How do I backup my computer?

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Old 01-02-09, 10:48 AM
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How do I backup my computer?

Ok guys, now that you have stopped laughing I need help with what seems to me a basic easy proceedure. I want to backup my hard drive on DVD or jump drives. I did it years ago on windows 98 and it seems to me it was a matter of clicking on a backup drive icon, selecting full or partial, and then spending the next hour or so feeding discs to the writer. I have windows xp home now and I cant seem to find anything about backing up the entire hard drive. When you have a problem the first question is "when was the last time you backed up your system" or "do you have a current backup". Well I have never backed this computer up although I have copied most pictures etc to jump drives. Shouldn't this be an easy (and boring) proceedure? Am I blind, stupid, or both?
 
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Old 01-02-09, 10:58 AM
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Am I blind, stupid, or both?
Neither. I'm pretty sure you have to use a third party software since Microsoft stopped adding it.
I just backup files that I add myself and important stuff. You can always re-install the programs themselves with the bought disk or re-download the files. Doesn't take as long this way, IMO.
 
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Old 01-02-09, 11:01 AM
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I used Mozy for $5 a month. Off site, unlimited, automated backups. As long as you have broadband it can't be beat, IMO.
 
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Old 01-02-09, 11:33 AM
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Many thanks for the info. I should have started here when I first had trouble finding it. The three hours I wasted looking would have been better spent manually backing the files. Thanks again!
 
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Old 01-02-09, 04:05 PM
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Macrium Reflect Free is an awesome free utility that will backup your entire drive to either an image file (you'd store this on a USB hard drive that is at least as big as the drive in your computer), or to CD/DVD disks.

With as large as hard drives are these days, I prefer the USB hard drive option. Works a lot better than feeding 50 DVDs...

Another option would be to copy your important files to an external disk. If you have problems, you'd have to reinstall windows and all your programs, but at least you'd have a backup of all your important files (and pictures). I like Microsoft's SyncToy to handle this. I just set up a bunch of directories that I want to backup. Then, everytime it's backup time, I pop in the jumpdrive and run SyncToy... copies all new and changed files automatically.
 
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Old 09-01-09, 08:19 AM
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Final update. I opted to buy an external drive. Cost me a hundred but I guess that is worth the reduction in stress. The external backs up both PCs once a week so theorectially I should never lose anything.
 
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