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Back up from the command line or shortcut

A lot of people don't have backups and they either think that nothing will ever go wrong with their computer or they know it is a risk, but either they don't have the right hardware or it is too much of a hassle. You really must buy a USB disk drive because it will enable you to make a copy of all your files and then if disaster strikes you can simply restore them. Is it really a hassle to back up? You can simplify things by using Windows Backup, which is straightforward to use. It can be made even simpler by adding a shortcut to the desktop to enable you to run the utility with a click of the mouse.

Go to the Control Panel and switch to small icons view if it isn't selected alreadt. Click Backup and Restore. If you have never used Backup and Restore before you will need to set it up and use it once. From then on it is easy to use. Click the link on the right labelled Set up backup.

Windows 7 Backup

A new window is displayed that lists the drives on your PC. You need to use a different disk to the boot disk (C:) and an external USB disk drive is ideal. In this case there is a drive called USBDISK (F:).

Windows 7 Backup

Next you will be asked what you want to back up. The first option, Let Windows choose, is fine and this backs up system settings, your pictures, music, documents and so on - assuming you use these folders in Windows. Use me choose if you have files stored elsewhere in your own folders.

Windows 7 Backup

A summary is displayed that describes what is to be backed up and the location, and there is a button at the bottom to save the settings and run the backup. Click it.

Windows 7 Backup

After making the first backup, you can restore files or folders if you ever lose anything or if anything is corrupted.

Windows 7 Backup

Restoring can be carried out through Backup and Restore in the Control Panel, but there are other options. Windows 7 Backup and Restore is a program called sdclt.exe in the C:\Windows\System32 folder. If you open a command prompt window you can run the program by typing its name.

You can do more than run it though and it has an optional command line parameter. If you type sdclt /restorewizard it will go straight to the restore facility so that you can recover lost files. We can make use of this feature to create a shortcut on the desktop to run the restore facility with a click of the mouse.

Right click an empty part of the desktop and select New, Shortcut. In the box for the location of the item, enter sdclt /restorewizard. Click Next and enter a name for the shortcut, such as Restore, and click Finish. That's it. Double click the shortcut to try it out. (You can exit the wizard if you don't actually need to restore anything at this point.)

There is just one more command line option and this is sdclt /configure and this enables you to choose where the backup location is. You can create a shortcut on the desktop in the same way if you want to. It's probably not something you will need to change though.