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Backing up HD


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#1
drmull

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Hello - I bought a 60GB StoreIt drive (USB) with Retrospect Express backup software.

I wondered if someone could point me to tutorial or explain to me what I need to do to meet my objective.

In case my internal HD fails, what steps do I take to ensure that my OS and/or applications remain intact on the external drive? In other words, if the worst happens I want to be able to boot from the USB hard drive and somehow move all its contents back onto a new internal HD, including the OS. Is that even possible? My BIOS gives me ExtUSB drive as a choice in the boot order.

Or...is the OS (WinXP) a separate issue? Would I have to load XP on a new internal drive and then copy all apps and files back over from the USB drive?

Does anyone know if the "duplicate" function in Retrospect is creating a clone/ghost of my internal drive?

So many questions, so little knowledge!!!
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#2
gerryf

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When it comes to Retrospect, I simply do not know. Never used.

As a general rule, if you are to boot from an external usb device, the device needs a boot sector and copying your drive over is not going to achieve that.

You might be able to mirror the drive to the external usb, and the later the boot.ini file on it to achieve your desire, but that probably is not the way I would go about it, since you would need to keep the external drive always on and connected.

A better solution, it seems to me, would be to create a disk image to the external drive with some program that enables you to quickly restore from that image.

For example, Acronis True Image would allow you to do this, create an emergency boot disk, and then restore your system by booting with said disk and then restoring the image from the external source (if it supports your usb drive)
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#3
drmull

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Thanks gerryf- After looking around, it seems Microsoft in no uncertain terms says XP does not support booting from a USB device.

"Current versions of Windows should not be installed to USB hard disk drives because Windows does not support USB hard disk drives as the primary boot device."

I think the easiest thing at this point would be to return the StoreIt drive and add another internal IDE drive that is bootable. I'd have to give up my Zip drive (my wife uses it) but I could get a USB version. There's an 80GB 7200RPM Maxtor for $50 at Tiger Direct.

It's a shame Windows can't do what I want - Macs have no trouble booting from a USB drive.
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#4
gerryf

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I'm not even certain it is desirable, given the relatively slow interface of the usb drive.

Recognize that even if you use an internal drive, depending on what you are trying to achive, it may or may not be bootable in the same sense.

Installing xp on the second drive, for instance, still requires boot files on the first drive.

With a mirrored raid setup, you can start your computer with a special fault tolerant boot floppy--here is a Microsfot Kb artcile on the subject

http://support.micro....com/kb/113977/
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#5
drmull

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So, let me get this straight. If I image my current HD onto another internal HD and the original drive crashes, I can't make the image drive the master and boot from it?? I'm assuming I'd get a new drive, make it the slave and re-image from my former backup drive. How would the PC know what drive it's booting from as long as it's the master and XP is there?

Is the "boot sector" something that's on the HD but not included when you make a disc image?

Thanks for helping educate me about this - I seem to be getting more frustrated at the same time!

Edited by drmull, 13 June 2006 - 08:15 PM.

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