How To Use the Windows Backup Utility

As a consequence of it having been inexplicably omitted from the default installation of Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Backup is a sadly underused utility, that has the functionality and ease-of-use to play an important role in personal data protection.

It may be used to:

  • Archive selected files and folders on your hard disk.
  • Restore the archived files and folders to a hard disk drive or removable storage device, such as recordable or rewritable CD or DVD media.
  • Use Automated System Recovery to save and restore all the system files and configuration settings needed to recover from a complete system failure.
  • Make a copy of your computer’s System State, which includes the system files, the registry, Component Services, the Active Directory database, and the Certificate Services database.
  • Make a copy of your computer’s system partition, boot partition, and the files needed to start up your system in case of computer or network failure.
  • Schedule regular backups to keep your archived data up-to-date.

This tutorial will take you through the steps involved in manually installing the Backup utility from a Windows XP Home Edition CD-ROM and using it to backup and subsequently restore your data.

You can use Backup to back up and restore data on either file allocation table (FAT) or NTFS file system volumes. However, if you have backed up data from an NTFS volume used in Windows XP, it is recommended that you restore the data to an NTFS volume used in Windows XP. If you do not, you could lose data as well as some file and folder features such as permissions, encrypting file system (EFS) settings, disk quota information, mounted drive information, and Remote Storage information.

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