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Reformat, Restore, & Backup

My system has become somewhat flaky & I want to restore it from the original disks.  This has probably occured from all the software I have downloaded, installed then either deleted (most cases) or kept.  By the way the best thing for this I did was to put an msconfig and add/delete icon on my taskbar.  Intermittant modem problems, lock ups, loss of wave file device (which I cannot seem to restore correctly even with my restore disks), conflicts.  I've got an Iomega 100 Mb ZIP disks with about 15 disks & comes with a backup program.  What I want to know is how do I do a partial backup and make sure I keep my important stuff.  That being, all my windows update, IE 5.5, & programs.  The thing I'd MOST like to make sure I do is keep my desktop setup the way it is, with all the buttons on the taskbar, systray the same, etc.  When I do the restore after I have reinstalled will it do this?
I have a 6 Gig hard drive about half full but I'm going to try to get everything I want on my 15 disks.  Hewlett Packard 4455, 96 Meg Ram, 400 mhz Pent II.

Can you explain briefly how to create a system image so I can return to my format configuration so that I may not have to do this again.  
1 Solution
I recommend Norton system works 2000, It fixes alot of problems without having to restore.
If you want to do it right just backup your files (not the programs but files you want within them) and start with a fresh install instead of a restore.
What you want is not an image, but a simple backup. An image is an exact replication of your HDD into a tape drive or whatever. So if you image and restore, you will have the same problems as before.
       And if the updates are in a CAB format as they usually are( Didn't try windows update anytime) copy them to the Zips.(same with IE 5.5) If they are as different system files. You may not be able to do much. As copying them won't help, because you need to have registry entries,which is a very difficult task. Your desktop is easy,  just copy the windows desktop directory. But you may not have all your programs. And the programs you will have to reinstall. All you can backup is the data. Like the outlook message folders, address books, settings and other program data. To be able to backup desktop settings is difficult, I mean color settings etc. There is no shortcut for this. If there is, it is restricted to ICONS alone. And norton Ghost in System works is for image. That is, for servers etc, where restoring and reinstalling is the large amounts of data is difficult and time consuming, the program restores to the last backup. And, if I can advice, please do a fresh install of everything. and reconfigure Your desktop, etc etc. If not the chances that you will face more troubles are very high. but do take a backup of the data. But as a prevention, after you reinstall your basic requirements (Without an additional tools like downloaders etc. or programs that are small and easy to install), do an image to the zips. This way, the next time you need not repeat the entire process again. Best Of Luck.
What you want may not be easily achieved.
In any case, the first thing to do, is a full backup. This should include the entire disk. That way, if you make mistakes later on, you will have the ability to recover from them.
Before you do the full backup. go in the windows dir and delete all the files in the temp and temp Internet dirs.
Then go over you drives looking for any temp, or old files that are no longer needed. this will save space when you do your full backup.

Since you only have 15 disks, you can only backup 1.5 GB, not much considering. The important dirs are the windows , program files and any data from applications you are running.
The windows dir should contain the entire desktop dir that holds your desktop Icons. Other settings are in the registry.
One more thing.
Run msconfig from the run menu and go into the startup Tab. There is a list of all the programs that run in the startup and background. disable whatever you do not need.
This could help solve some of your lock ups.
I hope this helps.
aktbird57Author Commented:
Comment accepted as answer
aktbird57Author Commented:
Thanks... took me long enough didn't it.  I actually never did a back up.  Got Fix It 2000 and this seemed to work well enough.
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