10:37 AM PST

You have the right idea but do not use disks ; they involve a lot of swapping back & forth & if one gets a little scratch you wind up with a set of 'coasters'. Use the Maxtor +flash drive. Your help on the Maxtor should be on the disk itself. By opening it from 'my computer' you will see them. If not there you can download them from Maxtor/Seagate (who brought Maxtor. Good luck!

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Questions on Laptop Backup
by suttondm / February 18, 2008 7:52 AM PST

I did the same thing as you. I bought an external hard disc and I'd like to have everything I have on my laptop on the extra disc in case this computer goes belly-up.

What did you find worked for you? Do you have to partition drives? Is there a reason people partition drives?

I'd appreciate your advice since you just went through it. I guess it's technically a backup in the cmoputer world, but it's a fall-back position for me.


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