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Back up Programs, System Settings and Files (Windows 7)

(Windows 7)

You should create a system image, which contains a copy of Windows and copies of your programs, system settings, and files. The system image is then stored in a separate location from the original programs, settings, and files. You can use this image to restore the contents of your computer if your hard disk or entire computer ever stops working.

Follow the steps below to manually create a system image. For information about system images, A system image is an exact copy of a drive. By default, a system image includes the drives required for Windows to run. It also includes Windows and your system settings, programs, and files. You can use a system image to restore the contents of your computer if your hard disk or computer ever stops working. When you restore your computer from a system image, it's a complete restoration—you can't choose individual items to restore, and all of your current programs, system settings, and files are replaced with the contents of the system image.

Although this type of backup includes your personal files, we recommend that you back up your files regularly using Windows Backup so that you can restore individual files and folders as needed. When you set up Windows Backup, you can let Windows choose what to back up, which will include a system image, or you can select the items that you want to back up and whether you want to include a system image. For more information about setting up Windows Backup, 

To back up your programs, system settings, and files

1.      Open Backup and Restore by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Backup and Restore.

2.      In the left pane, click Create a system image, and then follow the steps in the wizard. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

Keeping different versions of system images

If you're saving your system images on an internal or external drive, or on CDs or DVDs, you can keep several versions of system images. On internal and external hard drives, older system images will be deleted when the drive runs out of space. To help conserve disk space, you can manually delete older system images.