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  1. #1
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    Cool Backing up an octogenarian's system, help me to help her?

    Hi All - Loved Fred's recent backup article, and it is timely as I promised my 82 year old mother I'd set her up a backup for her system for her birthday next month.

    She has her own home-based business, does medical transcription. She (obviously) is pretty spry and relatively savvy, but needs a certain level of simplicity for computer stuff. She has an XP system that I set up for her, with a couple of older apps that required tweaking to allow them to run on XP correctly.

    In the event (God forbid) her 4 year old computer dies, I want her to have a way to reconstitute a running system. This is problematic on a couple of levels. I may be able to format a new computer (which will no doubt have Win 7 or 8 on it), and finagle a way to install XP on it, then painstakingly recreate her existing setup. But it would be so much nicer to have some way to image the existing setup and overwrite the new system with it.

    I expect to have to buy at the least a TB external, and probably some software to ghost/image/backup the existing.

    Anyone have recommendations the software piece of this project? Also, would dearly love to hear I'm over or under thinking this, and someone has a way to do it easily and elegantly.

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    Hi and welcome to the Lounge,

    I think an image is a great way to backup your mother's system, especially with the goal of reproducing it in the future.

    The amount of storage that you require for an image depends on the amount of disk space your mother is currently using. Images are usually compressed and usually take about 60% to 70% of the used disk space, so you decide whether 1TB will be enough. If your mom is running XP, likely you will be able to store many images on that 1 TB disk.

    About apps, there are free apps that will do the job. Probably the most used free imaging app among our regulars is Macrium Reflect Free, but Ease US Todo Backup is also an option.
    Rui
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  3. #3
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    Thank you very much, really appreciate your time in replying!

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Cool Backing up an octogenarian's system, help me to help her????

    I do not understand what a persons age would have to do with how their computer needs to be archived?

    Or are you asking about the fact that it belongs to a woman, maybe a blond woman?
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  5. #5
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    Instead of trying to hang in there with XP, consider finagling what needs to be done into a Windows 7 OS

  6. #6
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lrhoads View Post
    Hi All - Loved Fred's recent backup article, and it is timely as I promised my 82 year old mother I'd set her up a backup for her system for her birthday next month.

    She has her own home-based business, does medical transcription. She (obviously) is pretty spry and relatively savvy, but needs a certain level of simplicity for computer stuff. She has an XP system that I set up for her, with a couple of older apps that required tweaking to allow them to run on XP correctly.

    In the event (God forbid) her 4 year old computer dies, I want her to have a way to reconstitute a running system. This is problematic on a couple of levels. I may be able to format a new computer (which will no doubt have Win 7 or 8 on it), and finagle a way to install XP on it, then painstakingly recreate her existing setup. But it would be so much nicer to have some way to image the existing setup and overwrite the new system with it.

    I expect to have to buy at the least a TB external, and probably some software to ghost/image/backup the existing.

    Anyone have recommendations the software piece of this project? Also, would dearly love to hear I'm over or under thinking this, and someone has a way to do it easily and elegantly.
    I normally don't recommend a cloud-based backup system, but in the case of your mother, I believe I will.

    As a disclaimer, I will say that I have never personally used a cloud-based backup system.

    The reason I am recommending this is because there will be no issues related to problems with the external hard drive. Sometimes external hard drives fail; however, as long as she has a good internet connection, a cloud-based backup will succeed.

    If she is using an external hard drive to do her backups, and it fails, this will introduce a whole host of complications into her situation. My thought is that a cloud-based system would be a lot simpler and therefore preferable for an 82-year old.

  7. #7
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    The second paragraph is most important: this is a business computer, and these are presumably a tax-deductible business expenses. I see a lot of other posts in the Lounge for help and advice on what are clearly computers used for business purposes, and it makes business sense to spend enough to make the enterprise look (on paper, for accounting purposes) like a business even if it's on a shoestring budget.

    That having been said, many of us can attest to the fact that the toughest part of change is the amount of learning that has to go with it, and if someone is familiar with XP and specific applications it is best to stick with what they know, and make small changes rather than big ones. If she is doing transcription that is probably straight word-processing, and storage should be no problem at all. Chances are, the biggest change for better or worse would be to change the keyboard: you could have fun shopping to see if she might feel comfortable with a different keyboard or mouse (no kidding).

    On a different level you have to worry about reliability, which you are making moves to improve. One recommendation I would make is to set things up so that the DATA is backed up separately from the system - there are lots of external drives that will do the job for you at no added cost, and if the system goes down you will have all of her all-important data and the transition to a different system, if one is available, can be accomplished in minutes. There is nothing wrong with redundancy - saving data to two different destinations - and a data backup drive will accomplish that.

    Edited to add:

    I hadn’t seen the post from mrjimphelps when I was writing mine, but I agree with him that if the setup allows it, saving to the cloud makes sense (but there may be a security concern depending on what you described as ‘medical transcription’ constitutes).

    I might clarify my own suggestion by saying that if the lady doesn’t get out a lot and you are within reach of an office supply store, a shopping trip together would be something she might love even if it’s to compare keyboards and mice and monitors and workstation setups and (in my case), a comfortable chair. It’s all part of the job, and fingers and hands change over time. (So do shoe sizes, but I don’t think that’s a business expense.)
    Last edited by dogberry; 2014-02-21 at 16:31.

  8. #8
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    I agree with so many excellent back up ideas but I'm wondering about the XP EOL factor on Apr 8

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