Backup Your Data Quickly and Easily

I am still shocked at the number of users that are not backing up their data. Many users have thousands of photos, home videos and other priceless data that lives on their hard drive. In most cases, this is the only copy they have. If something happens to the hard drive, this data can be lost forever. And take note, hard drive failures are very common, it is usually the first piece of hardware to go.

Starting a backup policy after you have lost data is not much good either. You need to start now. Don't lose your data, then realize the value of backing up. Just think what would happen if you were to lose all of your data right now. Could you deal with that? If the answer is no, then read on and start backing up today.

Backing up is cheap and simple

Thanks to the dropping prices of storage, backing up can be done cheaper than ever before. Windows also provides excellent tools for backing up, so there is no longer an excuse. The following will show you how to create a quick backup in Windows 7. The same applies for Vista and XP, but some of the dialogs might be slightly different.

Windows has a nice backup tool. To access this, just open control panel and click on "Backup and Restore".

backup and restore in windows 7

From here, there are a few options you can take.

Create a system image - This will virtually backup the whole system as an image file. This backup will be large and will take some time to create. The system repair disc will just help you fix Windows settings in the event that something goes wrong.

Set up backup - For now we will look at this option. It just allows you to backup certain files and folders. It is worthwhile also creating a system image backup from time to time.

1) Click on the "Set up backup" link, it may then take a few seconds to see the next prompt

windows backup

2) Now you can select where to backup your data. You can plug in an external drive or backup to a local hard drive or network. If backing up to a hard drive, be sure to backup to a different location to your data. If your hard drive fails and it is also storing backups, they will fail too.

3) After selecting where to backup, click "Next" and you will see the following prompt. Now you need to decide whether Windows should choose your data to backup or if you wish to choose manually. I prefer to choose the data manually, but it's up to you.

windows backups

4) Click on "Let me choose", click "Next", then simply check which items you wish to backup.

windows backups

5) After choosing which items to backup, click "Next". Now you can just click run backup, or you can schedule the backup to run at a specific time. Schedules are very useful because you can keep your backups going on a regular basis and it can be done when you are away from your PC.

Remember to test your backup data every once in a while too!!