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Author Topic: Driver backup  (Read 3406 times)

m_s

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Driver backup
« on: March 07, 2006, 04:01:34 PM »
I am coming around to accepting that I probably am going to have to reinstall Windows  :(, something I have avoided doing for ages, but there seem to be just too many little things broken right now, and I want a clean start.  However, I'm worried about drivers and updates and having to spend hour after hour searching for the most current versions.  Can anyone recommend a program for cataloguing current drivers etc?  I use Belarc Advisor, and that seems very good indeed, but it doesn't allow you to actually backup what it catalogues, so if there is something that can directly backup to CD, that would be excellent.

mouser

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Re: Driver backup
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2006, 04:14:18 PM »
the best thing would be if you can make a drive image of your current drive so you can go back and get files or examine stuff after the fact.

all i can tell you is that you'll feel so much cleaner when you reinstall and youll be so happy when you actually have a new install.

m_s

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Re: Driver backup
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2006, 04:24:16 PM »
I think I am going to have to buy an external harddrive - the cheapest I've found is around £80 for a Lacie 250gb, which seems a pretty good deal. 

I think I read something on Lifehacker about a free disk imaging program, but I can't find it there now - does anyone know what it might have been?

I reinstalled Win Me on a computer a few months back, and the difference was amazing!  So on one hand I am looking forward to the improvements, but I know it'll take the better part of a day...

jdd

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Re: Driver backup
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2006, 05:14:02 PM »
m_s, Windrivers Backup Personal Edition is a nice little program to backup drivers.  The newest release is available as shareware but an older (and perfectly good) freeware version can be downloaded at http://freeware4u.com/search.php.

jdd

m_s

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Re: Driver backup
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2006, 05:08:40 AM »
Thanks, jdd.  Alright, I'm set - have backed up drivers and ordered by external ard drive...  Now I'm just after some free/open source drive imaging software - I've heard of DriveImage, but really don't know the territory here.  I've read the backup guide here, but there's nothing mentioned there - anybody got suggestions?

I tracked down the program I saw mentioned somewhere - thought it was Lifehacker or Downloadsquad, but neither of them has discussed it.  It is DriveImageXML (http://www.runtime.org/dixml.htm) - looks okay, but does anyone have experience of using it?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2006, 07:58:15 AM by m_s »

pseudolus

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Re: Driver backup
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2006, 12:30:14 PM »
Hi! I haven't any experince with that program
"Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly."
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pseudolus

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Re: Driver backup
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2006, 12:39:30 PM »
Oops! crazy fingers got away from me. As I was trying to say... I wouldn't recommend using ANY drive image software that runs in the OS that you are backing up. Better you should get a program that runs in DOS or Linux to image a Windows installation. Fred Langa recommends (and I agree) Image for DOS by Terabyte Unlimited. It isn't free, but at $20 USD it can't be beat. Images can be made using your DVD or Cd recorder and can be made bootable very easily.

http://www.terabyteu...mited.com/image.html
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Carol Haynes

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Re: Driver backup
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2006, 02:38:06 PM »
I wouldn't recommend using ANY drive image software that runs in the OS that you are backing up.

Actually there are quite a few now that do the job really well and don't cause problems when you restore a partition.

Symantec Ghost does the job (though I haven't used it since they acquired Powerquest). Also Acronis Disc Image does the job easily.

Both can be run within windows and they are MUCH quicker than DOS versions because in Winodws they can use DMA on the drives (which can't easily be done under the DOS based discs other tools generate).

m_s

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Re: Driver backup
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2006, 06:12:24 AM »
Okay, I've done it.  I followed Gina's guidelines over here at Lifehacker:
http://www.lifehacke...m-scratch-157578.php and everything went amazingly straightforwardly. 

Though I've followed the advice of creating a separate partition for my documents etc and OS/program files, I've never quite believed that this was useful: it certainly is!  I didn't realise I would only have to reformat the OS/program files partition, so my data was perfectly untouched.  I made an image of the data partition on my snazzy new 250gb Lacie drive, and for good measure dragged-and-dropped it there also. 

Now, with a clear system, I am slowly working through the Belarc Advisor system profile and reinstalling the programs I elected to keep - less that half!  I am installing each program with Total Uninstall, and I intend to use it every time I install anything, so that I can keep things as clean as possible.  Even with this very select group of chosen programs for installation, I am finding that I want to dump some things - for instance, although I have re-installed WindowBlinds 5, a short search of available themes for it has left me very disappointed, so I am using the (to my eye) beautiful MS Royal theme.

As I expected, even though I had carefully prepared for this over a few days, I found in the end that I did miss one important thing: my Roboform data, which I thought was in the Documents partition, but must have been in C;/Documents and Settings/etc.  That's a bit of a pain, but I will survive it.

What is really unexpected is the difference in operating temperature!  I use Speedfan to monitor HD and system temp., and it has fallen significantly since I reinstalled.  About two months ago, when my system repeatedly fell-over while playing Civilization IV, as well as constantly making a deafening noise, I took out the heat-sink and cleaned everything up, removing about a cats-worth of hair and muck from the fans and filters.  At that point, it was running at 70-80 degrees C.  I put everything back together, and since then it has run at about 48 degrees C, climbing over the past few weeks to 51-53 degees.  Today, completely clean and only partially reinstalled, it's idling at 31 degrees as I type!

Thanks for suggestions and support on my brief odyseey into Reinstall Land.