A+: Using Windows Vista’s Complete PC Backup

Complete PC Backup is the Vista successor to Windows XP’s Automated System Recovery. It backs up an entire image of your system to the removable media of your choice, for example DVD. To create a backup of your PC with Vista’s Complete PC Backup, follow these steps:

    Step 1. Start the Complete PC Backup by going to Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Backup Status and Configuration.
    Step 2. Click the Complete PC Backup button.
    Step 3. Select Create a Backup Now and follow the directions. Have media ready that can hold an image of your operating system, for example DVD-R. Be ready, this will be a sizeable image.

To restore a system from the backup, follow these steps:

    Step 1. Insert the installation disc, and then restart the computer. (Make sure that the DVD drive is listed first in the BIOS boot order.)
    Step 2. Press any key when prompted in order to boot off of the DVD.
    Step 3. Choose your language settings and then click Next.
    Step 4. Click Repair Your Computer.
    Step 5. Select the operating system you want to repair (usually there will be only one), and then click Next.*
    Step 6. On the System Recovery Options menu, click Windows Complete PC Restore, and then follow the instructions. Insert the last DVD of the backup set when prompted to do so.

* If you are restoring a 64-bit system using a 32-bit Complete PC backup or a 32-bit system using a 64-bit Complete PC backup and have more than one operating system installed, do not select an operating system. If an operating system is selected by default, clear the selection by clicking a blank area of the window, and then click Next.