We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
2,862 Tutorials

How to: Back up your digital media

Plus: Schedule backups in Vista and Windows 7

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'.

Schedule backups step 7

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.

Schedule backups step 8

Visit Security Advisor for the latest news, blogs and reviews on data security

External hard drive reviews

Backup software reviews

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.

Schedule backups step 9

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.

Schedule backups step 10

Also see: How to: Restore data from a backup

IDG UK Sites

Best January sales 2015 UK tech deals LIVE: Best New Year bargains and savings on phones, tablets,...

IDG UK Sites

Chromebooks: ready for the prime time (but not for everybody)

IDG UK Sites

Best Photoshop Tutorials 2014: 10 inspiring step-by-step guides to creating amazing art,...

IDG UK Sites

Mac tips tricks & hacks: 10 things you didn't know your Mac could do