[1] how to save on extHDD? [2] how to find and save files which can't be backed up by the software?

hi all ! this is my first post in this forum. i have recently bought a 250 GB Passport Essential extHDD. i have two questions- #1 while backing up my C,D and E drives in XP SP2, i noticed that is a big chunk (more than 1 GB in my case) of files which do not come under the movies, documents, other, music etc headings. going by what the user manual had to say, thes files cannot be backed up ! i am quite surprised about it. so, am i to back up these files manually ? i.e. copy-paste them like one would with a pen drive? if yes, then how am i supposed to find which files have not been backed up? is there some software search for this? #2 is it ok if instead of using the smareware software, i simply go ahead and copy-paste the data i want to save? what are the (dis)advantages of both these ways of saving on the drive? thanks!

In your case I would just copy/paste everything. Smartware is great for some people, but if you do anything complex with your system a manual backup, or a backup with Robust Backup Software is the way to go. There are lots of different kinds of RBS’s out there - a simple google search should find what you need.

hey thanks ! can you suggest which ones are generally considered more reliable ? esp. for WDC discs ? someone on a linux forum suggested rsync since i also have ubuntu as a dual boot option with XP. also if i mix software backup with copy-paste, will this create any problems? i am planning to use the software for backing up my word document files, which i will keep editing. it seems backup doesn’t re-write the entire file, only the parts that are changed. so all this should help in prologing the life of the extHDD, no ? movies, songs etc i will simply copy-paste. please advice. thanks!