Simple Computer Backup

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1 Title: Simple Computer Backup (Win 7 and 8) Author: Nancy DeMarte Date Created: 11/10/13 Date(s) Revised: 1/20/15 Simple Computer Backup This tutorial includes these methods of backing up your PC files: 1. Backing up to a flash drive (page 2-3) 2. Backing up to a CD or DVD (page 4-8) 3. Backing up using Windows 7 Backup and Restore (page 9-10) 4. Backing up using Windows 8/8.1 File History (page 11) 5. Creating a System Image & System Repair Disk (page 12) 6. Backing up to OneDrive (page 13)

2 Method 1: How to Back Up Files to a Flash Drive (Win 7 and 8) BACKING UP TO A FLASH DRIVE: 1. Insert the flash drive into a USB port. 2. Click Open folder to view files in the AutoPlay window. If this window does not appear, click Computer, then the USB drive name. Figure 1: Auto Play window 3. Find the Documents folder and the flash drive in the left pane. The flash drive is highlighted, showing its contents in the right pane. Left pane Right pane Documents Flash Drive This right pane is empty because there are no files on the flash drive yet. Figure 2: Explorer window in Windows 7 or 8 2

3 4. Click Documents in the left pane. It becomes highlighted and its contents show in the right pane. LEFT PANE RIGHT PANE Two documents you want to put on the flash drive. Figure 3 Explorer Window TWO WAYS TO COPY FILES FROM THE COMPUTER TO THE FLASH DRIVE: A. Click and Drag method In the right pane, click a folder or file and hold down the mouse button while you drag it across to the left pane onto the flash drive icon until the icon is highlighted. Then let go of the mouse button. B. Copy and Paste method In the right pane, right click a folder or file. From the dropdown menu, left click Copy, which puts the file on the clipboard. Then right click the flash drive icon in the left pane. From the menu, left click Paste. NOTE: To copy several files or folders at once, hold down the Ctrl key while you click the items you wish to copy. Release the Ctrl key and copy the group using method A or B. 5. Click the flash drive in the left pane to make sure your copied items appear in the right pane. You can add, delete, and edit files on flash drives. Store the flash drive in a safe place and label it if using it for backup. NOTE: In Windows 7, to see how full your flash drive is getting, click Start Computer, which opens the Computer and shows all drives. The flash drive icon will display the amount of free space the drive has. 3

4 HOW TO BACK UP FILES TO A CD or DVD Windows 7 and 8 The computer must have a CD/RW or DVD/RW drive in order to use this backup method. 1. When choosing blank CD's or DVD s, the CD-R or DVD-R type is recommended. It is more stable and will last longer than the rewritable, but more expensive, CD-RW type.* 2. Insert a blank CD-R into the slide out tray, label side up. Wait until the AutoPlay dialog box opens, showing the CD burning options. If AutoPlay does not open after a few seconds, click the Start button, then Computer, and double click the CD/DVD-RW drive to open it. 3. Click Burn files to Disc using Windows Explorer. Figure 4: CD drive AutoPlay window *About CD and DVD drives: You can tell what kind of CD/DVD disc drive you have by its name. A CD drive will play, but not burn, only CD s. A CD-RW drive will play and burn CD s. A DVD/CD-RW or DVD-RW drive will burn and play both CD s and DVD s. To see the type of your drive, click Start Computer and notice the name of your drive in the drive list. 4

5 4. The Burn a Disc dialog box opens. Select the method you wish to use by clicking the appropriate button. There are two options: Live File System or Mastered. Click here for more information about the options. Figure 5: CD backup options The Like a USB flash drive option lets you copy files to a disc now and add others later. You can also edit files or delete them from the disc. This disc will then open on any Windows computer which is version XP, Vista, Windows 7 or 8 that has a CD or DVD drive. Discs created this way may not play on all computers or DVD players, but this method is convenient and maximizes disc space because these CD s can be reused. This method is called the Live File System. The With a CD/DVD player option etches or burns files or folders to CD-R s or DVD-R s permanently. They can t be edited or deleted, but a disc created this way will play on most computers and CD players. Files from this kind of CD can be printed or copied to a hard drive. This method is called the Mastered system. It was the only method available in earlier Windows operating systems. 5. Either leave the date as the title of the disc or type a new name for the disc in the Disc Title box. Then click "Next" to proceed. This tutorial takes you through the next steps for both options. The Live File System Option 1. If you chose the Live File System, wait while the CD is formatted by the computer. When an AutoPlay box appears, click "Open folder to view files." Figure 6 Auto Play dialog box 5

6 2. Type a name for the disc, if prompted. Then add files to it as you would a flash drive, as shown below: 1. Click My Documents 2. View the contents of the My Documents folder 3. Click and drag a file or folder from My Docs onto the CD drive icon. Figure 7: Adding files to the CD using Live File System 3. Click a folder (e.g., My Documents) in the left pane to reveal its contents in the right pane. 4. Select a folder or file in the right pane and drag it to the CD/DVD-RW drive in the left pane. To select a group of files or folders, hold down the Ctrl key while you click a number of files. Release the Ctrl key. Click and drag the group of files (or use Copy & Paste) to the left pane onto the CD-RW drive icon. Repeat the process for any other files or folders you wish to add to the CD. 5. Click Close session to make this disc readable on other computers. Click Eject to close this session and eject the disc. Later you can insert it again and add to it. You may add or delete files until the CD is full (a bit less than 700 MB). Figure 8: Closing a backup CD in Live File System 6

7 The Mastered System Option 1. Select With a CD/DVD Player, called the Mastered System. Type a title for the disc and click Next. Figure 9 Disc-burning Choices 2. To add files and folders to the disc, follow Steps 2-4 in the Live File System directions. In the Mastered system, this puts temporary duplicates of the real files in the window, as shown by the down arrows next to each file or folder. If you change your mind, highlight the files you want to remove from the list and click the Delete Temporary files button. You can only copy files to a disc one time with this system, so try to include a large group of files (up to 700 MB). When you are ready to copy the files to the CD, click Burn to disc. Figure 10: Adding files to CD in Mastered System 7

8 3. The CD writing wizard appears. Here you can name the disc and set the recording speed, if you wish. When finished, click Next and wait while the files are etched (burned) by laser onto the disc surface starting at the center of the disc. When complete, the CD will be ejected automatically. Click either Yes, burn these files to another disc or Finish. TIP: You can label a CD or DVD with a felt tip marker. Try to keep the label as close to the outside edge as you can, since data is burned to the disc from the inside out. More information about backing up data files (documents, photos, etc.) is available at these places. Copy the links into your browser address bar: 1. This site offers easy to follow lessons and video tutorials on many aspects of computer use. This is the link to the Backup lesson: 2. Microsoft offers some excellent tutorials about how to use its back-up options. Use Google to search for the type of backup you want information or lessons on. 3. YouTube.com can also be searched and will provide videos that demonstrate how to make backups or use OneDrive. 8

9 Backing up to an External Hard Drive How to Use Backup and Restore in Windows 7 Windows 7 includes a Backup and Restore program which can be set up to back up files manually or on a schedule and to create a system image backup. Backup and Restore is located in the Control Panel. An easy way to get to it is to click Start and type "backup" in the Search bar at the bottom of the Start menu. Backup and Restore will be listed at the top under Programs. Figure 12: Search results Figure 11: Search bar on the Windows 7 Start Menu Setting up Your First Data Backup: Before you start, plug in an external hard drive to a USB port on your computer. 1. Open the Backup and Restore program. 2. Click "Set up backup" to start the setup wizard. 3. The "Select where you want to save your backup" screen appears. It will show your external HD. Choose it. 4. Click Next to select whether you or Windows will choose the files to back up. Unless you have a good sense of where all important files are located, "Let Windows choose" is your best option. This option will back up all your Libraries, plus the standard Windows data, such as downloads, favorites, links, saved games, etc. If you select "Let me choose," you must make the choices yourself. 5. Click Next. You can change the suggested backup time schedule now or decide to do the backups manually. 6. Click "Save settings and start backup." Your first backup will begin and may take a few hours, depending on how many files you have. When it is complete, close out of the Backup and Restore program. (See screen shot of the Backup and Restore window on the next page.) 9

10 When you see a message that the backup is complete, be sure the ext. hard drive has finished copying files before you remove it and store it away from your computer. The best way to be sure the External HD has finished is to click the up arrow on the right end (notification area) of the taskbar. Figure 14: Backup and Restore main window, right pane Figure 13 Windows 7 Backup and Restore home Then click the icon that looks like a flash drive with a green checkmark on it. The Eject window will appear. Click your device. Wait a few seconds for a message to appear that says, Safe to remove hardware. Then remove the ext. hard drive. More Tips for Using Windows 7 Backup Backup will not work on a Windows 7 laptop if it is on battery power. Plug it into an electrical outlet. You can schedule a regular time each week to do a backup. By default, if it's time for your regularly scheduled backup and your computer is off, sleeping, or hibernating, Windows Backup skips the backup. However, if you want to wake the computer to perform backup, you can use the task scheduler to wake the computer before the scheduled backup time. Here is how: 1. Click on Start button and type Task Scheduler in the start search box and press enter. 2. Select the Task Scheduler from the menu, click on Actions and then select Create task. 3. Click Conditions tab and make sure that Wake the computer to run this task is checked. 10

11 How to Back up using File History in Windows 8/8.1 Windows 8 does not include the Backup and Restore feature from Windows 7. Instead, it has a new easier to use, automated system for continuously backing up your files called File History. After you attach an external hard drive to your Win 8 PC or laptop and turn on file History, your personal files stored in libraries, the desktop, favorites and contacts folders will be backed up every hour, unless you can change the interval. Over time, File History builds up a history of changes made to personal files. To set up File History with an external hard drive: 1. Connect an external hard drive to your computer. 2. When you see a message asking if you want to configure File History, click yes. If you don t see the message, type File History in the Search box. Below is the screen that appears. Figure 14: Windows 8.1 File History window Turn on file History by using the Turn on/turn off button. To adjust settings, click Advanced Settings. Here you can see the default settings and change them, if you wish, such as the amount of time between backups. To restore files, click Restore personal files, which opens the File History cache and displays your backed up folders. -- Navigate to the file you want to restore by double-clicking a folder and its sub-folders until you have found the file you are looking for. Double click it to open it. -- To restore it to your computer, click the curve arrow in the green circle below the file. The Replace or Skip box opens. Click a choice. The usual one is Replace the file in this location. -- You have now replaced the original file with the copy from the external hard drive. 11

12 How to Create a System Image in Win 7 and 8.1 A system image is a copy of everything on your computer, including software programs and the operating system. Both Windows 7 and 8.1 allow you to make a system image. Figure 15: left pane of Win 7 backup Window Create a System Image in Windows 7 To create a system image, connect your ext. hard drive to the computer, open Control Panel - Backup and Restore, and click Create a system image in the left pane. Follow the brief instructions. A system image is useful for restoring your Windows system in case of a complete computer failure complete and need not be done frequently. Create a System Image in Windows 8.1 To create a system image, connect your ext. hard drive to the computer. Search for File History and click System Image Backup in the lower left corner of the window. Follow the instructions. A system image is useful for restoring your Windows system in case of a complete computer failure. System backups make take a few hours to complete and should be done every few months. Figure 16: left bottom corner of Win 8.1 File History window How to Create a System Repair Disc A system repair disc is a special backup which you create while your computer is in healthy shape, such as right after purchase. It can allow you to start up your computer when the regular Startup does not work; it also includes some system recovery tools. It requires one blank CD-R disc or a flash drive, depending on the size of the recovery partition. You only have to create it once, label it, and put it in a safe place away from your computer. Nothing else can be added to it. Windows 7: Put a blank CD-R in your CD/DVD drive tray. Click Create a system repair disc in the Backup and Restore window, left side. Follow the brief instructions and label it as directed after it finishes. Windows 8.1: Open Control Panel File History. Click Recovery in the bottom left corner of window Click Create a recovery drive, then Next. It will tell you how large a device you need, based on the size of the system. This process may take an hour or more. 12

13 Back up Files to Microsoft s Cloud Storage Space, OneDrive With important files, it is always good to have more than one backup. For example, you might have a backup on an external drive, another on a flash drive or CD, and a third on Microsoft s cloud storage area, OneDrive. All MS Office users get 15GB of free storage on OneDrive with the option to buy more. Office 365 subscription owners now have an unlimited amount of storage on OneDrive. Figure 17 OneDrive App in a Win 7 Explorer window Windows 7: It is much easier to manipulate files stored in OneDrive if you have Windows 8, but with a Microsoft account, you can download the OneDrive desktop app, which will allow you to store files on OneDrive. If you have Office 2013 or 365, your default saving location is OneDrive. You can choose Computer if you don t want to store files on OneDrive. Windows 8.1: In Windows 8.1, One Drive is already integrated into the operating system through an app on the Desktop, making it work just like another folder on your computer. When you click Save As, one of your saving options will be OneDrive. A good backup strategy is to save it there and also to your PC. If you have Windows 8.1 and an external hard drive connected running File History, it has already also been backed up there. Multiple backups for very important files is a good idea. You also can make these files available offline so you can get to them when you have no Internet connection. Select a file or folder in OneDrive, then click Make available Offline. When you edit a file that is offline and then put it back online by right-clicking and choosing Make available online, your file will update to include your edits. A tip is to make only important files available offline to save space on your Computer. If that isn t an issue, you can click Options and turn on Access all files offline. 13

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