View Full Version : Easy way to backup system

16-09-2011, 07:54 PM
Hi all,

I'm going to Australia in a couple of weeks time to work. Up to now I've always fixed any problems my parents had with the computer. They are not technically competent with computers at all.

What a good way of backing up a system to make the repair as simple as possible in case of a crash?

I'm thinking of making a clone of the hard drive, so if anything fails all they have to do is replace it. This should be fairly simple. I can instruct them over Skype.

Is this a good idea?


16-09-2011, 08:04 PM
A clone is from one hard drive to another at exactly the same size, an image is smaller but in the propriety format of whichever program you use and can be stored anywhere. Always do cloning and images with a bootable CD though not from within Windows.

Is this Win 7 or XP as Win 7 has an excellent built in imaging program and to reinstall just boot from your Win 7 DVD and point it at the image stored on an external hard drive. I would make up a step by step word doc with pictures and print it of though as you can't skype while these actions are taking place unless they have another computer to use the skype on.

Oh and not all the software that says it works on Win 7 does, but Active@ which is about $50 NZ does or as I said the inbuilt one. I would definitely go for an image rather than a clone

16-09-2011, 08:05 PM
You could go with a raid setup that has one drive copy the other exactly like file for file cant remember what its called. Or you could go with one of those external hard drives that backed up your documents and stuff when you plug it in. However then they would still have to reinstall windows.

16-09-2011, 08:22 PM
You could go with a raid setup that has one drive copy the other exactly like file for file cant remember what its called. That would be RAID 1 = Mirroring and Duplexing, which really is not a good idea.

The reason I say that is simple, if one drive gets corrupted or the system damaged it mirrors it on the second drive, resulting in two stuffed OS's. What ever happens on one drive is replicated on the other, apart from a drive failure.

Making an Image as Gary mentioned is a far better Idea, and that image is stored on a separate external Hard Drive - then if required boot from the programs CD with the USB drive attached and simply put back the image as it was at the time of creating.

Just to further agree - If windows 7 use the inbuilt imaging/backup software, if XP, Active@disk Image.

I can instruct them over Skype That can be a problem - unless if they have another PC to use.

Think about it --- If the OS got corrupted or badly damaged, and they couldn't even start the PC due to corruptions, OR the Internet couldn't load -- No Skype - unless it was a skype phone call from your end to their normal land line phone, and not Via the PC.

Even if the PC could boot, the HDD's wouldn't be hot swappable, so you would be talking on skype while someone who really doesn't know what they are doing is changing the HDD on the working PC ------ I can just see the outcome right now :rolleyes:

16-09-2011, 08:22 PM
OOPS double post

16-09-2011, 09:20 PM
Are you in an urban area? With neighbours? It would be much easier to ask a computer-literate neighbour to help them out if something goes wrong. If you're anywhere near Takapuna I'd be willing to offer. I reckon if you ask around there's a good chance you'd find someone. No matter how much preparation and duplication you go into it's very likely that one of Murphy's Laws will interfere!

16-09-2011, 09:22 PM
Cloned drive. Yes. Skype - no - haha, how would they skype??> But of course you could use a normal phone.

Or get them a real tech, what city are they in?