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  1. #1
    beetle
    Guest

    Default taken for a ride or not?

    hi there everyone, i have a delema, i have a new computer that has had a few hiccups (what computer / operator doesnt) and seemed to have sorted it out. (thats another story)
    but in saying that im getting pressure from people to do some upgrading, such as partitioning the HD, and also put 2nd partition in and reload all progs/ os/drivers and a back up of c:/ to a 3rd partition so if it falls over im saved or fixed in 1/2 hour.
    will this make my warranty void and do i need it?

    if you could help, i have PC Company computer, with XP.

  2. #2
    Heather P
    Guest

    Default Re: taken for a ride or not?

    A couple of things missing in your post:
    - How much experience do you have with computers?
    - Is formatting and changing things something you are happy to do or a whole new learning curve?
    - Do you have some sort of back up media like a Read/Write CD?

    If you are new to computers and everything works my suggestion would be "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" just get on and play with it.

    Backup your files on a regular basis and look at changing configurations in a year or so if needed.

  3. #3
    beetle
    Guest

    Default Re: taken for a ride or not?

    well, i dont have much experience with computers and most of what i read on the help board is gobblegook for me,

    i was always of the opinion too dont touch something if it works.

    but its always helpful to hear that from someone else,

    and formating, restore, updating is just becoming a little more brite from this end of the tunnel

    thanks

  4. #4
    Heather P
    Guest

    Default Re: taken for a ride or not?

    Reinstalling everything from scratch requires things like video drivers, printer drivers, original disks, reconfiguring settings...
    A steep learning curve when you do it the first time but easier by the 4th time around.

    People who have done it a few times will think it a breeze and happily recommend it. I'm one who has things nicely partitioned and wouldn't have it any other way but I've also taught people how to use computers and realise there is more than enough to learn in the beginning without jumping in at the deep end.

    It's more important for beginners to learn how to back up rather than reconfigure things!

  5. #5
    Billy T
    Guest

    Default Re: taken for a ride or not?

    Hi beetle

    What you are being advised to do is not an upgrade as such, and would not invalidate your warranty however the advice is just a little lacking in specifics.

    It has been suggested that you partition your single hard drive into three "virtual" hard drives i.e C:\, D:\ and E:\ and keep an "image" copy of your C:\ partition on the E:\ partition so that if your original OS/program data gets corrupted for whatever reason (and it does happen) you can copy the image from E:\ back to C:| and be working again in just a few minutes.

    Now, this is a "very good idea" and I recommend it highly, but if you go this path you need to do a little more than that.

    The second partition (D:\ ) would have to hold all your data (that is, any files you create or documents you store) because if it is all lumped in with your C:\ drive OS and programs, when you restored the image all your data created since your last image would be gone forever. Also, if your hard drive failed completely you would not be able to access any of the data or the image of your OS and programs so all would be lost. Heather's advice to learn how to back up is very sound but you can have the best of both worlds very easily.

    Here is the best way to set up this system:

    1) Have your existing hard drive partitioned as C:\ and E:\

    2) Have a second hard drive installed and partitioned as D:\ and F:\

    3) Once your computer is set up as you want it and working well, Create an image of your OS and programs on C:\ using Norton Ghost or Drive Image and store it on the second hard drive in the F:\ partition. Name this file as the original and keep it unchanged. This is then your ultimate "return to go" option.

    4) Make regular images (back ups) of your data on D:\ and store these on the E:\ partion of your original drive.

    5) Every time you make a significant change to your OS or programs, such as installing a service pack or update create an new image and store this in F:\ along with the original. Once you have verified that the update is OK you can delete the previous image (but not the original return to go" image).

    Using this system, if your OS or program files get corrupted or one or the other drives fails completely, you can be back to normal in no time at all.

    For example, if your C:| & F:\ drive dies, you can have a new drive installed and partitioned, then dump across your C:\ image from the still working D:\ drive and away you go.

    Partitioning your existing drive and installing & partitioning a second drive might be beyond your present skill levels but creating and restoring images is a very simple process once you get the hang of it, so if you decided to follow your friend's advice I'd get the second drive and partitioning done for you, maybe by the supplier if it is still under warranty. Hard drives are cheap and the setting up is minimal so costs should not be prohibitive.

    I have been using this system for some years now on all my computers and I have never had to reinstall an OS or programs. However, I have used the images several times, mostly on my children's computers.

    This is not all I could say on the subject so if you have any questions post again on this thread and I'll be happy to answer them if I can.

    Cheers

    Billy 8-{)

  6. #6
    Heather P
    Guest

    Default Re: taken for a ride or not?

    Billy,

    Over the last few months I've been teaching a neighbour how to use a computer. Learning how to email, attach photos in the right format, which program to use for what, how to use a graphic's program, back up, viruses, hoaxes.... There's a lot of learning there!

    Reconfiguring things at too early a stage can cause information overload in the early days.

  7. #7
    Chilling_Silence
    Guest

    Default Re: taken for a ride or not?

    I agree - Tackle a few easier things first before you attempt a format.

    I know a friend who's used a PC for about 2 years now, running 98... hes come round to reformatting.. Thought he knew all the jazz (As he had played around with his PC quite a lot, I know that he was certainly not a begininer PC user!) and decided to format. Clever him forgot to note down his hardware.. that was when things got interesting without having drivers for most of his PC....

    Anyways, He really got in the poo. not really knowing what he was doing...

    Its pretty daunting, but he's done it twice since and he's pretty smooth at it now.

    Anyways.. What Im trying to say is dont go jumping into it too early...

    If you've got XP then use System Restore!

    In saying that, its not too had... Had the Pf1 FAQ's been around when he first formatted he would have had a whole lot less troubles!


    Cheers


    Chilling_Silence

  8. #8
    Billy T
    Guest

    Default Re: taken for a ride or not?

    I agree Heather, that's why I explained what beetle's friend was probably on about and recommended that such work be carried out by experts.

    However, once set up, such a system is reasonably straightforward for even a beginner to manage and the security that comes from knowing you can restore your complete OS & Programs or your Data gives a lot of confidence when gradually learning about computing. I'd liken it to getting your confidence in the water by wearing water wings. If you know you won't sink, you feel more comfortable about the process of learning to swim.

    Learning about computers without a drive imaging or system restore facility available to recover from the inevitable disasters is like learning the flying trapeze without a safety net. Recovering from your mistakes can be very painful and take a long time

    I'd like to hear beetle's opinion about all this of course because he or she is the one who has to understand and manage the system.

    Cheers

    Billy 8-{)

  9. #9
    Elephant
    Guest

    Default Re: taken for a ride or not?

    I agree with all the advice you have had so far.

    The main one coming from Heather.

    If it isn't broken then don't fix it. I doubt that you would void your warranty by creating new partitions but this is not for the faint hearted as it were.

    Assuming the computer you have is a recent model and you are happy I would confine myself to learning how to back up the documents that you create. The operating system and programs you use can be re-created off the original media in the event your hard drive dies or your computer catches fire or is stolen. Keep this BACKUP off site!!! No use backing up if you have a house fire as that will probably take the computer and the backups as it were.

    If you happen to be up to Chapter 48 of the Great New Zealand novel and one of the above events occur then don't ask me to retype it for you!!! :-)

    Backup your Favourites, Emails, Settings, Documents you have created and all downloads off the Internet you want to keep and re-install.

    Having a separate partition ( or preferably Drive ) to back up to is better.

  10. #10
    beetle
    Guest

    Default Re: taken for a ride or not?

    well thank you every body for your input, some of it is a bit beyond me, but ill reread quite a few times i think.
    also the person who said that the were going to do this to my machine has recinded his offer, so at the moment no hurry to know info backwards / forwards.
    but at some stage i may do this to my puter.
    the person who was going to do this does it for a job but is now to busy, no problems there gives me more time to play and learn.
    this learning curve is really quite steep at this stage.
    i have had to do a restore already, only had machine 5mths.
    but time is on my side and will be talking like you people in a few years, maybe 10yrs, if lucky and if i have patient helpers
    i think when you buy a machine a lot is taken for granted that you plug in and away you go, but it does not always work that way.
    no one explains errors, or things not to do or even tells people about this wonderful help line.
    so i will plod on and you will hear back from me some time soon if i have more probs or a decision on to do or not to do change,

    thanks
    beetle

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