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Backing Up With Windows 7

Sunday, June 5th, 2011 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management

Ed Jolly from Tulsa, OK asks:

Just rebuilt from attack. Now on Windows 7. Could you please do step by step to back up entire system to external HD with win 7? I used NTbackup on XP, but not sure how to do on win 7.

Hi Ed! You will be glad to hear that backing up your entire system is easier with Windows 7 than it was with NT. Here is a quick rundown of all that you will need to do:

1. First, you need to launch the Windows 7 Backup and Restore utility. You can do that by clicking the Start button and typing ‘backup and restore‘ into the search bar, or by going to the Control Panel, selecting System and Security, and then Backup and Restore.

2. If you have never run a backup before, click the link on the top right that says Set up backup.

3. The next window that opens asks you to choose a location for your system backup, so select your external hard drive from the choices you are given. Just make sure that your external drive is big enough for a full backup. If it isn’t, Windows will warn you before proceeding. Click Next to continue.

Select backup drive

4. By default, Windows will back up all your essential files, but if you want to be more specific, select the Let me choose radio button on the next window. The latter option will allow you to browse to specific files or folders, and will also give you the option of creating a system image. Again, click Next when you are done with these options.

Choose backup files

5. The next thing you will see is a backup summary, so we are almost done. However, you will probably want to change the default backup schedule to a time that is more convenient to you. Simply click Change schedule and choose when you want your backups to take place.

Change Schedule

6. To start your backup, just click the Save settings and run backup button and you are good to go.  The first backup will likely take a little while, but future backups will be quicker as they only include changes to files that have already been backed up.

You can now rest assured that your files are backed up safely to where they need to be, and that any future disasters will be more manageable because of your new backup schedule.

~Jonathan Wylie

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6 Responses to “Backing Up With Windows 7”

  1. Debbie says:

    When you do a backup on your computer. Lets says your computer has a major problem and you need to either re-install windows or use your back up. How do you use the back up copy of your windows and does it get rid of everything you have currently on your computer.
    Thank You

  2. Dwight Kemper says:

    I have the same concerns as Debbie. How do you use the external hard drive especially if you have a huge failure and cannot even get to the desktop?

  3. Sid Cass says:

    I can’t go ahead with a Windows 7 Premium backup as I am not given an alternative for using an external hard drive in backup location – only a CD Rom. What should I do now?

    • audra says:

      Hi Sid,

      Is the external hard drive plugged into your computer when you are setting up the backup? Also, it may not say “external HDD” as shown in the picture, but may have a different label.

  4. Sid says:

    Hi Audra,
    Yes the external hard drive is plugged in. Under restore backup I’m given one location D: Optiarc DVD RW Ad -5170A. When I Try to select another backup it just says searching then goes blank.

  5. K.Vee.Shanker. says:

    Hi Audra,

    Thanks for your detailed reply.

    However, I offer a suggestion here on successive update of the backup. I feel it is better to have a clean backup separately, and then have another backup for the successive updates. This protects one from any virus infection that can happen anytime during normal Internet use, which shows itself/is identified later.

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