back up - a new strange novel experimentation

Respected techs, geeks, nerds, and dear fellow friends,

In the past i have always taken a backup of my valuable data and content on my pc by invariably writing on to a cd be it R or RE.

However, the problem that always arose subsequently was that I always find it very time consuming when ever i have to format my hard disk or reload the operating system (i use windows xp) for various reasons (say too much spyware or virus intrusion, deletion by mistake say of system files etc etc).

But I was in the past never able to take say back up of windows xp or for that matter any other program which was installed on my computer.

Now before i proceed further to come to my problem / question on which ur valuable advice / suggestion is sought...I want to confirm that I understand the installation concept of programs properly...

First of all I am basically from field of finance and therefore have very very limited technical knowledge about internet computers and how it functions. I love internet and computers but as a total end user who is oblivious of what happens internally.

Now to me installation of any program (say for example spybot search and destroy etc) means i download the SETUP box of that program from internet or a Cd and then double click (or run) that program to actually get it installed on my computer to get it work. In some cases however the setup box is not available and we have to run from cd directly ( eg windows xp).

BUT i was wondering how do we take back up of say those programs which we have installed by double clicking but for which later on the corresponding setup box or cd is not available ???????????????????????????

I understand that if we have the original CD or say the setup box we can reinstall program innumerable times but what say if ur cd is misplaced after installation of program or say setup box gets deleted after installation of the program.

In that case how can i take a backup of such installed programs on my pc for which i have no setupbox or cd ???????????????????

I am asking this bcz of following reasons...

1. I have lost my windows xp original CD and fear what would happen if i ever have to format my hard disk or reinstall windows xp...

2. I have over last 3 years used many accounting software and financial softwares and although they are installed on my pc...their cd is misplaced or the setup box is not there...

3. Over the years i have worked in many organisations and had the privilege of having costly financial software programs being installed on my pc for work and would not want to lose them in future (and i have no CDs or setup
boxes for them)...

4. If i wish to transfer all my data and installed programs to a new hard disk from my old hard disk which i am currently using and which sounds a lot...(and i fear it may crash some day)...

I know i have written a very very long story but I definitely appreciate ur time, effort and patience and would be really grateful if someone can throw some light as to how such issues are resolved and what is the easiest / best way to get this around...

I know there are many knowledgeable and helping individuals on this forum and am sure someone will be kind enough to share his wisdom or experience....

Thanks again in advance...

Most sincerely,


sunandoghosh at rediffmail dot com


a. i use windows xp
b. i use nero for back up of my cd

13 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by sunandoghosh

Moved to Windows XP section.

And sorry, but you CANNOT backup installed programs. You can use drive image software to take a 'snapshot' of your system drive and installed program directories, and restore it later if you need to 'wipe' the drive, but individual programs aren't stand-alone things which you can 'back up'.

You need to back up the downloaded installation files instead!

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