I'm sure this may sound simple, but over the last few days in my efforts to save data, files, etc. , (using Windows Easy Transfer between two computers running Windows 7) before doing a system recovery, it seems that I either simply did not fully understand the expression "back up" or, it's never been precisely defined for me.
My backup saved a LOT of data and folders, but it seems that many (if not all) .exe files, along with their configurations, were not included in the Windows Easy Transfer. I somehow thought that if you transferred program files (in various folders) AND the settings/data/created info associated with the programs, all you had to do was copy them all to another computer (in this case, the one I did the system restore on), and you were good to go--open Excel, for example, and just pick up where you left off with any given associated file. I did not expect to have to totally reinstall Excel.
This also raises a question in my mind about "image backups." Nothing I encountered in searching for info answered the question the term raises, specifically, does "image backup" mean that once you install it on to a computer, you can then simply open any program and have it run, with all the settings and data, saved in whatever file name/folders as before the backup?
And finally, it seems to me that maybe the smartest thing I could do would be to have two computers, both of which have the same operating system, and in setting them up, make them identical twins (yeah, I know, lots of work duplication and a little extra work every day. ) Why? If and when the "main" one craps out, all I need to do is to pick up its twin and keep on truckin' while the main one undergoes whatever repair may be needed. I'm guessing a cloud backup of some kind would be in order, as well.
Your take, experts?