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Hi I was wondering how to back up my computer OS and my stuff before formating the hard drive and instaling Ubuntu because I do not want to lose my stuff and my OS. Also I do not want to buy a new hard drive

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It IS possible to back up everything, you just need something to back up to. If you want to back up your entire OS and stuff, then you will need another drive to backup to. It just doesn't make sense to backup to the same drive. –  DaboRoss Jun 10 '13 at 3:21
    
Do you have another drive to backup to? –  DaboRoss Jun 10 '13 at 3:21
    
Are you running Ubuntu now? If not then this question is off-topic here. Super User is about windows and I'm sure they have a backup question with answers already. –  Seth Jun 10 '13 at 3:40

2 Answers 2

You should back up your hard drive before you install Ubuntu just like you back up your hard drive all the other times you regularly back up your hard drive. If you don't regularly back up, this is a great time to start, whether you continue and install Ubuntu or not. To do this, you need a second hard drive, because you need someplace to copy your files to, someplace off your computer's hard drive for the copies to sit, safe from any disaster that might befall your computer or its hard drive. There is really no other way, short of subscribing to a cloud backup service.

Assuming you're going on to install Ubuntu and keep your current OS (Windows? I can't tell because you talk of saving your OS and formatting your hard drive. You wouldn't want to do both.), you should find a Windows backup solution that works for you. There are lots of programs available to make a copy of your entire hard disk or parts of it to a USB drive. You have to have the USB drive. Buying anything smaller than 2TB is a waste.

Your next problem, assuming you want to save your current OS and install Ubuntu is deciding if you're up to creating a separate partition for your user data so it can be available to you when you boot to your old OS or your new Ubuntu OS. You'll need to look up "ubuntu dual boot" on Google and research your options and see what fits your needs and your skills.

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Hi I what your saying is what I want I just need to copy the whole Hard Drive how it is to restore if i want so like cloning the hard drive but saving it to a file insted of a different Hdd because there is not enough room for Windows 7 and Ubuntu on the same HDD Thanks Mathew –  Mat Jun 12 '13 at 2:57
    
You really don't have a backup if it's on the same drive as what it backs up. If your computer is stolen, lost in a flood, or your hard drive craps out (and they do) then you've lost your backup the very moment you need it. That's not an issue with Windows or Linux, it's the very definition of backup. Most people don't copy the entire hard drive when they backup, though that's an option. Most people only backup their user-created or purchased files - documents, photos, music. If the drive dies, they re-install the operating system and programs, then copy their user files back. –  Marc Jun 12 '13 at 3:57
    
(continued) This is what you'd have to do if you trached your operating system, a virus or a trojan whacked it, or you bought a new computer. You can actually install Ubuntu and Windows 7 on the same computer (hundreds of thousands do), but whenever you make a big change like that, you should have copies elsewhere of everything you don't want to lose if something goes wrong. Something will go wrong sometime, and you're be glad you have that backup, or you'll wish you had that backup. It's inevitable. –  Marc Jun 12 '13 at 4:02
    
Thanks Marc for all the information, I may have not been very clear in what I was saying so I will try to say it in a more clear way I want to get rid of windows 7 OS off my HDD by formating the HDD the problem is that I do not have the reinstall disks and I would like to keep the OS and the programs. –  Mat Jun 12 '13 at 7:53
    
(continued) The other problem is that there is no space for Ubuntu to install beside Windows 7. So all up basicly I want to clone the HDD with Windows 7 and other programs on it to a file insted of another HDD,I don't have the reinstall disks for Windows 7 and I might need the Windows 7 OS for later use and Thanks Marc for all your help I just hope you can understand what I am trying to do Thanks –  Mat Jun 12 '13 at 8:08

i say you should use crashplan so that you can move your files then to linux but the only issue with crashplan is that its a little complex to setup

here it is: http://www.crashplan.com/consumer/crashplan.html

(its a full version if you use it with local and friend computers so dont worry its no virus, if your unsure i made a virus scan here: https://www.virustotal.com/ca/file/5fde5ce803958764f09e21e9bc7a0404a8cfe7dfe74c9d7f374f239d291b4e92/analysis/ (virus total scan))

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