Now that we know WHY we should back-up lets talk about HOW to. There are many options when it comes to back-up software, for example Livedrive. But what about a free option that doesn’t install viruses? Well, Windows has had one built in since Vista. Windows backup works in two different ways, the first is file back-up.
The file backup takes all of the data you select (music, videos, pictures, documents, ect) and compresses them into a zip file on your back-up media. The second way it can backup your computer is with a system image. The system image essentially take a photo of your entire computer, which can be used to restore your computer, if you hard drive fails or your computer goes missing.
What to Do
All you need to start the backup is something to back-up to; an external hard drive is ideal, a large flash drive would work as well. DVDs and a DVD burner will also work.
- The first step is make sure your backup media is ready (drives are plugged in or blank disks are inserted.)
- We start by going over to the Control Panel. This can be accessed through the start button.
- We then go to the Backup and Restore utility (or “back up your computer” if you are in category view) and click “set up backup”.
- Once it loads select the drive you will be making a back-up to and click next
- You will then be given the option to select what you want to back-up or let Windows choose. If you have specific files in non-standard places you will want to choose for yourself. If, however, you just have pictures, videos, music, and documents, in the standard folders then letting Windows choose for you will be fine.
- You will now see everything that is going into the back-up, including a system image if you are doing one, which will let you restore to this point later if you need to. You will also see a spot for you to set a backup schedule so you can set the computer to backup every Sunday at 7pm (or any other day/time) if you like.
- Finally click save settings and run back-up.
Congratulations you have just started backing up your data.