How to create a back up file to another hard disk?

I am relatively ignorant in backing up files before reformatting/formatting my PC. I want to ask from experts on the step by step procedure in backing up files in another HD in a Win Xp Pro and Win 98 OS. Thank you.
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balaurulConnect With a Mentor Commented:

  Try An image creation software.

  Let's Say Drive Image Pro ... it will create backups of whatever filesize, (for CD's or DVD's or unlimited for backing up on another HDD). Booting with Drive Image pro CD you could restore the backup even if the new HDD it's not the same size as the old one.
 The restored system will even boot and work normally if no other harware changes were made (and even so).

 You could make differential restoration (some files not all).

 Another program verry popular it's Norton Ghost.

 If you want to do a manual backup...copy all important files, and directoryes, copy documents and settings, be aware that most (if not all) programs allready installed will NOT work on a newly installed Windows (even if coppied) because the data and keys needed in registry, and dependencies needed (... in windows\system or windows\system32) will not be there.
 If you have the installable programs ... I recommend a full format and clean reinstallation from zero.

 But also, in expense of a few CD-s I recommend a full backup .. because ..." You never Know " :)

  Good Luck !
Are you going to be putting this disk or a new disk back in the *same* machine?

Or are you moving to an all-new machine?

For the first job, I'd get a copy of Acronis EasyMigrate and copy the entire contents of the current disk to a new disk (plug both disks into the machine at the same time and boot from the EasyMigrate CD).

For the second job, I'd use SecondCopy ( and have it clone the entire contents of the C drive to a subdirectory on your new machine, either across a network or by (temporarily) putting the old disk in to the new machine.

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