The Windows Learning Center

How to back up Windows 7 computers

Summary

The improved backup and system repair accessories that come with Windows 7 are discussed.

New backup features

One weakness of the Windows operating system has always been its poor backup facilities. Fortunately, Microsoft has finally provided full-featured backup in Windows 7. Here we are talking about imaging of the entire disk, not the partial backup of System Restore.or System Protection, Another new and very welcome feature allows for the preparation of a system repair disk. Since many PCs come with only a restore disk or even just a restore partition, this will be a useful addition.

Creating a system repair disk in Windows 7

Go to Control Panel-System and Security. Select "Back up your computer." Then in the left side of the dialog box that opens, choose "Create a system repair disc" (graphic below).

Making system repair disc in Windows 7

You can also enter "repair" in the Start search line and then choose "Create a System Repair Disc". The next graphic shows the dialog for creating a system repair disc.

Dialog for creating system repair disc in Windows 7

Making a disk image in Windows 7

Windows 7 also has a utility for making an image backup of your PC. If your system didn't come with a restore disc, create a backup. Once you have everything configured the way you like it, then make another backup. Continue to make backups at regular intervals so that you don't lose your work and programs when a disk crash or virus infection happens. The dialog shown below is obtained by clicking on "Create a system image", as shown in the first graphic above.

Creating a system image in Windows 7

Since Windows 7 is big, using a DVD to back up will likely require several discs. An external USB hard drive is a better medium. If you are an advanced PC user, there is the option of a network drive.