Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Backup Basics Part 2

In part 1 we talked about keeping your original install disks so that you can restore Windows and your programs if the hard drive goes bad. That's a good simple methodology for this type of protection. But what if you have many, many programs loaded on your PC? If you have a business suite and a graphics suite and some accounting software, it could take a full day just to restore the software.

Here is an easy solution that will cut the time it takes to get back to work. There are several software programs available that "clone" your hard drive. Basically they store an image of the hard drive including Windows, all of your software and all of your settings. After a hard drive crash you simply replace the hard drive, boot from a CD that the imaging software makes for you (don't forget to make one before trouble strikes) and restore your computer to the exact state that it was in when you made the last image. You can then restore any newer files from your online backup and your ready to go.

I use Acronis True Image. There is also free software available such as Macrium Reflect. Another benefit of this software is that it can be used to replace your hard drive with a larger one. Go through the same process, install a larger hard drive and your ready to go!

If you need help, please see the contact page on my website


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