Regular backups are an essential part of computer maintenance . Windows XP Professional comes with a backup utility already installed but the utility has to be added to the Home Edition. This page discusses how to use the Microsoft Backup Utility.
Installing Backup in Windows XP Home Edition
The backup utility is not included in the default installation of Windows XP Home Edition. However, it can be found on the full Windows XP installation disk where it is present on the CD in the folder \VALUEADD\MSFT\NTBACKUP. The procedure for installing
it is given by Microsoft at
this reference. Kelly Theriot also has a
Unfortunately, many vendors no longer sell computers with a full installation CD. Systems may come with on OEM version that has no \VALUEADD\ folder or with no CD at all. Instead there is a "Restore" disk or a hidden partition containing an image with whatever
contents were on your computer when you bought it. If you want to read some experiences people have had trying to get their vendor to provide the utility, read this
Bob Cerelli's page on Windows Tips has a link for downloading a copy of the installation file. It's a very long page so do a search on it for NTBACKUP.
Windows XP Professional Edition Backup
The backup utility can be found in Start-All Programs-Accessories-System Tools. The figure below shows the window that first opens. In this dialog box, you have a choice between Microsoft's step-by-step "Wizard" or the "Advanced Mode". We
will first look at the "Wizard" mode. "Advanced Mode" is discussed on
Click "Next" to open the window below. You have a choice of creating a new backup or restoring a previous backup. Make a selection and click "Next".
The next window appears if you are making a new backup. It gives you a choice of what to back up. You may wish to back up everything or just certain folders and/or files. Here we will pick "Let me choose what to back up". Click "Next".
A dialog box will open listing the contents of your computer. Select the particular folders and files that you want to back up. Click "Next".
Now choose where you want to put the backup and what you want to call it. If you are backing up the entire system, make sure that the backup medium has enough space. When you have chosen the destination, click "Next".
A point to remember is that the backup will be a single file and that FAT32 files cannot exceed 4 GB. If you have a larger amount even after compression, any backup drives should be formatted with NTFS. Also note that the utility cannot do a direct backup
to a CD-R. Either you have to back up to a folder on a hard drive and then copy to a CD or you need packet-writing software and a CD-RW. The same holds for DVDs.
The next dialog box shows the settings that you have chosen. If they are correct, click "Finish" to create the backup. If you wish, there are also some advanced settings that can be used to modify the backup procedure. They can be accessed by clicking the
"Advanced' button before proceeding to "Finish". These settings are considered on the
When the backup is finished, you will get the window shown below
Advanced mode for Windows XP backup
How to use the advanced mode for backing up in Windows XP :
If the "Advanced" button shown in the
next to last figure of the previous page is selected, the dialog box shown below will open. What all these different settings mean can be confusing, especially since the meaning of terms like "incremental" are not defined the same by everybody and
discussions can be less than clear. There is an excellent discussion of what the various terms actually mean at this
Elder Geek site. Basically, it is probably preferable to use a backup type that only copies things that have changed. "Differential" probably offers the least bother. Restoring
requires two files- the last full or "normal" backup and the "differential" backup. Choose a backup type and click "next".
In this backup, "incremental" is being used. However, this type of backup has the disadvantage that restoring requires all the incremental backup files plus the last "normal" backup. Click "next"
Other conditions that can be chosen are given in the next two dialog boxes. It takes longer but it is safer to check "Verify data after backup". Volume shadow copy is more important to people with servers than for the average PC user. This can probably
be turned off.
If you want to run a backup with the specs you have chosen on a regular schedule, you can set that up in this dialog.
You can also choose Advanced Mode when you first open the backup utility in Start-All Programs-Accessories-System Tools. The figure below will open. The various settings discussed above can be reached from here.
ASR (Automated System Recovery) is another subject.
Keep similing frnzzzzzzz
The link may also help in taking complete system backup for Windows XP
One thing I haven't seen mentioned in any documentation on NTBackup I've just learned the hard way: original
time-stamps (modification and creation) on files and folders are NOT preserved. When you restore, time-stamps are set to the time at which the backup was made. This is true at least when Volume Shadow Copy is used. I don't know whether it's the
case if you don't use it, but if it isn't, I sure wish Microsoft had seen fit to mention this relevant caveat when presenting the option!
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