How To Make a Backup Disk

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

Any computer system is susceptible to a number of risks like hard drive failure, virus attack, corrupted file system, and more may lead to irreparable damage and eventual loss of critical information of any organization or home user. To avoid any of these disasters, it is good computing practice to backup your system regularly to allow you to recover every bit of information stored in your system in any unforeseen event. The backup process however is not as simple as just dragging and dropping files from the Windows Explorer onto the destination storage media or burning a copy of the files onto a CD or DVD media. This practice will simply copy files but not preserve the underlying file system structure which is critical when retrieving information and restoring system functionality.

Materials Needed:
- Computer
- CD or DVD media
- CD or DVD drive
- Acronis True Image
Step 1
In a Microsoft Windows XP Operating System environment, the most effective way of creating a backup disk is via a disk image. This process generates a bit-by-bit counterpart of the hard drive and its partition as a whole. The most commonly used utility for this purpose is the Acronis True Image. Install the application to your hard drive.
Step 2
After completing the installation of the utility, create a Bootable Rescue Disc either using a floppy disk or a CD media. Launch the Acronis True Image and double click on the Create Bootable Rescue Media option at the left portion of the screen under Tools.
Step 3
Select the drive where the bootable media will be created and click on the Next button.
Step 4
The following screen will inform the user that the Bootable Rescue Disc is ready to be created. Click the Proceed button to continue with the operation. Once the process is completed, properly label the CD or DVD media.
Step 5
To create the image file, select the Backup option by double clicking on it in the Acronis True Image window.
Step 6
A wizard will be executed by the program. Simply click on the Next option to continue.
Step 7
Select the correct drive or partition that will be backed up by the program. Click the Next button to proceed.
Step 8
The user will be prompted for the location where the image file will be saved as well as the filename to be used. The destination can either be another internal hard drive, an optical media burner, another computer system, or an external storage device. Click Next after supplying the necessary information.
Step 9
Select the type of backup process to be done. For first time backup operations, the Full Backup option must be chosen. Select the Next button.
Step 10
Click on the button for the Set the Options Manually to enter the advanced options. Click on the Next button.
Step 11
Select Archive protection and supply a password to protect the contents of the image file. Choose your desired compression level based on your target storage media. Check the box for the Validate backup under the Additional settings category and click on the Next button.
Step 12
The next screen allows the user to add a comment or description for the backup file. This is useful when dealing with multiple disk image files. Click on Next after completing the description.
Step 13
Click the Proceed button in the succeeding screen to begin the backup process and create the disk image file. Upon completion a Success window will be displayed to the user. The creation of the backup disc is completed.