This page is one of several that is planned at about Backing Up Your computer.We will cover ways to Back Up your Computer, will provide you with methods to ensure Success and in due course investigate different methods of Backing up your computer, we explain some of the checks you should make before embarking on a Back Up, and we will in due course and in the fullness of time investigate different software's and hardware's to accomplish this task. There will be links on this page that will go to other pages on Back up issues and Techniques. This is the page to come to for The Information on Back UPs.

This page will be quite long, so grab yourself a Hot Coffee and a Cherry Muffin and a note book and sharp pencil and settle down......You may decide to back up your computer using a product like Norton Ghost, Version 10 or choose some other earlier version. You may use some product not by the same manufacturer Symantec..You may have a computer that has a partition on it that is fairly small but provides a back up method actually already on your computer that was there from the day you brought it. We know of a computer that has MV Mirror Rescue on a small partition that you can boot into when you start your computer..

Lets be clear..... a Mirror Rescue system is not completely the same as making a back up, it is generally a way of putting your computer back to how it was when the software was installed on it in the computer factory......STOP ..Think... MMMMM If you use such a system you will probably have a fast and effective way of getting your computer back working fast... but of course if you have any Software that you have lost the installation disks for you will not get that back, neither your recent E mails, your Browser favorites and all you photos, letters, and important spreadsheets, Etc Etc.

Read Doing a Repair install.

Also if you have some how lost the sticker on the side of the computer you know the special Microsoft OEM Product sticker for your Operating System you will be in difficulties... You will be required to type in this code once the computer gets close to finishing doing the reinstall of all the files, this code is Known as the Product Key and it is the key for the copy of Windows that you brought and had on your computer when it was new. Now if you have this you will be fine generally. The business of activation of the windows copy is a separate thing and requires you to either activate the windows Operating System over the telephone of via the Internet. On this page we are going to explain about product activation, as well as registration and also entering the Product Key that should be on a sticker either on your computer or on the packaging for the Operating system you have assuming of course it is a Microsoft Operating System!!

OK so there are several different things here which seem similar but are different:

  • Typing in the product Key, this is the key that is on your sticker on the Computer or Software packaging. If you have lost it or it is damaged you may well have a problem that can not be resolved unless you purchase another legal version of windows.
  • The Activation of Windows Operating System ...Usually there is a limited time that you can do this in, plus there are several ways.and you do this. The computer asks do you want to activate windows, you say yes and Windows says you can either activate buy phoning some one or do it over the internet. Look if you have no Dial up or Broadband or no drivers installed for your Modem or Wired / Wireless card you will have to ring up Microsoft won't you! The process is simply:Windows generates a code that it displays on the computer screen, then you either speak this or key this into a phone or type this in and Microsoft gives you another number that you put in to a series of boxes on the screen, then press next and finish. So when you got your computer you probably activated your copy of windows and I guess it is a legal copy of windows you have, it might not be,!!.... but if you use some rescue program, to put Windows back to how it was when the machine was new then the operating system will probably ask you to activate it, because it should be activated for you to use it!
  • Registration of Windows, this is another separate function and allows Microsoft to provide you with various help and product support.

Lets talk about Ghost Version 10.

Ghost 10 can be installed on a disk, the software licence is for one computer, so once installed you have 15 days in which to activate it. If you uninstall it on the same disk and reinstall it on the same disk it knows how many days you have left. Activating it means that their is a communication between your computer and a Symantec, and thus the software company know that you have activated the product.... what else they know is an interesting conversation..

So you install Ghost 10 and activate it and then you buy a new Hard Disk and plug it in. Before you plug in the New Disk, use Ghost 10 to make a backup, to perhaps a dvd in a burnable dvd drive, once you have made the back up you can plug in the new hard disk drive, boot from the Ghost 10 CD.

So, We used Ghost 10 to make images of two partitions on the Same Computer Physical Hard Disk, and we burnt them to Double Layer DVD each one nomonally 8.5 Giga bytes capacity.

Rule number one...Its fine to use Ghost to back up two partitions, but Ghost will complained if you try to put two partitions onto the same DVD, use another DVD when you start the backup of the second partition. Also , Ghost can create a back up image of a partition and span it over multiple DVDS. We used New Double Layer +R DVD's. Of course these are write once, but the Sony DW-G120A Drive handled them fine.

Get some more Hot Coffee and some more Cherry Muffin or some nice Plain Digestive biscuites at this stage....

Doing a Repair Install of Windows XP.

You may do a repair install of windows perhaps if Windows have become corrupted or damaged and you do not want to install Windows from scratch and then loose all the applications that you have on the disk. Firstly, how do you do a repair install, well this is achieved by using the XP Windows CD. look if you do not have an original Windows XP Home or Windows XP Professional CD, you can not do a repair install. In other words if you have instead a CD from the manufacture that is a restore CD, this is different. You can not use a restore CD to do a Repair install you need a Windows XP CD.

To do a Repair install on Windows XP, Boot the computer by turning it on, watch the screen it will say what keys to press to go in to the bios, you should press what ever key combination is required to go into the bios, now alter the boot sequence so that the CD is the first boot device and the Hard Disk drive is the second and the Floppy Disk is third, then open the CD Rom or DVD Drive and put the XP CD into the drive, close the drive, press what ever keys are the right ones to save and exit the bios (often F10). Let the machine boot from the XP CD , eventually you will see a Menu, one of the options is Install Windows XP, choose that option (But you are not going to install Windows).. On the Next screen you will see an option to press R to repair Windows. This is what you need to do a repair install. But read on what are the implications of doing this.

We did a repair install on Windows XP Home. This process basically puts back on to the Hard Drive the most important files that make Windows work, but at the same time, although you may well get Windows working you will loose all the windows updates that you previously had. Also, once the process is finished, you will need to reboot the machine and will need to get any patches for Windows from Microsoft directly, how, just click Start and find windows Help and Support, click on this blue circle with a Question mark in it. Remember that whether you have the start menu set as classic or start menu, you will still see Windows Help and Support.

Choose help and support, then choose Keep Windows up to date with Windows Up Date. We did, initially there was three updates available, we got those, then we went back to get the critical ones again there were 56 of these and 44MB of down loads, we got them and installed them, but in the middle of this process we saw a dialog box that said File Protection.

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