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Windows XP System Backup?


Senior Member
Need a bit of help, Im normally a Mac man but know my way round Windows XP fairly well from my parents using it and through my old school.

Anyway, I have a external 2TB hardrive that I want to be able to automate backups of the whole of the Windows XP computer to. I want it to be what I think is called a system backup where all of the sytem is backed up so IF a huge virus wipes out the computer and can just restore the most recent backup that I have and all of my files/programs etc will be there again!

Simple ey?!? haha. Any ideas on the best way to do this? Preferably for free...


Senior Member
I can't give you exact instructions without breaking out a history book. But as I recall, XP has an automated system restore option that should be in Start>Programs>Maintenance but this will only restore your OS files.

To autmoatically backup everything there are loads of programs on the net. Check your hard drive manufacturer as I know a number of them have free auto backup programs, for instance I use Segate. Otherwise just use Google or CNET to find what your looking for. :)


Senior Member
Thanks, The external hard drive that I'll be using to store the backups on is a Seagate one. What software do you use?

It came with some "Easy Backup Software" but im not sure if it will backup everything so I can restore the whole system



Staff member
Get something like acronis true image (windows vista/7 has this built in) to back up an 'image' of the system (works best after a clean install) and then use a sync tool (windows xp has a powertool for this) to backup your 'doc's folder'. If you do have a hard drive fail you then just re "image" the hard drive using acronis and restore the backup folder with your work in it.

Edit: I have used acronis true image and found it to work well but it does cost money. Clonezilla is free and supposedly does the same thing, but I haven't used it


Senior Member
Yep, FreeAgent GoFlex Desk Greg.

What is the software called that came with yours and how do you use it?

Do you just backup everything on your C drive and then if your computer were to fail, you'd reinstall XP and all your programs then just put the files back into place?