Windows 7 backup

Posted on 18 September 2012. Last updated on 05 December 2020.


Windows 7 has the possibility to create automatic backups. And you should always make backups.

There are several types of backups:

Backup of files and directories
This is the most basic ways of backups.
You select witch files and folder you wish to backup, and were you want to place them (Network drive, cd-rom or usb-stick).
And Windows will automatic copy them every week (or any interval you set.).
[H3]How to configure it[/H3]
you can find the backup-program in:
Start > All Programs > Maintenance > Back-up (Make, restore)

Then select Setup Back-up.

Now you can chose where you want to place the backup.
There are several options:
  • CD/DVD

  • Internal drives

  • USB and external drives

  • Network drives

You might not see them all, depending on you system configuration.
I recommend Network drives or USB and external drives.

Once you have chosen, you can then select the option Automatic or Manual (Let me choose).
With automatic, Windows will make a backup of the most files and maps.
If you are not sure what to backup, this is the best option.
It also makes a System copy, you have no choice.
And then you need to schedule it. Default is on Sunday 19h00, but you can change this.

With Manual (Let me choose) you can select which folder you want to backup, and if you want a System backup or not.

Restore files
You can either go to the drive where the files are stored or you can go to the backup program:
Start > All Programs > Maintenance > Backup and restore
And then select Restore my files from this backup.
Here you can Search for the name of a file/folder,
Or browse to the file/folder and select it.
When you have select all the files you wish to restore, click next.
Now you can restore it the original location (And overwrite the current version),
or the another location (usually the safest option).
When you click on Restore, the files are back.

System copy of Windows 7
System copy is like an image of you complete system.
The difference with a normal backup is that you can not select individual files to restore.
A system copy is handy if you have a complete system crash or any other big problem (viruses, bad programs, ...).
Most people create a system copy when they got a new pc with all the basic programs installed.
It is not something you need to do every week.

Making one
You go the backup program:
Start > All Programs > Maintenance > Back-up (Make, restore)
Here you chose Create a System Image

Now you need to select a place to put the System Image.
An external drive, network drive or some DVDs.

After you clicked on Next, you have the option to add additional drives (If you have multiple drives).
Remember it will increase the size of the total backup.
And the start the backup; This might take some time.

It is a good idea to also create a System Repair Disk.
It is a CD/DVD you can use to restore the System Copy even if the PC doesn't boot.
Just put in a blanc disk and let it do his thing.

Shadow copies
shadow copies, also known as previous version, is a very useful but not well known option.
Windows automatically makes backup of the files and maps you work with, and stores them in an archive.
This makes it possible to return to a previous version of your document.
For example, you have a document on which you work everyday. At some point you delete a part of it, but you don't notice it several weeks later.
Well with Shadow copies, you can look back at the file as it was 2, 3, 4 weeks ago.

Standard it is only configured on the drive were Windows is installed (Usually C:).
You can set it on other drives by:
Configuration > System > System protection

Here you can select on which drives you wish to activate it.

If you wish to restore on old version;
just right click on it, and select Restore previous versions

You can then select from which date you want to restore it.
Tip: you don't need to overwrite it. You can choose to create a copy.