The Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate editions of Windows 7 include Backup and Restore Center. You can use this tool to automate backups and to create a com¬plete backup of a computer. Note that you must have appropriate permissions to back up and restore files on a computer.
Windows 7 can automatically create both personal data backups and system image backups. Personal data backups are used to periodically back up pictures, music, videos, e-mail, documents, and other types of important files. System image back¬ups are used to periodically back up the system drive, the boot drive, and other drives required for Windows to run. You can use personal data backups to restore your data. You use system image backups to restore a computer if it stops working.
The computer must be turned on at the scheduled run time for automated back¬ups to work. You cannot save backups to the system disk, the boot disk, or tape. You can save personal data backups to USB flash drives, CD/DVD drives, and network locations, regardless of whether they are formatted with FAT or NTFS. However, you can save system image backups only to internal drives, network locations, or USB flash drives formatted with NTFS. You can also save system image backups to CD/DVD drives.
By default, scheduled backups are created every Sunday at 7 P.M. In a workplace where computers are shut off over the weekend, you’ll want to change this setting.
To configure automated backups, follow these steps:
1. In Control Panel, under the System And Security heading, click the Back Up Your Computer link.
2. If you haven’t previously configured automated backups, click Set Up Backup. Otherwise, click Change Settings.
3. On the Select Where You Want To Save Your Backup page, use the options provided to specify a backup location on a local disk, a CD/DVD drive, a USB flash drive, or the network, and then click Next. With CD/DVD drives, if the backup doesn’t fit on one disc, you need to be available to insert discs when prompted.
4. On the What Do You Want To Back Up page, select one of the following and then click Next:
- Select Let Windows Choose if you want to back up all personal data in user profile folders and libraries and also create a system image.
- Select Let Me Choose if you want to select personal and system data to back up.
5. If you selected Let Me Choose, use the options provided to select personal data to back up. You can expand the Data Files and Computer nodes and subnodes to select specific folders and libraries. By default, the Include A System Image check box is selected to ensure that system image backups are created (which is what you’ll usually want to do).After making your selections and clearing unwanted options, click Next.
6. On the Review Your Backup Settings page, click Change Schedule. Use the options provided to set the backup schedule, and then click OK. The How Often list lets you choose Daily, Weekly, or Monthly as the run schedule. If you choose a weekly or monthly run schedule, you need to set the day of the week or month to run by using the What Day list. Finally, the What Time list lets you set the time of day when automated backup should occur. Click OK.
7. If you are creating the initial backup and saving the backup schedule, click Save Settings And Run Backup to save your settings and then have Windows create the initial backup. If you’ve already created the initial backup for the computer, you’ll see the Save Settings And Exit option instead.
Back Up Manually
Once you’ve configured automated backups, you can use the settings to run a backup manually at any time. Simply open Backup And Restore, and then click Back Up Now. If you want to manually create a system image backup, follow these steps:
1. In Control Panel, under the System And Security heading, click the Back Up Your Computer link. In the left pane, click Create A System Image.
2. On the Where Do You Want To Save The Backup page, use the options pro¬vided to specify a backup location. Click Next.
3. On the Which Drives Do You Want To Include In The Backup page, the com¬puter’s system drive is selected by default. You cannot change this selection, but you can add other drives to the backup image by selecting the related check boxes. Click Next to continue.
4. Click Start Backup.