Backup Windows 7 Your computer may well be equipped with the best Antivirus software and the best Firewall software but one careless click on a link in an email could cause Malware to be installed on your computer which may trash your system rendering it useless. Sometimes things go wrong. What would you do if your hard drive failed? First of all you would lose access to Microsoft Windows and more importantly all of your photos, videos, music files and documents would be either lost or very difficult to recover. Create a recovery disk The recovery disk is used when you don’t have access to Windows 7 at all. It provides a way to boot so that you can recover from your system image. To create a recovery disk: Click the Start button. Click Control Panel. In the View By drop down in the top right corner select Large icons. Click the Backup and Restore icon. There are three options in the left hand pane. The first option if you have never created a backup before is to set up backups. The second option is to create a system image and the third is to create a system repair disc. Click Create a System Repair Disc. A screen will appear asking you which drive to use to create the disc. Select your DVD writer. Click Create disc. After a short period a message will appear telling you to label your disc which is a good idea. Now place this disc somewhere safe and memorable Create a system image The system image will take a full copy of your Windows partition (and any other partition you decide to backup) Click the Start button. Click Control Panel. In the View By drop down in the top right corner select Large icons. Click the Backup and Restore icon. Click Create a system image. The “Create a system image” dialog will appear and will ask you where you want to create the image. You should choose the location you wish to save the image. Make sure you have enough disk space. Read the section “Backup Media” if you are unsure where to backup. The options available are “on a hard disk”, “one or more DVDs” or “On a network location”. Once you have chosen where you want to create the image click Next. You will now be shown a screen asking you which drives to backup. You should leave the C drive and the System partition checked. You can optionally choose to backup other partitions if you have any. Note that in the screenshot above I have chosen to backup to a different partition on the same machine and I am warned that this is not a good idea. Ideally you should backup to an external hard drive or network drive or at very least DVDs. Click Next to continue. You will see another screen which asks you to confirm your backup. Click Start to backup the image. Backup files and folders You should consider backing up important documents and family photos to another device just in case the system image has not been created correctly and the more copies you have of something the less likely it is to be lost forever. Copy the images and documents to a DVD, USB, external hard drive or via a service like dropbox. If you have an iPod synchronize your music so that all your music is both on your computer and on your iPod. Consider backing up your music to a series of DVDs, USB drives or an external hard drive. For videos you will also need to back them up to DVDs, USB drives or an external hard drive. Summary Before continuing it is definitely worth trying your recovery disk out to make sure it loads to the recovery screen. Simply reboot with the DVD in the disc drive. Note: Do not run the Restore you are just checking to see if they system boots form them.