Most of us rely on Windows Home Server to perform our PC backups and store our data but what about standard users? What about your cousin in college or your Aunt with only one computer? This week I will walk you through a quick way to backup Windows 7 PCs.
I do not need this. I have Windows Home Server?
Oh really. There are times when a WHS in not available. There are also times when you do not want to want to keep a backup on your server. I recently had to delete a Vista backup set because I had reached my 10 limit when converting to Windows 7. Boo!
So, we got my sister-in-law a new Dell laptop and I want to have a backup for her in case when she jacks it up. What’s a boy to do?
I’ll tell you what I am NOT going to do: I am not going to drive over to her house, pick it up, drive back home, start it up, connect to my network, install the WHS connector, run a backup that counts towards my ten, wait 45 minutes for it to finish, uninstall the WHS connector, remove the network connection data, shut it down, get my ass back in the truck, drive back over there and then start it up again.
And when I need to restore it? Repeat the process? Hell no!
I’ll tell you what I WILL do: She has an external USB drive that she uses to transfer pictures to her brother’s PC. I will just start the Microsoft Backup and Restore to that drive and go home.
Tech Tip – Microsoft Backup and Restore
I am going to do a demo run on my main PC. In Windows 7 go to the Start Menu and open Maintenance>Backup and Restore.
If this is your first backup then click on Set up backup.
The first time Windows Backup starts it will take a minute.
Make sure you have enough space on your external drive. My Recovery drive was the default and of course did not have the space. I then connected my transport drive that had enough space. Remember to connect your drive BEFORE you start the backup so it will recognize it. You will have to start over if you connect your drive after Setup.
I always like to choose my own backup data set but you can leave it at the default if you are unsure about what data you want to save.
I will back up everything but my Recovery partition. Remind me to delete that partition on my next OS upgrade.
Review the settings to make sure everything is as it should be. Click on Save settings and run backup.
Your backup will now start. Give yourself at least an hour depending on the size of your data.
The backup will take a while since it is an entire backup set and not like a WHS run.
Microsoft Backup and Restore makes a tidy little folder with all of the files it needs to perform a restore. Very nice.
There are more options in this tool such as scheduling but the simple one-time backup is the way to go!
Thank you Microsoft. You save me a lot of time and effort! Seriously.
See you next Tuesday,