Skip Navigation Links  For Secure Customer Area Access,   Login
Skip Navigation Links
Previous Next
volume 10 number 8 august 2005 TipSheet

Welcome to the August issue of MicroMetric's TipSheet.

This monthly newsletter is targeted at addressing the needs of our customers.

This month marks the start of the TipSheet's tenth year of publication, and we'll return to the subject of Backup's.


Few of us are as diligent as we should be about backing up our system, applications, and data. No backup strategy is 100 percent effective, and most take more time to set up and use than we're willing to spend on them.

The very least you can do is to create an image of your hard drive when everything works. That way, when trouble strikes, you merely restore the pristine image--which usually takes less than 45 minutes. Images are a sure thing: You get a guaranteed fresh start, with no spyware, no conflicts, and no hassles, although you lose all of the files you created or altered, programs you installed, and settings you changed since you created the image. Still, you'll have a working PC, even if it lacks your most recent updates.

Symantec Norton Ghost 9 and Acronis True Image 8 restore Windows XP, Microsoft Office, and an assortment of other apps and utilities in half the time it would take to reinstall Windows, let alone the hours required to reinstall all of your programs, reload your data files manually, and reconfigure your system settings to the way you prefer them.

The downside: Norton Ghost costs $70 retail, and True Image lists for $60. While saving the image to a second hard drive is far more convenient than placing it on a DVD, it's also more expensive: An internal hard drive costs about $80 to $300, depending on its capacity and speed, and an external hard drive will set you back about $150 to $250. If you choose to store your disk image on DVD, make sure that the imaging program you use supports your make and model of optical drive. Incompatibilities between DVD drives and imaging software are common.

If you're budget conscious and have lots of extra space on your hard drive, you can save the cost of a second drive by storing the image file on a second partition of the same drive. Of course, if your hard drive fails, you'll lose your image file. And if you don't have a second partition, you'll have to use Windows XP or a program such as Symantec's Partition Magic ($80) to create one.

To make your data easier to restore, keep your data files on a partition other than the one that holds Windows and your applications. For example, in Outlook Express, click Tools, Options, Maintenance, Store Folder and select a folder on the data partition to store your mail in. Word, Excel, and other apps have similar options for changing their default file-storage location.


You can restore your image file in just seconds by using two removable hard drives: one as your system's primary drive, and the other as a ready-to-go backup. This entails buying a drive housing, which can run from $20 to $60, depending on the type and speed of the drive.

Place the housing in an open drive bay in your PC. Keep the second hard drive--the one containing an exact image of the first--at the ready, so all you have to do in the event of trouble is shut down your computer, swap the drives, and restart.

Copyright 2005, MicroMetric, Inc., All Rights Reserved. Permission to copy in total, with this statement and copyright, is hereby granted.

Previous Next