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How to back up your c-drive onto DVD/CD
Thread poster: Sonja Allen

Sonja Allen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:04
Member (2005)
English to German
Feb 10, 2006

When I tried to back up my whole c:-drive onto two DVDs, I received messages that this was not possible, as I could not back up a drive on which my operating system (Windows XP)was. I was using Nero and SyncBac, but both programmes told me the same. What am I doing wrong? Am I just able to backup my current work but not my whole c/drive or am I using the wrong software?

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Adam Podstawczynski  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:04
Polish to English
+ ...
use specialized software Feb 10, 2006

It's not easy to simply burn the entire disk as certain files keep changing even while you are burning the disk; as a matter of fact, there are files in your Windows directory that change even when you don't do absolutely anything in the system. Burning such a "live" part of the disk will usually fail.

If you need to backup "the entire computer", you must use specialized software. Do a google search on "disk cloning" or "disk backup" software; an example is Ghost disk (this is from my memory -- it might have a different name now). Such software will shutdown your system, do the copy, and power the system on again (at least this is how Ghost used to work, as far as I remember).

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Vito Smolej
Local time: 12:04
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
Look around for an image maker Feb 10, 2006

What you want is a "photo" of the current state of the drive and Nero is not meant to do that. Try for instance

I do not do images myself, but in my (software) firm our test guys keep reinstalling images of all kinds of product versions on a daily, if not hourly basis. I just dont remember what we are using, but I guess you're very much safe with acronis.

[Edited at 2006-02-10 21:13]

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Frank van 't Veer  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:04
Member (2002)
German to Dutch
+ ...
Go to or a localized mirror site Feb 10, 2006

Go to ZDNet and search for disc cloning sofware, backup software etc. in Downloads. There you can download a program for trail purposes and try it out. I used to use Norton ghost, but for that program, the pc had to be shut down and restarted by Norton ghost. Now I use Acronis, for which you don't have to shutdown the computer. There are similar programs, so simply try them out to see which one suits your needs best. Most of them have various options, from making a backup of specific files and folders to options for cloning complete disks and partitions.

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Uldis Liepkalns  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:04
Member (2003)
English to Latvian
+ ...
We use Acronis Feb 10, 2006

for system backup to be on a safe side. We have full backup of our main computer's C drive on another HD in my drawer, we refresh it about monthly, there have been occasions when it was needed, it took just time physically changing the C HD drives (10 minutes at most).

Data backup is another thing, as we keep data on separate drives, they are backuped automatically every few hours on external (USB connected) HDs.


Vito Smolej wrote:
but I guess you're very much safe with acronis.

[Edited at 2006-02-10 21:13]

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