Back up your files manually

To back up your files to an external storage such as external hard disk drive, CD, DVD, flash disk, Tape drive, or any other storage device:

1. Click Start All Programs Accessories System Tools, and then click Backup. If the Backup option does not appear on the System Tools menu, you can install it from your Windows CD/DVD.

2. The Backup or Restore Wizard appears. Click Next.

3. On the Backup or Restore page, click Next.

4. On the What to Back Up page, click All information on this computer, and then click Next.

5. On the Backup Type, Destination, and Name page, click Choose a place to save your backup, and select your external storage drive. Then click Next.

6. On the Completing the Backup or Restore Wizard page, click Finish.

7. Windows Backup saves a copy of your files to your external hard disk drive. When the backup is complete, click Close.

If your computer stops responding, you will be able to restore your files to the state they were in when you completed the backup. However, any new files you have created and any changes you have made to existing files since the backup occurred will not be saved unless you back up your files again. For best results, back up your files every week or immediately after creating important files, such as after you copy pictures from your digital camera.

For an additional layer of protection, purchase a second external hard disk drive and perform another backup of your hard disk drive. Store this external hard disk drive in a different location, such as at a family member's house, to protect your files from theft, fire, or natural disasters that might damage both your computer and your backup.