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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

The easier way to backup/restore Windows
Windows backup and restore

 1:21 pm on Oct 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I was wondering how do all of you backup/restore windows to make it painless and fast?
Which program do you use and which directories do you backup to restore them later?

I was thinking over backing up the system,format,restore but there are so many settings which should be set on a fresh install that its hard to imagine that it will take less than a day or two.



 12:53 am on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I partition my HDD and place Windows on it's own partition. I setup a separate partition for Program Files and install all software there.

From a fresh install I get everything setup the way I want it, download all the latest security patches, defrag everything, and then I'm ready to backup. On my workstations I currently use Ghost and make an image of the drive. I burn this image to DVD so that I always have a clean install to revert to.

Drive image backups have saved me on more than one occasion. With most programs you can restore not only entire disk images, but also individual files and folders. Recommended softwares include Ghost, Acronis, & BootIt Next Generation.


 6:16 pm on Oct 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Did i understood it right that you are placing windows on its own partition,then program files on another partitition and when you are making a fresh install you are restoring program files as is and thats it?


 12:23 am on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

C:\ = Windows 
D:\ = Program Files

I alter the default path for Program Files so that everything automatically installs in D:\.
To restore a clean original I would be restoring the images from both the C:\ and D:\ drives. This is because some programs will install themselves in your registry (in C:\) and associate themselves with certain processes, make shortcuts, etc. Not all programs do this and so often simply restoring the Program Files partition will be enough. This sort of setup give you the option to restore one or the other or both. I prefer the flexibility this setup offers.


 12:48 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Ok,thank you


 1:18 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Some apps must have at least part of them installed to C drive ( or they will not work )..

Maya is one such ( some parts must be on C )..there are others ..dont assume that you can change the install pathway on all apps ..


 1:36 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)


C:\ = Windows
D:\ = Program Files

I not sure you can independently restore Windows and Program Files because the registry might go bonkers. But I wish that you can.

The ez part is making the backup. The hard part is having the system work after you restore.

Say, for instance, windows is totally trashed (Blue screen of death, etc). So just reinstall windows. Will it work?


 1:58 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

lmo4103 sometime it will and sometime will not


 2:19 pm on Oct 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

When it does not work is not painless.

I setup a partition E:
I always do properties of My Documents and other data to be on E:
I also setup a smaller fat32 D: around 1-2G
D: contains a ghost backup of C: that I know is good.

I use ghost to make a writeable CD backup of C: which has windows and program files. This is capable of spanning 2-3 CDs. Sometimes I copy the CDs to E: for safe keeping in case the CD's get broken.

Although this does not backup data files, most problems have ocurred on drive C: (virus/spyware, bad driver, etc). Luckily, the hard drive has not failed yet.

The data is usually too big to backup unless I occasionally hook up a spare hard disk to back it up. Backing up data onto CDs might be a good idea too.

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