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Backing Up With Windows 7

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 [1]

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 [2]

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 [3]

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