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-   -   Recovering Data from External HD (http://www.syschat.com/recovering-data-from-external-hd-1730.html)

mdbassman 03-02-2007 11:02 AM

Recovering Data from External HD
 
My old computer died. I backed up all data to an external HD. Now how do I recover that info back onto the new computer when I get it?
I will be running WinXP MC2005 edition.:confused:
Dan

I am not very computer literate so be kind.

Cobalt 03-02-2007 01:59 PM

It depends on the external hard drive - is it a USB device? If so, simply boot up your machine and plug it in, and Windows should detect the fact that it is an external hard drive and install any drivers if required. It should then appear under "My Computer", and you will be able to browse through it and copy any files across as if it was an internal hard drive.

Performance may be a little slower than expected, but if you are simply recovering backed up data, then it might be worth copying and pasting everything you want and leaving it to run overnight depending on the size of the disk and the data you require.

If it isn't a USB device or want further clarification on anything I've said above, just drop another message back here and I'll try and go into a little more detail.

John

mdbassman 03-05-2007 07:35 AM

Thanks!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cobalt (Post 5440)
It depends on the external hard drive - is it a USB device? If so, simply boot up your machine and plug it in, and Windows should detect the fact that it is an external hard drive and install any drivers if required. It should then appear under "My Computer", and you will be able to browse through it and copy any files across as if it was an internal hard drive.

Performance may be a little slower than expected, but if you are simply recovering backed up data, then it might be worth copying and pasting everything you want and leaving it to run overnight depending on the size of the disk and the data you require.

If it isn't a USB device or want further clarification on anything I've said above, just drop another message back here and I'll try and go into a little more detail.

John

Thanks John! It is indeed an USB EHD, a Western Digital "My Book". When I check some files it copied it appears when it copies to the EHD it is not a "mirror" copy. Is there a program that exactly "mirrors" the files, structures.. onto the EHD then copies them back onto the C:\ of the old/new computer?
I am not very computer literate when it comes to these devices and my present computer is "dying". I am copying everything onto the EHD so when my new computer comes I can upload to the new computer all the files,programs, etc that were resident on the old computer.
Am I assuming this will be done correctly? Is there software that will make this very easy for an "Idiot"?
Thanks!
Dan

William_Wilson 03-05-2007 01:50 PM

the files are not all you need to run applications. There are registry keys and shared libraries involved in more programs which will not be present if you just back-up the files. You can use a program like Norton Ghost to make a complete backup of the entire computer including the boot sector, but it is not very efficient todo this.

kingofqueens 03-06-2007 05:11 AM

Just Copy and Paste the Data you want to copy from your External HarD Drive to Your local Hard Drive .

just dont replace the windows folder , program files folder, document and settings folder ....

mdbassman 03-06-2007 07:00 AM

And...???
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by William_Wilson (Post 5491)
the files are not all you need to run applications. There are registry keys and shared libraries involved in more programs which will not be present if you just back-up the files. You can use a program like Norton Ghost to make a complete backup of the entire computer including the boot sector, but it is not very efficient todo this.

Sort of left me hanging here William...if it is not efficient to do this than , as my question is trying to decipher, what is? Norton Ghost is the bane of "mirror imaging" software. I haven't seen 1 positive review of this product on any review board.
Dan

Cobalt 03-06-2007 07:30 AM

Dan,

By the sounds of it, you simply copied all the files from your old hard drive to your external hard drive before your machine died, correct? If so, you do not want to try and overwrite the contents of your new disk with the contents of your external hard drive - you will probably be left with a very broken machine.

The difference between mirroring and backing up is significant - with a mirror image, you can simply duplicate a hard drive, boot sector and all. If you had created a mirror image of your old hard drive, you could do what you want to do and essentially duplicate your old hard drive to give you a machine in the same state it was in prior to the crash. However, it sounds like you only backed it up - i.e. Copied the contents of your old drive across to your external drive. This means that valuable boot sector information and so forth was not included, and other vital components may also have been missed.

This time, you would be better off copying across on the files you need - documents, music, video, images and so forth. If you are able to reinstall your software and/or games, you can also copy across data such as saved games - however, you won't simply be able to restore software from your old drive I'm afraid. It is technically possible to restore a machine this way, though you are likely to come up against so many fatal errors that it would be far quicker and easier to reinstall any applications yourself and just copy across your personal data.

Norton Ghost isn't great software, but it does the job sufficiently for the majority of users. In future, if you wish to make an exact duplicate of your machine for restoration in the future, I advise either using Windows System Restore or using mirroring software to make an image of your current hard drive. Backing up your data by copying files and folders to another device is certainly advisable, though is unfortunately not enough to restore your machine to its former state - there is a bit more to it.

Let me know if you have any problems or questions and I'll see what I can do to answer them - sorry I couldn't give you a more convenient solution.

John

mdbassman 03-07-2007 07:31 AM

Thanks!
 
John,
I may have mis-lead you in my "needs". My present computer has major problems. It hasn't died yet. I really don't want to "mirror" the entire contents of the old computer JUST my music, photos, word docs...essentially everything but the booting portion of the old computer.
My pictures files and word docs being the very most important. I just want to back everything up so when the new system comes I can up load all my "third party" software(and its .exe file hopefully) and files onto the new computer.
As I believe I stated, I "get by" working on a computer..I just want to be able to upload what I have saved to my 2 external hard drives to the new computer with their file architecture in tact. By that I mean that in my Photoshop categories how I have the images categorized and sub-categorized for easy viewing and access. I have over 10,000 photos and I would hate to have to re-catagorize all them to the way they were b4 new system.
The feedback I have been getting is that the Acronis True Image 10.0 is the way to go.
The Norton Ghost has not been getting good reviews from industry nor users. That had been my 1st choice but reading reviews led me to Acronis.
I am just above an entry level computer user so the easier this is the better.
Thanks for your input.
Dan

Cobalt 03-07-2007 09:19 AM

Dan,

In that case, using a backup/imaging application such as Acronis or Ghost will do what you want, though you will have to go through the process of selecting only what folders and files you want to make a backup/image of.

Having said that, once you've set it up, you will be able to take periodic backups as and when you want and it will only grab the files and folders that you want whilst retaining their architecture.

After doing some research, Acronis looks like a good bit of software and it's feature list suggests you can do exactly what you want to do with it. There are cheaper alternatives out there, but if you can afford it then it will be money well spent in my opinion - experienced users can get away with doing it themselves, those looking for an easy way to back up only portions of their hard drive and have the ability to restore are much better catered by software such as this.

Give it a go and if you have any problems don't hesitate to get in touch. Best of luck.

John

mdbassman 03-08-2007 07:15 AM

Thanks!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cobalt (Post 5546)
Dan,

In that case, using a backup/imaging application such as Acronis or Ghost will do what you want, though you will have to go through the process of selecting only what folders and files you want to make a backup/image of.

Having said that, once you've set it up, you will be able to take periodic backups as and when you want and it will only grab the files and folders that you want whilst retaining their architecture.

After doing some research, Acronis looks like a good bit of software and it's feature list suggests you can do exactly what you want to do with it. There are cheaper alternatives out there, but if you can afford it then it will be money well spent in my opinion - experienced users can get away with doing it themselves, those looking for an easy way to back up only portions of their hard drive and have the ability to restore are much better catered by software such as this.

Give it a go and if you have any problems don't hesitate to get in touch. Best of luck.

John

Thanks John! Looks like maybe I did something correctly for once!! I appreciate all the advise you have unselfishlessly given! Thanks again!
Dan


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