Windows Legacy OS forum

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How to back up programs?

by FadedStars / May 14, 2008 9:47 AM PDT

Is there any way I can back up the programs I have installed on my computer without having to go through the whole process with the installation CDs?

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by Jimmy Greystone / May 14, 2008 9:56 AM PDT

No, and that is by design.

You either have to reinstall using the original media, or create a disk image of the entire drive. There's no in between.

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 14, 2008 10:32 AM PDT

That change was in 1995 with the arrival of 'the registry', shared dlls and more. The idea was to not only provide an uninstall for software but to thwart casual copying.

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by FadedStars / May 14, 2008 10:55 AM PDT
In reply to: Sorry.

Oh. Thanks for your help though.

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by Jimmy Greystone / May 14, 2008 2:39 PM PDT
In reply to: Sorry.

Technically "the registry" predates Windows95. I don't know exactly when it came into being, but at least by Windows 3.11 and probably 3.1 as well. It was virtually never used, but it did exist. Win95 just made the big push to use the registry over individual INI files.

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Yes you can
by Rolou2000 / May 16, 2008 12:10 PM PDT

I am using Acronis True Image Workstation, and it basicallu work the same way as Norton Ghost did in the past. Using this program, you will be able to create an exact copy of your harddrive, and if something fails, in minutes, you will be able to put your computer back to a perfecdt working condition.

Before you create your copy of your hard drive, make sure you run a defrag, as it will help making a better backup file.

It is a very easy program to use even for novices.


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I agree with you Rolou2000 -------
by tallin / May 16, 2008 1:13 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes you can

I use both Acronis 10 and Ghost 12 on my computers. Only this week I had need to do an image onto another Hard Drive when installing Service Pack 3 on my Laptop. It all worked well and after some small change to the Bios, namely:

Disable USB legacy in Bios then rebooted normally, enable USB Legacy and restart

I then had success with installing SP3 on the Laptop. The PC was no problem at all and the installion went ahead perfectly.

I have tested Ghost image on the PC by transferring the image from the external HD to a new HD which is now my working drive with great success. That all took 36 minutes!

So image software is my way to go for safety with Erunt running at startup just another security blanket to have.

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disc image
by andyjames / May 16, 2008 6:10 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes you can

I also used Acronis to copy my C drive to a spare hard drive as a backup.
When I switched it into my PC just to test it, Microsoft spotted it within minutes and made me re-register Win XP. I believe but am not sure that Microsoft will only let you re-register your Win XP a total of three times as their defense against pirating. Is this true?
If so it does rather limit the backup method.

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Perhaps Bob will answer you.......
by tallin / May 16, 2008 6:34 PM PDT
In reply to: disc image


I have not heard of that, and it does not happen to me, I have imaged to other Hard Drives many times and not a murur from them. I would not have thought the two would be connected to tell you the truth.....

Sorry I am not much help to you here.

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This is fascinating
by Jimmy Greystone / May 17, 2008 1:42 AM PDT
In reply to: disc image

This is fascinating to the amateur sociologist in me... I suppose some of this belies an interest in neurology as well. How people process information, particularly on subjects they don't fully comprehend. They will remember random bits and pieces, and then try and fill in the gaps later. Absolutely fascinating.

Anyway... You can only activate XP using the automated method a couple of times in about a 6 month period. After that, you have to call one of the numbers provided to have someone give you an activation code. You'll also have to explain a bit about what you've been doing. Every 6 months or so, the database keeping track of activations is reset. Supposedly at least, no one but Microsoft really knows for sure.

That also only applied to retail versions of XP. OEM copies of XP are different. All OEM copies are locked to the hardware they are first activated on. Low volume OEM copies have to be activated like retail copies, while high volume copies of XP have a special self-activating mechanism. Of course high volume copies of XP are the kind you get from big name computer makers, and the copies will only activate if they detect they are running on hardware from that company. So a copy of XP from Dell won't activate on an HP computer.

The official company line is that it's an anti-piracy measure, but it's really more than that. It's the first step in Microsoft's transition to a software as a service company. The erroneously named Windows Genuine Advantage program was the next step, and Vista's "improved" activation scheme is another. The confusing number of Vista bundles is also a part of this. Ultimately Microsoft wants to transition itself to a company where you pay a regular fee in order to use their software, not just some lump sum up front. I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of the speculation about the upcoming "Windows 7" is true. That you will just get a very basic OS, without a lot of the bundled apps we've gotten used to. Instead, Microsoft will probably make a big push to integrate it's idiotically named Windows Live services into the OS. Then you pay a monthly fee in order to use their email service or whatever else. Eventually, Microsoft would like to return us to the days of the dumb terminal, where we load a copy of Windows off of their systems every time we boot our computer. Then they can really turn the screws on people. Not only could they monitor every single action you take with the greatest of ease, but cut you off immediately if you did anything they didn't like, or even were just SUSPECTED of doing something they don't like. Even just because some IT guy was having a bad day, or has a bit of an inner sociopath that likes to come out and play every once in awhile, and cuts you off for no reason. You can bet that in the EULA there will be a clause giving them the right to terminate service at any time for any reason, and with no refunds.

Anyway, to bring this back on topic... Using a program like Acronis True Image is what I meant in my first post when I said you either make a disk image and back up the entire OS, or you reinstall everything individually. I thought I was pretty clear the first time about it being an all or nothing proposition, but clearly I was either wrong or someone didn't bother to actually read past the subject line on my post. I'll just assume that they are capable of reading and understanding written english. Despite the many times people have called this assumption of mine into question over the years, I guess I'm just a hopeless romantic at heart, and believe in the general intelligence of people. Sometimes it just needs some help to wake up from its hibernation and clear away the sleep fog.

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disc backup
by andyjames / May 17, 2008 2:24 AM PDT
In reply to: This is fascinating

Thanks for the info about the re-set at Microsoft every 6 months - I won't be doing a system backup at that frequency - only when I install new software - so this is a good solution. Remember it gets you up and running fast if your C drive crashes!
As for the rest of the reply I'm not sure whether or not to be insulted, or just put it down to language problems!

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What on earth???
by bucca / May 17, 2008 9:52 AM PDT
In reply to: This is fascinating

Just what on earth was all THAT about?

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what on earth
by susanai / May 19, 2008 2:57 PM PDT
In reply to: What on earth???

"this is fascinating" gave me a brain freeze and your answer gave me a laugh. Guess which I read twice? Thanks for the levity, some people get too serious about these things.

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To Neil Bradley
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / May 19, 2008 8:13 PM PDT
In reply to: disc image

I'm sure you mean well but I have had to delete your post. You were suggesting that the poster you were replying to should visit a competing forum, and that is against Forum Policy;

"The only type of linking (besides porn and spam, of course) that will not be allowed on our site is when members solicit people to leave our site and join a competing service. That's just common sense. We won't allow people to use our site to promote a competing service any more than a brick-and-mortar store would allow his competitor to paste flyers all over his walls. However, people are always welcome to link to any online resource, whether it's on our site or any other site, in order to share useful information with fellow members."

The full policy is here:


If you have any specific advice or links you can supply from that forum which will help this poster, then feel free to provide the information/link.


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That's a "system backup."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 16, 2008 11:33 PM PDT
In reply to: Yes you can

How would this backup just the programs for instance where one wants to install them without the CDs?

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by DOSpower / May 17, 2008 11:23 AM PDT
In reply to: Yes you can

Spot on. I use yet another imaging program (Drive Image 2002) and it has proven itself invaluable. After having done a fresh system install with a personalised configuration and set of applications I defrag the drive place my preconfigured boot CD into the optical drive and reboot. From DOS I delete the pagefile and then launch Drive Image. It is impressively fast with a simple user interface and with some tweaking you can get it dump the image straight onto a USB drive.

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Another option is to use 'portable' programs...
by dexter_birdbrain / May 16, 2008 1:21 PM PDT

Go to or our very own and you can find popular and common programs like Firefox, Thunderbird, Pidgin and a lot of other programs like Antiviruses, Compression Softwares, Word Processors in a 'portable' format i.e. you can just copy them on any PC and start using.

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HD back up
by jimroad471 / May 18, 2008 1:31 AM PDT

I use a Maxtor, now Seagate, ext hard drive for a full back up. 80 bucks for like 300 GB of storage. Really simple and very reliable. Backing up files is very necessary! I know that for a fact

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by kayodeodu / May 19, 2008 10:47 PM PDT


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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / May 19, 2008 10:52 PM PDT

When a discussion goes off the rails so to speak and there are great answers it's time to lock it.

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