How to Backup Windows XP on a CD-ROM

We’ve all had a day when the computer didn’t want to start up or you couldn’t access your files in Windows XP. When this happens it’s like being held hostage because the NTFS file partitions cannot be accessed using a floppy. So now what? Well, unless it’s your hard drive (and its probably not), a bootable CD-ROM backup of Windows XP will work just fine. Fortunately the PE-Builder V3.1.X has come to the rescue. The PE-Builder has a Pre Installed Environment that does most of the work for you. You can even add extra features like plug-ins and customer support, as well as graphics that are anything but bland.

The following list is compiled downloads you will need. You may already have some of these if you are an administrator, but most people will need to download the master software. Be aware that you will also need your Windows XP Installation CD if you are using the Home or Professional Edition.

âÂ?¢ PE-Builder V.3.1.X – http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder Download the 3.1.3 version
âÂ?¢ Windows XP Service Pack 2 – http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/sp2/default.mspx
� Disc mastering software (Nero, Norton Ghost, or Acronis True Image)

After you download the PE-Builder and the Service Pack 2 make sure they are both installed and working before proceeding with the following steps.
1. Open the C: drive in My Computer and create a folder called SP2.
2. Put your Windows XP CD in the drive and copy the contents to the SP2 folder.
3. Open the folder where you stored the SP2 Installer (if you can’t find it go to the Start Menu>Run and type the command CMD to open the DOS communication box.
4. Type the SP2 Installer Destination name followed by -S: (There is no space after the S:) Copy the installer to the SP2 file folder.
5. Integrate the files by typing XPSP2.exe-S:C:/(name of your XP file destination)

Next, you want to launch the PE-Builder V.3.1.X software.
1. Go to Source and enter the path to your Windows XP Installation files.
2. Under Output select a destination directory for your completed disc. (You have the choice of either saving the files as ISO, which can be altered later or you can burn the information directly to the disc. ISO is the best choice if you want to add other files and plug-ins.)
3. Add any other backup files that you may need like program drivers, data recovery tools, and disk utilities. The PE-Builder will properly format all the data so there is no reason to manually convert any files.

Now you can add any plug-ins, ASPI layers, and Adware that you might want to add to the write compilation. There is a ton of free downloadable Adware at http://www.nu2.nu/prbuilder/#plugins The final step is to burn the disc to a CD. If you already have a disc mastering program click burn in the top right corner of the PE-Builder window. If you do not yet have a builder you can download one online. I like Acronis because it includes its own plug in. You can download the program at http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/support/bartpe

If you are given the option, close the disc so that the information cannot be changed or written over. Now you have a master copy of the Windows XP Installer, Service Pack 2, and any other data features you backed up. If Windows starts acting up just pop in the bootable CD (in safe mode) and then reboot the computer after you finish the installations.

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