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Help getting back online with a backup

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by mhill, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. mhill


    Dec 7, 2001
    St. Louis, MO
    I bought a 160G external drive and did a full backup to it. I scheduled incrementals every 7 days with the software that came with the drive. It's hooked up through the USB port.

    How do I get back online if I have a HD failure? I'm guessing my computer won't boot from the external HD? My new PC didn't come with any type of recovery CD. I'd really like to be able to boot up and run until I purchase the new HD and install it. Then I would just do a restore from the external HD.

    Anybody know?
  2. Furant

    Furant Millennium Member

    Oct 14, 1999
    Roswell, GA
    What I do is to make an image of my boot partition using Acronis TrueImage or Norton Ghost. This allows me to backup even the system files that can be restored to any replacement drive. I don't think that's possible with just some backup utility that copies the files over (check the software that came with your external harddrive).

    I would imagine that you could, conceivably boot from external hard drive if you can switch it to the Active Partition. If you need help knowing how to do that, I could probably dig some basic instructions up for you. XP has the ability to allow you to boot from the last known good system configuration, so, if the problem's not a hard disk failure, you can frequently get the system back up that way. Otherwise, to obtain some boot disks, refer to MS Knowledge Base Article 310994 (sorry, couldn't paste the URL without getting funny emoticons).


  3. Many of the newer PC's can boot from an external drive.Infact nearly all of them if it's set correctly in the BIOS>Most PC's with nuilt-in USB 2.0 port can boot from an external drive.If it can't,it is possible to make a bot disk(floppy/CD) to have the PC boot the external drive.
  4. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

    Mar 28, 2001
    SW Oregon
    Just remember that, even with the 480MB/sec transfer rate of USB 2.0, an external HDD is very slow when it is the only hard drive installed.

    IMHO you ought to follow jferrante's advice. I have even used Western Digital's Data Lifeguard to copy partitions from one hard drive to another with good results, and Ghost works even better.

    In fact, with HDD's so cheap these days many machines with important data are just set up a RAID1 array, which means both hard drives are identical and the total failure of the primary HDD isn't much more than a minor annoyance.

    Actually, it just means that you have to remove the bad drive, copy the data from the remaining HDD to the new drive and have a cold one. Or two or three...;f ;c ;f

    Good luck.
  5. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

    Mar 28, 2001
    SW Oregon
    Well, I have set RAID1's up about half as often as RAID0 arrays, and both require some switches to be thrown in BIOS and in the driver that needs to be installed when doing the OS install....

    Maybe it's just easier with Asus boards, but I think that's unlikely.