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How do you backup your PC?
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Mullet
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Joined: Dec 12, 2005
Posts: 1050

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi all. I have just had a scare.

Early yesterday Windows update offered a graphics driver update which I installed. All went well and I continued using the laptop for a few hours without issue and shut down when done.

Later in the day I powered up and the boot hung immediately after the bios screen. So, powered down and restarted several times, same result. Battery out power cable out try again some minutes later, same result. F8 advanced options safe mode and repair, the boot stalls after loading crcdisk.sys. By now I am clenching everything.

Googled on my wife's laptop and found many entries for this Vista problem.

Tried booting from the backup disc, removing and swapping memory modules, many suggestions from many forums and still no joy.

Although I back up weekly there way still recent xmas purchases and data that was not and it was at this point I realised how vulnerable I was, how helpless I was, and how lacking my backup strategy was.

I phoned my local Maplins to put aside an external disc enclosure hopefully to recover the data, fingers crossed it was not a HD failure.

Final straw, booted into repair mode which of course hung. I just left the laptop powered up and went to work.

There isn't an emoticon to express what I felt when walking back into the room hours later to see the Windows repair tools on screen. I ran the first option to fix a boot failure and thankfully I am up again backing up as I type this.

I am going to rethink my options.
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aj2052
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Joined: Jul 03, 2005
Posts: 1431
Location: Leics,UK

PostPosted: Wed Dec 24, 2008 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny that I also had a graphics vista update for nvidia yesterday on my Lappy, but fortunately no problems, lucky or what, with Vista I have to ocnsider myelf lucky.
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philpugh
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Joined: Dec 28, 2005
Posts: 2003
Location: Antrobus, Cheshire

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mullet wrote:
Hi all. I have just had a scare.

....... edited for brevity

I am going to rethink my options.


Your strategy is still correct.

Had the very worst happen you would have had to buy a new hard disk for your laptop, rebuild an O/S then recover your latest backup.

The usual problem is that the O/S kit for the laptop is usually on the disk. You can copy the installation stuff onto a CD sometimes - or (again worst case) have to spend a few tens of pounds to get a new O/S kit/license.

At the end of the day the valuable stuff is your data on your PC.

I tend towards the paranoia end of the spectrum. We have two laptops and one desktop system.

I have 2*500Gb powered USB disks which I copy all data to on a weekly basis. This gives me two copies of everything. These are getting to 75% capacity - so I will get a couple more - probably USB powered this time as speed isn't really that important.

I also have 2*320GB self-powered USB disks which have Windows Backups of the laptops as well as things like sat nav systems... I also keep copies of the installation kits I download from the net on these.


I have lost disks once in the last couple of years. I have a network drive (2*250Gb RAID disks) that somehow got reset to "on-all-the-time-mode" (instead of spin-down-when-not-in-use) which eventually caused an overheat situation which crashed both drives. Lost the disks but had the data backed-up so it just cost me new drives and a few hours work. Paranoia works - the RAID was configured to be redundant - but the overheating didn't let that get in the way of total destruction.

That - and taking regular checkpoints of the O/S (XP in my case) to get around silly problems (like when iTunes decided to alter the internal settings of my CD drive so that it blue-screened every time I inserted a CD!) - should cover most situations.

Disks are getting cheaper and the newer USB powered devices are ideal for these sort of applications.
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Pocketgps
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Joined: Nov 16, 2004
Posts: 2145
Location: Midlands, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have used Acronis True Image for quite some time now just using the image backup feature and a separate USB disk drive. Had never had to use it as the pc has never had a problem.

A couple of months back I used the Acronis Secure Zone, big mistake for my system, it has done nothing but freeze on startup ever since. Starts to load, get the Windows bars across the screen, but it then just stops before it gets to the Vista log on screen.

Have to loose all my data if I have not backed up by using the image feature. Still have format the hd, then install Vista, then Acronis True Image, then reload the last image. But the system has done this 5 times in the last 6 weeks.

Will not work by using the Acronis True Image startup disk that I created from the program. Loads the image, then jus does the same thing, freezes on reboot.

Acronis Secure Zone has ruined my pc. Have removed it and reinstalled but just does the same.

No help from Acronis at all. They say because my pc hd was formatted into 3 drives this caused the problem. Nothing in their help/user guide to tell you this before you use it.

So don't recommend anybody with a Dell to use it as most Dell's are formatted that way.
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Mullet
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Joined: Dec 12, 2005
Posts: 1050

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

philpugh wrote:
Your strategy is still correct.


I have given this some thought, and yes I still think so. The only amendment I will make is to increase the frequency of my backups.

I am very particular about my system structure hence the full base image I keep. By installing that, running updates, installing a few additions and adding my backup data, I reckon I can return to my last state in about half a day if the worse happens.
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