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  1. #1
    Advice Needed
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    Default Making Whole Hard Drive Backups of OS

    Get ready for a long one. There is some detail to this one!

    I was wondering if there is any way that I can create a back up of an entire operating system that I can reinstall onto a computer after wiping the hard drive.

    The machine I have in mind was one donated to a volunteer organisation that I belong to. It has a clean install of WindowsXP SP2 with nothing else on it. The problem is, they (x4 of them!) were supplied by the local council as is, where is. No OEM Backup disk of factory installed software. Do I need to install disc-burning software onto the machine and a DVD-burning drive into the machine? We have only one machine on our local network with a CD-burner. Or is there a native function in Windows itself that would allow me to make a backup copy?
    For the sake of security, I want to backup and set the machine up with all the necessary applications before they communicate with the other machines to be sure that the backups we make aren't contaminated with any mal-ware.

    I've purchased a DVD-burner for making the backups. If I can't get the backup to be burnt directly by whatever means straight onto a DVD-/+R as someone has told me, can the copy be made on a USB-memory?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Making Whole Hard Drive Backups of OS

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterofZack View Post
    If I can't get the backup to be burnt directly by whatever means straight onto a DVD-/+R as someone has told me, can the copy be made on a USB-memory?
    I am pretty sure that you should be able to load your OS onto a suitable sized USB drive. I knew a sysadmin who loaded a back up copy of Mac OS 10.3 onto his iPod.

  3. #3
    Advice Needed
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    Default Re: Making Whole Hard Drive Backups of OS

    Quote Originally Posted by winmacguy View Post
    I am pretty sure that you should be able to load your OS onto a suitable sized USB drive. I knew a sysadmin who loaded a back up copy of Mac OS 10.3 onto his iPod.
    Does the USB drive have to be a U3 compliant device?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Making Whole Hard Drive Backups of OS

    I'm not sure. ??? What is U3?

  5. #5
    Madre Dios!!! beeswax34's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making Whole Hard Drive Backups of OS

    U3 is a joint venture that is backed by Sandisk and its subsidiary, M-Systems. Applications can be executed directly from a specially formatted USB flash drive. "U3 smart drives" differ from traditional USB flash drives because they come preinstalled with the U3 Launchpad, which emulates the Windows OS start menu, and controls program installation.

    I have one of these and it is absolutely fantastic with all the different programs I can load on to it. It comes with Avast and other security tools which are great as they allow me to scan infected computers before I load things like CCleaner or HJT onto them.
    All the technology and software in the universe is useless when the end user has the IQ of a sack of hammers.

  6. #6
    Gratis versus Libre johnd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making Whole Hard Drive Backups of OS

    Have a look at the free ghosting program called g4u at http://www.feyrer.de/g4u/

    You can ghost disk to disk but from a PC to a FTP server on your local LAN is the best way. I have used it lots for ghosting dual boot Linux and XP machines and it works well.
    # Linux kernel on:
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  7. #7
    Gone Erayd's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making Whole Hard Drive Backups of OS

    If you are using G4U I strongly recommend zero-writing all the free space on your drive first. As G4U makes a bit-for-bit copy of the entire disk, it will also back up your free space, including any deleted files. If you zero-write it first, the 'free space' area will achieve a compression ratio of approx 100:1 (sometimes better) rather than about 1:1. This saves a LOT of space.

    Defragging the disk before running G4U also helps. If you defrag, do it before running the zero-write.

    From Win2k onwards, windows contains a command-line tool to do this, but I can't remember the name of it.
    Last edited by Erayd; 19-05-2007 at 01:19 AM.
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  8. #8
    VoidMaster
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    Default Re: Making Whole Hard Drive Backups of OS

    I have used an earlier version of this program (Free Edition) and it works well with the proviso that it takes a long time to do the job ie overnight ???, otherwise a flawless clone and then used it as a bootable o/s, the one I am using now, went from 40gig HDD to 80 Gig, not one problem:

    http://www.majorgeeks.com/HDClone_Fr...ion_d3809.html

  9. #9
    Member Tony.br's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making Whole Hard Drive Backups of OS

    If you dont mind spending a bit of money, I can strongly recommend ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE and an EXTERNAL USB Hard Drive. This combination has saved my bacon on a number of occasions when a software installation screwed my system. Acronis will backup my Full OS in about 20 minutes.

    ACRONIS is $99 in NZ but could be available for less than that. A friend got a Downloaded version for US$29 External HD's vary from complete commercial units from companies like SEAGATE, MAXTOR or WD, to buying a carrier for around $50 + and fitting an old used drive I used a 20gb for a while then bought a new 160gb and religated my 80gb to the backup drive. This now allows me to keep 3 or 4 backups of various dates easily plus daily backups of changable data.
    Last edited by Tony.br; 19-05-2007 at 07:12 AM.

  10. #10
    88 Valley Nelson Arnie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Making Whole Hard Drive Backups of OS

    Would Nortons Ghost do the same job to an external USB drive???

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