How to Run a System Backup

By Jason Taetsch

Backing up your computer is a necessity even for novice users. Create a full system backup to ensure that your computer can be returned to its ideal operating condition in the event of a system error or destructive malware infection. Windows includes the Backup and Restore Center that features all the necessary tools for creating a system backup without the need for purchasing any additional software.

Step 1

Click the "Start" button, choose "Control Panel" and select the "System and Maintenance" icon. Click on the "Backup and Restore Center" link. Connect the external hard drive to one of the computer's USB ports.

Step 2

Click on the "Create System Image" link in the left task bar to run a backup of the entire system. Select "On a hard disk" and choose the drive icon associated with the external hard drive.

Step 3

Select any additional drives you want to include in the backup. The Windows system files are automatically selected.

Step 4

Click "Backup" in the "Confirm your backup settings" page to run the system backup. A progress bar will open, displaying the status of the backup process.

Step 5

Eject the hard drive from your computer once the backup is complete. You now have a system backup in case your system fails and must be restored.