Copy Full contents of HD to CDR.

Sure is a PAIN when you get a HD loaded with the OS and Apps you want..........then for some reason or another you have to reformat and go through the whole install dance again.  I would like to load my OS (win2000) along with all service packs and other apps I want, then copy it all onto CDR's.   I want to be able to use the CDR's to reinstall onto the same or a different HD if needed.   Any recomendations as to a software product that will handle this task?  By the way, I do not want to spend a whole lot of $$$ for it.   Thanks for any advice.  Richard.
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Ghost2003 will do this for you - you can get it as part of SystemWorks2003 Professional and it won't cost much (maybe $20).  It will create images of your boot partition or the whole drive and you can write the images to CDs.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
I agree with Callandor, Ghost2003 will do that for you. You need to realize that a simple copy will not work, you must have a full drive image. If you caopy all the data, then erase the drive, then put the data back - your computer will not work! That is why you have to use something like Ghost. It will make an image, which is a little bit more than just a copy. You might find a copy of drive2drive - it images as well - but is probably even cheaper then Norton's product.

Nero also has a hard drive backup utility in it...
Okay first, with ghost, you need 2 HDD's, copy to copy.

I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but, are you talking about loading the OS straight from the CD without installing first?

The easiest way to do things, is to ghost drive - drive. If that is the case. Once a drive fails, simply grab the ghosted drive and it will be a mirror image of your last drive, everything will work as it did before that one failed. Simply format it, load it as slave, then ghost that drive again, store that drive until the new one stuffs up. DO the same thing around and around, In a year or two, may be you would want to load them onto RAM discs so they hold more, and you can be sure those disks won't fault anytime soon..

But if you want to do it from cd's while installing the OS properly, then the best way I know to make the install process less time consuming and handling, switching install disks and so forth is,

1. Open Nero Express or anything you can find.
2. Make images of all your important stuff that gets loaded onto the OS first. So put a cd in the drive, open nero and select "save tracks" then either choose NRG or ISO format to save in, either is fine.
3. Save it to a place called "setupz\main"

Load the rest of your stuff and do the same.

Then all your loose stuff, like stuff you downloaded, drivers, service packs, music, videos, pictures, just copy all of them into a folder called essentials and make sure that folder is in the setupz folder where the main images are. Simply copy your setupz fodler onto one RAM disk, or two RWs if you have around 10 GIGS, of stuff that is, you may have more or less, I'm not sure. If not enough space and using 700 - 800 MB cd'rs, then you may be out of luck doing this method, this is mainly only for large storage disks like DVD-RW or DVD-RAM, I'm assuming you have loads of stuff since it sounds like a big process you have to do....

When you have the images on your HDD, zip those images up into "cab" compression using "Winace" Buy a DVD burner that burns 10GIG RAM disks, all up should cost about 150 AUD, cheap as, drive and 25 blank 5GIG dvd-rws, little more for 10GIG RAM disks. If you think you'll have enough space without zipping, do it, it will be loads faster without zipping.

Copy all your zipped installed images onto one of these. Then, anything else that's loose that you want to save can go on this disk also. Make sure you buy a few DVD-RW's or one DVD-RAM disk. But I tell you, this is the cheapest way for cd's and everything when done right, can be a breeze to load everything in the future in no time...

Once you have all the stuff backed up onto cd's(if not much) or dvdrw's or ram disks if you haev lots of stuff, simply download alcohol 120%, when you have loaded your OS after formatting, simply the first thing you would load is the RAM or disk you saved everything onto, then first load your mainboard drivers from your original cd(no need to make an image of this cd), then load in Winace, then unzip all your cabs, then load "alcohol120%", then mount all the images into the emu drive it creates on install, and then loading evreything is just a click a way. If not zipped, simply copy all the images to your HDD which takes minutes, adn then mount them.

No openning cd cases and finding all your install cd's when its all there in mirror image at a click away., simply mount and unmount the images and they will load exactly like your original cd's do, onyl this way, you don't have to hunt for the install cd's anymore, cause they are all on one disk and in image formats.

Good Luck
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.