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Which backup utility?

Posted on 2003-03-30
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I have a computer that has two harddisks--both 40GB. I want to backup the entire content of the first drive to the second so that if my first drive crashes, I can replace it with the second one. Currently I am using Seagate Disc Wizard 2003 for copying the entire contents of the first drive to the second. I have also tried another utility--Casper XP.I want to do this kind of backup only once in a month or so.

I also want to perform daily backup of my data files (which I am currently using Backup Magic). I am perfectly satisfied with Backup magic and my daily backup.

What I want to know is that, whether it is possible to completely copy the entire contents of the drive containing the OS to another drive while the system is running. If it is possible, will simply switching the disks will work in case the first drive crashes (seagates says it will...). In that case which is the best utility for doing that Seagates Disc Wizard 2003, Casper XP or is there something better...

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Question by:al1966
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16 Comments
 

Accepted Solution

by:
Duronal earned 400 total points
ID: 8233765
i belive better programs exist and that one of those is  powerquests drive image 2002

http://www.powerquest.com/driveimage/

This program will allow you to backup entire disks to other disks as either a direct copy or an image. the image can then be explored at a later date using image explorer(inc in software).  Using compression it is possible to backup a drive where the backup takes up much less room on the backup drive.  Should disater then strike using rescue disks the image can be extracted onto a new sorce drive and away you go from where you left off. OS intact.  

I personally have made serveral backups using this utility and wouldn't sell my copy for the world.  Infact i now have a fresh install basic program backup which whenever my sytem grinds to a halt i extract and in 30min-1hr i've gone from complete format to fully operational.

There are numorous advantages to using an image opposed to a drect disk backup.  Many times in the past i've had to perform a complete re-install and yes once i've completed i realise that i've missed those important files (next weeks board meeting, e-mail etc) however because i created an image of the old OS its possible to delve into the old flders of the previous os in the image and extract the corrosponiding files needed, so at the end of the day not only do i have my new os but i have a compressed image of all mmy vital data which takes p under half the room that was used previously.

My advice get yourself a copy of this program and you won't regret it.

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Author Comment

by:al1966
ID: 8233875
PowerQuest's Drive Image's specification says that it cannot backup an active partition while in Windows. It has to go to the DOS mode. But in Windows XP, there is no DOS mode. Also the system rewquirements sates that it requires DOS 5 or higher. So in the case of Windows XP, how is the backing up of the active partition done?
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Expert Comment

by:Duronal
ID: 8234018
the same thing happens in win2k

if your trying to backup the active partition then the program loads the command and a small dos base version of the program into memory you are then prompted for a restart. upon restart a caldera dos image is loaded and the entire backup continues. You basicaslly recieve the same gui and program but in a dos enviroment.  The backup then occurs and it's all great!
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Expert Comment

by:urlybird
ID: 8235094
Another good backup option is Norton Ghost 2003. For operating system backups it operates similiar to Drive Image by building the backup request and then going into DOS to perform the backup.

I haven't had any luck getting Drive Image 2002 with Windows XP.
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Expert Comment

by:Duronal
ID: 8235402
what seems to be the problem with disk image urlybird maybe i can gelp. I've used it on both xp and 2k with both creating flawless back-ups. I'll help where i can.
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Expert Comment

by:Duronal
ID: 8235409
Drive Image 2002 supports all major operating system platforms including:

  Windows XP
  Windows 95/98  
  Windows Me
  Windows 2000 Professional
  NT 4.0 workstation
  DOS

You shouldn't have any probs with xp

the above was taken from the powerquest site maybe you're changing the wrong setting???
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:pratigan
ID: 8238321
Performing drive images is fine with secondary software.  The best way to do this is to mirror the primary drive.  This way if you have a hardware crash, just remove the crashed harddrivem, replace it, swap mirror drives and your back in action.  Literally in less than 30 minutes.  There are alot of internet search links that outline mirroring.  You can continue to perform your incremental backupos, but mirroring is the way to go for full imaging.
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Author Comment

by:al1966
ID: 8240403
I purchased DriveImage 2002. But unfortunately urlybird was right. It does not work with Windows XP. I am getting an Error#91. "Disk manager has been detected on drive 1. But disk manager is not running...."

So I went to Powerquest techsupport site and there the problem was reported. So I did fdisk /cmbr 1 as mentioned there to remove disk manager. But the next time I run the Drive Image I am getting the same error message --#91.

If you can help please do. Otherwise my $69.95 is wasted.
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Expert Comment

by:Duronal
ID: 8241276
Can't say i've ever recieved that error, can you post you system specs to provide some more info.

e.g

Mobo
Hdd's
Raid controller if present
cpu

O.s service pack

http://www.powerquest.com/support/primus/id1627.cfm

was the above link the soloution you tried???  also have you tried backing up from the rescue diskettes?

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Author Comment

by:al1966
ID: 8243255
Yes that was the link--id1627.cfm. Yes I have tried to backup from the rescue diskettes. Then I got an additional error message #87 (Unable to initialize the engine)and error #91 and it failed to backup.

My machine specs are:
Processor: Intel P4 2.4Ghz
Chipset :Intel 845G chipset
No Raid controllers present
OS: Windows XP Home edition SP-1
I have 2 40GB Seagate hard disks (C: and D:). I am trying to backup from C: to D:.

But it is not working. If you can help me I will be greatful.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:pratigan
ID: 8245407
although not the best way to do this, if your merely trying to backup from C to D you can try Ghost or if your looking to just perform a copy you could alway copy from DOS.  If your looking to perform this backup on a regular basis, you may want to look into ,mirroring the drive as I stated previously.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:patrick24
ID: 8245809
why don't you configure raid 1 for both hard disks???
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:pratigan
ID: 8245951
Hello Patrick,
That's what I recommended... mirroring is really the best approach.
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Expert Comment

by:Duronal
ID: 8247385
ok............well this is going to be hard because i don't know the answer off the top of my head.......

Right, if you've tried it from the emergency disks then it's fair to assume it's not the os.  This leaves the chipset, cpu, and disks.

Have you checked to see if there's any new drivers out for your board?  Also if possible try to use another machine with the same disks in order to create the backup........

if that works then it rules out the disks, and cpu. If (which it could be) is the chipset try updating the board bios, drivers.  Failing all of that i'm stuck the only other option could be to see if there's any new drive firmware or someone with more ideas than i that can help.

Sorry i can't be of greater assistance.


D.

P<S if urlybird posted his specs there may be a possiblity of some relationship between the error and chipsets.
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Author Comment

by:al1966
ID: 8247869
I solved the problem. You have to give FDISK MBR to both the hard disks. That is FDISK /CMBR 1 and FDISK /CMBR 2.

After that the backup worked like a charm. May be the PowerQuest guys should update the KB.

By the way, I have not got a response from Powerquest technical support so far!
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Expert Comment

by:Duronal
ID: 8248494
well that's excellent work!  Congrats on that one man, i'll be sure to note that down myself.  Sorry i couldn't be of anymore assistance.

D
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