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I just spent a whole day reinstalling Windows XP, installing the programs I use, and making it the way I like it.  I basically just created the perfect install of XP.

We all know that Windows slows down over time, and I was wondering about making a copy of the hard drive.

How would I go about this?  I know I need a separate disk to copy it on to but would another partition on another drive (or the same drive work)?  I'm thinking (and I'm probably wrong because I have no clue about this) about shrinking the XP partition down to the minimum size needed for all the data to still be there (about 15 gigs on a 250 gig drive) creating a new partition of the same size (using GParted) and then using a Live CD (Ubuntu maybe) and issuing the DD command.

I am also unsure about the command needed.  I think this is what I need but again I'm probably wrong

dd if=/dev/hda of=/dev/hdb

and I know that hda and hdb need to be the correct names.

XP is installed on a 250 gig drive and I also have a 500 gig drive as storage for my media.

1.  What Live distro do you guys recommend for this particular thing?

2.  Is GParted good enough to resize the partitions?

3.  Is the command correct?

4.  Will this work the other way to restore?



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Sorry for the off topic rant, but

"We all know that Windows slows down over time"
I wonder why a lot of people say this, as I do not seem to have the issue. Do you keep indexing settings turned on for the hdd as well as the service? If so you would get a performance boost if you disable it and not have that slow down problem that comes after a lot of program installations and file creation. Unless you search for text within a file from the "Indexing Service Query Form" snap in, its not really needed.

Right click on the HDD in MyComputer (select properties) and then de-select Indexing for the drive. Tell it to ignore any errors it cant un index, as this is ok. Then under services.msc(start/run/services.msc) scroll down to the indexing service and disable it.

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Windows XP has a fuction integrated to save all the data on a drive to an image (.bkf). I'm here in Germany and here this thing is called "Daten sichern" wich means sth. like "save data" and can be found under the control Panel in "Leistung und Wartung" wich might be sth. like "activity and maintenance". Not sure if these things are called the same in the englisch version.

Does any one of you know if that tool is any good?

I also have a little tool on my USB-Thumbdrive called Dive Snapshot wich can create or restore images of complete hdds.

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