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Disk imaging advice

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by hutters, Sep 9, 2005.

  1. hutters

    hutters
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    I'm planning on re-partitioning my existing 160gb sata drive this weekend into 2 partions, 1 for the OS and 1 for data. I then will image the OS partition so that I have a backup in case of disk failure that is easy to reinstall.

    I will use Norton Ghost and would like to get the image as small as possible. Are there any folders/files that are surplus to requirements that i can safely dispose of prior to creating the image? Ideally it would be good to get the image size down small enough to fit on a dvd, is this easily acheivable?

    Thanks.
     
  2. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    your best bet is imaging either across a network to another PC, or to an external drive. These are pretty cheap now and are really convenient..
    Of course it will be easier to manage when you have 2 seperate partitions, always worth doing that as it makes it easier to manage your backups..

    good luck :)
     
  3. The Dude

    The Dude
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    First, make sure view hidden/system files is selected

    1 turn off system restore
    2 empty the 'temp internet files' and 'temp' folders in the user profile folder
    3 empty the 'temp' folder in c:\windows
    4 delete any '$NTUninstall..' folders in C:\Windows
    5 empty the 'service pack files' folder in C:\Windows

    that should make quite a saving, there isn't too much else worth bothering with..

    No5 is only really advised if it's a 'finished' Windows installation and not likely to change much.. but quite safe to do either way, I always get rid of it. ;)
     
  4. hutters

    hutters
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    thanks for the reply.

    I do intend to put it on a disk and then leave that disk on a shelf in case of emergencies. I plan to do it this weekend, but don't have a disk, so thought DVD would be an option. If I can fit it onto DVD then I have a backup of the backup aswell :)
     
  5. The Dude

    The Dude
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    certainly on the older versions of ghost, you can set a flag that breaks up the image into 2048mb chunks ( it may even be variable?)... you just copy a chunk to each DVD then Ghost will just prompt you to insert the next portion of the image as you re-load it.. ;)

    which version of Ghost do you have?
     
  6. Slinkoff

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    You should easily be able to get an OS image onto a DVD. Even with full apps installed it should come to no more than about 3.5GB. There's not a lot of things of significant size that you can take out of a clean install of Windows + apps but one thing you can do is take out all the uninstall files. After you've run windows update and got your computer up-to-date go in and remove all the hidden $uninstallxxxxxxx$ folders that are at the top of your c:\windows folder. Do a search for *.cab files and remove those as well.

    One tip for imaging: Move your My Documents folder from your c:\documents and settings\%username% folder to your data drive. The easiest way to do this to right-click drag the folder to the new location, when you let go it will ask you to "move or copy here?". Select move and all the registry changes will be done for you and Windows will automatically point to this folder for all your My Documents/My Music/My Pictures selections. Next. setup your email client (Outlook?) to store the mail file within your My Documents folder somewhere rather than the local settings folder on the C: drive.

    The point of all this is that if/when you do an image restore, all your pictures, music, emails etc. will be unaffected and will remain up-to-date. Of course, these should be backed up using another method. I use SecondCopy2000 to seamlessly backup my changed files to an external disk automatically.

    Consider taking two images, one of a completely clean install with very little installed in the way of apps. Then do a second image of a full install. This second one can be reapplied every few months to keep your system ticking over nicely and you have the first one to go back to if you decide it's time for a big overhaul and to stop using all that software you never use, change your AV, put on several new versions etc. etc.

    --------------------------------------------
    Just posted this and then seen that The Dude has beaten me to the advice! Got to be quick round here....
     
  7. hutters

    hutters
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    guys, great advice - thankyou :thumbsup:

    I do tend to keep my data very tidy anyway, e.g. mail files in My Docs, etc. so that it's easy for me to backup the stuff that is irrecoverable.

    Slinkoff - did you mean to save Move instead of Copy for the My Docs folder? My logic would say that a move would force Windows to update the registry.
     
  8. The Dude

    The Dude
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    I would have thought move too..

    the 'official way is to right-click on 'my documents' on the desktop and choose properties, then choose 'move... and tell it where to stuff everything..

    as slinkoff already said, anywhere outside of the local settings folder is better, prefereably on your D: drive etc.. I just bung all mine in a folder at the top level of d:
     
  9. Slinkoff

    Slinkoff
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    oh, and you can make a bootable DVD. Depending on the version of Ghost you have you can either select the DVD as the image destination and Ghost will ask whether you want make it bootable, or you need to some jiggerypokery with the image file and some bootable files. I've got some instructions somewhere if you're interested.

    Yes I did mean to say Move not Copy!
     
  10. hutters

    hutters
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    It's a pretty recent copy of Ghost - within the last 6 months. I've not installed it yet so can't check!

    Bootable DVD sounds perfect, so if you have the instructions that would be great.
     
  11. Slinkoff

    Slinkoff
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    Files and instructions are in a 3mb zip file that this board isn't allowing me to upload. PM me with your email address and I'll send it over.
     

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