How To Backup Programs

Dear Computer Lady,

I have a question, I am not the greatest on the computer but I almost lost everything on mine as my computer supposedly died on me as the hard drive went.

The one fixing was going to replace it but while trying to save things he was able to repair it, but I need to know how to save my things, someone else had fixed it before and added updates to existing programs and I have no disc to reinstall if it happens again.

I have cd’s and USB to save on but how do I make copy of things like, Microsoft Office, my cd burner program and etc.

Any help is appreciated, Thanks Donna


Dear Donna,

When backing up information on your computer so that you can transfer it to another computer, or onto the same computer after Windows has been re-installed, you are able to backup documents, photos, videos, songs and things like that, but not the actual programs like Microsoft Office and your CD burner program. When you are transferring to a new computer, or re-installing on a new computer, you would just install the programs from the original disks that you used to install them in the first place.

Your question is about a slightly different situation. You want to prepare for a hard drive replacement on your computer. This is a wise thing to do, since all hard drives will fail eventually, it is just a matter of when.

Since you want to be able to restore all your programs, and the updates that you have installed for these programs, I would suggest that you get set up with a good disk image program, and either create DVDs with them, or an even better solution would be to save the image on an external hard drive that is at least as big as the hard drive on your computer.

I looked around, and Acronis True Image Home 2011 is a nice program that will create an image for you. It is not terribly expensive, but has features that will allow you to make DVD images of your hard drive. It will also create backups to an external hard drive while you work, and keep the backups updated.

Acronis True Image Home 2011

Norton Ghost will also create an image on DVDs, but costs $20 more and has fewer features than Acronis.


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