New laptop, best way to back-up?

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!


New Member
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 (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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Noob Whisperer
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

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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