How to copy my Hard Drive to my External drive ?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by racer11, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. racer11

    racer11

    Messages:
    3,051
    Likes Received:
    846
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Near the Kansas Speedway
    I want to have a complete copy or clone of my hard drive on my External drive. For complete back up, in case of internal hard drive crash and I can have a complete restore available from the external drive to load back on a new hard drive after it is installed in the computer. (I hope Iam making sense here)

    Question? is there any software that will do this for me?

    Thanks
     
  2. ShipWreck

    ShipWreck Beretta 92 Nut!

    Messages:
    4,646
    Likes Received:
    338
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    I have used a program called "Drive Image" for years now. I had it back on WIn 98, and when I bought an XD computer a few years ago, I bought the program at the same time.

    I installed a 2nd hard drive and I back it up about 2-3x a month onto this second drive.

    It copies EVERYTHING and makes it into 1 large file. It has saved my butt so, so, so many times. Anytime a new program screws something up, or whenever the computer acts funky - I just restore my last backup. 20-30 min later - back to ne.
     

  3. racer11

    racer11

    Messages:
    3,051
    Likes Received:
    846
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Near the Kansas Speedway
    Shipwreck,,,,,,,,

    That is just what I need and why I want to have such a backup,,,should I do a google search for the program that you have used successfully??
     
  4. ShipWreck

    ShipWreck Beretta 92 Nut!

    Messages:
    4,646
    Likes Received:
    338
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    I think this is the link to the newest version - but I bought mine in the store


    http://www.drive-image.com/


    It was made by Powerquest - but I think they got bought out - this should be the same product, however
     
  5. JLarsson

    JLarsson Livin' FREE!!!

    Messages:
    878
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Location:
    Western MT
    Another alternative is Casper XP. I have used this product many times to upgrade to larger hard drives. Make the copy, take out the old drive and put in the new one. It's been a lifesaver for my laptop because at 20GB, I was running out of room. Now, at 80GB, I'm good to go again.

    It's also handy if you're considering a major change to your system and aren't sure how it will turn out (like upgrading to Vista, for instance). Make the copy and if anything goes wrong, just install the external drive in your computer and you're right back where you were.

    Find it here: http://www.fssdev.com/

    The new version is supposed to be compatible with Vista. It is NOT compatible with Win98. For that they sell something called "Drive2Drive", which also works well.
     
  6. kimigirl

    kimigirl

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Location:
    Washington State
    I've always used Norton Ghost. The 2003 version works really well. It saves a complete image of your hard drive and can be saved to another hard drive or DVD/CD.
     
  7. Romadoc

    Romadoc

    Messages:
    497
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2000
    Location:
    Sarasota, FL
    SuperDuper was recommended by the fellow who recovered data for me.
     
  8. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

    Messages:
    8,202
    Likes Received:
    3,504
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    I use SuperDuper on the Mac, and CasperXP on Win - both work, but SuperDuper is an oustanding exercise in how software should work - easy, fast, clear, and does a great job of explaining what it's doing, and how your choice of options affects that.

    Casper does the job, but is laden with all the ills of poor interface - wizards, strange and hard-to-comprehend dialog boxes, and I'm never totally confident it's doing what I want.

    One thing to be careful of (I've never used Drive Image or Ghost, so I honestly don't know if they do this or not) is that many imaging utilities will copy only to an image file, from which a bootable disk can be made, rather than making a direct copy which creates a bootable disk. Casper is dedicated to this kind of copy, which is why I use it.

    IMHO, having the secondary disk be a fully bootable copy is MUCH more valuable than having an image, which I have to then copy over.
     
  9. ShipWreck

    ShipWreck Beretta 92 Nut!

    Messages:
    4,646
    Likes Received:
    338
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    To restore, drive image boots off of its own CD, then it pulls the file to restore. (right now, my image files are 14 GB)
     
  10. kimigirl

    kimigirl

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Location:
    Washington State
    With Ghost you can create a bootable copy just as easily as a backup disc. You can go HD to disc, or HD to HD.
     
  11. racer11

    racer11

    Messages:
    3,051
    Likes Received:
    846
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Near the Kansas Speedway
    Kimigirl ???

    Will the 2003 version work on my windows xp home ????

    A buddy of mine has a 2003 cd of norton ghost.
     
  12. kimigirl

    kimigirl

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Location:
    Washington State
    The 2003 version will work great. I've used it to back up everything from Win 95 to Win XP, 2003 Server and Vista. You don't even need the CD from him. Ask him to make you a bootable floppy (if you have a floppy drive of course). The program will boot from the floppy and copy from hd to hd. Just don't go with the newer version, its junk. Stick with the 2003.
     
  13. racer11

    racer11

    Messages:
    3,051
    Likes Received:
    846
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    Near the Kansas Speedway
    Kimigirl.....

    You just sent me good news.....Check your private message I just sent you one, and help me thru this deal OK
     
  14. kimigirl

    kimigirl

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Location:
    Washington State
    OK. Just know that I work nights so if you don't get responses right away...I'm probably sleeping but I'll make it a point to check in regularly.
     
  15. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    Messages:
    4,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Mucus City, USA
    You already have everything you need. NTBackup is included free with XP. Do a full backup to your external HDD. The most reliable way to do it is set it up as a scheduled task that runs without user intervention.

    If your PC ever poops the bed, just reinstall the OS, then restore your most recent backup file. It’s not as convenient as booting/recovering from a DVD but you also don't have to buy a new DVD every time you want to do a backup.
     
  16. kimigirl

    kimigirl

    Messages:
    54
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2007
    Location:
    Washington State
    He is wanting to have another copy ready to go. The Windows backup doesn't always work very well. With Ghost he can reinstall the whole thing in one. I think he was wanting to avoid reinstalling XP then running the windws backup.
     
  17. Eric1963

    Eric1963

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    There's another program called Acronis which seems to work okay. I downloaded it and cloned my hard drive. I did have a minor glitch, but I think I will stick with it. I have lost my faith with Norton products.
     
  18. Tennessee Slim

    Tennessee Slim Señor Member CLM

    Messages:
    4,413
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    Location:
    Mucus City, USA
    Wow, thanks for the tip. In nine years of using NTBackup in Enterprise operations, I’d never noticed. I guess the dozens of servers I imagined I’d restored from NTBackups must’ve really been hallucinations (hey, that 60s acid was kick-ass, and the second trip is free – wheeeee!!!!).

    If you use DVDs, you’ll always have to make a point of loading a DVD and running the backup whenever you want it done. Human intervention is unreliable and leads to stale backups.

    You could load a rewritable DVD and run several scheduled backups with the same disc before having to change it, but if you’ve used the burner for other purposes, you’ll have to remember to reload the backup disc (more human intervention). And you have to keep buying DVDs (still more human intervention). And rewritable DVDs are more expensive.

    Then there’s the matter of size. I know very few people who can fit the entire contents of their PC on a single disc (excluding Blue Rays, which cost $5 per disc, not to mention the exorbitant cost of the burner). The backup of a small XP installation will come close to filling a single layer DVD. The backup of a small XP installation, three ripped DVD movies and 700 MP3s will fill a dual-layer DVD.

    If there’s 30GB of data on your HDD, you’ll need 4 dual-layer DVDs to back up the whole enchilada. If you have a blazing fast burner and an equally fast PC, that backup will need a good two hours to run, complete with four disc changes (again with the human intervention). If you don’t have bleeding-edge hardware, figure more like four hours.

    When your HDD dies, you stand to loose everything you’ve added to it since the last backup (Rule #2 of System Administration: magnetic data that exists in only on location doesn’t really exist). If you’re feeling the sting of a recent disaster, you might for a while run manual backups religiously. And if you’ve repaired a recent disaster or your system is relatively new, the hardware might go years without skipping a beat. Years to become complacent and let your guard down. Years to accumulate valuable, even priceless data.

    But in time you will slack off and go a week, maybe a month, maybe even longer between backups. I mean, who wants to sit and watch a DVD spin for two hours every day, right???!!?

    Yes, if you’re backing up to an external HDD, you do lose the convenience of magically inserting one disc and having your entire system restored (hint: one disc probably won’t do it; not by a long shot). Not to mention that you have to remember (and make time) to do it. And you have to be there intermittently to swap out the discs as they’re filled. And you have to remember to buy more discs.

    So say it’s two years before your next catastrophe. And say you’ve religiously backed up your paltry 30GBs once a week with dual-layer DVDs. By then you’ll have spent ~$400 on DVDs and whatever time it took you to pop in periodically and check on the progress of the burning of more than 400 DVDs, changing to a blank disc as needed. And don’t forget your system was otherwise unavailable while those 100 backups were running.

    You could use single-layer DVDs instead and only spend ~$100, but then you’d spend twice as much time swapping them out.

    And if you back up on Saturday afternoon and your new HDD goes T/U on a Wednesday, you’ve lost the changes from those four intervening days.

    With NTBackup to an external HDD, all you need do is make sure your external drive is attached and has sufficient free space, that your PC is left turned on, and the backup is scheduled. You never have to touch it, you never have to buy anything else and, if you run backups while you’re sleeping, you always have a current backup waiting when you wake (and you didn’t have to do without your PC while it was running). If your new HDD goes T/U on a Wednesday, you can restore data you’d saved Tuesday night.

    It would be wise, once a quarter or so, to open the NTBackup and test restoring data from it. Otherwise, you don’t even have to look at it.

    Which method do you think is more convenient?
     
  19. BLiTzNicK

    BLiTzNicK Silent Member

    Messages:
    764
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    Location:
    Detroit
    NTBackup is great if you just want to save some files. The original poster seemed to be looking for some imaging software, which is why ghost and the others were mentioned.

    I'd suggest a combination of the 2. Use NTBackup to backup pictures, games, important documents, etc. Set it and forget it. Then maybe one a month or so, create a ghost image. If your machine totally dies, you simply re-image your system with ghost, then restore the previous NTBackup.

    Neither of those apps alone is perfect, but when used together they can really save your bacon.
     
  20. Deanster

    Deanster Cheese? CLM Millennium Member

    Messages:
    8,202
    Likes Received:
    3,504
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 1999
    What I'm doing with CasperXP, and I understand works with Ghost also, is running a bootable copy to the secondary internal hard drive, which then auto-magically updates at 7pm every night, with an incremental update. It takes just over six minutes to do the update, and I end up with a bootable, current, and ready to go copy of my disk. Time from t/u to be back at 7pm last night is about 4 minutes.

    So it's got the advantages of both systems - automatic, onboard, BOOTABLE, and current from COB yesterday. I agree totally that DVD isn't a realistic tool for backups.

    I then do the same thing to an external portable drive once a week for an offsite copy, since the biggest disadvantage of the above system is that the backup is in the same physical location as the original - it'll protect against HD failure, or some kind of Windows meltdown, but not against fire, theft, flood, electrical surge, etc.

    I believe firmly in layered, bootable backups. NT backup is a fine tool, but it's more suited, IMHO, to enterprise situations, where you've got a large-ish number of workstations with a similar core image, and technical staff to assist with the re-build, where it's not worthwhile to absorb the overhead of a bootable backup for every box. It doesn't take long to re-image a machine, and to restore from NTbackup, as long as you've got a good image, and know what you're doing.

    I think for most users doing it themselves, it's easier to just boot from the #2 hard drive, and be back at yesterday.

    For home users and small business, HD's have become so cheap, there's no excuse for not having an onboard backup, and an external backup, all bootable. For servers or critical workstations, add an onboard mirror also, so you've got an mirror for instant backup, a COB yesterday backup onboard, and a weekly/every other day offsite, depending on what kind of data you're working with.