General discussion

Install/Use MS Backup on Windows XP Home (OEM System)

Hi folks,

Can this be done? My OEM (Dell) has adopted the disgusting practice of backing up OS media to a hidden/restore partition on the hard drive; which can only be accessed via (yep, you guessed it) the Restore Disk (shudder).

Nice idea for the brain-dead, but not very practical otherwise. Why? No repair by System CD option, no extracting handy little utilities from OS Disk, no re-formatting harddrive with just what ya want.

Worst of all, I want to implement a regular, differential backup routine but am unable to do so with native OS software due to my OEM's shortsighted engineering.

Would rather not have to purchase/install a third party utility when I know for a fact that MS Backup will do just what I need.

Any help/suggestions out there?


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Most I know are disgusted with MSBackup. Here's why.

It doesn't support CDRW or DVDRW.


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Valid Point ... Forgot About MSBackup's Media Limitations!

Can you and the CNet community suggest viable alternatives? I would be using CD-DVD RW Media for backup.


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Try Simply Backup.
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I'm curious, how old is your computer?

I have a Dell and I got an XP CD with mine plus resource CD with the drivers. I wonder when they changed?

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System 'Age'

Purchased this system early January 2005.

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(NT) (NT) i have new dell has both
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Both what?

Both Installable OS CD Media as well as a hidden 'recovery' partition on your hard-drive?

Sure wish I would have been offered a choice, darn it.

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Contact Dell and request

an XP CD. You paid for the operating system when you purchased the computer. If it was me, I'd insist upon it. My Mother bought a new Dell approximately 6 months ago. She either didn't get an XP CD or she lost it. We contacted Dell and they sent her one.

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dvd backup os system restore partition

I do not have a Dell system but my HP came with the same system restore partition instead of a Win XP pro installation CD. There was an option of making one backup set of dvd's which copyied all contents of the system restore partition to a BOOTABLE dvd image set. (Not a true Windows boot, but an F-10 option of HP system restore at boot-up.) It then offered the option of wiping the D restore partition leaving my restore system facility off computer on dvd. If this option is offered to you, take it and wipe the D partition clean. That will take care of the annoying backup problem you are having. Besides, in case of a disastrous hard disk failure, having a bootable system restore set on dvd is a much better rescue bet.

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