imaging

Do Both Imaging and Incremental File Backups

Imaging a hard drive is basically creating an exact mirror copy of the hard drive. The copy is bootable and can be blasted onto the same or new hard drive fairly quickly. Of course, it can get out of date since the image is "frozen" in time, so making an image every month is a good idea. However, it is also smart to make a file-by-file backup procedure for extra peace of mind. It is recommended to use both backup methods in order to conserve important media and files.

How can I move my data from one SSD to another?

Crucial SSD

Episode 1536

Sean from Carlsbad, CA

Sean has four hard drives on his computer. He then removed all the bloatware by reinstalling Windows. But now he has a full SSD and wants to know how to migrate all his settings, bookmarks, temp files, etc. to a larger drive. How can he do that? Leo says it's nontrivial to do this. The key is to make a perfect copy of his home directory. The problem is his Windows Registry. He can't just move that over. Settings for programs and logins are stored there, and he will lose those.

Create a Disk Image in Windows

One of the best ways to make a backup of your drive is to create a "disk image." This will essentially take a snapshot of the drive and make it bootable so you can restore your PC to that moment in time if your drive crashes. There are a number of third-party tools that you can use to do this, but Microsoft actually has included the ability to create a disk image right within Windows. Here's how to get to it:

Can I run Windows on a thumb drive?

USB thumb drive

Episode 1457

Richard from Spring Hill, FL

Richard wants to know if he can run Windows off a thumb drive for security. Leo says that's a smart idea and it's not uncommon for Linux users. He should just understand that it will be slower. But it will enable him to simply reboot if something goes wrong. Leo recommends using a disk imaging command to make a disk image onto his thumb drive and then he can just blast it back on when it goes wrong. He can even make it bootable.

Is there a computer that doesn't come with adware?

Episode 1438

Lincoln from Palm Springs, CA

Lincoln wants to know if there's a computer he can buy that doesn't come with any trialware? Leo says that most computer companies do this to offset the cost of manufacturing them. Even Microsoft will bundle trialware in the install. Leo advises uninstalling all that stuff from the very beginning. Leo says that Microsoft is edging towards putting advertising in the OS through popups, and that's a bad thing. So Lincoln should get rid of it all, and install only the programs he always uses, then create a stock Windows install by making an image copy that he can boot up to just in case.