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MoInSTL MoInSTL is offline
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Default How to backup and restore your netbook - 04-17-2009, 07:39 PM

Having a small-capacity solid-state drive in your netbook may be limitation but it has one advantage: it's easy to back up. We don't mean copying a few files over to a safe place, but duplicating the entire drive, operating system and all, ready to drop it all back on if the worst comes to the worst.

PCs often come with recovery disks that you can use to place a fresh copy of the OS and pre-loaded apps back onto a freshly formatted drive. With some free, open source tools, you make one of your own, for your netbook. It'll work whether you use Linux or Windows XP, and whether your machine has a hard disk or a solid-state drive.
We use PING - which stands for Partition Image Not Ghost, a reference to Norton Ghost, a commercial disk duplication app - but it requires an external CD drive to boot from. So we've also included details of a second tool, which you can install on a USB Flash drive.

PING comes from WindowsDream here. Make sure you download the "community edition", which is the free version. It's a 22MB .iso file you burn to CD or DVD. Connect your optical drive to your netbook, put the disc and and start up the computer. You'll need to access the machine's boot menu, if it has one - ESC on an Eee PC; F12 on an Acer Aspire One, for instance - or enter the Bios setup screen and make sure your optical drive is at the top of the list of devices the computer can start up from.

PING loads up through a small Linux kernel. When it's ready, it'll tell you to press Enter to start. The screens that follow guide you through either backing up or restoring your system, but the process isn't perhaps as clear as it might be, so we'll walk you through it. PING also lets you back up to a network store, which we won't cover here, but isn't so very different from archiving your netbook on a USB hard drive or Flash stick.

See: http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2009/03/16 ... kup_tools/ for step-by step walkthrough


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lauriem04 lauriem04 is offline
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Default Re: How to backup and restore your netbook - 04-17-2009, 08:03 PM

Thanks for posting this! I'm going to give it a try over the weekend.


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MoInSTL MoInSTL is offline
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Default Re: How to backup and restore your netbook - 04-17-2009, 10:45 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauriem04
Thanks for posting this! I'm going to give it a try over the weekend.
You're welcome.

Yeah, I haven't tested it yet but plan on trying it too. Hope it works.


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Paul Paul is offline
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Default Re: How to backup and restore your netbook - 04-18-2009, 09:55 AM

Well I had a go this morning. It appeared to work fine. The software didn't seem to be able to find the BIOS properly, and told me to tell my hardware manufacturer. It knew that it was a "Dell box" and warned about the diagnostics partition, and gave a series of options on how to proceed (suggesting a best option). The process took about 35 mins to make an image of my 16GB STEC on an old 20GB USB drive.
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ChazB ChazB is offline
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Default Re: How to backup and restore your netbook - 04-18-2009, 01:41 PM

Does the image get compressed at all like what Acronis and others do? I need to fit my 64GB SSD image on to a 32GB USB flash drive and right now Acronis is in the lead for the tool to use.


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MoInSTL MoInSTL is offline
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Default Re: How to backup and restore your netbook - 04-18-2009, 06:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul
Well I had a go this morning. It appeared to work fine. The software didn't seem to be able to find the BIOS properly, and told me to tell my hardware manufacturer. It knew that it was a "Dell box" and warned about the diagnostics partition, and gave a series of options on how to proceed (suggesting a best option). The process took about 35 mins to make an image of my 16GB STEC on an old 20GB USB drive.
Thanks for posting that it worked. Is is self-explanatory enough or do you think a walk through in addition to the link walk through would be helpful?


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sfdziegler sfdziegler is offline
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Default Re: How to backup and restore your netbook - 05-08-2009, 08:05 PM

I use Macrium Reflect free edition and created a bootable flash drive via unetbootin-windows-248.exe. I ran a test restore this morning and it worked like a charm.
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zrtom zrtom is offline
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Default Re: How to backup and restore your netbook - 05-08-2009, 08:35 PM

One of the most critical things in order to get the most out of SSDs is partition alignment. Windows 7 aligns correctly when you install it. Utilities like diskpar.exe can be used to align prior to installing XP and Vista. The big problem comes when restoring an image that was properly aligned originally. My understanding is that some backup/cloning programs restore the image properly aligned and some do not.

There is a tutorial on the OCZ SSD forums that shows how to realign an image cloned with Acronis True Image. Basically, if you are familiar with Acronis, you restore just the image first, then go back and restore "MBR and Track 0." Most of the posts indicate success in having the restored image come out properly aligned.

It would be interesting to know how PING fares. I've thought of giving it a try but I use Acronis True Image with good results.


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