Backup & Reformat HD

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by johnmw1, Dec 31, 2010.

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  1. johnmw1

    johnmw1 Registered Member

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    Hi,

    I'm wishing to reformat my HD as the OS is becoming so slow and unstable and it's bloated way too much with my constant downloading of programs and apps. Also seem to be running 100% CPU a lot of the time due to the number of things running in the background which can't be good for this aging pc.

    I've been fluffing around with trying to do this for the last week but in all honesty I don't really know what I'm doing.

    Ultimately I would like a clean install of XP home with some of the current programs which I would like to keep running on the fresh install. That way I can then make a clean image of that set up and hopefully be able to reuse that image in the future if the need arises.

    So now to keep those wanted programs, documents, emails, images etc I do not need to actually clone the whole HD do I yes/no?

    As part of my downloaded programs I have both Paragon Backup & Recovery 10 Special Home Edition and Easeus Partition Master Professional Edition, but really don't know what I'm doing with either of them, whether it's backing up, cloning or whatever. Likewise I could also download the new Easeus Todo Backup Home V2 but in the same boat..........

    I was about to pull the plug and buy Acronis True Image Home 11, but have read a few mixed reviews about whether it's good bad or indifferent. Am happy to pay for a program just so long as it easy to use and does what it's supposed to.

    I'm open to suggestions and any guidance as to what I'm trying to do and any help I can get will be greatly appreciated.

    Happy New Year!

    Cheers
    John
     
  2. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    This is what I would do:

    1. Backup documents, images etc. to an external destination (DVD(s), USB hard drive, etc.).

    2. Backup your Favorites/Bookmarks and E-Mails: For Firefox and/or Thunderbird Mail use the program "MozBackup" to backup to an external destination. If you use Internet Explorer you can manually copy your Favorites to an external destination. In Windows XP the path to your Favorites file is "C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Favorites". For backing up and restoring Outlook 2002/2003 E-Mails use the free tool from Microsoft (PST Backup tool).

    3. Check to make sure that you have backed up everything that you want to keep.

    4. Wipe the hard drive (write zeros to all hard drive sectors). Wiping the hard drive really isn't necessary, and it takes as much as a few hours. I just "like" to do the Wipe operation. You could just use your Windows Installation Disk to Partition and Format the hard drive. Then re-install Windows.

    5. Install the appropriate Windows Service Packs and "Critical" Patches.

    6. Install required security software and other programs. Update software as required.

    As far as your programs that you would like to keep from your old Windows installation: You need to have the original program installer file or installation media. You cannot properly copy over installed software from your original Windows installation to the new Windows installation.

    Note: In the unlikely event that you decide to write zeros to all of your hard drive sectors, you can use your hard drive manufacturer's bootable diagnostics disk to perform the wipe operation. A couple of other freeware programs what will do the job of writing zeros to all hard drive sectors are: CopyWipe's bootable CD and Partition Wizard's bootable CD. Partition Wizard's bootable CD has what I consider to be a more "user friendly" GUI (Graphical User Interface).
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2010
  3. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    After you get the new PC all fixed up the way you like it (Windows, Security Patches, Software Updates, etc.) you need to Image at least the System Partition. Many people on this Forum would recommend Macrium Reflect Free for a free Imaging Software. I use Image for Windows/Image for DOS/Image for Linux, but they are not free.

    It is recommended that the System Partition Images be stored to at least one destination other than the hard drive that contains the Operating System. This is so that, in the event of a hard drive failure, you can restore your System Partition Image to the replacement hard drive. You can also store the System Partition Images to DVD(s), if you like.
     
  4. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Here is a Windows XP Home installation guide with screenshots:

    Page 1:

    http://www.blackviper.com/Articles/OS/InstallXPHome/installxphome1.htm

    Page 2:

    http://www.blackviper.com/Articles/OS/InstallXPHome/installxphome2.htm

    Page 3:

    http://www.blackviper.com/Articles/OS/InstallXPHome/installxphome3.htm

    I prefer to install Microsoft Windows XP Service Packs with their Network installer file. Someone I know had repeated failures with updating a SP2 PC to SP3 through Windows Update. When he used the SP3 Network installer file, the update was successful.

    Microsoft Windows XP SP2 Network Installer download page:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...BE-3B8E-4F30-8245-9E368D3CDB5A&displaylang=en

    Microsoft Windows XP SP3 Network Installer download page:

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/...a8-5e76-401f-be08-1e1555d4f3d4&displaylang=en

    You may need to install SP2 before installing SP3. I do not remember. I do remember that you cannot go from one of the Service Pack levels directly to SP3.
     
  5. Hugger

    Hugger Registered Member

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    The Kid7,
    "You need to have the original program installer file or installation media."

    This is a good point. One which has escaped me in the past.
    So how do we do this so that everything comes together just right?
    Happy New Year
     
  6. johnmw1

    johnmw1 Registered Member

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    Hi The Kid7,

    Big thanks for the very thorough and in depth answer, that must have taken you awhile to put together.

    I'm working slowly through your steps that you have listed and hope to have everything that I need backed up by later on today.

    Have downloaded the SP3 Network installer as you have suggested, and I maybe wrong but I'm under the impression that Sp3 includes all the other Sps combined?

    I'm backing everything up to an 1TB external drive. Soon the nervous part of the exercise. :doubt:

    Cheers
    John
     
  7. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Your Welcome.

    There is a chance that you may also need SP2. About a year ago on an older Dell laptop, I restored the OS + factory installed programs using the Dell hidden restore partition (Windows XP Home). I remember trying to install SP3 and getting a message that I had to install SP2 first and then install SP3. I am not sure, but I think that the original installed Windows XP Home was SP1, SP1a, or maybe even a pre-service pack version.
     
  8. johnmw1

    johnmw1 Registered Member

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    OK and thanks, I'll download SP2 just to be on the safe side.

    Cheers
    John
     
  9. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    The previous instructions that I gave assume that you do have a "physical" Windows XP Home Restore Disc. Some PC companies have you burn your own CD(s)/DVD(s). If you have a hidden Restore partition, wiping your hard drive will destroy your hidden Restore partition.

    If you have a hidden Restore Partition and have no "physical" Restore CD/DVD, then do not wipe your hard drive. In that case you would do a Restore of the PC using the hidden Restore Partition. The process of Restoring from a hidden Restore partition usually takes less than 10 minutes.
     
  10. johnmw1

    johnmw1 Registered Member

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    Yes you have assumed correctly. :) I probably won't get to it until tomorrow now.

    Cheers
    John
     
  11. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    Make sure you have any and all license information and keys for your programs that need them backed.
     
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