How to Use the Backup Utility in Windows XP

Backing up the files on your computer is essential to ensure that you will not lose valuable data or files from your hard drive. If you have never used the backup utility for Windows XP, do not worry. This guide will help you get through the process easily and efficiently.

Choosing an Alternate Medium

The first step in backing up your computer data is to choose a location to save the files to. It's recommended that you save your data to an external storage device, not on your computer itself, so that the files will be safe in the event your computer encounters a serious problem in the future. There are a variety of different media that can be used. Some of the more common options are a CD-R or CD-RW disc, a USB drive, or an external hard drive. Each of these options provide their own advantages and disadvantages, so it would be helpful to look at each option more closely and make a decision that is right for you. Once you have chosen a device to hold your data, insert it into its corresponding slot on your computer.

Starting the Backup Utility

Once you have your medium inserted into the computer, it is time to open and start the backup utility. Microsoft's backup software is known for its ease of use, so don't worry about this process being too difficult. Begin by clicking "Start" at the lower left-hand corner of the screen to open the start menu. Near the bottom of the start menu, there will be an option titled, "Run." Click "Run." Next, a window should appear asking you to type in the name of a program, document, or location. Type "ntbackup.exe" (without the quotation marks) and click the "OK" button. A window should appear titled "Backup Utility."

Using the Backup Utility Wizard

The Backup Utility Wizard is the name given to the set of prompts that will guide you through the backup process. You will first be given three options for which files to save from your computer. Select the option that corresponds to which files you wish to save, and click "Next." The next prompt will ask you to select a location to save the files. In the dropdown menu for "Choose a place to save your backup," select the alternate medium you chose before and click "Next." A "Save As" window will appear on the screen. You can name the file anything you choose, but something simple, such as "Backup Save" or "Computer Backup," is recommended. After you have chosen a name for the file, click "Save." A final window will appear with the details for the backup about to take place. Click "Finish" to begin saving your files.

Completing the Backup

Once you have finished with the prompts in the backup wizard, your computer will go to work saving your valuable data. A window will appear detailing the progress that has been made, allowing you to follow along as the backup completes. Once the computer is finished, a window will appear telling you that the backup has completed. Click "Close" to complete the process. Once you have closed the backup window, eject your storage device and put it in a safe place that you will remember.