How To Make A Backup Copy Of Your Computer

Dear Computer Lady,

I am wondering, how do you make a backup copy of your computer?

What about creating a start-up disc? They are two different things I believe.

I have a new computer and I have no idea how to do either of these things.

Thank you! Deenie

Dear Deenie,

There are several ways to go about creating a backup for your entire computer.

Most computers these days come with software installed that will allow you to create recovery disks for your computer. How you access that software and how you use it is different for each computer manufacturer, so I can’t give you step by step instructions.

There are two disadvantages to this type of backup. First, you can only create this set of recovery disks once. The software is made this way and if you try to run it again it will only give you a message saying that you have already created the disks.

The second disadvantage is that the recovery disks only return the computer to the way it was when it shipped from the factory. That means you will have to set the computer back up with your programs, data and personal information.

A better backup might be a full system backup using a program like Acronis True Image. Using Acronis, you can create a complete image of your computer after setting it up so that you can restore it without having to also re-install all your software and printer drivers. Acronis will also help you create a startup disk to use in the event your computer can’t boot from the hard drive. You can then use Acronis to backup your files like documents and pictures on a regular basis.

Acronis True Image also has a 159 page user manual that you can download from their site, so you will have detailed directions on how to create your backups.


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    • ron007
    • September 9, 2015

    Windows backup has improved over the year if you are not willing to spend money on 3rd party tools and don’t trust the freeware backup tools that have gotten good reviews.

    As well, Win 8 / 10 have some new tools: Refresh / Reset / Recimg that can be used to create backups and restores from within Windows. Here is a wiki I’ve created on the subject:
    Win 8/8.1 Total Backup System: File History + RecImg.EXE + Refresh + SlimImage – Wiki

    Win 8/10 also introduced a new file level backup tool called File History that you should become acquainted with.

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