Restoring XP after a drive crash


Michel writes: Does any software you know of have a bootable mirror image to restore Windows XP tuned and adjusted?

Thanks for your question, Michel. The short answer, no. Each hardware configuration will have its own unique installation of XP, including a rather arcane thing called the “SID” or Security Identifier, so this makes it impossible for someone to produce a one-size-fits-all XP image. However, there are many programs out there, some of them free, that will allow you to make a complete image of YOUR C drive and store it as a file on another drive, such as an external USB hard drive (which may come with its own disk imaging and backup software). Then, if your main hard drive ever crashes, you can use the image file you created to restore your system right back to the way it was on the day you made the image. Any changes, new programs or data you may have stored on the old drive after you made the image would, of course, be lost. This is why data backups are so important.

To restore a “clean” image of XP in this manner, you’ll have to format your hard drive, perform a new installation with all of the programs you want–but without your data–then “tune” it and create an image file. That way, you’ll have a completely functional tuned and adjusted XP setup that you can use to restore your system after a crash.

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One Response

  1. Anonymous says:

    Try Norton Ghost 2002-3. It creates an image file you can copy to DVD. It works for me. 5 minutes full XP with installed programs.

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