How do I back up my hdd?



Hello, could someone tell me how to make a back-up of my file system, or point me to a how-to?. I’d be very greatfull.
I currently have a Maxtor 40gb hdd that has a C: and D: partition. Both FAT 16. One (D:) is empty and C: has Windows 98se installed. The CDR is an ASUS 3212A connected with the hdd with an IDE cable to an A-BIT KA7 mainboard (with latest BIOS). I have 512m of memory and the processor is a Slot A 600MB AMD Athlon “Classic” ((K0600) not overclocked). All driven by a 300W Leadman PSU. A fairly baisic rig by anybodys standards.
I set up the D:\ partition because I can’t see how I’m going to back up a file system from withinn that file-system…if you see what I mean…oh and the media is “TDK” CD-RW.
Thanks for reading and for any potential help.
[No eight]
By the way, I don’t know how that smiley got there. That should say D:


The easiest way to do a full system backup is to made an image. This can be done with programs like Symantec Ghost, and Acronis True Image.

True Image will automatically break up the full image archive into the appropriate file sizes to accomidate your file system, or storage medium (example: multiple 700MB CDR’s). I am pretty sure they support FAT16.

If the D:\ partition is empty, you might want to convert it to FAT32 first, then backup the C:\ partition with one of the above tools to D:
Converting (or reformating) to FAT32 will destroy any data on the partition, but that should not be a problem since the D:\ partition is empty.

You could then record the image archive to CDRs (or RWs).

I believe TrueImage will also allow you to image directly to CDR (not sure if this will work with FAT16).

Keep in mind that the image of the “system/boot partition - the drive with windows installed” can only by reloaded onto a system with the exact same hardware setup.

Another option would be to copy all of your data files to the D:\ partition. This could be a pain if you have a lot of programs that save files in different directories.

TIPS for the future:
-Keep Data files on a separate drive/partition, this would secure your data in the event you have to format/reinstall windows (C:\ partition). It will also make backing up much easier.

-For archiving or long term backup to optical media, use CDR (write once) media. RW media is good for short term storage, transfering files, but is to unstable/unreliable for long term backups.

Hope this helps!


Thanks mate!. It’s starting to make sense now. I’m not sure about changing D:\ to FAT32 though. I’ve just changed it to match the C:\ because it was causeing a +serious+ go-slow. Mabey I should just make both partitions FAT32 ?. Also how are data files different from other files, I thought all files were data?..


Data files are not diff. the reason to put them on a different drive is if you have a drive fal. or replace a drive you only need reinstall the os and then you did not lose any data

also, Skith you can change the computer, in xp you need to remove all HW and with the cd bring up the recovery console,in other system there are ways to do that ,if you like you can go to the nforce site to see how to do them all


Also as suggest, Buty Ghost it will pay for itself over and over


Thanks for the advise.
Although I’m still a bit vauge on some defonitions. Would backing up the filesystem mean backup the OS plus any “data” ?. I guess it would be up to the softwear to make the distinction, but say I download and install a driver, does this driver not become part of the filesystem ?, therefore integral and would be included as part of an OS backup ?. I can’t see where Operating System ends and data begins. I think I need to make some kind of conceptual leap to understand this :confused: what am I getting wrong?..


the file system is the OS the data are files but not the system,try this page and see if it clears syuff up

I think it will give you an understand of drives and systems


Ummm. I’ve a “fdisk” utility that I like from an old distribution of “Caldera” Open Linux. It’s good because it’ll let me make up to four primary partitions without any problem ((unlike with MS fdisk) no mucking about with logical extended partitions ). It’s not realy partitioning I’m having dificulty with though…


I think the easiest way to define the differance between the two is by example. A downladed and INSTALLED driver would certainly be a part of the OS, but things like records made using Quicken, music or video files, documents adn the like, are all considered your data files. You can always re-load MS Word, but the documents you’ve created in Word obviously won’t come back if lost.

Oten times, people only care to back up the data files that cannot be replaced, or would be difficult to replace. Other times, people want to make a perfect mirror image of not only their personal data, but the entire OS including all drivers and settings. In that instance, the programs these other fellows are talking about, (such as Norton Symantic’s Ghost), would be the way to go, as it is necessary to back up all sorts of hidden system files and the like. It is also required that they be re-loaded properly, or the machine simply will not boot up and run.

If you’ve got a few dollars to spend, I’d suggest an external HDD to back up your machine. It’s quite fast, adn you don’t have to worry as much about media quality and the like. I’ve lost some files due to poor media, and my own stupidity in not making redundant backups, and LOVE my external firewaire drive now. External drives are also available in the USB 2.0 format. The only downfall there is, you have to have SOME sort of OS loaded already to access the drive.

It sounds to me, like what you’re asking is how to back up the entire OS as well as everything else on the drive. If that’s the case, as I said earlier, a drive cloneing utility such as Ghost is what you want to use. PLEASE remember, unless you’ve made two copies, it’s not REALLY backed up. :wink:



Norton Ghost it is then people!.Thanks for the help so far…two copies??. That’s confusing…why’s that then ?. :confused:


What happens if a disk is damaged, defective, or otherwise becomes un-useable? :wink:



Best would be to get an external hard drive and back to it-

Second best would be to back to disc - preferably DVD for the cost/capacity

Third best would be to back to CD-

Using Norton ANYTHING is a loser - because it is so intrusive to any system and hogs resourses - and then when you go to remove Nortons programs - it takes DAYS!!! (look on symantics site on how to remove Norton from your system - it’s eight pages of complicated instructions -

The BEST backup program I have ever used is the Acronus True Image program - I have used it on my business machines for two years and it works great with minimal resource usage-



well I on the other hand have been using norton stuff since 92 and i prefer Disckeper pro, for defrag,i use norton, ther is no substitute for Ghost,so use what you want but look at the options. Bruce

bm7 i find if you clean the reg. search norton and symantec, then remove the keys, it is a 5 min. job to remove it not Weeks lol


the guide fdisk covers hard drives,with the page and links,i did not mean for you to fdisk the drive just to read the about files


Ahh right, I’ll give it another read.
I’m now trying to weigh up getting a (realitively) cheep small SCSI HDD against a cake of CDR’s from Maplin. They’ve got a deal where you get a free digital camera with the media which is 15 quid (and no I don’t work for them :wink: )…hmmm


Keep in mind that USB (especially 2.0) support is not included with win98SE - a driver installation/update may be required, should you choose to get an external hard drive. Also keep in mind that cheap recordable media may be unreliable. What good is a backup if it becomes unusable?

Also, if possible, I would recommend keeping multiple backups of important data (quicken/money files, photos, and other irreplaceable files). (e.g. Second HD, and CDR). I usually burn (record) no less than 3 copies (on different media) of family photos, checking balances (money/quicken), school work/papers, etc… and store them in different locations.


Hi, a look through my “System Properties” reveals that I do have USB controlles installed and properly working. I think the chipset software installed these. I’ve had a little nose around in the Media forum and couldn’t help by notice the number of times “Tayio Yuden” disks were mentioned. They are mad about them !!!. They love 'em. So I guess if possible I would be trying to find some of these for my backups…


…also, I’ve got a Windows 95 disk that claims “with USB support”…which era of USB I don’t know (old obviousilly)…


yes i think you will add usb support but i do not belive you will get usb 2,it will default to 1.1
It will still work but slow,may want to consider a dual interface for future groth


What do you mean by “dual interface” ?.