Backing up your data is essential: the information contained in a document on a hard drive can be nearly impossible to replicate or replace. Here, we walk you through scheduling backups in Vista and Windows 7.
Step 7. The Backup and Restore Center has two more types of backup worth performing as soon as possible: a system repair disc and a system image. The former can help you restart the PC when Windows won't boot. Choose ‘Create a system repair disc', insert a blank disc when prompted and press ‘Create disc'.
Step 8. It takes only a minute or two to create a system repair disc. Press ok when Windows Backup indicates that the disc has been created. A message will instruct you to remove the disc and label it: we'd suggest the slightly longer [computer name] Repair disc Windows 7 [32/64]bit. Store it somewhere safe.
Step 9. Finally, let's create a disc image. This will come in useful if your PC experiences a catastrophic failure and you need to reformat the hard drive or reinstall Windows then restore your desktop and settings. As you'll be warned if you attempt to do so, you can't create this over a network.
Step 10. Here, Windows tells us a 1GB USB drive would be sufficient for our drive image. However, an optical disc, carefully stored, will probably be more reliable than a convenient but easy-to-lose USB flash key. As with your system repair disc, ensure you keep the drive image disc or USB drive somewhere safe, and label it clearly.
Also see: How to: Restore data from a backup