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2011-11-22

A+: Vista and Backup Status and Configuration

Backup Status and Configuration replaces NTBackup in Vista. It can back up individual files as does Windows XP’s NTBackup and also also create up an entire image of your system  to the removable media of your choice, for example DVD,-R, with Complete PC Backup, using these steps:

    1. Launch the Complete PC Backup with   Start | All | Programs | Accessories | System Tools | Backup Status and Configuration.
    2. Click on the Complete PC Backup button.
    3. Choose Create a Backup Now, and follow the directions. Have a lot of blanks ready that can hold an image of your operating system, such as DVD-R.

Backup vs Copy/Xcopy/Drag & Drop?

When planning to use a backup program or file copy to protect a file, think about these facts:

    • Backups are typically compressed; file copies performed with COPY or XCOPY or with drag and drop from the Windows GUI generally are not (although open source ZIP utilities can provide a compressed command-line backup).

    • Backups can span a large file onto two or more separate pieces of supported media; COPY, XCOPY, and drag and drop from the Windows GUI cannot subdivide a large file (although 7-Zip from 7-zip.org can).

    • Backups must be restored by the same or compatible program; files copied by COPY, XCOPY, or drag and drop can be retrieved by Windows Explorer and standard Windows programs.

    • Backups created by NTBackup can be stored to tape, floppy disk, or other types of removable storage such as iOmega's Zip (no relation to ZIP utilities) drives (but not rewritable CD or DVD) as well as external hard disks; COPY and XCOPY can work only with drives that can be accessed through a drive letter or a UNC (Universal Naming Convention) network path. However, COPY, XCOPY, and drag and drop from the Windows GUI can be used with CD-RW and CD-R media that have been formatted for UDF (drag-and-drop) file copying. Note that third-party backup utilities can use rewriteable CD and DVD media as well as other types of media.

Essentially, if you want to retrieve the information at any time, use drag and drop from the Windows GUI or copy, xcopy.exe, or xcopy32.exe from the command prompt. However, if you need to back up very large files, an entire system image, want to save space, and don’t mind restoring the files with a specific program, use NTBackup (XP and 2000), Backup Status and Configuration (Vista), or a third-party backup program.

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