Acronis True Image Home 2009 is the imaging software I use regularly.
In the main I backup to a removable USB drive.
If you are looking at DVD storage (which I also do), for the amount of data
you are backing up you are probably looking at around 16 DVDs (approx), on
the default compression. The problem with higher compressions is that they
can take a considerably long time to complete.
John Barnett MVP
Windows XP Associate Expert
Windows Desktop Experience
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"Dave Lee" <DaveLeeNC@ix.netcom.RemovE.com> wrote in message
> I would like to capture an occasional snapshot of my whole system (Dell
> XPS laptop). The purpose here would that, in the unfortunate case of
> having to do a complete re-install due to hardware or software problems, I
> could get back (in a relatively simple fashion) to some known execution
> environment where most of my applications were installed and
> registered/running/etc. Data backups (while they would probably exist in
> this scheme) that I care about would be done separately and much more
> There is a lot of stuff out there from the commercial Windows world (like
> Acronis) to stuff from a Unix/Linux heritage such as Ghost. I have a
> couple of simple questions.
> 1) I assume that this (at least in principle) is do-able - that right? If
> so do you have recommendations as to the right software package?
> 2) Any general "gotcha's" to be concerned about? FWIW my data backups take
> two forms. All the personal data that I care about is stored in a single
> (but complicated) folder structure and that is backed up regularly just as
> a copy to a USB-2 attached harddrive. My Windows Live Mail data is backed
> up via Vista Backup/Restore.
> 3) I would really like to do this to CD/DVD's (have a relatively recent
> vintage CD/DVD drive that supports pretty much all the read and write
> formats that existed as of 1/2008). But I have no idea as to how many
> disks I could ultimately be dealing with here. Does anyone have any
> experience with this out there? Right now I'm looking at around 80G of
> used space on my Dell XPS laptop. But down the read this could get up to
> as much as 200G.