Tech Talk #22 – Apr 2, 2016

Windows Backup and Restore

Backing up the documents, pictures, music, and more on your computer has never been more important. A bad sector on your hard drive, a power outage, an encryption virus, or another catastrophe could take all of your personal files away from you.


The good news is backing up your computer has never been easier.


Since we don’t want to back up the computer to the same computer, we’ll need another place to put the backup files. Get either an external hard drive or a large USB flash drive and connect it to your computer.


Windows 10 includes the Backup and Restore program first introduced in Windows 7. To find it, click the Windows button and type backup and restore.


Click on the Control Panel result. Click “Set up backup.” In the “Select where you want to back up” window, the external hard drive or USB flash drive you connected earlier will show up in the window marked as (Recommended.)


Next, let Windows choose which files to back up. It will save the files on your desktop, in your user folder, and in your libraries as well as create a system image.


Click the “Save settings and run backup” button to run your first backup.
By default, this backup will run automatically every week on Sunday at 7 PM.


If your computer ever goes down and takes all of your files with it, you not only have a full file backup, you also have a system image you can use to restore your entire system to either a new computer or to a replacement hard drive for your existing computer.


Windows File History

If you’ve ever needed a previous version of a Word document or a photo you’ve been editing, Windows 10’s File History tool automatically saves multiple versions of a given file, so you can restore a file that was changed or deleted.


To set up File History, plug in another external hard drive or a USB flash drive. Click the Windows button and start typing in file history. The menu should bring up “File History settings” automatically; click to open it. Go to Backup and click “Add a drive.” Select the drive you just plugged in. Now click “More options.” Change the setting for “Keep my backups” to “Until space is needed”. Click the “Back up now” button to start your File History backups. File History will now work quietly in the background now.


Over in the Mac world, backing up is as easy as plugging in an external hard drive. OSX will then ask if you want to use the drive to backup with Time Machine. Time Machine does system backups as well as file versioning.



How big is a terabyte?

Most new computers come with hard drives that have at least a terabyte (TB) of storage. So how much can you fit into a TB of storage? Approximately:

  • 85 million one-page MS Word documents consisting of as many characters that will fit on one page (~4000)
  • All 127 hours of the Harry Potter books saved as an MP3, 134 times
  • 300,000 uncompressed pictures
  • 17,000 5 megabyte music files
  • 1,500 hours of MP4 files
  • All the data Google processes every 4.32 seconds



Do you have a computer or technology question? Greg Cunningham has been providing Tehachapi with on-site PC and network services since 2007. Email Greg at                                                                                  

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