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Tech Tips
Windows Vista Backup Utility

By James Wise
web posted March 23, 2009
TECH TIPS – Previously, we’ve talked about how important it is to backup the data on your computer and how to use the Windows XP Backup program. In this column, we’ll cover the backup utility built into Windows Vista.

As with previous instructions, these instructions are for backing up the DATA on your computer. These are normally the files you can’t otherwise replace such as pictures, documents, email, bookmarks, etc. This doesn’t address your operating system or program files though. Keep in mind that in the event of a complete system failure, you would need to re-install those programs so be sure to have a copy of your programs somewhere as well (i.e. the program setup disks).

Using the Windows Vista Backup Utility:

If you would like to see a video of these steps in action, please click here.

To allow for a faster loading page, screenshots were not included in this column. If you'd like pictures of each screen involved, you can download and print the complete article for personal use from here.
(Copyright 2009)

1)    Run the Backup utility by clicking the Start Icon and then clicking Control Panel

2)    Click the System and Maintenance group

3)    Click the Backup and Restore Center group

4)    Click the Back up files button

5)    Choose where you want to place the backup. Typically this will be on another hard disk and likely an external drive. If you have a network with more than one computer, you could use that but this is a more advanced option. Just remember that ideally, you should have a backup on a completely different disk and perhaps even have a copy outside of you home if possible for maximum protection. Also make sure you have enough free space for your backup on the location you pick. Finally, make sure that the backup location is available when your backup is scheduled to run. For example, if you use a network location or external drive, make sure this is available.

6)    Choose what file types you want to back up. Typically, you’ll want all boxes checked

7)    Choose how often you want the backup to run. I suggest to at least make this weekly and at some time your computer will be running but not used.

8)    Click Save settings and start backup and a backup will start. You can run this utility again in the future to see when the last backup was taken and when the next backup is scheduled. You can also use the change settings option here if you want to modify your backup settings later.

Coming Soon

Next time, we’ll talk about how to copy a backup to a CD or DVD for “off site storage” in the event of a fire, stolen computer, etc…

In future columns we will talk about other backup options like programs that backup your computer over the Internet (thus providing an “off site backup”) and special external hard drives specifically designed for easy backups. To wrap things up, we’ll also review how to recover files from a backup.   

Do you have a tech question you would like answered or a program you would like to recommend? Email me at edgefieldtechhelp@gmail.com. For computer questions, please include your operating system version (e.g. Windows Vista) and sorry, but I don’t do Macs.

Disclaimer: Software, tips, and links provided are used at the risk of the reader.


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We still need recipes for Cooking Section

WEBNEWS –  Send in your favorite or favorites. There is no limit to the number of recipes you can send in. With the Editor’s wife being the driving force behind her own personal section, help her create an exchange of local favorites, home cooking, grilling, sauces, and deserts!  Send in your submissions here.