"AlanP" <email@example.com> wrote in message
> I have recently purchased a Dell XPS laptop with Vista Home
> Premium. I have already in the past 6 week had to restore the
> system back to it's factory setting. It's a pain going through
> installing anew all the software & data that I work with. I can
> get by with the data as I used to use XXCopy (on my old XP
> machine) but now use Robocopy, which operates slightly differently
> but achieves the same ends.
> My problem & question is how can I backup the software including
> Vista so that I can restore back to my latest working state?
Here is my solution. I bought Norton Ghost w/external hdd that is
the same size or larger. I plug in the hdd, start Ghost, and take an
image of C: to the external hdd in one file. And yes I make it check
the image to make sure it is error free. After completion I always
click the Safely Remove Hardware and click the external drive. When
it gives me the go ahead, I unplug it. This is to make sure a file
is not being written when I unplug and corrupt the drive. I do this
for all my computers on a weekly basis. That way if something
happens, I can go back to the last backup by starting Norton Ghost,
showing it the location of the image file and telling it to put it
on the C: drive. Takes a little over half an hour to run and I'm
back to the day I created the image. On my main box I have
installed a second drive used only for the image. If the main drive
fails, I just remove it and make the backup drive the main drive.
Boot and right back to where I was when the last backup was done.
Purchase another drive, format, and make an image to it and my
backup plan is again functioning. I wonder what the odds of 2 hdd
failing at the same time are? I also use a program called GoodSync
to keep my second drive updated with various changing files like
PST, TXT, DOCX, etc extensions. I also use a program called RoboForm
for passwords with a backup to portable Roboform on my USB thumb
this is where GoodSync is located
also. These two were Freeware to a certain extent. I think Roboform
is for private use for like 10 passwords. The way things change you
will have to check it out yourself. Oh, someone told me the name of
another backup program that creates and image the other day and I
forgot to write it down.