Backing Up with Vista
If you have a Vista system, you're very lucky! Backing up is build into Vista and is fairly straightforward. Here is how to back up your important documents and files on a Vista system.
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First, go to Start - All Programs - Accessories - System Tools - Backup Status and Configuration. That is where the backup program lives.
Click on the "Set up automatic file backup" link in the center of the window.
You'll be asked where to save your backup file. If at ALL possible, save it to a drive DIFFERENT than the one you are backing up files from. That is, if your files are on your C drive, do not save the backup file on C. Otherwise if your C drive crashes, you will lose both the original data and the backup file. I highly recommend buying an inexpensive external drive that you just plug into a USB port. You can even get one of those mini-plug-in-drives (the ones the size of a nail clipper) if you're just backing up a directory or two of important files.
Now you tell the system what to back up. In my case I tell it ONLY to back up my email and documents. These are the things that I would be traumatized by losing. I can manually back up my music files once a year, for example, and it's not a big deal if I lose some of those. If I had my mail file crash and lost all my mail, that would be heart-stopping for me.
Next you set the schedule. I highly recommend weekly. I set mine for Sundays at 10am, because by then I am asleep. Make sure of course your system is TURNED ON when you have your backup running! :)
That's it! The backup will run for its "first time" now to give you an initial starting point. Then, going forward, it will run every week on your schedule with no other thought or action required.
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