Windows 7 is becoming slowly but surely a replacement for Windows XP Operating System. The reasons are many: it is more user-friendly, easy to install because it installs automatically the drivers, the drivers updates from internet really work, a very good graphic engine better even than that of the Vista and it runs fast on a decent computer. Windows 7 it’s easy to use and a pleasure to work with.
However, there isn’t perfection in the Operating Systems world. Things are always developing and improving, things are added, others modified. It may happen that you have problems with it and you need to restore it. But in Windows 7 this task is more easier than ever because windows 7 comes with very specialized tools : Backup and Restore Center. To use these utilities them puts no problems to anyone and the steps are easy to follow. Let’s begin.
To arrive at Backup and Restore Center you just open the Control Panel –> Backup and Restore. It could be named also “Back up your computer” if you have chosen to view by: Category. This window contain two options :
1. Create a system image
2. Create a system repair disk. (or create a recovery disc)
So let’s talk first about the first option “Create a system image”:
1. By choosing the options of creating a system image you’ll be directed to a new screen where you are asked to set the location of the back-up. It shows you the other partitions and they advice you to not make the backup on the same physical disk for cases when the hard disk irreversibly crash. But if you haven’t a second hard disk where you can put the backup you can choose D:\ partition or the next partitions. It’s ideal if you have an external hard disk on USB port. After you have chosen you click on “Next” and in this phase you must confirm the backup settings and it shows you what it is chosen to be backed up.
When you press “Start backup” the process begins. Usually a normal backup of Windows 7 takes at least 17 GB, but if have many programs and software it takes more. It’s good to have available space on the backup location around 25-30 GB. The process can take depending of the speed of your hard disk and the size of the backup between 7 and 20 minutes. It creates a folder on the backup partition inside which you will find a folder with the backup which is a VHD file. Additional XML will be created which are just specifications. Let them as they are because they are needed in the restore process.
2. After the process is finished a new screen appears “Create a system repair disk”.
This is the second main option which Backup and Recovery Center has. It shows you the CD/DVD drive and you must insert a CD, DVD in the drive. Select “Create disc” and the process begins. The repair disk is not containing all the Windows 7 files within but it saves some critical files and recovery tools to restore the previously made backups or images. You don’t need a full Windows 7 bootable installation disk because with the repair disc you can boot and then restore the backup image. It’s in other terms: the Windows 7 recovery disk.
Another useful option which you can use is “Back up now” option. The difference between this and “Create a system image” option is that you have the possibility to change settings and remove other files or directories that you don’t want to be backed up. This is regarded mode like a regular backup for personal documents and private libraries especially if you use it with “Turn on schedule” option. You just select “Change Settings” and after the screen “Set up backup” another screen appears: “Set up backup”. If you select “Let me choose” the next screen will show you the C:\ partition and main user libraries.
The advantage of this type of backup is that you can manually choose what exactly to save from the partition and make regular scheduled backups of personal documents.
Don’t forget to unselect the option “Include a system image of drives C:” if you don’t want an exact image of Windows7, because otherwise it will save you all the C:\ partition.
Anyway, Windows 7 has great utilities which protects you from any possible failures. Either you use it to create a system image in conjunction with create a recovery disk or you want to make regular scheduled backups of you personal documents and libraries, Windows 7 is…just great.