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External Hard Drive questions

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#1
Ok if you can be bothered to unscramble this confusion then thank you for baring with my rambling.

My laptop which I use all the time has an 80GB hard drive, which is actually about 70GB with Vista and the recovery and all the rest. And I've not managed to fill it but feel that I'm constantly deleting stuff to stop it becoming full.

So I have been looking for an External USB hard drive, I think it I would like to be 500GB just because that seems like a good size. Basically its as cheap as I can get one( although I'm sure I'll be told that's not the most sensible option). I was looking at this one, but any opinions are welcome.

So that's fine, but this is where I start to get confused. I've heard that Laptop hard drives don't last all that long and therefore would like to back up the entire hard drive to the external one. I believe a clone like this is possible, what I don't know is if it is sensible to do it to an external hard drive. I also am unsure of how easy the software is to get hold of or to use.

I was also wondering, providing I get past the first stage, if it is possible to partition the hard drive so that it has more than one clone on it. This way I could back up my Dad's system too.I again presume this is possible but you can never be too sure with computers.

I think thats all, for now anyway, feel free to tell me i'm being a complete plonker in anything I've just written please tell me.

And thanks is advance
 
W

Wolfeymole

#2
Most of what you suggest is possible Shrimply but you would need a program that make an image of your original hdd like Acronis True Image.
With this software you can make a backup of any or all of your system to a given drive.
Should you wish to back up your Dads system in the same way that would be possible too.
Bear in mind these are only images and not fully functioning operating systems.
XP or Vista plus the Acronis program would have to be installed on both computers to institute backup and restore.
If you wish to partition on the 500GB then do so when formatting it.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#3
Ahh, OK I kinda had nievely presumed if I had an image on my external hard drive and my laptops hard drive went then i would be able to use the image to get a new hard drive working. But obviously that isn't the case, so if my hard drive goes the only option is to replace the hard drive and pay for another operating system.

Thanks for the info, its always appreciated.
 
W

Wolfeymole

#4
If your hard drive dies in the laptop and you have made a backup then installing a new hdd and trying to restore that backup will result in a gesticulating single finger in your direction.
Should you wish to reinstall the operating system on a new hdd then you may have to contact Microsoft with regard to activating the software.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#5
Ahh well,guess nothings that simple. I really wish I'd know more about PCs in general when i bought the laptop. Then I'd have made sure i got it from somewhere that i got all the disks with it.

Anyway thanks for the help, I'll probably have more questions once i get the drive, what with the formatting and partitioning etc.
 
W

Wolfeymole

#6
Ahh well,guess nothings that simple. I really wish I'd know more about PCs in general when i bought the laptop. Then I'd have made sure i got it from somewhere that i got all the disks with it.

Anyway thanks for the help, I'll probably have more questions once i get the drive, what with the formatting and partitioning etc.
Heavy reading Shrimply but worth it mate.

How to partition and format a hard disk in Windows XP