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Q: I need to duplicate my hard drive and put the secondary drive in a safe place. ( Answered 3 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: I need to duplicate my hard drive and put the secondary drive in a safe place.
Category: Computers
Asked by: prz-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 11 Dec 2002 18:03 PST
Expires: 10 Jan 2003 18:03 PST
Question ID: 123396
I have an Antheon 1.5 running windows XP with a 30MB hard drive I have
limited knowledge of computers.
What is the best way to make an exact duplicate or close to it of my
hard drive in the event that my current hard drive crashes or their is
a fire destroying the computer totally. I operate as a mortgage broker out of
my home office. I am not concered so much with daily backup, rather
the peace of mind knowing that I would have all of my programs,
passwords, archieve of e-mails, photos, and misc on a duplicate hard
drive sitting in my safe, which I would be able to install in
minutes.The 30 MB I currently have has about 18 MB of usage on it. I
have no desire to fool around with stand alone zip drives, rather the
purchase of a new secondary hard drive and the transfer of all
programs and information to the secondary drive inclusive of boot
information. In effect, the new hard drive could be installed with no
loss of major data and installed simply and quickly. Might I be better
off utilizing an internet service to transfer my complete hard drive
data off site and paying a small monthly fee. I  suspect there are
probably millions of very small business owners with the same
Thank You
Subject: Re: I need to duplicate my hard drive and put the secondary drive in a safe place.
Answered By: legolas-ga on 11 Dec 2002 19:09 PST
Rated:3 out of 5 stars
Hi prz-ga,

First off, I need to warn you, this is a patently bad idea. Harddrives
are NOT a secure method of backup. Harddrives are not made to 'sit
around in a vault' for any length of time. Doing so WILL cause data
loss and the drive may even fail to spin up when needed. However,
since you asked, there are programs that will do what you require.

One such program is from PowerQuest - it's called DriveImage. You can
*NOT* use the cheaper DriveCopy program however. It will *NOT* work
with Windows XP. Promise! You can find more information and a link to
purchase the software online for $69.95 from Powerquest here:

One other program that can do what you want is a program called
'Ghost'. The software is sold by Norton. You can get it as part of
SystemWorks Pro 2003 for $99.95 (along with a few other cool tools,
like AntiVirus). You can even buy it from the Symantec Store at:

or, you can get Norton Ghost by itself for $69.95.

The BEST way to do what you want is by using any of the above programs
and storing the information from your harddrive to a CD-ROM. You'll
also need a CD burner to do this. But, CD's have a MUCH longer life
than a harddrive (not to mention cheaper). I'd personally go with the
PowerQuest's DriveImage product, but, Norton Ghost is an excellent
product too.

If you require any clarification of this answer, please ask PRIOR to
rating. I'd be happy to clarify any parts that are unclear.



Clarification of Answer by legolas-ga on 11 Dec 2002 20:18 PST
Sorry, forgot to mention.. I didn't do any search: all these products
were already known to me.

Thanks again!

prz-ga rated this answer:3 out of 5 stars
Your answer was fine as I to am aware of "ghost". Since cd's only hold
750 mb,
I would need 24 cds to duplicate all the info on my hard drive. There
must be a better way.

Subject: Re: I need to duplicate my hard drive and put the secondary drive in a safe plac
From: supermacman-ga on 11 Dec 2002 19:44 PST
To be honest, I am unsure if WinXP can do this. However, operating
systems like Mac OS X are able to do software RAID mirroring. You
could make a RAID 1 set with two drives - one is the mirror of the
other. You then discontinue the set and store one of the drives in a
safe place. If your primary drive fails, you swap your backup mirrored
drive and continue to work.

For more information about RAID 1:
Subject: Re: I need to duplicate my hard drive and put the secondary drive in a safe place.
From: kyle121-ga on 12 Dec 2002 00:32 PST
You can not create mirrored volumes using XP home or prof (taken from

Assuming you have no home/office network, your best bet is to use
Ghost described above. However, keep in mind the compression you get
when creating an image of your drive which can be around 50 %
depending on your files. This would mean creating ~ 10 CDs if you do
not delete a bunch of temp files.
Subject: Re: I need to duplicate my hard drive and put the secondary drive in a safe place.
From: highnoon-ga on 12 Dec 2002 02:16 PST
If you insist of using a second dark as your backup, then I would gest
the folloiwng:

1. buy a removable harddisk rack, install it in a free bay.
2. set up the backup harddisk as slave, slot it it when doing backup
3. If using Ghost, boot from floppy, duplicate the harddisk.

When you need to use the backup harddisk, you need to change it to

Do take note that unless your new PC has excat same configuartion as
your old PC, you need to reactive your XP.

Using a removable harddisk rack, you can do a regular ghosting of your

Do note that if both your harddisk are in removable rack, you can test
your image immediately, by swapping out your wordking disk.


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