Create an initial baseline Image Backup: Prior to making any changes to your computer’s drive you need to establish a backup of the entire drive in case you need to restore Windows XP to its current state (containing all your data files and applications) after your evaluation of Windows 8 has completed or for whatever reason after installing Windows 8 you are no longer able to boot to Windows.
Note: If your hard drive includes an XP recovery partition you should include that partition in your image backup. The image backup(s) you will create over time (after Windows 8 is installed), eliminates the need to use the recovery partition or media to reinstall Windows XP, your applications and data files. It’s your safety net!
The screenshot below shows a relatively small 250GB drive (not an uncommon size with XP computers sold in the 2005, 2006 time frame) with a single partition when using the Disk Management utility. A second partition will be created which you will use to install Windows 8.
Todo has a Data backup (File, Disk/Partition) option located in the ‘Home’ tab.
This creates as implied a single backup of the drive partitions you select.
No scheduled incremental backup is part of this one time backup.
I will use this option to create my initial Windows XP baseline and it will and should include all the partitions on your drive.
As you can see below, I’ve clicked on the Disk/Partition tab and included the only partition on my drive (shown as Disk 1) which is the Windows XP partition. Obviously the destination external USB drive is and can not be included in the drive image.
My personal style of where and how to store the Image Backup file includes an external USB drive and creating a destination folder using name that has some meaning. Inside the folder I also create (either before the Image backup is created or immediately after the backup has completed) a small Notepad readme.txt file that includes notes of why and when the backup was created. The contents of the readme file are also pasted or duplicated into the Todo Description box as shown below. This may seem like repetition of the same information, but the readme file saves me from using Todo just to see why the backup was created.
Next Todo requires you to select a destination drive (bottom right) and folder for the backup. If you haven’t already created a destination folder, enter a meaningful folder name. I used Todo_XP_Orig_Baseline_MMDDYY. Click ‘Create’ to create the destination folder using the name you specified on your USB drive.
Backup options: Verify the ‘Compression’ level is set to ‘Medium’ and change it if necessary. Higher compression levels usually do not save all that much space and can add significant time to the backup completion time. No other option changes are necessary.
Click ‘OK’ to return to the previous screen and click the ‘Proceed’ button to start the backup.
The time to complete the backup is dependent on the image compression level, amount of data / used drive space your Windows XP partition contains and to some extent the size of the recovery partition (if you have one).
After the backup has completed, click ‘Finish’ to exit Todo.
Now that your baseline backup is complete, the next step is to shrink the existing Windows XP partition to make room for an additional partition to be used when installing Windows 8. XP does not have the ability to shrink / Resize a partition, so a free third party utility will be used to accomplish this task.