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General discussion

Windows XP novice seeks solution

by lwvirden / August 11, 2005 1:18 AM PDT

I'm in a situation where I literally cannot install software on the Windows XP machine I am using (no admin privs on this person's machine).
However, I have access to my own account, which has a large (multiple gigabytes) of data.

I have a drive that will create CDs.

What I need is some sort of strategy to make creating a series of CDs containing copies of my data easier.
I've not been able to find a way to get XP's cd-rom creation software to take a large amount of data and
"segment" it up into a series of CDs. Am I missing some property some place?

If I have to some how track which parts of which
directories I have backed up, it is going to take weeks - or longer - to back this stuff up.

The ideal solution would be if I could just point to
a directory, and XP would say "prepare 5 CDs", then
would prompt me for each one , giving me a series
of 5 stand alone CDs with as much data put on each
CD as possible.

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Using XP Backup
by TONI H / August 11, 2005 1:39 AM PDT

XP Pro includes Backup in Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools. Home Edition doesn't install it by defaul but it's on the cd under Valueadd/msft/ntbackup folder but if you have a vendor restore disk instead of the regular retail Home cd, you have to hunt for the Backup may find them on the harddrive under the Windows folder.

If you have enabled Packet Writing on your system, Backup will work with your cdr/rw (possibly a dvd/r/rw drive and will prompt for the next cd to be inserted. Packet writing for Roxio is called Drag and Drop....if you are using Windows XP burning program instead, windows may want to just queue up the files to burn later so you have to basically go backwards to fix this so it burns right now (on command). Right click the cd writer drive in Windows Explorer, choose Properties, select the Recording tab and UNCHECK (DISABLE) CD RECORDING ON THIS DRIVE.

From now on, when you drag files and folders and drop them on the recordable drive's iconb, the burner will write them to disc immediately using the packet-writing driver. ***-backwards but works..


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Toni, here's a link that seems to
by Ray Harinec / August 11, 2005 8:05 AM PDT
In reply to: Using XP Backup

say that packet writing to CD-RW's may not be reliable, especially when using one system and drive to write and then try to read on another system with another drive and software. If I remember correctly, most new software will not even offer packet writing for CD-R's any more.

I am a zero expert on this, however I remember reading many posts about packet writing [UDF] problems related to either type CD's.

Robert Proffitt has made many posts on the subject in the last year.

Also I have seen similar items mentioned in the various magazines about this. Nero's InCD is packet writing software. I don't remember what Roxio's name is for it.

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How about 99.99 percent reliable?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 11, 2005 8:10 AM PDT

It's fairly reliable, but woe to the person who has all their goods on just one CDRW and that 1,000th use happens and 'Whoa, what happened?' is the next exclamation.

Another issue is that DirectCD CDRW disks don't work with a machine running InCD or another software other than so that leads to all sorts of stubbed toes (ouch.)


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Toni, Robert's subject line says I owe you an apology.
by Ray Harinec / August 11, 2005 10:31 AM PDT

Obviously I have misunderstood everything that Robert ever posted on this subject, and my post must be embarrassing to you.

As Moderator's if either or both of you want to remove my post and Robert agree's to let his stand, it's fine with me. Robert's post would then seem to be an orphan. Maybe there would be some way around that.

Again let me apologize for getting into a subject I know nothing about.

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Ray, I Think You Have Understood Correctly...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 11, 2005 11:23 AM PDT

As Toni mentioned, packet writing programs can be used to format a CD-RW and an "XP Backup" can be copied to that formatted disk...Unfortunately, in my experience with packet writing programs like InCD and DirectCD/Drag and Drop, they are NOT as reliable as a traditional burn. (Burning the files/folders to a CD, then closing/finalizing the CD) In my experience, formatted CD's tend to fail much sooner and can become unreadable. Maybe Bob and Toni feel differently, but as far as "permanent" backups go, I have steered away from a formatted disk option. Since the user wants a fool-proof recovery method, at least as much as is possbile, I prefer the closed/finalized CD as a backup.

On the other hand, I use formatted disks frequently to transport files or temporarily store backed up files, but I always make sure to create a backup of the backup for permanent storage.

If I were creating an XP Backup to a formatted CD-RW, I would then create a second backup (traditional burn) of the formatted disk, just in case. Of course, anything has a potential for failure, but double coverage sure gives a little more peace of mind.

Hope this helps.


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(NT) (NT) Thanx Grif, appreciate it.
by Ray Harinec / August 11, 2005 11:03 PM PDT
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Ray owes nobody any apologies
by TONI H / August 11, 2005 11:35 PM PDT

Bob's post here seems to contradict other posts that Ray refers to so it would seem a little confusing to know which is the best method to back up. The fact that the person asking about this wanted to know how to use a program that would prompt for the next disk, I only know of the packet writing types that do this.

As mentioned by Bob and Ray though in other threads in the forums, packet writing programs while prompting for the next disk, also cause problems later down the road if that same disk is tried to be used in another system that uses a different packet writing program than what was used originally on that set of cd's. I failed to mention that in my post and should have.

I'm like you, Grif. I never use formatted disks and instead do use the EZCD Creator Classic type of program to create a DATA cd and manually back up what I want to. The only problem I have run into with this method is when I have found that newer cdroms/dvds/cdr-w devices aren't able to read the older color disks I used. I have been fortunate enough to have two separate cdrom devices installed in nearly all of my personal computers, and one of them is nearly always an older cdrom.....which is able to read those older colored disks (blue/silver in my case which I haven't seen sold for a couple of years now). Using that particular device to do the reading, I copy that disk to newer colored media (green/gold usually) to the second device which is a burner type.....I don't throw out the original blue/silver disk though. I just put it into a box for use later if I need a new copy for some reason). The new copies are then able to be seen by all devices I've put them into so far. I've only been unable to copy one out of a couple of hundred old disks so far, so I think I got pretty lucky in that regard.

I don't think enough information has been made public about the use of older colored disks regarding the newer devices and the lasers in them....and certainly there is NO information anywhere in the software programs HELP files that indicates the packet writing conflicts, so this is hit and miss information that normally comes too late for people who think they have made good backups only to find that they are coasters later.

We tell people over and over about how important it is to have backups of their files, but we, in the forums, haven't done enough, I think, to volunteer the information at the same time about incompatible programs and the pitfalls involved. We become 'limited' care givers and think that just the advice to backup is sufficient information in trying to keep our posts as short and to the point as possible, and have failed to give ALL of the information in too many instances. That's one of the reasons, I welcome other members who jump in, like Ray did, and question the advice or add to the information. It's always better to give TOO much information than not enough......


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Next XP Backup question
by lwvirden / August 18, 2005 10:41 PM PDT
In reply to: Using XP Backup

Are these cds created in an XP specific format?
The reason I am asking is that the data I have I need to be able to access from Linux (and maybe Windows 98...)

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Lvirden, Not Clear About What You're Asking...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 19, 2005 4:30 AM PDT

If you back up Windows XP, although a few of the files can be transfered to other operating systems, the basick XP system files will only work on XP.

And in general, Windows and Linux don't mix.

But if you mean...Can you use the disk itself on other operating system, then YES. The disks are universal.

Hope this helps.


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Another attempt to explain
by lwvirden / August 20, 2005 9:11 PM PDT

I have a situation where I have a _lot_ of data - several gigabytes. Text files,images, mp3s, etc. I have access to a CD burner on an XP System. I want to copy this data to CDs. However, I need to figure out a way to do this simply, with a minimum of CDs, without having to go through the thousands of files trying to figure out which files to put on which CDs. Basically, I want to 'back up' the directories of data. But I need to do this in a way that the cds are accessible by any system - Windows, MacOS, Linux, whatever. So I can't use some sort of proprietary backup file format. And I don't have installation privs, so I can't install some specialized application. When I attempt to just drag directories onto a blank CD-R that XP's loaded as writable, all I seem to be able to do is reach a point where XP says "sorry bloke, you're trying to write too much data out there". What I'm hoping to find is some way for XP to say "Okay, you're going to need a dozen CDs and I'll write that data out there for you right away..."

Sorry that I wasn't clear initially.

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I need to figure out a way to do this simply, with a minimum
by glb613 / August 20, 2005 9:47 PM PDT

The number of CDs required is determined by the amount of data. If you have several GB of data, it is going to take a lot of CDs. They only hold so much and you can't change that.

Have you tried using the CD burning software that came with the computer/burner? I use Roxio and it shows the amount of data you are adding and when the disk is full.

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Lvirden, This Is How I Do It..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / August 21, 2005 1:16 PM PDT

...I stay organized...but there really isn't any easy way..You'll need to prepare it yourself...First, when making permanent backups I NEVER use formatted CD's where you can "drag and drop" the information. Formatted CD-RW's, at least in my experience, have a tendency to become unreadable at the most inappropriate times. I use both CD-RW's and CD-R's but I do a standard "burn" where the CD is finalized/closed. This makes them readable on all operating systems that have the ability to read disks. They can then be copied to ANY computer and used, assuming that computer has a program which is compatible to the file type..For example, although you can copy a Microsoft Word document to any computer, it may not be usable unless you have Microsoft Word installed on the computer.

Like you, I also have GB's of data that needs to be backed up. Some of it is music, some of it are saved Recovery Files, and most of it goes to "My Documents". In each case, I create a folder and set it up so it contains only as much as a disk will take, such as 650 MB or 700 MB depending on the disk used. Once the folder is prepared, I leave it that way forever on the computer, adding and deleting data as I see fit and occasionally check to make sure the folder hasn't exceeded the size of disk..If it does, I create a new folder and continue on with that one..

That way, when I choose to back up data, I simply do a traditional CD burn and place the folder in the CD burning "project" window and burn the CD. It goes quickly as long as you prepare ahead of time.

Hope this helps.


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