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Need Help With Performing Back Up. I am Stumped.

by analyzerbunny / December 16, 2007 3:46 PM PST


My computer's about 3 years old and running Windows XP Professional with SP2.

When I first got the computer it prompted me to do a system back up.

The prompt also let me know how many disks (cds) would be needed to complete the job (it was 5, at the time).

Well, I thought it might be a good idea to back up the system again but can not figure out how to do it.

I have accessed the "system tools" and back up menu option, but I was never prompted to insert a cd into the drive or "told" how many disks were required.

To be honest, it seemed like the computer was backing up files somewhere on the hard drive itself, and I wanted to get the essentials and certain programs backed up onto disk and to create a boot up disk if the system completely crashed.

Is there anyone who can help me with this?

I'd really appreciate it.

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Re: making a bcakup
by Kees Bakker / December 16, 2007 3:54 PM PST

Presumably you refer to the making of a socalled set of recovery CD's. That's not something that comes with Windows XP, but it's put into it my the maker of the PC (like Dell or HP). And each maker can have different ways of making them again and, also, different results. So please tell what PC you have.

The best thing for what you want might be to buy a program like Acronis True Image. But just as well, it might be quite acceptable to backup your own data (like Word documents and pictures) only, and in that case there are better ways.
That means you've got more to do if your hard disk ever crashes (reinstalling all your programs from their own setup), but less at the moment. The choice is up to you.


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Depending on the computer make
by PudgyOne / December 16, 2007 5:01 PM PST

The option is there for HP & Compaq to do this at anytime. Some computers don't offer this option.

HP and Compaq use this

Restore your computer without disks

To repair or restore from the hard drive, restart the computer and press F11.

To burn your own set of recovery disks, select Start > All Programs > System Recovery > PC Recovery Disk Creator

Hope this helps.


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Found it! Have a Question for You Though...
by analyzerbunny / December 17, 2007 4:07 PM PST

Hi Rick,

Thanks so much for pointing me in right direction.

I do indeed have a Compaq but was looking in the wrong place.

Sure enough, with your instruction I quickly found the PC Recovery Disk Creator.

Question though...If you use the F11 option to restore, does it restore the system to its factory defaults or does F11 restore maintain updated data files, so you wouldn't have to update everything after a restore?

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F11 will restore, if it can,
by PudgyOne / December 17, 2007 6:05 PM PST

the computer back to factory specifications, without losing files.

DON'T trust it. It doesn't alway do what it says. Burn your files and folders that you really need to a disk. You should do this on a regular basis. Remember, anything that you can't afford to lose, burn to a disk.

My daughters HP, I hit F11 and used the recovery partition, all her files were lost. Good thing I had some of her pictures on my computer and on disks. The sons Compaq, came up missing some dll and I couldn't start the computer to repair it. I used a Knoppix CD and my external burner to recover his files and folders. Then did advanced and destructive repair. Back to factory specifications.

You'll have to get your Windows Updates again. I also had to reinstall the virus protection for them.


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create your own recovery disks
by ramarc / December 16, 2007 11:34 PM PST

this article shows you how. combined even with most any backup program, it can let you get your pc going without having to reinstall windows and apply all the patches since sp2 was released.,2704,1747010,00.asp

if you've got an external/second drive, the best choice for recovery is a backup tool that can do a true image backup and provides a boot/recovery cd that apply that image to a new harddrive.

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