Stupid backup question

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Stupid backup question

#1 Post by Firewrath » Wed Jul 16, 2008 4:55 am

so, i had to reinstall windows, and got the Bright idea to make a second partition thats about 5gig or so,
that way i could have XP in both, use one for whatever imma be doing and the 2nd one just to update XP and such,
that way, if i ever have to reinstall, i can just backup that and copy it over to my main partition,

now, this is on a older laptop with only a 55gig HD,

so heres the question:
Is there a Freeware (and hopefully portable) app out there that will backup my 2nd partition and let me restore it to the first one?

cause my default backup tool (DriveImage XML) complains if i try to restore an image and the partition size isnt the same as what i have backed up, (and i Did NOT know it did that, it just lost major points with me there, >.<
and it wasnt a RAW copy of the HD either, just a normal backup, -_-)
...needless to say i just had to reinstall windows instead of using a fresh install backup i already had made,

And, some of you might be wondering Why im going through all this trouble,
well, im on Dialup and updating XP is a pain in the ass, :P
also, SP 3 isnt exactly stable yet from what ive read and i want to avoid it for now,

So, why am i asking Here?
well you guys come from all over the place on the net, and a lot of you are a heck of alot smarter then i am,
...and this is the only forum im regged on, ;)
(Yes, im anti-social, meh, :P)

anyone know a way to hide the second partition or block access to it while im using the first?
this is more a 'better safe then sorry' thing, but still, wouldnt want to get a random virus that gets into my 'safe / backup' windows, -_-
(And, my comp doesnt support USB booting, so i cant put a copy of windows on one of my USB HDs to do this with, ...not that id Want to waste 51 gigs of space anyways,)

If any of you can help me with this, i'll just say this ahead of time:

as you'll save me from reformatting the laptop, again, and going through the install, Again, (assuming DriveImage XML will still hate me, which it might,)
"It's not that I'm Evil, just that I'm unwillingly Good."
-Stolen, but oh so fitting. ^-^

It might take me a while to reply to any post or comments, I only have internet access once a week.
So if I don't reply or miss a question, this is why.

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#2 Post by xephyr69 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:34 am

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#3 Post by Queue » Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:57 am

SP3 isn't like SP2 was; SP2 was a major change to some core parts of Windows, while SP3 is primarily just a collection of all security updates for SP2 plus a couple more updates. It doesn't force you to install IE7, or Silverlight, it's just a big security update bundle. It doesn't make sense that there could be ''stability issues'' unless pople have ''stability issues'' with normal security patches and Windows updates. Sounds like FUD slinging to me; just anecdotal vidence, but I've updated over a dozen machines to SP3 now with no ill effects (and it made one install way faster than installing a jillion individual security updates).

What brand is your hard drive? Some (if not all) of the major HD companies release hard drive cloning software with their drives (which you can also usually download from their website and write to a CD) and some of said software MIGHT be able to do partition level cloning as well. The software is usually HD brand limited (Maxtor's MaxBlast is restricted to use with Maxtor drives only, for example). Just an idea to throw out there.

I know you're aware of it since you posted in it; that thread of grannyGeek's asking for advice on drive imaging freeware. Is the partition copying aspect limiting you because most software is for cloning an entire drive? Otherwise, that thread might be your best resource. I dug up the link:

I don't know of any good ways to block writing off the top of my head... there might be a registry tweak per drive letter or serial number in the registry that might let you set it as read-only. HP (I think?) branded computers always have a recovery partition and I think they just use some sucky always-running program to try and keep you out of it.


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#4 Post by cmmehl » Wed Jul 16, 2008 12:18 pm

I also found out the hard way about this DriveImage XML limitation ...

I think what I would do is get gparted (sorry, too lazy to dig up a link), which a linux equivalent of PartitionMagic and comes as a bootable CD. Boot with it, while having a stick with DriveImage XML on it already connected.

Then resize your C-drive to the size necessary for your backup under DriveImage XML (you want to ditch the contents anyway, right?), clone your backup to the shrinked drive with DriveImage XML, and then resize again your drives according to need (or maybe leave the C-partition that same size, to avoid the hassle the next time).

Btw, for updating windows on an analog connection, I can really recommend c't-Offline Update. Haven't tried the English version, but the German one is portable.

Take an external HDD to a computer with good connection, run the prog from the ext HDD and have it create the update image(s), which you can then either burn to disc, or run them in a virtual drive. Even SP3 gets installed this way, absolutely painless. And I confirm that SP3 is nothing to worry about, have also updated already a few machines.


P.S.: here is a link for gparted:

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#5 Post by nycjv321 » Wed Jul 16, 2008 2:45 pm

gparted lets you hide partitions (I think you can with other linux console utilities but I have never tried so yea :D gl for hiding partitions

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