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Old 09-08-2008, 01:09   #1 (permalink)
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Question A Question of Backup

If I back up my laptop onto an external source, would I be able to restore that back-up to another machine which had the same software?
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Old 09-08-2008, 08:42   #2 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

Probably not but it depends on the software (and to an extent on the hardware). There's basically 3 types of app:

1 Hardware dependant (has own drivers for screen, etc) and requires entries in the Registry - won't work

2 Requires entries in the Registry and/or INI file - may work

3 Registry independent - will work

With all my systems I run dual boot (OS on drive C and Z) with drive D having various apps/utils that don't need setting up. Drive C has the vast bulk of apps and all need re-installation upon OS install
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:17   #3 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

Thanks Mark.

Is there is a simple way to migrate the contents (data) from one machine to another, without having the two machines present at the same time, i.e. copy all data onto, say, a dvd and then at a later time copy it all onto another machine, without having to do it manually (bit by bit)? i.e. an alternative to back-up/restore, but between different machines?
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:26   #4 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

Easiest way is to network the two PCs (if only 2 then use a crossover cable without hub/switch, rather than the 'normal' network cable) and then select what/where you want copied

Personally, on each of my systems (personal or ones I install) I set up a seperate drive for data - keeps it all together in one place. Unfortunately, some apps insist on having data in their own little spot (usually application data rather than strictly user data) but is a PIA when reinstalling systems using existing setup/data!
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:28   #5 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

I you might be able to use something like Syncback - a backup and synchronisation app. You can put selected files onto a seperate HDD or a DVD and although I've not tried to save anything back to another computer, if the saved files are just a copy of the originals I would have thought that they could be copied elsewhere.

I think there is a free trial of the software so you could give it a try.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:35   #6 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

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Easiest way is to network the two PCs (if only 2 then use a crossover cable without hub/switch, rather than the 'normal' network cable) and then select what/where you want copied
"Without them being present at the same time"

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Personally, on each of my systems (personal or ones I install) I set up a seperate drive for data ...
That's a good idea for a desktop PC but I'm talking about my laptop.

Thanks Graham, I'll check that out
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:45   #7 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

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"Without them being present at the same time"
Oops!
(just checking to see if you're awake!)

I use a mix of external hard disk (best/fastest/preferred), flash drive, internet (fine up to a couple hundred MBs - bit slow if in the GBs!), CDs and DVDs
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:56   #8 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

I find the thought of backing up to/storing personal files on the internet too scary
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:09   #9 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

I have tried those store on the 'Net sites and they seem OK (but I wouldn't put anything confidential on them). I meant sending the files to yourself which I do if I might need some smaller files when I'm out and about (but I seperately encrypt if it's anything vaguely confidential)
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:47   #10 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

You can use an external USB hard drive and then get MS SyncToy, ViceVersa or some other backup software to do a regular data backup from My Documents or wherever you store your files, and also perhaps your mail folders, address book, etc. Then you can just plug the drive into another machine to copy the files to that.

I'm not a fan of optical disks (CD/DVD) for storage, especially for routine backup, although they may be OK for a snapshot of data that you don't want to update.

As already said, Windows system or program files from one PC will not work on another, since they are tied to the original hardware, although you can use Acronis True Image or Norton Ghost to create a disk image as backup, which you can restore if necessary or even clone to a new HD on the same machine.
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Old 09-08-2008, 13:35   #11 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

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As already said, Windows system or program files from one PC will not work on another, since they are tied to the original hardware
Not necessarily and, I'm pleased to say, the number of apps that don't need installing is once again rising - some are official and others are hacks to make so-called 'portable' versions, so same app can be run on a PC and a laptop
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Old 09-08-2008, 13:47   #12 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

Are you saying that you can just copy the program files (which ones?) from one PC to another and they will run? What about registry entries?
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Old 09-08-2008, 14:11   #13 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

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Are you saying that you can just copy the program files (which ones?) from one PC to another and they will run? What about registry entries?
Yes! Tend to be utils - search, various MP3/sound apps, font apps, etc but I think FF's been 'portable'd. There's also hacks around of some of the more popular stuff

Before the Registry was invented there were INIs which held all the relevant info, so some use just those (and some add Registry items based on the INIs)
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Old 09-08-2008, 14:22   #14 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

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If I back up my laptop onto an external source, would I be able to restore that back-up to another machine which had the same software?
I have just started to read this thread. A quick question - Are you wanting to back up just you data files - jpgs, docs etc or the acrual programs on the laptop ?
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Old 09-08-2008, 14:49   #15 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

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Yes! Tend to be utils - search, various MP3/sound apps, font apps, etc but I think FF's been 'portable'd. There's also hacks around of some of the more popular stuff

Before the Registry was invented there were INIs which held all the relevant info, so some use just those (and some add Registry items based on the INIs)
I knew that FF, TB, etc had been made portable - as with U3 flash drives - but it's good that the move is more widespread. With luck we'll see the end of the registry, but perhaps that's too much to hope for!
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Old 09-08-2008, 15:41   #16 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

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I have just started to read this thread. A quick question - Are you wanting to back up just you data files - jpgs, docs etc or the acrual programs on the laptop ?
Just the data files. Although it might be handy to know how to do both.
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Old 09-08-2008, 18:38   #17 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

In that case I would go along with what Silky said. Just get an external USB drive. You can buy a caddy fro about £15-25 and whatever size drive you want. They are easy to put together. Or else get a pre built one if you do not want to do that.

An interesting alternative is this link that Silky posted

http://www.pixalo.com/community/comp...ion-26426.html

With one of these you could have several backup disks if you wanted. Microsoft Synctoy is basic works well for what it does and is free.

I use a similar set up for my backups
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Old 09-08-2008, 20:37   #18 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

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I knew that FF, TB, etc had been made portable - as with U3 flash drives - but it's good that the move is more widespread. With luck we'll see the end of the registry, but perhaps that's too much to hope for!
Well, the Registry concept is excellent: a single file in which you place all references to loading DLLs and filetypes, it's just that it gets so big! Mind you, I used to repair the Registry in order to fix various 'doze faults - not necessary nowadays (and way too much work) as it's actually not too bad and will tolerate inconsistencies/incompatibilities - even self-repairing to a degree!
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Old 09-08-2008, 21:00   #19 (permalink)
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Re: A Question of Backup

Mmm... well... we'll have to agree to disagree there. These days I'm used to an OS without a Registry and where all system and application files are portable, and I wouldn't want to go back.
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