Jun 10, 2009
Many new PCs these days come with recovery Cd's that you can use to restore your PC to the factory default state should you get a virus or suffer a hard drive failure. Now you can create a recovery CD for your computer that contains all of your programs, files, music and even your copy of Windows XP. This way if your computer ever gets a virus or has a hard drive failure you can put everything back the way it was when your PC was working perfectly!
Purchase a copy of Acronis True Image. You can download a free trial from http://www.acronis.com, but it is recommended that you purchase the full version for all of the features.Install Acronis True Image. After your PC reboots, run True Image. Go to "Tools> Options" from the top toolbar and select the "Archive Splitting" option from the pop up menu. Choose to split archives and enter in 4000MB if you plan on backing up to DVD or enter in 650MB if you plan on backing up to CD-R. Click on "OK" and exit the options screen. Click on "Backup" and choose "I want to backup the entire disk or partitions." Select the partitions to back up. Click on Next. Select the "Full Backup" option. Click Next. Choose a place on your hard drive to save the backup files in .tib format. It may warn you that backing up to the same partition is dangerous in case of hard drive failure, or some warning like that. Click "OK". Follow the wizard's steps and let it make a backup of your system. Go to where you saved your backup in .tib format. How ever many files you see is how many DVDs you will need to make the backup. Open up your DVD burning program such as Roxio or Nero. Use your program and put the first backup file, the one with the number 1 in the file name, in your DVD project. Burn this file to a DVD. Be sure to Finalize your session AND the DVD. Otherwise you may have trouble restoring your files. Use a marker and write the number "1" on the first DVD. Repeat step 10 for each of the other backup files going up in order by number.
Once you have burned all of your DVDs, go back into Acronis True Image and click on "Create Bootable Rescue Media". Add the True Image Full and True Image Safe versions to the project and insert a blank CD. Let the wizard burn you your Bootable Rescue Media. Verify your backup that you have just made by running the "Check Archive" tool. Be sure to insert the last DVD in the backup and then check the archive from your DVD drive. This will make sure you burned your backup correctly to DVD. It should eventually ask you to insert the other DVDs. Insert them when asked. Try booting your PC using the Bootable CD you just created. You should see the Acronis Menu where you can choose to run Acronis Full or Safe versions. See if your PC can run the Full Version software. For extra safety while you are in the Full Version you can run the Check Archive tool again to make sure that if your PC was truly dead that your backup would work without a copy of Windows. It is OK to eject the CD you made while running in the Full Version.
For the most reliable backup set, it is recommended that you start with a fairly clean system prior to making backups by checking your drive for errors, running disk cleanup, deleting temporary internet files, history and cookies. You should also scan your drive for viruses and spy ware as well as run disk defragmenter.
Make backups before making any major changes to the system, such as upgrading your Operating System or adding new software. You can also make backups on your hard drive or to another computer on your network that you can write to. Make sure you have hard drive space available. Backups usually take about half of the size of all of the files on your hard drive. Backups can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. The more you are backing up the more time it will take to make the image.
Be sure to Verify your backup when you are done! To be 100% sure that your backup will save you you can verify your backup from the bootable environment CD that you made. Boot from that CD as mentioned above and use the "Check Archive" tool. You may need to enable cd booting in your computer's BIOS before you can boot from CD You will most likely need to purchase the full version of True Image before you can make reliable backups. There may be hidden snags or limitations in the trial so do not rely on the trial when making a real backup.
Posted by Jane at Wednesday, June 10, 2009 |