Creating a backup of any Windows Vista computer, including a laptop, is a safety measure in case the hard drive fails. Backups can be accomplished using several options, but the most convenient way to save data is either on a network drive or by burning the files to a CD-ROM or DVD disk. These two methods create full backups that are easily retrieved after a hard drive failure.
Backup laptop data to a Network Drive
- Right-click the “My Computer” on the desktop and select “Map Network Drive.” Select the drive letter in the drop-down box labeled “Drive.” In the text box labeled “Folder,” click the “Browse” button and select the location of the network computer and folder. Once you’ve entered the information, click the “Finish” button.
- Double-click the “My Computer” icon on the desktop and you’ll see the newly mapped drive. Double-click this icon and an Explorer window opens. Leave this window open.
- Double-click the “My Computer” icon again to open a second Explorer window. Navigate to a location of the files you wish to back up. Highlight these files with the mouse and drag and drop them to the opened Explorer window from step 2.
- Continue copying files to the mapped drive until you’ve copied all the applications and documents. Close both Explorer windows when finished
Backup laptop data to a CD-ROM Disk
- Insert a blank CD-ROM disk into the drive. Windows automatically opens a new dialog window. Select “Open writable CD directory using Explorer” from the options and click “OK.” You may need several CD-ROMs to backup your hard drive. If you use more than one CD-ROM, these steps need to be repeated.
- Double-click the “My Computer” icon on the desktop. Navigate to the location of the files you wish to back up to the CD-ROM.
- Highlight each file and drag and drop them to the opened Explorer window from step 1. Once you have copied all the files, click the “Write to CD” button.
- Wait a few minutes while the CD-ROM burner copies the files to the CD-ROM. This may take several minutes. You know when the process is complete when the CD-ROM drive door opens. Remove the CD-ROM backup and store it in a safe place.