My new Dell Inspiron laptop with Vista showed up at work yesterday. I haven’t gotten a chance to do much with it, since I was really tired yesterday and went to bed at 9:30. I did, however, complete some of the usual “new computer” chores: uninstalling some of the pointless crapware that’s loaded on the machine, applying various updates, and so on. I’ve now got the machine in a state where I’d like to make myself an image of the drive, so I’ll have a relatively clean image to fall back on if need be.
I’m trying out Windows Complete PC Backup. This should work pretty much the same way Ghost or Acronis work, and create a complete image backup of the machine. Alas, every time I try this (backing up to DVD), I get an I/O error on the first disc. I’ve run across some advice on the internet to kill any system restore points, then try it again. I guess I’ll give that a try. I called Dell support on this, just to see if they knew anything. After an hour-long call, all they could really do is advise that I keep an eye on Windows Updates and hope that this is a problem that Microsoft will fix. Not really useful advice, huh?
I’m a little bit paranoid that some of the Sonic/Roxio stuff that Dell preinstalls is messing up the DVD drive, but I don’t know enough to really have a clue if that’s the case. I guess I’ll play around with it some more, and see if I can figure it out. The only problem here is that I burn a coaster every time a backup fails. While DVD-R prices have fallen a lot, I still don’t like tossing them in the trash.