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Windows XP Backup Guide


Windows XP includes a Backup program, which allows you to easily backup files on your computer to an external hard disk.

Start the Windows Backup Program


To start the built-in Windows Backup utility in Windows XP,
  • click on the Start Menu,
      Select the "Programs" Menu option
        Click on the "Accessories" option
          Select the "System Tools" Program Group

    Click on the Backup icon

    The Backup and Restore Wizard will be loaded.
    The wizard simplifies the backup and restore process. (you can choose advanced mode if you prefer)

    Click the "Next" button, to start the wizard.

    To backup files on your computer, select back up files and settings.
    Click the "Next" button.

    Windows allows you to backup your documents and setting only, everyone's documents and settings
    or All the information on your computer
    or You can choose to backup individual files and folders

    For this guide we are going to backup the documents and setting for the main user only.
    (My documents and settings)
    Click the "Next" button.

    By default Windows XP will select 3 1/2" Floppy(A:) as the backup destination
    Click "Browse ..." the button.


    Click the "Cancel" button.


    Double click the My Computer icon.

    Select your external hard disk.

    Double click the icon of your External Hard Disk Drive.

    You can change the name of your backup file if you want.

    Click the "Save" button.

    Confirm the backup detination

    Click the "Save" button.

    You can run the backup straight away or schedule the backup to run at a later time.
    We are going to schedule the backup to run every day at 9:00 pm.
    Click the "Advanced.." button.

    Set the backup type.

    Click the "Next" button.

    Set other backup options.

    Click the "Next" button.

    Set other backup options. You can choose to append (add) each new backup to the original backup file
    or overwrite the previous backup each time the backup is run.
    I have choosen to append the backup.
    This option in combination with the increamental backup type selected above, will mean new and changed files will be added to the backup each time it runs.
    *Eventually the backup could run out of space depending on the size of the data being backed up and the capacity of your external hard drive. You can simply delete the backup (or rename it) to force a new backup to be created with the same name. Click the "Next" button.

    Enter a name for the Backup Schedule. In this case I choose "Daily Backup" as the schedule name.
    Click the "Set Schedule.." button.
    Enter the frequency and time you would like the backup to run.
    Click the "OK" button.

    You will be prompted to enter your password to activate (or change) the schedule.
    Enter your Windows password and click ok

    Your backup has been scheduled and will run at the time specified.
    Please ensure you computer is turned on at the time the backup is scheduled.

    Click the Finish button.

    Testing the backup


    You can view or change the schedule or run the scheduled task straight away using the windows scheduled tasks mamager. To view your scheduled tasks by clicking:-
      START \ Programs \ Accessories \ System Tools \ Scheduled Tasks


    Right click on the Dialy Backup scheduled task icon and choose "Run" to test the backup (run immediately)



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