2. This will open a Backup and Restore window from where you will click on the ‘Set up backup link’, as shown in the following figure. In the left pane you can also see the option ‘Create a System repair disc’, this is a useful option that you should carry out at some other time. It will create a disc with a system recovery program that can be used when the Windows fails to boot (such an instance is explained in the ‘Restoring your Windows’ section below).
3. In the Set up backup window, select the drive where you want to store the files. the recommended choice for the destination drive is removable media like an external hard drive. A DVD or CD cannot be used for this purpose because backups usually take more than 10GB space.
4. After selection of the destination drive, you can either let the Windows decide which files and folders should be backed-up or you can choose yourself. I am going with the choose-it-yourself option.
5. You can choose which folders you want to create a backup for by checking them in the list. Check the box for ‘Include a System image’ (I will explain it later). Click Next.
6. You will be asked to review all the folders you have chosen and from this window you can also schedule a backup for future.
7. The backup process will start. The window might flash several times during this process.
Once the process is finished, you will see the 2 backup folders, one for the system image and the other for the files.
TURNING BACK TIME – RESTORING YOUR WINDOWS
The proceeding text will explain the function of the Restore option in Windows. You can click on the backup folder (as shown in the figure above, it has a disk drive icon) and restore files from this backup in case you lose them or you can manage the space occupied by the backup folder by deleting files that are not needed anymore.
Click on the ‘Restore files for all users’, a window will open from where you can choose which files or folders you want to restore to your system, as shown in the below image. After making the selection, click Next and enter the location to copy restored files .
USING RESTORE POINTS AND SYSTEM IMAGES
The method you choose to roll back your computer to a previous point depends upon the severity of your problem, there are a couple of ways to do it:
* If the Windows is still booting you can simply use the recovery options available in the Control Panel. This usually occurs when there is a problem with your hardware/software e.g, a sudden issue with a driver. The Windows suggests you to use a restore point to repair a problem.
* In case of a major disaster where an attempt to startup is made but fails, the Windows has to be repaired. A system repair disc (a bootable cd with recovery options or a Windows installation cd) is used to boot the system.
A restore point is a representation of a stored state of your computer’s system files. Restore points are made weekly by or when there is a change in Window, such as – the installation of a new driver, installation of a program, etc. You can also create a restore point yourself by doing these steps.
Restoring your computer in the Windows environment (with restore points or system images) can be done by the following steps:
1. From Control Panel, Open Backup and Restore
2. Click on ‘Recover system settings or your computer’
3.If you click on Open System Restore, it will give you basic recovery options. Here you can restore your computer back to a previous point that has been automatically generated by the Windows.
4. Choose the restore point by keeping in mind the date they were created on.
5. The system will proceed to restore your computer to the selected restore point.
The advanced option is to restore with a system image which can be done by clicking on the ‘Advanced recovery methods’ in the Recovery window shown above. As mentioned, I made a system image which is an exact copy of a drive. By default, a system image includes the Windows, settings, programs, and user files that were present on the hard drive when the backup was made . It can be used to restore the contents of your computer in case of a software or hardware failure. A restoration done from a system image cannot be customized. All components will be restored just as they were before. This will open a window (shown below) where you will choose the option ‘Restore with a system image’.
After choosing this option you will have to restart your computer. This will not require a bootable system repair disk.
The steps that follow the restart are the same as when you boot from a repair disc in case of complete Windows failure. The only difference is that you will have to change the boot order in the BIOS and set it to boot from cd or dvd if it is not already so.
Place the cd in the drive and change the boot order to boot from CD-ROM first. For every system the key that pulls up boot options varies, it can be F12 or F9, you can check it in the bottom lines of the startup screen. As the system boots from the cd, it will load files and then will give you the option of choosing the keyboard input method.
It will then search for Windows installations on the hard drive and locate the system image on your hard drives.
I chose the system image that I had created earlier and saved in drive D.
Once you click Finish, the restoration will start after a warning.
The entire process might take a couple of hours and will drive back your system to a working condition if no errors popup in the way.
Phew! Turns out turning back time is not easy after all! It is one long hard journey even in the virtual environment. No wonder they haven’t succeeded in making a time travelling machine yet! But now you know how to do it.