I’m looking for a specific kind of backup software. One which will let me restore programs from the backup to my start menu after I reinstall windows XP, without me having to reinstall them manually one by one either from CD’s/DVD’s or compressed files. I’ve been told this can’t be done, but I have doubts. I had a program which migrated data from my old computer to my new one (start programs and all) if that can be done, why couldn’t I restore them from a backup the same way?
What you are looking to do is actually accomplished through drive image backup or creation. A number of these programs exist, and you should be able to pick one up for less than fifty dollars. There are also a few free applications that you can try, but I don’t have any experience with any of them, so I can’t offer a recommendation. Just do a search for “backup and restore applications.” This type of restore solution is easy to use, and convenient to have.
What is a Drive Image Backup?
Instead of reinstalling Windows XP and then restoring all of your programs through backup files, you restore your entire system using the drive image that you create using special software. This would include your operating system, every program, and all of your files. Basically, you create an image of your entire hard drive so that you can place it back on the computer, should you ever need to do so. Plus, it would restore every piece of data back to the exact location it was in at the time you created the image backup. Basically, you create a copy of your hard drive at the time of creation, hence the use of the word image.
Where Can You Store a Drive Image Backup?
When you create your drive image backup, you can save it to an external source such as a USP drive, FireWire drive, CD, or DVD.
How Does a Drive Image Backup Work?
You can use your drive image to restore your computer to the way it was when you created the backup. Basically, you have a recovery disk that you use to boot the computer, and then you restore the drive or partition that you want or need.
Restoring Programs to Original Locations with a Reinstall
Unfortunately, when you reinstall your operating system, you do wipe out everything that you have. You can transfer file storage onto the computer, but you are going to have to choose where to put each folder since you are starting with a fresh installation of your operating system. If you complete a repair instead of a reinstallation, then you won’t lose your data or change the location it is in.