New laptop, best way to back-up?

#1
I've just had an old laptop refurbished and restored to original factory settings since a codec problem meant I could run anything (and couldnt find how to restore factory settings on my alienware myself), I've reinstalled windows 7 on it and wondered what the best way to back it up would be, i've created a restore point although that didnt help the problem last time, but wondered if i had something go really wrong how could I take my laptop back to this point in the future? and also if you could explain how? any help would be great! thanks guys!
 


Mast

New Member
#2
My humble guess is you would need an image, not a back up. While a back up will save maps and folders to a certain location for... back-up use, an image will make a screenshot, a blueprint of your current system in total. This kind of software is also used for easy installing in company's and usefull for a complete re-install in case like a new harddrive. Not saying you should buy this, but have a look to TrueImage http://www.acronis.co.uk/homecomputing/products/trueimage/ (or any compatative software of your liking) This kind of software is very often (not to say always) also capable of making incremental back-ups, meaning that it can, after making an initial blue-print of the whole system, flag the moment you took the image and from then on only make back-ups from the changes. (this has also disadvantages, but that's a different story)
 


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Trouble

Noob Whisperer
#3
Mast is correct, a system image is what you want.
I am also a big fan of Acronis True Image I've used it for years and would be the first to recommend it if Mast hadn't already beat me to it.
I just thought you might want to also explore the built in system image utility in Windows 7 so you know your free options.
Take a look at this walk-through and see what you think
How to Create a System Image in Windows 7 - How-To Geek
In either case I would recommend an external drive to host the image (formatted as NTFS) and would suggest avoiding the temptation to use DVDs
 


#4
Not an image solution, but I recently used a program called PC Mover to upgrade and transfer my files and user settings from my old XP machine to a brand new Win 7 machine. I set up a mini network in my house to do the transfer, but I could have just as easily used an external hard disk. All of my settings transferred beautifully and most of my old applications as well. A few programs weren't capable of running under Win 7 though (such as the old version of FireFox I was using), so I had to re-install on few, but I still managed to recover all of my user settings.

Anyway, if you don't mind doing a manual back-up every so often, I think PC Mover would be a very effective tool to use with an external hard drive. It should make a near mirror image of your system including all of your installed applications (except maybe Win 7 which you would need to re-install if your drive completely crashed).
 


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