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CREATING A BOOTABLE SYSTEMS DRIVE

Posted on 2011-09-13
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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Hi,  what is currently the best way to backup/image a systems drive ("C") to an internal or external drive that can be used to simply replace a "C" drive that has gone bad.  That is, physically remove the bad "C" drive and replace it with the backup drive and be ready to reboot and go back to work with all software working as it was on the old "C" drive before it went bad.   I am referring to both a Windows XP and Windows 7 operating environment.  Thank You, Clarke
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Question by:CLARKESR
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bright12 earned 125 total points
ID: 36528617
I am using CloneZilla to create a backup of my systems. The benefit it that you can either backup the drives to a network drive, external drive or internal drive.

It will adjust the free space if the destination drive is larger then the original one.

You have to burn a CD in order to use CloneZilla.

Keep in mind that if you using this method you don't have the latest changes. For that you need a backup software program that copies the data to another drive (external, internal or network).
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by:Neil Russell
Neil Russell earned 125 total points
ID: 36528654
Also bare in mind that you will almost certainly have to reactivate windows 7 as the hardware has changed.
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by:rindi
rindi earned 125 total points
ID: 36528664
Any imaging or cloning tool should, do but I agree with the above and often also use CloenZilla as it is opensource and free, and not that hard to use. It is included on the LiveCD PArtedMagic which also includes other fine tools and you can also make a bootable USB stick with it:

http://partedmagic.com/

Another good tool that makes image based backups is the backup utility of Paragon, and there is a free version (for non commercial use). This you can install within windows and then use it to make an image of your current system to an external drive, and you can also use it to make incremental backups, so that would also make sure changed data is kept within your backups. You can create a bootable LiveCD from the utility, so you can easily restore from your backups to the new HD:

http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/index.html

Remember that whatever tool you use, in most cases you will only be able to use the cloned HD or restore the images to the same PC you originally made the backup on, particularly if your Windows is an OEM version, as OEM windows versions only run on the hardware it was originally activated on. The License prohibits moving it to other hardware. As most pre-installed PC's are OEM versions that will usually be the case.
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by:centerv
centerv earned 125 total points
ID: 36529410
>>>>working as it was on the old "C" drive before it went bad.

Choice of software not withstanding as well as the fact you won't have the latest items, as stated above,
the most trouble free way is to use an exact same drive and use the "clone" option in your software, not "backup' and you'll be able to swap drives at will.
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Author Comment

by:CLARKESR
ID: 36552714
Hi folks,  Thank you for your responses.  Sorry i did not get back sooner, but we still have some issues from hurricane Irene.

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Author Closing Comment

by:CLARKESR
ID: 36552716
THANK YOU
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