Need help using backup/system recovery disk

Microsoft Windows xp professional w/serv...
September 3, 2009 at 07:22:47
Specs: Windows XP, P4 3.2GH 1GRAM
My hard drive crashed and I was able to install a new one. I installed windows XP Pro SP3 and all drivers updated. I think I am supposed to back this up and create a system restore (or is it system recovery) disk. I tried using the assesories backup wizard, but it is demanding I use the a: drive. I browse and navigate to my computer and point it to the blank CD I have in the drive, but I keep getting an error message that says windows cannot read from this disk. I tried the same procedure choosing to wait until I'm asked to insert a disk, but get the same result. Can you please help?

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September 3, 2009 at 08:42:49
create a backup which includes the system state to a file on the drive. Copy the file to cd/dvd.

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September 3, 2009 at 09:43:26
In my opinion the best backup is done using 'Acronis' or 'Ghost''. I prefer Acronis. They aren't cheap, but well worth the money.

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September 3, 2009 at 10:24:24
What you're wishing(?) to create is a recovery disk - usually one (and sometimes more disks...). System Restore is the facility within XP to go back to a previous time and state for your OS etc. prior to where you are now. Usually used when something you do (install etc.) produces a few problems... and you want to get back to before that problem event..

One often gets the disks as part of a new system; but equally often one is advised/encouraged to make as et as soon as one has logged on and set personal details etc on a new system... Sadly many fail to do this - and often with dire consequences later...

I'd enocurage to use Acronis or Ghost; and there are other similar utils too. I use Acronis and find it excellent; not too many pennies from Amazon etc...

Query for Wanderer:

Creating the "(backup) file" and saving to the HD, afterwhich copying it to a dvd/cd... - it won't be bootable will it? Some recovery sets are bootable? I know that some aren't and usually require one to make use of the small/hidden partition on the HD in order to use that recovery disk... But if he has installed a new HD and thus no hidden partition... then how does he get the image off the CD to the HD again if needs-be?

Using Acronis etc. avoids this issue?

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Related Solutions

September 3, 2009 at 11:01:55
There are a number of recovery stratagies.

Backup method
Reinstall OS
Restore backup

Backups are not bootable

Cloning method
Clone the drive
Burn to disk

You can boot a different disk or make the disk containing the image bootable.

Then you have a recovery partition that is bootable on the drive and has a iso or image that can then be restored.

You also have the bootable factory restore cd for some systems.

All depends on what you want to use.

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September 3, 2009 at 11:20:10
Don't think I put my query clearly enough...

Familiar with assorted "backup" options/approaches...

Here if one creates a backup "file" and saves to HD; then copies it to an external device/disk etc... - that "file" is not bootable? Thus if one were to reformat the HD how doth one get the non-bootable disk to restore the backup file to the HD? Particularly as few laptops (if any) have a floppy drive - although one can of course use a usb external one. And I'm not too sure these days if most desktops have floppies or not these days either?

I'm asking partly to clarify for my own finer understandings; and also for the benefit of others who may find this post in the future and have the same question in mind?

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September 3, 2009 at 11:32:00
"Here if one creates a backup "file" and saves to HD; then copies it to an external device/disk etc... - that "file" is not bootable?"

That is correct.

You have to either create a bootable CD/DVD or have a bootable CD/DVD with a program that will restore the backup. Acronis or Ghost will do either. They have the option of creating bootable CDs/DVDs with the backup file(s) on them, or you can boot from the Acronis or Ghost CD to do the restore from CDs/DVDs or other storage media (like a hard drive).

(edit) Oops, I didn't notice that it was Trvlr asking the question, I assumed it was the OP.

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September 3, 2009 at 11:53:25
Wanderer: Takk for that. It means anyone not so familiar with it all will now have a slightly better understanding of what's what... - should they come visiting here anon...

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