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The Importance of File Back Up

Imagine losing all the data stored on your computer to an unexpected technical error and you will immediately realize the importance of file back up. Many people fail to recognize the necessity of file backup and become victims of a data disaster, losing valuable information like their email addresses, contacts, official presentations, important documents and digital photo collections in the process.

There is no way to predict exactly when your hard disk will crash or when your computer will fail you and the only way to circumvent such a data catastrophe is to be prepared for it by creating a back up of your files.

Fortunately for you, creating a file back up is not a long and tedious process and can easily be done using Windows XP. Also, the entire process will consume only 10 minutes of your time at the most. It is advisable to create a file back up at least once a month; however, depending on the amount of data that you store on your computer per day, you may also back up your files every week or every day. There are several back up utilities that you can use to create a back up of your files.

Getting Started

Get organized. Before you back up your files, you have to organize them methodically, so that you can find them again without any problem.

Store all your important files in one simple location and avoid hiding them within several files and folders.

Locate all the important files that you want to save and try bring them into one folder. Windows XP makes this easy by providing users with their own accounts, saving personal contact data and other such information automatically in the “My Documents” folder.

If you are unable to move certain folders or files, note their locations and add them to your back up list.

Using Windows XP Backup

If you are using the Windows XP Professional to create a back up you can get started immediately. However should you be using the Windows XP Home Edition, you will be first required to install the software. Once the program has been installed, please follow these steps to create a back up of your data with the Backup wizard.

  • To begin, select Start on your computer, followed by All Programs, Accessories, System Tools and finally Backup.
  • Click on Next to move to the next page.
  • Select Back up files and settings and then click Next, after which you will see the page below.

Figure 1

Select What You Want To Back Up

You will be faced with 4 options to create back up of your data, namely:

-My documents and settings: This includes data files, e-mail messages, address books, and personal settings and is recommended.

-Everyone's documents and settings: This includes the personal data of multiple users and is recommended for a family computer.

-All information on this computer: This is for all the data on you computer, and will take up a lot of space on your computer.

-Let me choose what to back up: This isfor those who have data files stored outside their profile. Selecting this option will take you to the screen below where you can make your choice of files.

Figure 2

Storing Back Up Files

  • After you have made a selection according to your preference and chosen the files that you wish to create a back up for you will need to decide where you want to store the back up data.
  • Once you have decided on a location, pick a name for the file, select Next to move to the final page as shown below.

Figure 3

Select Finish ending the process.