November 26, 2007

Backup and restore your hard drive

So you want to create a complete image of your hard drive and you want to do it while you're working on your computer. Give DriveImage XML a try. Lifehacker gives you the lowdown. Excerpt:

First, download DriveImage XML for free and install it as usual. You can store your system image anywhere you'd like, but I highly recommend saving it on a disk other than the one you're imaging. So if you plan to image your C: drive, purchase an external hard drive to store C:'s image, or right after you create the image, burn the files to CD or DVD. This way if your C: drive fails or breaks, you still have your image available on a separate physical disk.

Perform a Complete System Restore

If your computer's hard drive crashed entirely, you can restore it to its past state using the DiX image you created. Restoring an image to a target disk will delete everything on the disk and copy the contents of the image to it. That means you cannot restore an image to a drive you're already using (because you can't delete the contents of a disk already in use.) So if you booted up your computer on your C: drive, you can't restore an image to your C: drive. You need access to the target drive as a secondary disk. There are a few ways to do this. You can install the target drive as a slave in another PC in addition to its primary boot drive, or you can buy a hard drive enclosure and connect the target as an external drive. Either way, to restore a disk image to a drive you intend to boot from, you'll need:
  1. A PC running DriveImage XML
  2. The saved disk image files, whether they're on CD, DVD, on the host PC or on an external drive
  3. A target drive with a partition at least the size of the drive image files. (You can use Windows built-in Disk Management console or your partition manager of choice to create a new partition to restore to.)

There's a lot more to read.

Posted by Physics Geek at November 26, 2007 01:04 PM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!