Saturday, September 5, 2009


Not long ago, two weeks to be precise, the 500 GB hard drive of my "super computer" I built almost two years ago started giving me a feeling that it was getting "tired out", this in spite of the fact that I always keep this computer in the best top shape possible.
These things happen, hard drives may last almost forever but sometime they surprise you and say, "buddy you better do something because I may quit all of a sudden".
Well, I have in this computer everything, I mean everything, from my finances to pictures and music collections business documents, drawings from jobs designed when I was still working, etc. etc.
In spite of the fact that of course, I have an external drive where all these files are completely backed up, the problem was that you cannot back up software installed in your computer and much less your OS (in my case Windows Vista).
If the hard drive would all of a sudden give its last breath, I would not lose these files, but all the installed programs, (and there are quite a few), and the Windows OS would all be lost in a split of a second.

There are several programs on the market that make it possible to completely make an image of your hard drive on another separate internal or external drive and thus save all your programs and OS in just the same way they are installed in your main hard drive.

However, with most of these programs to do this is quite complicated, time consuming and many times exasperating, therefore I explored and studied a lot of information which is available on the internet about such programs. I found out that there was one, (or so they said), that made all this extremely simple even to those people who are not very computer savy...

I went one step further and discussed the matter with people who know and had the experience about such matters and most of them said that this program was indeed excellent.

Well, I bought it, paid $39.95 for it and my friends, it was the best investment I made. The program is called "ACRONIS TRUE IMAGE HOME 2009".

I was able to completely create an exact copy of my hard drive,(this is called cloning), transfer it to a new internal hard drive, and then pulled out the old almost dying main hard drive and replaced it with the new copy.

When I turned the computer on I kept my fingers crossed, because I did not know wether it would work. To my surprise the computer started and operated as if nothing had happened.

Time spent in doing all this? it took about 2 hours to clone the old driver to the new driver and about 20 minutes to take out the old and install the new! that was it.

But this is not all, now with this program installed in my computer, it automatically keeps a clone of my hard drive on an external drive, and keeps it to date on a weekly basis, all software installed, OS and all files. I don't have to worry anymore if my hard drive fails, (I hope it will last a long time), but I know that if it happens, all I have to do is to get a new one and transfer everything back again.

ACRONIS is available in any computer or electronics store such as Best Buy, (that's where I bought it).

For what it's worth, I hope this experience of mine will be able to save some of you readers, future problems with your hard drives. One thing for sure, hard drives do not last forever...

Have a good week-end,

George Freire

No comments: