This article describes how to use the Backup utility to back up files and folders on a computer that is running Windows XP Home Edition. Although the Backup utility is included with a default installation of Windows XP, it is not automatically included with a default installation of Windows XP Home Edition. Therefore, to use the Backup utility, you must first install it.
You can also watch a video included with this article for a demonstration of how to back up files and folders on your computer. To watch the video, see the "More information" section.
This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.
You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.
Before you can back up important information on your computer, you must install the Backup utility. The Backup utility is included on the Windows XP Home Edition CD. Note
If Windows XP Home Edition was preinstalled on your computer and you do not have the original Windows XP CD, contact the computer manufacturer or visit the manufacturer's Web site for more information. You can also use backup software that you purchase separately.
To install the Backup utility from the Windows XP CD:
- Insert your Windows XP CD into the CD drive or DVD drive of the computer.
- Click Exit.
- Locate the CDDrive:\ValueAdd\Msft\Ntbackup folder on the CD.
- Double-click Ntbackup.msi to install the Backup utility.
- When the Backup or Restore Wizard prompts you, click Finish.
- Remove the Windows XP CD.
Now that you have installed the Backup utility, you are ready to back up your important information.
To back up your files and folders, follow these steps: Note
In order to back up files and folders, you must be logged on to the computer as an administrator or as a user who is part of the Administrators group. To verify that you are logged on to Windows with a user account that is a computer administrator, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note
The following steps explain how to use the Backup utility to back up your files and folders manually. You can also use the Backup and Restore Wizard to back up your files and folders. However, the steps will be slightly different from those that are listed in the following section.
Step 1: Start the Backup utility
- Click Start, and then click Run.
- Type ntbackup.exe in the Open box, and then click OK.
Note If you receive the following error message, make sure that you followed the steps in the "How to install the Backup utility" section correctly:
Windows cannot find 'ntbackup.exe'
Step 2: Select items to back up and select the location for the backup file
- Click Advanced Mode.
Note If the Backup and Restore Wizard starts, the utility is running in Wizard mode. You can click to clear the Always start in wizard mode check box, and then restart the Backup utility. If you continue to use the Backup and Restore Wizard, the steps will be slightly different from those that are listed in the following section.
- Click the Backup tab.
- On the Job menu, click New.
- Select the check boxes next to the drives that you want to back up. If you select specific files or folders, expand the drive where these files or folders are located. Then, select the check boxes for the files or for the folders that you want to back up.
- Select the System State check box that is located under My Computer in the navigation pane.
Note If you want to back up system settings and data files, back up all the data on your computer and the System State data. The System State data includes the registry, the COM+ class registration database, files that are under Windows File Protection, boot files, and other system files.
- If the Backup destination list is available, click the backup destination that you want to use.
Note If you selected File in this step, type the full path and file name for which you want to back up data in the Backup media or file name box.
You can specify a network share as a destination for the backup file. Typically, backup files have the .bkf file name extension. However, you can use any file name extension that you want.
Step 3: Start the backup
- Click Start Backup to open the Backup Job Information dialog box.
- Under If the media already contains backups, do either of the following:
- If you want to append this backup file to previous backup files, click Append this backup to the media. This option adds the new backup to the existing backup file so that you can maintain all previous backups in one file. This option is useful if you ever want to restore a backup from a specific day. Be aware that the size of the backup file will grow with each new backup. You might want to monitor the file size to make sure that it does not fill up your hard disk over time. If the file becomes too large, you might consider saving the file to an external hard disk. Or, if you are concerned about the file using too much hard disk space, select Replace the data on the media with this backup instead.
- If you want to overwrite previous backup files with this backup file, click Replace the data on the media with this backup. This option is useful if you only want to maintain the current backup and do not care about keeping the previous backups. Or, use this option if you are concerned about the file using too much hard disk space on your computer.
- Click Advanced.
- Select the Verify data after backup check box.
- In the Backup Type box, click the kind of backup that you want to create. For a description of each backup type, click the backup type and the description appears under "Description." You can select any of the following backup types:
- Click OK, and then click Start Backup. A Backup Progress dialog box is displayed, and the backup starts.
Step 4: Exit the Backup utility
- When the backup is complete, click Close.
- On the Job menu, click Exit.
If these steps do not work or you have problems during the backup, you can use the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site to find solutions to your problem. You can also visit this Web site to learn more about how to back up your important information on your computer. Some services that the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site provides include the following:
- Searchable Knowledge Base
: Search technical support information and self-help tools for Microsoft products.
- Solution Centers
: View product-specific frequently asked questions and support highlights.
- Other Support Options
: Use the Web to ask a question, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services, or provide feedback.
If you cannot find the help you are looking for through the Microsoft Customer Support Services Web site, you might want to contact Support:
Watch a video about how to use the Backup utility
The following video shows you the backup process. To watch this video, click the Play
To view the video, you must have Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.0 or a later version installed on your computer. To obtain the latest version of Windows Media player, visit the following Microsoft Web page: