If all i am saving is data and not programs i just go thru Explore and copy and paste to folders i make on the external drive. I like to right click the "my computer" icon, then click explore so i can have a double paned window. Its easier to pick and choose what files i want to transfer. I copy whole folders at a time or using the ctrl key(held down)pick each file i want to save one by one which lets me transfer 100's of files at a time. What i do here is click on one file so that it is highlighted in blue, hold the ctrl key down and start clicking all the other files in that folder i want to copy. On the last file i want to save i right click after the left click( while still holding the ctrl key down),and click on copy. I go to a folder already there or that i have made in the external drive , click open the folder in the left pane then go up and click edit/paste.
It is not feasible to save programs this way since most programs install files in different folders upon installation. To save everything off a HD i use norton Ghost 2003 to make a .gho image of the drive which i put on the external drive. To be able to do this you must have a second HD to send the image to. it is complicated but you can read about it here.http://ghost.radified.com/
Edited by SRX660, 20 January 2006 - 01:37 PM.