One of the easiest ways to back up your hard drive — whether you have one big C: drive or several partitions — is to use a program that does image backups.
For years, I used a program from PowerQuest called Drive Image. It saved me a lot of time, both in migrating from old hard drives to new hard drives and in recovering from massive problems. I remember that I could copy the backed-up image of a fresh Windows 95 installation, including WordPerfect, Netscape, network card drivers, video drivers and such, onto one CDROM. To restore the hard drive took less than 10 minutes — as opposed to the hours of Windows installation, looking for diskettes, installing programs, etc.
But, backing up my hard drive this way became much more of a bother as the drives became bigger and bigger.
For various reasona, mainly because they seemed to be moving to a Microsoft-only world, the last version I purchased was Drive Image 2002. The last PowerQuest vesion as v7. Symantec bought them and marketed Norton Drive Image before changing the product’s name to Norton Ghost 9 (and scrapping the earlier Ghost program).
After hearing from friends for years about the imaging program they were using, I finally broke down and bought a copy. Acronis True Image
is my new choice for making image backups of my entire hard drive partitions, or entire hard drives.
After installing Windows and getting partially installed on my programs after a lot of hours, I decided to upgrade my notebook’s hard drive from 60 GB to 100 GB.
I briefly considered starting over with reinstalling Windows. But, that thought quickly died. I looked again at Acronis’s site
Once I installed Acronis True Image, it only took me about 2 hours to get the new drive fully operational — instead of hours upon hours of Windows and program installs. The only reason that it took so long was that I have a notebook computer and had to do a two-step — image the old drive and then restore to the new. If I had a desktop, I could have "cloned" the new drive from the old in one step.
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