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What's best way to backup before format & install windows xp?

Discussion in 'Windows & Other Software' started by barnettgs, 16 Feb 2006.

  1. barnettgs


    Joined: 22 Jan 2005

    Posts: 2,804

    Location: N Ireland

    My files in My Documents is about 16GB. I have firefox and messages in outlook express. I haven't format my computer for over one and half years and I think it's time to do reformat & fresh install.

    I know there is File & Settings Transfer Wizards but with 16GB, is second HDD only way to do? I don't have any spare HDD at the moment.

    What do you recommend me to do?

    Thanks in advance
  2. bledd


    Joined: 21 Oct 2002

    Posts: 46,780

    Location: Parts Unknown

    do you have a dvdrw?


    try compressing your mydocs with 7zip in 7zultra compression
  3. barnettgs


    Joined: 22 Jan 2005

    Posts: 2,804

    Location: N Ireland

    Yeah, I have it & Nero 6.6.
  4. bluesouljah


    Joined: 2 Dec 2004

    Posts: 710

    Location: Essex

    For the future, partition or spare drive and just copy my docs, export a pst from outlook and copy favourites and gamesaves to a directory on that partition or alternate drive, it's what I do.


  5. -<=[Tw18]=>-

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 1,546

    Location: Jersey C.I.

    how about partition the drive using partion magic or similar, moving the data to the partion, and then installing XP fresh on the original partition?
  6. Pinkeyes

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 May 2005

    Posts: 1,528

    Location: Greater Manchester

    I tend to just copy the whole of the C Drive onto a spare disk - or (usually) I upgrade the disk anyway - so my current C Drive just becomes my D Drive.

    I then import the mail, copy the docs I want, archive the rest to blank CDs/DVDs.

    I find this really useful - you install an app and need your settings, config details etc from when you used to have it - well they will be in D:\Program files\app name
    After I havent touched the D Drives data in a few months, I delete it.
  7. Dan G


    Joined: 25 Jul 2004

    Posts: 758

    Location: Carmarthenshire, SW Wales.

    And if you've got any encrypted files, for the love of whatever don't forget to decrypt them first or export and backup your keys.... unlike me :p
  8. barnettgs


    Joined: 22 Jan 2005

    Posts: 2,804

    Location: N Ireland

    Thanks for some replies.

    My second HDD of 20GB broke down a couple of years ago so I thought there might be other way to backup but it's obvious that I need to buy a cheap 2nd HDD for ease of backup rather than taking too long buring to some DVDs.

    At the moment, I already have two partitions on one 120 GB drive - C drive has 20GB but sometimes it needs defragmenting more often than needed due to lack of free space.

  9. Jeff Crawly


    Joined: 26 Jan 2006

    Posts: 172

    This is one of many reason's why one should only have the OS on a C: partition.
    USE partitions in future!!