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How Windows Backup Works

Posted on 2007-11-21
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Could someone explain how/what the Windows Backup utility work? If I choose to backup the entire hard drive, does it backup the entire OS image, including all the configuration files? If my OS gets screwed up and requires a reinstallation, could I boot with the rescue CD and restore it from the backup?
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Question by:freshair
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Expert Comment

by:michko
ID: 20328937
These articles give some good information:
http://searchwincomputing.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid68_gci1219661,00.html
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/setup/learnmore/bott_03july14.mspx

If you're looking at a full system backup, you should look more toward Acronis. www.Acronis.com

Windows backup does not backup asn an image.
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 20328945
These Microsoft articles explain it pretty well:

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308422
How To Use Backup to Back Up Files and Folders on Your Computer in Windows XP

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;309340
How to use Backup to restore files and folders on your computer in Windows XP

This site has a nice tutorial with screenshots:

http://helpdesk.its.uiowa.edu/backup/msbackup.htm
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 20328967
I agree with michko about using Acronis instead, to back up the entire drive as an image.  Here's the latest tool:

http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 20338743
freshair, any feedback?
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by:freshair
ID: 20361702
So basically, if I intend to wipe the entire disk then there is absolutely no way to use Windows Backup to restore it?
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michko earned 50 total points
ID: 20361735
No.  You can use Windows Backup to save your files and settings.  If you then wipe the disk, you'll have to format and reinstall Windows, all programs, and updates.  Then you can restore your files and settings using the data saved by Windows Backup.
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