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I need help to make a System Recovery reinstall as painless as possibl


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#1
Lee43

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I'm gearing up to install a new 500Gb internal IDE drive (to replace the current 160Gb as the master drive) on my eMachine T5048 system. I've been tediously backing up all my pics, videos, docs, etc., to my two external drives. And I've been putting the original installation files for all the misc downloaded/installed programs onto CD's for re-installation. I want to temporarily take the 160 out, reinstall Windows XP MCE using my System Recovery CD onto the new 500Gb drive, then after XP is installed onto it, I want to put the 160 back in as a slave drive.

I need some sort of a "checklist" of the most important things to do before, during, and after doing a System Recovery (in my case onto a new drive). I do know to go to Microsoft Updates afterwards to get Service Pack 3 and anything else available there but it's all the extra "non-microsoft" stuff that I need the checklist for and help with. And btw, I don't plan on using Acronis True Image or any similar program. I need a fresh start with a new drive as my system has become very bloated and bogged down with everything I've put on it over the past few years.

So any and all tips, tricks, and suggestions to make this time-consuming process be expedited as painlessly as possible would be greatly appreciated!

Thanx!

Lee43
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#2
dsenette

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is there anything wrong with the other drive? or are you just wanting a bigger storage drive?

if you're just wanting more storage why not just put the new drive in as a slave?

if you're wanting to replace the original, check the software that comes with the new drive. a lot of manufacturers are including cloning software with their drives these days so you can just make an exact copy of your current drive onto the new drive and you're in business. if they don't supply such a utility you can check out acronis true image or norton ghost...not free but well worth the price for making cloned images of your drives
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#3
Lee43

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is there anything wrong with the other drive? or are you just wanting a bigger storage drive?

if you're just wanting more storage why not just put the new drive in as a slave?


Hi dsenette. Thanx for your reply. Nothing is wrong with the 160Gb drive but I want the new drive as the master just in case the old 160Gb should decide to die on me. When a hard drive is 3-1/2 years old like mine, it's better to be safe than sorry and setup a new master drive.

if you're wanting to replace the original, check the software that comes with the new drive. a lot of manufacturers are including cloning software with their drives these days so you can just make an exact copy of your current drive onto the new drive and you're in business. if they don't supply such a utility you can check out acronis true image or norton ghost...not free but well worth the price for making cloned images of your drives

I could get Acronis from the Western Digital website but I'm not going to use Acronis or any other cloning program. Thing is, I have 98,370 files and 41,712 directories on my C: drive (I went to DOS and typed dir \*.* /s to find that out) so cloning my drive would simplify things but then I would just end up with the same overfilled/cluttered drive and bogged down system. I need a fresh start with Windows reinstalled on the new drive. My computer will run considerably faster, as if it were new again, if I do it this way.

Since doing a System Recovery is such a time-consuming and very involved process, I was hoping to get some guidance, a checklist, links to sites, or anything to help me speed things up and get through this as quickly as possible. Thanx again!
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#4
dsenette

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for system recovery (you're not doing recovery here you're doing replacement), take a day to set up your computer exactly how you want it with everything you need (all settings, all applications, windows updates etc...) then use a disk imaging software to make an image of the drive in that state to an external location (hard drive, large USB stick, DVDs etc...). then put that in a safe place....next time your computer messes up (or you get a virus or whatever) you just reload that original image and you're back up and running within 45 minutes with all your apps, games, drivers, etc..

for what you're wanting to do, you just need to do it the old fashioned way. put the new drive in, load your os, load your drivers, install your apps, etc.. etc.. since we have no idea what you've got installed, what you want installed, or how you're using the computer we can't give you a checklist of things you need to do. you need to go through your current setup and write down a list of the apps you want to put on the new system then figure out if you've got the disks for those or if you downloaded them. if this is a custom built system you'll want to write down the make/model of all the hardware so you can download the drivers.
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#5
Lee43

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take a day to set up your computer exactly how you want it with everything you need (all settings, all applications, windows updates etc...) then use a disk imaging software to make an image of the drive in that state to an external location (hard drive, large USB stick, DVDs etc...). then put that in a safe place....next time your computer messes up (or you get a virus or whatever) you just reload that original image and you're back up and running within 45 minutes with all your apps, games, drivers, etc..

That is a most excellent suggestion! Thank you. I will no doubt do that when I get my OS in, updated, and tweaked just right.

put the new drive in, load your os, load your drivers, install your apps, etc.. etc..

This is a store bought Gateway eMachine T5048 from Best Buy. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the recovery disk (that came with the system) contain all the necessary drivers? I know I need to install a driver for my flatbed scanner and I believe my Canon printer, but are there any other drivers that I might need to reinstall? Btw, the video is on-board and the only cards in the pci slots are a tv tuner card (I have software for it) and the unused modem.

How would I find out what all drivers I have installed on my system are? And isn't there a way to back those up so I can have them in case I need to reinstall any of them? I got this feeling that whatever drivers are on the recovery disk are probably too old and outdated and what's installed now are the most recent ones. Thanx for all your help...:)

Edited by Lee43, 05 March 2010 - 08:26 PM.

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#6
peterm

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Hi Lee43
I use drivermax to back up my drivers - free Drivermax
This is another driver backup Driver backup I have not used this one however it is best to use more then 1 driver backup.
Have you got all the registration numbers for your programs like Office etc.
If you use an email program have you exported your Address book and account settings plus inbox outbox etc.
If you use outlook express or oullook = the one with office. I will show you what works best for me.
Have you unhidden any hidden or password protected folders you used ?
Is the cd dvd driver you have the original one that came with the computer if not make sure you have the driver on a usb device.
Even though your drive is 3 - 4 years old I would use it as the master drive. If you think about it you are worried about it crashing, If you have it as a data drive and it dies you loose pics documents etc. If you leave it as your master drive
and have an image of the drive after all programs and windows updates installed it can crash and you just replace it with a new drive and reimage it and all your data is safe on the larger data drive. - Just my 2 cents worth
Cheers and good luck
Peterm
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#7
Lee43

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Hi Lee43
I use drivermax to back up my drivers - free Drivermax
This is another driver backup Driver backup I have not used this one however it is best to use more then 1 driver backup.
Have you got all the registration numbers for your programs like Office etc.
If you use an email program have you exported your Address book and account settings plus inbox outbox etc.
If you use outlook express or oullook = the one with office. I will show you what works best for me.

Hi Peterm,
Thank you for that valuable information. It was very helpful. I got the new drive installed, finally got everything up and running again. It took more time than expected and was a royal pain in the butt...but it was worth it. Getting all the drivers back in order what tedious and nerve wrecking but my system is like new again since I put the new 500Gb drive in as the master drive and put the old 160Gb as the slave. But all is well in my neck of the woods.
Thanx again...:)
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#8
123Runner

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Since you have your 160gb as a slave/ backup, I would suggest purchasing an external case with another drive and backing up to that also.
That way you have a duplicate backup of your data, pics, etc.

I use Norton because I had it.
I also use SyncBack Free. I prefer Syncback over Norton, but I at least have my stuff backed up a couple different ways with different programs.

123runner
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#9
Lee43

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Since you have your 160gb as a slave/ backup, I would suggest purchasing an external case with another drive and backing up to that also. That way you have a duplicate backup of your data, pics, etc.

Hi 123Runner, thanx for your reply. I've got two external drives and I backed up all my important data, pics, videos, etc. onto them. I make sure I keep my stuff backed up onto them in case of a system failure. If that happens, all I do is unplug the external drives from it and plug them into my other desktop until my main system is up and running again...(knock on wood, it hasn't failed me yet..but it's getting old and you never know about these things).

I also use SyncBack Free. I prefer Syncback over Norton, but I at least have my stuff backed up a couple different ways with different programs.

I've been using this program called AllWay Sync (which I believe is similar to SyncBack). But I don't "sync" the two drives, I changed the settings and just do a one-way transfer...that way I can delete stuff from my internal drive to free up space. I will definitely try SyncBack though. I'm glad you told me about it.

Thanx again!
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#10
peterm

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More info then you need or probably want
You should look at something like Ghost (old versions) or Acronis true image.
You can make an image that will restore in very quick times. Next time you need to change - or if you just want to make things kinda more bullet proof then you install windows + all programs and updates. Make an image and then you can restore very quickly.
I like the method of having 2 small hard drives - 40- 80gigs I then set 1 up with windows and programs only.
I then make a copy to the other drive (With the older IDE drives I set both to master) I have both drives mounted
in the computer box I only have 1 connected by cables , If something goes wrong with the drive - virus, crash etc
I then just plug the other drive in and I am back running agian in under 5 mins.
Cheers
Peterm

Edited by peterm, 25 March 2010 - 03:24 AM.

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