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Page 2 » Rad guide to Backing up your hard drive with a disk cloning program

Why Backup your System Drive with a Cloning Program?

The short answer » time. If disaster strikes .. either your hard drive (via mechanical failure) or your system (your PC won't boot or work), a backup image allows you to get "back up" & running in short order. We're talking minutes to an hour .. depending on how much data is stored on your system partition, and whether you need to replace your boot drive, which can take 15 to 30 minutes, (.. depending how handy you are with a screwdriver).

If your hard drive dies (via mechanical failure), and you have no back-up image handy, you'll have to install your operating system from scratch.

This involves finding current drivers for your hardware, service packs & updates for your operating system (.. all of which takes TIME).

Then you'll have to re-install & re-configure all your programs. This may involve digging up lengthy serial numbers or placing calls to the companies that sold you the software. I can almost hear the 'hold' music now.

This process is not only time-consuming & tedious, but mind-numbingly boring. In other words » it suketh.

If I have to re-install my operating system from scratch, it takes me the better part of a week to get back up and running .. if I hustle. Usually longer (.. cuz I dont always hustle). And even then, things are never the way they were.

Digital sleepThis is why having a backup image on hand brings » peace-of-mind .. a side-benefit (to saving time) and another reason to embrace Cloning technology. Being prepared for disasters may even help you sleep better.

SYSTEM RESTORE » Windows comes with it's own disaster recovery utility .. called System Restore. SR may (or may not) be able to help in the event of a PC that won't boot.

But it definitely WON'T help if your drive dies (mechanical failure) .. because the restoration files are stored on the same drive as the operating system.

I disable System Restore after creating a backup image, since a backup image offers better protection and renders the SR files redundant. Plus, you can save lots of space by disabling SR, which reserves 10% of you drive by default.

SYSTEM MIGRATION » In addition to the benefits already mentioned (which fall under the heading 'Disaster Recovery'), cloning programs also make it easy for you to migrate your operating system from one hard drive (usually older, smaller, slower) to another (usually a newer, bigger, faster).

On the next page, let's define some basic terms you'll need to understand so we're all on the same page going forward. See below for linkage.

NEXT » BASIC TERMINOLOGY .. Rad Guide to Drive Imaging & Disk Cloning

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