Backing Up Your Data in Windows XP

I have an HP computer that uses Windows XP. How can I backup my files? I am afraid if it crashes I won't have my info saved somewhere, but don't know how to save it. Can I do it on discs? I have 2 disc spaces on the computer. Please tell me how. Thanks

By Packlestax from Vandalia, OH

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September 17, 20090 found this helpful

Packlestax, I also have an HP computer with XP. I back all my things up on Jump or Flash drives. I keep 2 sets. One set I keep handy and use it whenever I need to access something that I have put on the drive. The second set I keep in a water and fire safe box so it is protected in case of a catastrophe. The drives can be bought anywhere that sells computer things. I get mine at Wal-Mart.

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September 21, 20090 found this helpful

I use this internet tutorial when teaching computers to senior citizens. The method also applies to using CDs or DVDs.

Using a USB Flashdrive.

Introduction:

Flash drives are meant as a way to get files to and from multiple computers. They are NOT for backups. We strongly encourage users to backup files to CD-RW or CD-R disks or zip disks. ( I recommend two different means of backup.)

Please note that not all flash drives are the same. Some may require extra drivers to be installed on a computer in order for them to function properly. Public computers do not allow drivers to be installed. Therefore, not all flash drives will be compatible with public computers.

Flash drives come with varying amounts of memory. If you're going to be using them frequently, I'd suggest at least 1 gigabyte of drive, 2 gigs is better. These can now be purchased on sale for more reasonable prices. If you tend to lose small items, you might want to think about starting smaller.

Some of the most popular brand name drives, are Lexar, Sandisk, Kingston, PNY, and Iomega.

Copying files to a flash drive on a PC:

1. Open My Computer and see which drives are shown. Most computers, for example, have a hard disk such as a C: drive and a few removable storage devices such as a floppy drive, a CD-ROM drive, and perhaps a zip drive.

2. Insert the flash drive into the USB port and watch to see where the USB flash drive appears. Most will appear as removable storage, but some will instead appear as hard drives. Note the name Windows is using to refer to the flash drive ("Removable Disk (G:)," for example).

3. Open My Documents or the location from which you want to transfer files to the flash drive. Select the files or folders you want to save to the flash drive by left-clicking on them. To select more than one, hold down the CTRL key while you click and select all of the files you wish to save.

4. Right-click on the file(s) or folder(s) you selected, then select Send to, then select the name you saw appearing in My Computer for the flash drive ("Removable Disk (G:)," for example).

5. When the copying is finished, do not immediately remove the flash drive from the USB port. Instead, left-click on the Remove Hardware icon located in the System Tray. A window containing a list of the USB devices will appear. Left-click on the Safely Remove Mass Storage Device line that matches your flash drive (for example, Safely Remove Mass Storage Device - Drive(G:)).

6. When you see the safe to remove message appear in the bottom left toolbar, it is, as it says, safe to remove the flash drive from the USB port; you may close the message or ignore it, as it will close itself automatically:

Copying files from a flash drive on a PC:

1. Open My Computer and see which drives are shown. Most computers, for example, have a hard disk such as a C: drive and a few removable storage devices such as a floppy drive, a CD-ROM drive, and perhaps a zip drive.

2. Insert the flash drive into the USB port and watch to see where the USB flash drive appears. Most will appear as removable storage, but some will instead appear as hard drives. Note the name Windows is using to refer to the flash drive ("Removable Disk (G:)," for example).

3. Double-click on the flash drive to locate the file(s) or folder(s) you want to copy to this computer. Select the files or folders you want to copy by left-clicking on them. To select more than one, hold down the CTRL key while you click and select all of the files or folders you wish to copy.

4. Right-click on the files or folders you have selected and choose Copy.

5. Open My Documents or the location to which you want to transfer files from the flash drive.

6. Click on the Edit menu, then select Paste.

7. When the copying is finished, do not immediately remove the flash drive from the USB port. Instead, left-click on the Remove Hardware icon located in the System Tray. A window containing a list of the USB devices will appear. Left-click on the Safely Remove Mass Storage Device line that matches your flash drive (for example, Safely Remove Mass Storage Device - Drive(G:)).

8. When you see the following message appear in the bottom left toolbar, it is, as it says, safe to remove the flash drive from the USB port; you may close the message or ignore it, as it will close itself automatically:

Formatting a flash drive on a PC:

1. Open My Computer.

2. Right-click on the flash drive and choose Format.

3. In the Format window, the capacity, file system and allocation unit size should be chosen already.

4. You can check Quick Format, which will clean your drive quickly but not as thoroughly. A full format can take up to 10 minutes.

(Note) If you choose to format a drive that already has information stored on it, you will lose ALL items on your flash. I created a folder on my computer's desktop for storage of information on the drive as I add it. This way I have a safety back up if I accidentally reformat or lose the flash drive.

When working with the flash drive, you will be able to edit the documents, etc., that are on your flash. Save all changes as you make them, but make sure you make the same changes on your computer's original folder you are working with.

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September 21, 20090 found this helpful

There are some free online sites to back up your data. I use Fabrik. Pat

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September 17, 2009 Flag
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By Kara Glover

If you haven't backed up your important data at least to a CD, you should do so IMMEDIATELY! A computer, any computer, can crash at any time, whether it's a new computer, an old computer, a really expensive computer, or a cheapy.

This article will teach you how to back up your My Documents folder on a CD, since the My Documents folder is where people usually keep most of their important stuff. I only discuss the method for Windows XP here, because methods for other operating systems tend to vary. (By the way, you need a CD burner (or CD-RW) to do this. If you're not sure if you have one, look at your CD drive(s) and see if you see "rewritable" written in tiny tiny letters. If so, you can burn CDs. If not, well you might want to think about getting a CD burner installed in your computer.

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1. Open your CD burner. There's usually a button on the outside you can press to open it. Place the CD in the burner. The side you will burn onto should be face down. Close the burner, again using the same button you used to open it.

2. Wait a minute. A box should pop up on your screen with a variety of choices. Click once on the choice that says "Open Writable CD Folder Using Windows Explorer." (There's a picture of a manilla folder next to it.) Your choice should turn blue. Click OK.

3. A box opens up representing the empty CD you want to burn. Now take your mouse pointer and place it on the top blue border of this box. Press and hold (don't click) with your left mouse button, and drag the box down into the lower righthand corner of your screen.


4. Locate your My Documents folder on the desktop. If this folder isn't on the desktop, you should put it there for convenience sake. See the tip How to Put a Shortcut on your Desktop.

5. Now simply press on the folder with your left mouse button and drag the folder onto the empty box representing your CD in the lower right corner. You should see the contents of your folder being copied over. If you get a box asking if you want to copy "Thumbs" files, you can say "Yes" or "Skip." It's your choice. These files aren't important, trust me. You can also check the box to repeat your answer for each of these files to save time.

6. When the folder is completely copied to your CD box, clik on "Write these Files to CD" on the lefthand side of the box. A "wizard" pops up.


7. Click Next in the wizard (ignore the CD name and date underneath) Wait for the CD to burn. You'll see a green line progress across the screen.

8. When the CD is done, it should pop out of its drive, and you can click on Finish in the wizard. Label your CD with a Sharpie or other felt-tip pen, and you're all backed up!

About The Author: ©2005 by Kara Glover

Kara Glover is a Computer Tutor and Troubleshooter. You can find her online articles and tutorials on topics such as Microsoft Word®, Excel®, and PowerPoint® at her website: http://www.karathecomputertutor.com

Answers:

Backing Up Your Data in Windows XP

I followed the steps until #3 and then no box opened that I could drag. I guess that means I can't copy CD's on this machine. It's a Compaq Presario. The #2 box opened but not another for step #3 (03/22/2005)


By Roberta Kelly

Backing Up Your Data in Windows XP

Hi Roberta,
I would try opening the empty CD box from My Computer.
Double Click on your My Computer icon. Then double click on the icon that looks like it represents a CD. Your empty box should open. (03/22/2005)

By Kara Glover - Computer Tutor/Troubleshooter

Backing Up Your Data in Windows XP

In answer to the last two posts, she means the CD drawer on the tower of your computer. That's the other big thing that's not the monitor. Good luck! (07/18/2008)

By nancycorinne

Backing Up Your Data in Windows XP

Get an 8 gig flash drive. It's easier. (08/06/2009)

By lorraina

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