backup for free with the microsoft backup utitilty

How to use the Microsoft Backup Utitily

Yes, you don't need to pay for a backup utility to guard you against a hard drive crash!

At least if you use Windows XP or NT it is included! You find it in the start menu at "Accessories/System Tools/Backup". It is fairly obvious to use, but below I've made a small tutorial on how to use it.

The very nature of a complete hard drive backup is to take time:

  • There are lots of bytes to be copied to safe place.
  • This safe place should be on external media like a 4mm data cartridge, a zip drive, etc.
  • Normally the backup drive is not built in, but you have to plug into the SCSI (or USB) port an external device.
  • You can't work with your computer during a hard drive backup.

All in all this becomes a nice end-of-the-week procedure, but you won't do it on the end of each day.

Daily Backup implements fast backups of only the created or changed files during a day. You don't notice your safety belt. (see here)

How to use the Microsoft© Backup Utitily

It is fairly simple to use. The welcome screen offers you backup wizards, but you don't need them for normal drive backups. Only the "automated system recovery wizard" is useful. It gives you a floppy and a tape to restore the system hard drive.


On the backup dialog you can select the drive to backup and the media to put the backup on. Just select the drive and proceed. If you plugged in the SCSI or USB tape drive you should rescan the port. Open the control panel and select "System", there click the hardware tab, and open the "Device Manager". Then you can rescan the port.


The restore dialog lets you select the media to restore. If you've used an incremental backup scheme, you have to restore first the last complete backup, then each incremental backup.


Acronis True Image 8.0

The complete disk imaging, system disk backup, and bare metal restore for workstations and home PCs

Acronis True Image allows to create an exact disk backup image for complete system backup and disk cloning providing the most comprehensive data protection.

The disk backup file contains the exact copy of a hard disk, including all the computer data, operating system, and programs.

After a system crash you can restore the entire system or simply replace lost files and folders from your disk backup.

Based on the exclusive Acronis Drive Snapshot disk imaging technology, Acronis True Image allows to create an online system disk backup without reboot to keep the system productive. The product provides the fastest bare metal restore dramatically reducing a downtime and your IT costs.

For the complete server disk imaging, system disk backup, and bare metal restore see Acronis True Image Server

Key features:

Online system disk backup and instant bare metal system restore
Restore individual files and folders
Integrated compression and password protection
Disk imaging and disk cloning
Incremental disk backup and disk backup image verification
Acronis Secure Zone and Acronis Startup Recovery Manager


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Daily Backup Summary

Daily Backup implements only the missing features of Microsoft© Backup.

  • It starts when you logon, and then it observes the system for file changes and creations.
  • It only accesses the hard drive if changes occured in a directory.
  • Implements a fast recovery scheme thus a file is only restored once.
  • Displays the file history in a table, with one click you can select the version of a file to restore.

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