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Use Windows Basic Backup and Restore Center to Back Up Files in Vista

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This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.

Backing up files

The Windows Basic Backup and Restore Center is the default Microsoft back up program in Vista. This program is designed for backing up common types of files. If you use applications with non-standard proprietary file formats, this program may not backup those files.
Important files should be backed up on a regular schedule to avoid losing information in the event of a serious hardware failure or loss of the PC. Back up the files to some form of external media rather than copying them to an alternate internal drive. Your notebook PC has USB ports that allow you to connect an external hard drive with a USB cable or to use a USB flash drive/Memory Stick to back up your files. Label the media with the name of the PC and the backup date. Store the media in a safe location away from the PC. If a PC has multiple hard drives, the files from one drive can be backed up to another drive on the same PC; however, if the drive fails or something happens to the PC, both the current files and the backed up files will be lost.
To configure a backup program to store files on the desired drive, you need to determine how the drives on the PC are configured and named. Click Start , and then Computer to view the listing of drives. The HP recovery partition, which contains tools for recovering the operating system but no user files, is usually Identified as HP_Recovery (Drive Name) or Presario_RP (Drive Name). Do not attempt to back up files to the Recovery partition because there is only a small amount of free space available. Files should be backed up to your external USB hard drive or flash drive/Memory stick. The name for the drive depends on the configuration of your computer. It may be named D: , F: , or some other letter.

Back up files using Windows Backup and Restore Center

To back up files from the hard drive to an external USB hard drive or USB flash drive/Memory Stick using the backup function of the Windows Backup and Restore, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start , type backup into the search field, and then click Backup and Restore Center .
  2. Click Back up files to open the Back Up Files window.
  3. When prompted to select where you want to save your backup files, click the drop-down arrow and select your external USB hard drive or USB flash drive/Memory Stick, and then click Next .
    NOTE:Do not select the recovery partition as a storage location. The partition is small, and overwriting the partition will cause a failure.
  4. When prompted to select what type of files to back up, click the check boxes to either select or deselect each type of file, and then click Next .
  5. When prompted as to how often you want to back up the files, click the drop-down arrows to select a frequency and time.
  6. When you have selected a back up schedule, click Save settings and start backup .
    Alternately, click Cancel to save the basic settings. You can return to perform the backup later.
  7. When prompted as to what disks you want to include in the backup, select the primary hard drive(s), usually C: , and unselect the recovery partition.
  8. When the back up is complete, store the backup media in a safe place, away from the PC.
Since you specified a schedule for backing up files, be sure to connect an external hard drive with a USB cable or insert a USB flash drive/Memory Stick in the drive at the appropriate time.
To change the backup settings, open the Backup and Restore center, click Change settings , and then follow the prompts.

Restoring files

The Restore function of the Windows Backup and Restore Center helps you to find and restore an individual file or a complete folder of files. The backed up files may be from this PC or a different PC. You must have the actual media to which you saved your backup. If you want to restore a single file, you must know the name of the file, or you can choose to restore all of the files in a backed up folder to the hard drive.
Before you can restore files from another PC, you must have performed at least one backup operation on your PC. If Windows Vista recognizes that you have not created a backup before on your PC, an error message displays to remind you to create a backup before you can continue.
The Windows Backup and Restore Center allows you to select where to store the recovered files. You can restore the files to their original location, or you can choose a different directory for temporary storage. To prevent the recovery from accidently overwriting an existing file, you will be prompted to either replace the existing file or save the recovered file with a different name.

Restore backed up files using Windows Backup and Restore Center

To restore a file or folder from a backup file that is stored on an external USB hard drive or USB flash drive/Memory Stick using the restore function of the using the Windows Backup and Restore, follow the steps below.
  1. Connect the external USB drive or insert the flash drive/Memory Stick into a USB port on your notebook PC.
  2. Click Start , type backup into the search field, and then select Backup and Restore Center from the list.
  3. Click the Advanced restore option to open the Backup Status and Configuration window.
  4. When prompted to select the type of restore, click Advanced restore .
  5. When prompted on What do you want to restore , select one of the following and then click Next :
    • Files from latest backup
    • Files from older backup
    • Files from another computer
  6. When prompted to specify a location of the backed up files, click the drop-down arrow and select the external USB hard drive or your flash drive/Memory stick, and then click Next .
  7. When prompted to select a file or folder to restore , select one of the following and then click Next :
    • Restore everything in this backup - to restore all files and folders. This option will overwrite all changes made since the backup was done.
    • Add files - to restore a single file, if you know the name and the location of the file.
    • Add folders - to restore complete folders of commonly backed up files.
    • Search - to find and restore a file or folder if you do not know the exact name or location.
  8. When prompted as to Where do you want to save the restored files , select the In the following location option and then click Browse to open a standard folder navigation window.
    If you are not sure exactly what files were backed up or what changes were made since the backup, you should restore the files to a new location on the C: drive. You can use an existing folder or make a new folder.
    Alternately, when prompted for a location, you can select the restore In the original location option and then click Start restore to start the process.
  9. If a backed up file has the same name as an existing file, a prompt displays allowing you to make one of the following choices:
    • Copy and Replace the original file with the backed up file.
    • Don't copy the backed up file.
    • Copy but keep both files by assigning a different name to the file being restored.
  10. Allow the recovery to run without interruption, and then click Finish when the recovery is complete.
When the desired files are restored, store the backup media in a safe location, away from the PC.
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