Help me rescue my old PC, please

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by oopsminded, Oct 14, 2006.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. oopsminded

    oopsminded Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Posts:
    21
    Hello, here is my situation:

    I have a (very) old PC which holds a lot of important data and program setups that I would like to "save".

    The issues are:
    - A single 9.5 GB hard disk, with 2 partitions, a 5 GB (WindowsXP and some Program Files) and a 4.5 GB (Program Files and Data)
    - first partition with only 600 MB free space, second w/ only 1 GB free space
    - CD player only unit
    - External USB CD R/RW at my disposal

    My wish:
    With these restrictions in place, is there a way (freeware, trialware or even payware) to image the entire hard disk on multiple CD-Rs, in a form that will make it possible to restore it later on a different PC?

    Pretty desperate situation, I'll appreciate any help I can get, ty.
     
  2. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,695
    Hello,
    I would recommend you save your personal data to CDs, including program installers and such. Backing up these partitions completely could be a problem since you do not have enough space for images.
    Mrk
     
  3. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Posts:
    952
    Location:
    Florida
    If at all possible, invest in an external hard drive. It would make life a whole lot easier. What you have will work, but you will spend many hours at it.
     
  4. oopsminded

    oopsminded Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Posts:
    21
    I remember reading through the "Features" of some backup programs that can burn directly to external drives, or is my memory wrong? Or the problem is that I would need a DVD writer to be able to accommodate for the size of at least the Windows partition's image?

    Regarding the external drive - I intend to buy a new PC to which I hope I will be able to transfer my current setup (I guess that is an entire different discussion) but I was hoping to be able to backup this hard disk these days as I noticed a few new types of noises coming from it :(
     
  5. Ralphie

    Ralphie Registered Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Posts:
    952
    Location:
    Florida
    If you're getting a new PC, it is always better to reinstall your programs. The data from those applications can be copied to the new pc, but reinstall the programs. All backup programs will backup to an external hard drive. Some will backup to DVD if everything is just right and the planets are in the correct alignment, LOL. But it will be much much slower than backing up to an external hard drive. If you want extra security, after making a backup to the external drive, you can then burn that backup image to DVD media, but you have to plan ahead and make the backup files in small enough chunks to fit on the dvd.
     
  6. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    Joined:
    May 9, 2005
    Posts:
    8,695
    Hello,
    It's a bit risky. True Image 9 can do that, I think. Most will save it onto hard disk, or at least in the cache before burning. Most cd burners do that do, save info to a cache before burning. It's a bit difficult writing on the fly.
    You could end with corrupted images without knowing.
    Why not save data as static files and then install from scratch. If you're buying a new pc, that's the best thing you can do. Start from beginning, do it the way you like. Your existing installation probably has old scars. Get a new face. Educational as well as useful.
    Mrk
     
  7. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Posts:
    2,405
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    My recommendatiion would be:

    buy a new internal hard drive and clone the old onto the new. This would mean that your old computer would have a new larger master drive. Later when you buy your new computer, you can install this new drive as a slave and have access to your personal data. All old programs will have to be re-installed from scratch on the new computer.

    You still need to buy an external drive to contain your backups because backups are an absolute necessity. In addition, you should store copies of important stuff onto DVD. You could additionally copy your TrueImage *.tib files to DVD for additonal safe keeping. USB external drive only attached during actual backups as a precautionary safety measure.
     
  8. oopsminded

    oopsminded Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Posts:
    21
    Ok, thank you guys, I guess I'll start looking for what can be saved. Although I can't imagine I'll be able - or even remember - to backup everything. Application serials or activation codes (I know I lost once at least 2 of the original CDs of some softwares I have installed), browser profiles, file type associations, application and Windows preferred themes, icons, all sorts of archived content and so on...

    I feel a bit depressed because I really was careful with my system, I only reinstalled Windows from scratch 2 times and once did a "repair" installation in the last 8 years, and, for its "age" my system really works without any problems. No strange errors, no registry problems, etc, so I'm not at all pleased that I will have to give up on some of my things because of a hardware problem.

    Thanks for the help anyway.
     
  9. King FN Kong

    King FN Kong Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Posts:
    134
    Maybe you can get hold of a different hardrive, borrow from a friend maybe, just temporarily. So you can image to that drive and then from there, you can burn those images to cds. Thats if you want to make an image backup of your drive (image backup meaning os and programs and settings are preserved)

    Coz given your current situation, (low disk space) backing up an image to a cd directly, as the rest of the folks have said, could be quite risky (if at all possible due tothe space restriction). Best of luck. hope you post back on how it goes
     
  10. oopsminded

    oopsminded Registered Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2006
    Posts:
    21
    I thought of a possible workaround (sorry for being stubborn, I know that some of the solutions you offered are very good and I intend to follow them) for the low free space available.

    I could backup all "data" files&folders from both drives and then delete them. What I will end up with will be something like 1.5, respectively 2 GB free space on each of the partitions.

    Is there a (very safe) way to merge the 2 partitions - remember, one of them is the "system" partition - and still have the programs originally installed on the second partition working? That merger could get me to almost 4 GB of free space, enough - maybe, I hope :) - to image the rest.
     
  11. wilbertnl

    wilbertnl Registered Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Posts:
    1,850
    Location:
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Don't try that, you won't be able to boot this setup on different hardware.
    In your case you require a imaging/backup solution that enables you to open the image/backup and explore with regular Windows explorer on another system.

    Just my two cents.
     
  12. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2006
    Posts:
    2,405
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Your drive is not healthy!. It can and will go at any moment. Decide what you want to do and do it. Don't use it any more than you must. Make your backups before its too late!
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.