Windows XP Pro includes a backup program on the Windows installation CDROM that is not installed automatically. If you know it’s there, you can install it on your XP Pro computer. It’s a solution but it’s not the best solution.
I answered a question this week from someone who was using the NTBackup.exe program that is included on the Windows XP Professional CDROM.
The individual was happy using it, despite it not being a very user-friendly program. He was asking for help from others, and getting a consistent response on that mailing list — switch to Acronis True Image for a much better solution.
Finally, I chimed in to explain the major reason he needed to change. NTBackup simply wasn’t a good enough solution.
He was looking for an easy way to restore his computer if he had a hard drive failure. The answer is very simple — if you don’t do an image backup of the hard drive, you won’t be able to restore the whole thing as a working unit.
NTBackup does not do image backups. To restore your entire hard drive, you will have to reinstall Windows and then reload your software and copy your data from your backup.
Acronis True Image does image backups. It’s fast. It’s easy. It’s the program I use.
You can backup to another hard drive in your computer, to an external hard drive, or even across a home network (the way I do it).
With Acronis True Image, you can restore the entire hard drive, restore a hard drive partition (which is almost the same as the entire hard drive, for most Windows users), or restore individual files from the backup.
You can make backups of your entire hard drive or of individual hard drive partitions. Those backups can be full backups or incremental backups (only what’s changed since the last incremental backup) or differential backups (everything that’s changed since the last full backup).