Windows Backup Methods

By: David Hensley

Windows backup or Microsoft backup software helps create a copy of the information on the hard disc to be used, in case, the original data accidentally becomes inaccessible, due to hard disc malfunction or overwriting or any other cause.

The backup storage medium can be a hard drive, a removable disc or a full library of disks or tapes organized into a media pool. Using Windows backup software, it is possible to archive selected files and folders on the hard disc, restore them to any other accessible storage, make a copy of the computer's system files, registry and other components, or make a copy of the boot partition and the files needed to start the system.

Windows backup has five methods of backing up the data:

Copy backup: This copies all the selected files but it does not mark the files that have been copied.

Daily back up: A daily backup copies all selected files the day it is performed and as in copy back up, the archive attribute (marking backed-up files) is not cleared.

Differential back up: This backup copies files that have been created since the last normal or incremental back up. The archive attribute is not cleared.

Incremental back up: This backup backs up only those files created or changed since the last normal or incremental back up and here the archive attribute is cleared.

Normal backup: This is used when a backup set is created for the first time.

Using Windows backup, data can be copied to a file or a tape for which a file name should be designated to a file and a tape device is necessary for copying to a tape.

To run back up in Windows, click start programs, accessories, system tools and then backup. For the first time in creating a backup, "All selected files "should be chosen and for subsequent backups, "New and changed files only" should be chosen.

The quickest method is to use a combination of normal backups and incremental back ups which requires the least amount of storage space but the recovery time is more and difficult. The unique feature of Windows back up software is the ability to back up locked files.

Also, windows back up creates a volume shadow copy of the data to create an accurate point- in -time copy of the contents of the hard drive. This ensures that data can be continuously written during back up, opened files are no longer omitted, and backups can be done at any time without locking out users.

The System State Data, which comprises the registry, the directory service and other key system components, can be backed up using Windows Back up Software. If an alternate location is not designated to the restored data, Windows Back up will erase the current System State Data on the computer and replace it with the restored System State data.

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