How to Do a Full System Backup

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Backing up your computer on a regular basis is a great way to protect yourself from data loss. When computers crash or your files become corrupted, restoring copies of those files from an outside source will ensure you never lose anything important. Performing a regular complete system backup of your Windows-based PC or your Mac OS computer to an external drive ensures you will be able to restore all of your favorite settings and files in the event of a system failure.

Things You'll Need

  • External hard drive
  • USB cable

Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  • Connect your external hard drive to any USB port on the front or back of your computer. Wait for Windows to recognize the drive.

  • Click the "Start" button on the Windows task-bar, then click "Control Panel," select "System and Maintenance," and then click "Backup and Restore."

  • Click "Create a System Image" on the left-hand side of the newly opened screen.

  • Click "On a Hard Disk" under "Where do you want to save the backup?" and select the letter of your attached external hard drive.

  • Click "Start Backup."

Mac OS 10.5 and 10.6

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure the external drive used for your backup has enough free space to accommodate your primary drive's data.

References

  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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