While this might sound quite boring for most of you, but I am rather relieved that NTBackup works .. I just had to send in my laptop, since it developed a nasty vertical bar (2 inches – 5 cm, in the middle of the screen). Now with out a laptop, I do feel rather nacked in the web world, so I decided to revive an older system I still had. Just re-installing was no option, since by the time I would have had it properly configured, the old laptop will hopefully be back.
So, the only possible solution boiled down to the equivalent of a haert transplantation: restoring the backup from my broken laptop to the interim one. First of all, I discovered that I could not restore from a UNC path. Since I didn’t have a 120+ GB 2.5″ drive, an external HDD was the only option. I decided to pickup a 300GB drive and put it into a CompUSA aluminum case with IEE1394 and USB2. Now, FireWire cables are really expensive: a 4-6 pin cable was at $45, which I personally consider either extortion or at least price gouging.
But I digress. At the end of the day, NTBackup worked quite nicely, the only major issues being the drivers (that was obviously) and the need to re-initialize offline files (sigh … again).
So here is my recipe:
- Backup your laptop using NTBackup. Be sure to select the SystemRoot drive (usually C:) and SystemState.
- Copy the resulting .bkf file to a local disk on the new system.
- Install the OS on the new system.
- Run NTBackup in restore mode.
- Install any new drivers.
- Check your offline files.
One more caveat (but that should be obvious): if you have special software hooked to one of the system devices, you must re-configure your new devices. For me this was Proxyfier, which is a universal HTTP proxy client, that hooks into the protocol stack of the network interfaces.