You should always make the most of the built-in Windows preventive maintenance tools. In this video, you’ll learn about Windows Backup, how to create a recovery image, the Windows System Restore utility, and how to use Windows disk maintenance utilities.
Microsoft Windows includes a way to back up individual files in the operating system using the Windows backup utility. If you go into the Windows backup, you’ll see the option for creating backup copies of the files and folders. You don’t have to create an entire image. You can simply choose the files and folders important to you.
In Windows Vista, you’ll find this under the Control Panel in the Backup and Restore Center. You can choose backup files or backup an entire system image.
In Windows 7, it’s in Control Panel under Backup and Restore. And you can create a system image from here that will also create a bootable recovery disk. In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, the backup of individual files is now done in the cloud using Microsoft OneDrive.
To create an entire image of your drive that you can use to restore from, in Windows Vista and 7, you can do this under the Control Panel in the Backup and Restore Center. In Windows 8 and 8.1, you go to the Control Panel under File History and choose the option for system image backup.
As I mentioned earlier, in Windows 8 and 8.1, there’s less reliance on backing up individual files to a local backup device. Instead, Windows relies on the File History feature and backing up files into Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud-based service.
If you’ve ever installed a new device driver or new application, and then found that your system was having problems, it may be useful to go back in time to a previous configuration. And you can do that by using Windows System Restore.
Once a day, each time you install an application, or device driver, or any time you make a significant change to Windows, Microsoft Windows will create a restore point. And from that point, you can now go back in time to any of these restore points and restore your system configuration to the way it was at that time.
To start System Restore, you can press F8 when your system is booting, go to the Advanced Boot Options, and choose the Repair option to start System Restore. If you’re in Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1, you’ll find all of the System Restore options under Control Panel, System, Advanced System Settings, and the System Protection tab.
Remember that the restore points don’t necessarily mean that you can remove viruses and malware from your system. The malware authors know that you have these restore points, and when they infect your primary system, they also infect your restore points as well.
Windows also includes a lot of disk maintenance utilities that are built into the operating system. You’ll find most of these in the Drive Properties. You can choose the Tools tab, and you’ll see the options are listed there.
The first one is for error checking. It will perform a disk check of the local file system. And it will also check the disk itself for any physical errors. You can also run a defragmentation from here that will collect all the different pieces of your files and put them back together into contiguous sections.
There’s also in Windows Vista and Windows 7 the backup option. You obviously won’t see this in Windows 8 or 8.1. But if you are running Vista and 7, you can perform all of your backup functions by running the backup utility from here as well.