Saving my desktop

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:

  1. Backup your laptop using NTBackup. Be sure to select the SystemRoot drive (usually C:) and SystemState.

  2. Copy the resulting .bkf file to a local disk on the new system.

  3. Install the OS on the new system.

  4. Run NTBackup in restore mode.

  5. Install any new drivers.

  6. 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.

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