How to backup your data using Windows XP?

Why do you need to backup your data?
Has it ever happened to you? You have made a very important document a week ago and now your hard disk crashed and that important document is gone. Or you’ve made beautiful family and holiday pictures over the last five years and a virus has wiped out your hard disk and all pictures you’ve made are gone.

To prevent this, you can make backups of your system. For example you can make these daily or weekly to protect your data against such crashes or viruses and to make sure you can restore your data.

You can make those using the utility which is integrated in Windows XP. You can store them to different kinds of storage media. The storage media can be a logical drive, such as your hard disk, a removable drive or a tape device.

Types of backups
There are different types of backups you can make. To let you understand how these work is here a section that gives you all the information you need to know.

Normal backup
This is a type that will backup all the files you have selected to be backed up and will mark these files as having been backed up. This type is mostly used as a first time backup of your system.

How to backup your data using Windows XP?

Copy backup
This type backs up selected files but does not mark any file as having been backed up.

Incremental backup
This type saves space on the storage medium and also to save time during making the backup. In stead of copying everything to the storage medium, this type copies only the files which were created or modified since the previous normal or incremental backup. The files which were backed up, will be marked as having been backed up. By making the next incremental backup only the modifications will be backed up since the last incremental one. To restore this type it is necessary to have a normal (and the previous made incremental backups) backup.

Differential backup
This type works in the same way as a incremental but does not mark the files as having been backed up. Because it doesn’t mark the files as having been backed up it doesn’t check if a differential backup has been run. This type, in combination with a normal backup, is more time-consuming then an incremental one in combination with a normal backup but it is faster to restore data because you only need the last normal backup and the last differential backup instead of every incremental backups and the last normal backup.

Daily backup
This type only backs up files that were created or modified that day, without marking the files as having been backed up.

How to make a backup step by step?

Step 1:
Start the Windows XP backup program by:
Click Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Backup
Or click Start -> Run and type ‘ntbackup’.

Step 2:
Here we click ‘Advanced mode’.

Step 3:
Here we click the ‘Backup Wizard (Advanced)’ button.The wizard will start and you click ‘Next’ and then the next screen is shown.

Step 4:
Now we are going to make a normal backup first. Select ‘Back up everything on this computer’ and click next.

Step 5:
Here you can select a place where to store the backup file. Select any place you would like your backup will be stored to and give up a name for the file (For example: NormalBackup).

Step 6:
In this screen click the ‘Advanced’ button.

Step 7:
Here you select ‘Normal’ and click ‘Next’.

Step 8:
Here you check the checkbox ‘Verify data after backup’ and click the ‘Next’ button.

Step 9:
Here click ‘Replace the existing backups’ and then click ‘Next’.

Step 10:
Here you enable ‘Later’ and in the ‘Job name’ box you type a name of the backup. (For example: Sunday evening)
After you have entered a job name you click the ‘Set Schedule’ button.

Step 11:
Here the drop down list Schedule Task you select ‘Weekly’. In the drop down list Start time you set a time when the backup must start (For example: 6.00 PM).
In the Schedule Task Weekly section you set the number ‘1’ in the Every week box and you select the ‘Sun’ checkbox to let the backup run every week on Sunday at the time you set.
After you set the week, day and time settings as you wish you click the ‘Ok’ button.

Step 12:
Here you must enter a username and password which has privileges to backup data. (For example: Administrator)
After you clicked the ‘Ok’ button and the user has privileges to backup data the next screen is shown.

Here you click ‘Next’ and the final screen is shown.


How to backup your data using Windows XP?

Step 13:
Click ‘Finish’ and you will return to the main screen of the backup program of Windows XP.
If you click the ‘Schedule jobs’ tab on the main screen you can see that the backup job is scheduled weekly on Sunday (in my example). If you want to review the information about the backup job you can click on a job and a property screen is shown. Here you can view backup details etcetera.
If you want to edit a backup job or create a new one you just click a day at the calendar.

Now that the Normal Backup is completed we are going to make the incremental backup.

Step 14:
Click in the main screen on the ‘Welcome’ tab and start the ‘Backup wizard advanced’ again. In the screen which is shown click ‘Next’.

Step 15:
Earlier when made a normal backup and we chose ‘Back up everything on this computer.
Now we are going to make an incremental backup and therefore we don’t want to backup everything but we want to backup a selection of files, drives or network data.
Select therefore ‘Back up selected files, drives, or network data’ and click ‘Next’.

Step 16:
Here you can select the files you would like to backup. You can backup an entire drive, folders, or files you like to be backed up. After you have selected the drive(s), folders or files you want you click ‘Next’.

Step 17:
Here you type a name of this incremental backup and you select a folder where to store the backup file and you click ‘Next’.
After clicking the ‘Next’ button the same screen is shown as the screen in Step 5.
Here you click again the ‘Advanced’ button and you repeat the next steps until you have finished the wizard.
So you choose again:

  • The backup type = incremental
  • Again ‘Verify data after backup’
  • Again ‘Replace the existing backups’
  • Again ‘Later‘ and click ‘Set schedule’
  • Again you select ‘Weekly, a day of the week to run the backup and the time.
  • Again you have to select a user and password with the privileges to backup data.
  • Finally the final screen is shown and you click ‘Finished’.

You can make such incremental backups every day of the week if you want. This could even more save to protect your data then doing it weekly. The only thing you have to do is running the wizard and follow the steps above again.

This is a very good way to backup your data. Of course you can do it an other way by using this program but that’s up to you.There are also many other programs to make backups but this backup program of Windows XP is for a normal user a very good utility