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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Backup to Disk

05/19/2008 3:43 AM

Hi all

When I try to copy selected program files to an external HDD ( using Windows XP " edit>select>copy to.."), the copy starts and later gets interrupted with the message: "could not copy "MASTER", the program is in use"

However, when I use the SEARCH feature in XP, even searching in hidden folders, there is no such thing as 'MASTER'.

Is there another way to copy selected files ?

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#1

Re: Backup to Disk

05/19/2008 12:54 PM

It could be "Master" is a hidden file by that name, or "Master" is a reference to your original.

Either way it cannot copy while another part of your computer is using the file even if it is redundant or waiting in the background.

It sounds to me you want to back up a C: directory within the windows folder that contains drivers or other important windows components. If you are not entirely sure about this you are better not to muck around in there. Use a dedicated back up program instead.

If you want to direct copy for back up purposes just keep to your documents folders and your program folders. Sometimes you get other document folders within programs such as video players or photo albums, they will come with the programs folder so you don't have to go and find them.

If you are not organised enough and you have your collected files and folders of "stuff" all over your computer I advise you to find them now, make a note of where they are and copy them direct to external BEFORE you start feverishly copying and pasting them to organise them in some master folder.

Once all copied you can rethink your way through your document folders and keep them organised better with this back up system in mind.

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#2

Re: Backup to Disk

05/20/2008 5:29 AM

It really depends upon what you want to achieve. Do you want a carbon copy of your C: disk that in the event of a failure, you can copy it back and continue running, or do you just want to make a copy of important (to you) data?

The second method is easy, just mark the files or folders you want saved and pick them with the rh mouse button, pull them over to your extra HD and release them into the folder you have already prepared, then answer the question, "copy or move". (of course answer copy only!!)

Let XP compress the files if they are mixed, but do not bother if they are music or films/pictures as they are usually as compressed as you can get generally.....you will only waste time by trying to compress and the files may actually get larger!!!!

Is your extra HD properly formatted, for XP I would recommend only the NTFS format only....other types will work but are nowhere as safe!

If you want a carbon copy, you need to buy some good software to do the job, or learn how to make a bootable DOS disk and do it by hand, not recommended though!!!

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#3

Re: Backup to Disk

05/20/2008 12:47 PM

Most program in Windows need to be installed. Copying the files won't work. There are library files in the Windows folder, User setting folder and Program Files folder. There are also registry entries. So you need to backup the installation disc or file, not the installed files.

If you're backing up data files, close all running programs. Reboot may help. Using Task Manager to stop some running program will help also but you need to know what you're doing.

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Backup to Disk

05/20/2008 12:54 PM

Sorry but if you copy your programs folder you do actually get all the important stuff like "life" data and info you would need after a re-installation in case you have a crash. Almost all, if not all, programs do keep a data file in the programs folder that contains up to date info on settings and user defined settings and data used in the program. If you have no other back up it is often possible to restore using these "in program" data files. I once lost my hard disc including the back up files and had my whole book keeping retsored with a 200 or so Kb file out of the program folder. I thank god every day since I had that.

I did not mean to copy that folder and be able to have the programs, that is ludicrous and I just hope that the essence of my reply showed you I had at least that level of understanding not to suggest that.

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#6
In reply to #4

Re: Backup to Disk

05/22/2008 3:35 PM

Then why not just backup the important data files? Much easier and take up much less space. Windows does come with backup program and you can select only the files you need. It'll keep the folder structure and restore file to the right location.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Backup to Disk

05/22/2008 3:47 PM

I use windows only because I have to as I do not want to be the hero and use another platform with all the difficulty adhered to not having programs written correctly.

The more you allow windows to do, the more it takes over and you end up with ALL the windows related disadvantages. Use windows but keep control over what you do and you end up happier. Besided memory is cheap nowadays so I don't worry too much about some redundant copies of files.

None of the backup programs I ever used were flexible enough to allow you to have full control over what happened. Third party programs are not much better but some are good enough, I just gave up and won't consider them anymore as what I do now is perfect and you can't get better than that imho.

On top of all that I would always advocate a way of doing things that would force understanding as that ensures you would end up doing what is best. Follow windows deeper into the woods if you want to but I have been there and chose to go back.

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#5

Re: Backup to Disk

05/20/2008 10:17 PM

Hi hangwaiter,

If you want to Carbon Copy your master HD, you can use Ghost 10 software, that is a product of Symantec.

If you just backup your data you can use copy and past in windows XP.

If you want to run programe files from external HD, you have to reinstall that programe and choose path of programe is your external HD.

Good luck.

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#8

Re: Backup to Disk

05/23/2008 10:03 PM

MASTER is the drive you are copying from, not a particular file.

We bought an external hard drive which works through a USB port. We use "Backup" (which I believe is in the Accessories folder and is accessable through programs). A floppy disk is also required to boot from in case of a c drive crash. It takes about an hour or so to totally backup the drive, but it beats the heck out of reconstructing everything by hand... Since we started using the backup system, we have had no problems with head crashes so I guess it works. (being silly here)

Bill

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#9
In reply to #8

Re: Backup to Disk

05/24/2008 5:11 AM

Most people are too scared to take the next step and that is to do a complete reboot of all the data.....but it must be done as until then, you really don't know if it actually works!!!

My best offer to you (and anyone else affected), is to simply buy a new hard disk and put it in place of your present C: disk and try it, and then see if you can boot normally and everything actually works!

Sounds expensive but hard disks are so cheap and YOU NEED TO KNOW!

You will probably find out that you need something extra to make it work properly....something that is only in the backup for example and you cannot get at it, or the original Windows disk and password etc etc etc etc....

Prepare to be shocked!!

Make a list of what is needed and where it is kept, make a new copy on a CD for booting....

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#10

Re: Backup to Disk

07/18/2008 10:44 AM

I agree with the others. ( I have done this for a living. )

My family on our computers do a 'user backup'. Basically what is in their 'my documents' directories, plus outlook email .pst and associated folders (that are elsewhere) and some 'non-standard' type programs that put data elsewhere.

If you can generate a 'batch file' that will do all this for you at one time, you are ahead of the curve. I have our family either backup to a network attached or an external disk drive, so we can remove it from daily operation.

This takes care of most of the pain of restoring in case of a failure.

If a family computer fails, we put in a new disk drive, install the OS, put back needed programs (Office, Adobe stuff, etc), copy the files from the 'user backup' back to where they go on the new disk. and live is good.

What is really left is the Operating System and Programs. For personal use, I do NOT suggest in backing them up. Do keep ALL your install media, program keys, burn and keep downloaded install media, driver disks, etc. For use during new/re-installs. Yes it is a hastle, and I have been burned, but it is the voice of experience talking, hopefully not preaching.

If you insist on being able to restore your OS/Programs,

1. build a test system, and use it. Do it on here so you KNOW HOW before the time arises. This can be on old slow equipment.

2. use this link:

http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/learnmore/bott_03july14.mspx

It shows how to use MSBackup. Make sure you use it to backup your registry as well as all your OS, and Program Files directory. You might want more, but that is often enough.

3. An option is to get Symantec Ghost or equivalent. I really like this over msbackup, but they really address the backup task in different ways.

4. If you are an ubergeek, use 'backuppc' (backuppc.sourceforge.net). You will need a Linux system but you can backup Windows and Linux systems to it well. It does backups to disk. Have the 'client' compress the data before it is sent to the backup server, to save space on the server, and use the rsync method (using the rsync service).

This way is the 'best' I have found without spending real money (IBM Tivoli Storage Manager is my personal preference for professional software).

If you want to go with a server based approach, let me know offline.

... Jack ( jack at coats dot org )

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