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How-To Full System Backup Win/98/ME

Would like to get a simple, straight-forward approach for doing a full system
backup of my two systems, one Win/98 and one Win/ME....and then restore.
Want to be able to backup a good system environment and then later (hopefully never)
reformat the hard drive and then restore the complete system from the backup.
I know it can be done, but my attempts have left me worried that I am missing stuff.
I got "file is busy" error messages while trying to use MS-Backup.

Is there a good third-party tool?

I have one CD-RW on one system.
I have 100MB Zip drives on both systems.
Can I boot from a floppy disk and Zip disk setup?
Can I restore from a CD that I wrote?
I know I have to stop all background processes.
And also disconnect from the network, right?
Are there other things I need to watch for?
Are there other tips and tricks?

Yes, I know, I should have done this a long, long time ago.
But as the old saying goes...."The cobbler's children have no shoes..."
I plead guilty.  Trying to save what little computer pride I have left.
A virulent virus nailed one system and would not clean up.
So.....I had to get the operating system rebuilt and now I am re-installing software packages
and re-configuring stuff.  A real pain.

Thanks in advance,
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1 Solution
Take a look at Norton Ghost, it is a very good program for doing this.  You can image partition(s) or your entire disk and burn it to a set of bootable cd(s).

Instead of using a backup program you would be better off copying files in groups totaling less then 650MB. This way when you need to restore a certain program you can just copy the folder from the CDR back to the original and overwrite the corputed files.
Another alternative to look at is PowerQuest's Drive Image program, which is much like Norton Ghost, but much simpler to use.  I believe I saw a review recently of both programs in a pc magazine, and Drive Image got better marks.

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Here's the Pc Magazine review of both products.  Actually, both got a rating of 4 out of 5 maximum stars, but the review did say Drive Image is simpler to use.  Read the article and decide for yourself:

December 11, 2001
Two Excellent Choices for Disk Imaging

I would definitely suggest using a hardisk to backup to.  Mainly because if your main disk ups and dies you can plug in the other HD and be up and running in no time. If you don't want to spend any money on a backup utility try the following. This is presuming when you say "my two systems" you mean two different machines and each HD only has one partition.

Done this a many times and it has worked great for me.  

Make sure you have formatted the backup disk
Put the backup disk in your machine and slave it to your current disk.
Boot to Windows
Start > Run > xcopy /e/h/k/c c:\*.* d: (The /c tells the xcopy to continue despite the error that it will get when trying to copy the swap file.  The swap file will be recreated as needed.)

And then shutdown the machine and pull out the disk you just backed up to and put it away for save keeping. I would suggest doing full backups once a week or so.

The Crazy One
ediceAuthor Commented:
Ok Folks,

I have some research to do.
One vote Ghost,
Two Drive Image,
Two system utilities

First, I do not "mind" buying with $$ a good utility.
Second, My rebuilt system does not have a lot of stuff back on it yet.
So it is rather small footprint in disk space size.

Adding another drive is not impossible, but I would hate to IDLE a good resource
like that.  Hence, I was trying to use the 100MB Zip Disks or the 660MB CDs.

But I will check out these suggestions you all have given me.
Be back soon.
Any other suggestions?

Yes, I S-H-O-U-L-D backup weekly.
guess that means I need to get into scheduling a backup during some night.
Any problems with "full" backups and periodic "only changes" backups?

I will second Crash on Norton Ghost. It will do all that you want, and fast.
Now for my comment. I would use the zip drives to backup only your important files. Say you have a crash, or some other crappy situation that warrants a complete wipe. Thsi may be 3, or 6 months from now.  In this time, you will have gotten new updates to your OS, new programs that won't be in your backup, and so on.  If you think you will backup all the time, well you won't, but if you do, who is to say when the straw that broke your PC's back was the first straw ot the last.  My opinion is to keep your non-replacable files on ZIP disks, or a CD.  I prefer a CD because it is native to any new installation with no other hassles. As you go on your happy way, get into the habit of keeping the lastest drivers for all your installed hardware, keep them on a CD also.  When you need to put the system back, you will be able to isntall a fresh OS, and all the newest drivers, and have a very lean, and clean PC. Your non-replacable files are only a copy away. The new system will be better than the one you started with, versus getting the same old system if you revert to your old backup. Good luck
I use a combination of the above. I have a bootable CD created with Norton Ghost as well as a spare hard drive with a copy of the same image. If the hard drive dies I can just plug in the spare but if it's only a software crash I can recover from the CD. Remembering to update is the trick. Of course as the contents of the drive become larger the more CD's you'll need. Use rewriteables if your burner supports them.
Edice, any decision yet on what programs to use, or do you need further help?  Tell us what you've tried and how it worked...
ediceAuthor Commented:
My apologies for not tending this thread better.
Duty calls and she is a harsh task master.
Still do a little more checking, but Ghost is the leading candidate.

How do I apply points across multiple respondents?
Looks like it is an all or nothing selection right now?

Post a question in the community support topic and tell them the question's address and who you want the points split between.
There is one tool, you may use for all your backup-necessaritys: norton ghost - it will provide all the functions you will need...


1stein4U, if you had looked above, that was the first thing mentioned.
Member Name  1stein4U
Date Account Created  05/31/02

Welcome, please read the guidelines for an answer as opposed to posting as the answer.
If you think the suggestion you are providing will solve the problem completely, then post it as an answer. BUT Be careful that the suggestion that you are providing is not one already posted as a comment by someone else.  If you want to agree with something someone else has suggested, make sure to
post it as a comment.  If you are asking for additional information or clarification of the question, it should be posted as a comment. If you are simply making a guess then post as a comment.
The "ANSWER" should only be used when you are 2000% sure it is the only correct and complete answer, other wise post as a comment.
The "asker" can accept any comment as the answer after the problem has been solved.

Answer removed.  In the future, please use comments, I undersand the confusion, as most of have made that mistake, in posting an answer rather than a comment.

CS Admin @ EE
Hello there, has anyone used PEN Drive or USB Key?
It was just thought.
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