How to Set Up Auto Backup From One Hard Drive to Another

by Matthew Burley
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Backing up a computer is a common preventative measure that is often neglected by most computer users. There are many reasons why you may find it necessary to have a backup of your data. A virus or harmful piece of software could find its way onto a computer and start destroying data, damage from a disaster could destroy a hard drive, or you may run into a problem while installing a new operating system and corrupt the hard drive. Whatever the reason may be, backing up your hard drive to another hard drive is a good practice, and it is made easier when it can be done automatically.

Step 1

Connect the secondary hard drive to the original hard drive: You can connect the original drive to a hard drive over a network, through a cable to an external hard drive or to a secondary hard drive installed on the computer.

Step 2

Click the "Windows" or "Start" button in the lower-left section of the screen.

Step 3

Select the "Control Panel" option. If you are using Windows Vista, skip to step 5.

Step 4

Select the "System and Maintenance" icon.

Step 5

Choose the "Backup and Restore" option.

Step 6

Select the "Backup Files" option.

Step 7

Configure the options to schedule when your automatic backup will occur.

Step 8

Choose the secondary hard drive from the list of connected drives or specify the network location, and then click "Next."

Step 9

Select the types of files that you would like to back up, and then click "Next."

Click the "Save Settings and Start Backup" button.


  • Backing up to a second hard drive on the same machine is not recommended. If some kind of physical disaster occurs, both hard drives will likely be lost.
  • Not all versions of Windows Vista offer this function. However, all versions of Windows 7 do.


  • Back up your hard drive as often as is convenient or necessary. While users with a lot of sensitive data may want to back up their computer daily or weekly, most normal users will be fine backing up on a monthly basis.
  • Set your backup to occur at a time when you would not normally be using your computer.
  • If you are using a version of Windows that does not support automatic backup, you will need to download third-party software to accomplish this task. (See Resources for a link to one such option.)


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

About the Author

Matthew Burley has been a writer of online content since 2005. You can view many of his articles on Burley holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Arizona State and a Master of Science in computer information systems from the University of Phoenix.

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