Backing Up Your Files
If you perform consistent backups, you will have nearly all of the tools you will need to recover from both minor mistakes as well as most computer disasters. The first place to begin is at the beginning, performing a verified, full backup, of your entire system.
Use the Wizard to perform a full system backup
When we first started this segment on Microsoft Backup, you may recall that we took you through a step-by-step procedure to access and start the backup Wizard. Now let’s get into a more in-depth review of the actual backup process.
To perform a full system backup, follow these steps:
- To start the Backup utility, open the Start menu and choose Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Backup. After the splash screen appears, the Backup Wizard begins, ready to help configure your backup procedure.
- Select the Create a New Backup Job option and click OK.
The Backup Wizard opens immediately when you execute the Backup program.
- In the next dialog box, select Back Up My Computer and click Next.
- Select All Selected Files. Then click Next to continue.
- In the dialog box that appears, indicate where you want to save your backup and click Next to Continue.
Using a second drive ensures that if your system experiences a hard drive failure, you will still be able to recover your backed up data to perform a restoration.
- Next you specify how you want to perform your backup. The choices are:
- Compare Original and Backup Files to Verify Data Was Successfully Backed Up (recommended)
- Compress the Backup Data to Save Space (recommended).
- Click Next
- The final screen of the Backup Wizard allows you to name your backup job, view your previous selections, and most importantly Start the execution of the actual backup job. Enter a name for your backup job in the text box. Be sure to give the job a name that sufficiently describes what the backup does. This name appears in a drop-down box in the Backup program from now on, and a good descriptive name will cut down on confusion later.
- Once you’ve made all of your selections, the Backup Wizard lets you view your choices before executing your backup job.
- Click Start to begin your backup. As the backup job runs, you can monitor its progress onscreen. The Backup Progress screen keeps you updated, providing such useful information as the number of files being backed up and the estimated time the procedure will take.
How to ensure that you backup the Windows Registry Correctly
The System Registry files for Windows 98 (all versions of Windows really) are crucial to restoring your system in the event you incur a major hardware failure.
There are four principle ways of backing up these critical files:
- The first, and probably the oldest, is with REGEDIT.EXE, which involves the export of the entire Windows Registry. You can learn more about this by reviewing our Introduction to the Windows Registry as well as our Exploring and Manipulating the Windows Registry at our Knowledge Center;
- The second is to use a utility that accompanied Windows 98 upon its release, Scanreg. You can learn more about using this utility by reviewing our Knowledge Center segment on Using Scanreg;
- The third is to use the Microsoft Backup utility;
- And the last is to use a program called Drive Image to image the data. Drive Image is a product of PowerQuest.
When using the Microsoft Backup utility, you only have to take a few steps in order to ensure that the System Registry is backed up properly, and here they are:
- Select the Tools, Preferences. The Preferences dialog box appears.
- Check the box labeled Back Up or Restore System Registry When Backing Up or Restoring the Windows Directory. Then click OK.
- Near the bottom of the Microsoft Backup utility screen (main Wizard screen), click the Options button.
Show Me (Note the location of the Red Arrow)
- In the Backup Job Options dialog box, select the Advanced tab. Check the Back Up Windows Registry box and click OK.
After you have completed each of these steps, the Windows Registry will be backed up each time you backup the Windows directory!
Selecting Folders and File Types for Partial Backups
Earlier in our introduction to the Microsoft Backup utility you saw how you can select specific folders that you want to back up. You do this by selecting them in the What to Back Up section of the opening Backup screen.
Then, in the main Wizard menu, blue check marks identify those files or entire directories that will be backed up, and gray check marks identify only those portions of a directory that have been selected for backup.
When you’re selecting files, you will also have the option of excluding certain file types from being backed up. This comes in handy if you did not want to backup temporary files or browser cache files.
To prevent a certain file type from being backed up, follow these steps:
- At the bottom of the opening Backup window, click the Options button. The Backup Job Options dialog box appears.
- Select the Exclude tab, and then click the Add button. The Add Exclude dialog box appears:
- Scroll through the Registered Type list to see if the files you want to exclude are already a registered type. If the file type is not listed, click the Custom Type option and enter the file extension that you want to filter in the text box.
- All file types listed in this box will be ignored during backup procedures. When you finish making your selection, click OK.
How to run a previously saved backup job
To run a saved backup job, follow these steps:
- Click on the Backup tab of the main Backup utility screen.
- From the Backup Job drop-down list, select the saved backup job you want to execute.
- If you are using a tape back, then insert the tape on which you want to save your data, or point the Microsoft Backup utility to the location where the backup job is located if using another form of media.
- Click the Start button to execute the job.
Using Task Scheduler to run backup jobs
One feature present in Windows 95/98 is the Task Scheduler. You can incorporate this little tool into your backup strategy to schedule tasks such a performing timely backups of your files on a regular basis. The advantage of this feature is to remind you to perform your backups.
To use the Task Scheduler as a reminder to perform your backups, follow these steps:
- Click on My Computer on the Windows 98 desktop.
- Select the Scheduled Task folder.
- Click the “Add Scheduled Task icon to start the Add Scheduled Task Wizard, then click Next to continue.
- The wizard will then prompt you to select a program to schedule. Select Backup, and then click Next.
- Enter a name for the task and specify the frequency at which it will be executed.
- Select the date and time you want this task to begin.
- Click the Finish button to complete the scheduling of this task.
At the predetermined time, the Backup utility will execute. You can then select the backup job you want to run.
Note: When the Task Scheduler brings up the Backup utility, you have to select and then run the proper backup job. The Task Scheduler only starts the Microsoft Backup utility, it will not perform the actual backup. If you leave your computer running all of the time, you can schedule the Task Scheduler to start Microsoft Backup just prior to a period when you will be away from the computer so that it can run during the period when the computer is unattended.
How to change your backup settings and options
It’s simple to change your backup settings and options, just follow these steps:
- From the Backup Job drop-down box, select the name of the backup job you would like to change.
- Make any of the changes you want to the file selections, options, etc.
- When you are finished making changes, open the Backup Job menu and select Save.
Ready to do a restore? Restoring Your Previously Backed Up Files
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This page updated: 8/15/2000