Creating a Windows Vista Backup

As well as protecting your data it makes sense to have a backup of your operating system too. Windows Vista Business and Ultimate has this facility built-in. We take you through it - step by step.

A good backup policy is essential to sound data security, but as well as copying important files to a secondary drive, you should keep a copy of your entire operating system. Should you have a drive failure, you can then resurrect your complete software platform onto a replacement drive, with the minimum of effort.Under Windows XP, you would have to use third-party software, such as Norton Ghost or Acronis True Image to create and, if necessary, restore an image of a complete drive. With the Business and Ultimate versions of Windows Vista - though not with either of the Home versions - this facility is built into the operating system and is called Windows Complete PC Backup.

You can create this kind of image on a second internal hard drive, a plug-in external USB 2.0 or Firewire drive, a DVD rewriter or, at a pinch, on a secondary partition on your main hard drive. This last option isn't recommended, though as, if your hard drive crashes, you're quite likely to lose all the partitions on it, including any backup image.

Drive images, even when compressed, can take up considerable room, so even a rewritable DVD is not a great solution for backup, as it will require several discs to store even a modest system. A secondary hard drive of some sort is the neatest, and quickest, solution.

How regularly you make a drive image is up you. If you buy a new PC with Vista pre-installed, or are about to upgrade, it's a good idea to make an image as soon as possible, so you have a 'clean' system you can revert to. It's a good idea to create a new image each time you install a Service Pack, too.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

Making a drive image is not the same as backing up individual data files, as with a drive image all the applications, system files and registry details are also copied. It's not the same as System Restore, either, which reverts a system to an earlier date, without disturbing data. When you restore a drive image, it overwrites the entire contents of the drive: system, applications and files.

Featured Resources

How inkjet can transform your business

Get more out of your business by investing in the right printing technology

Download now

Journey to a modern workplace with Office 365: which tools and when?

A guide to how Office 365 builds a modern workplace

Download now

Modernise and transform your sales organisation

Learn how a modernised sales process can drive your business

Download now

Your guide to managing cloud transformation risk

Realise the benefits. Mitigate the risks

Download now
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/cloud/cloud-computing/354767/google-cloud-snaps-up-multi-cloud-analytics-platform-for-26bn
cloud computing

Google Cloud snaps up multi-cloud analytics platform for $2.6bn

13 Feb 2020
Visit/mobile/28299/how-to-use-chromecast-without-wi-fi
Mobile

How to use Chromecast without Wi-Fi

5 Feb 2020
Visit/operating-systems/27717/how-to-fix-a-stuck-windows-10-update
operating systems

How to fix a stuck Windows 10 update

12 Feb 2020
Visit/cloud/microsoft-azure/354771/microsoft-azure-is-a-testament-to-satya-nadellas-strategic-nouse
Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure is a testament to Satya Nadella’s strategic nouse

14 Feb 2020