Performing a Basic Backup: Getting Started

Basic Windows backup methods

Before you can create a backup, you will benefit by taking a little time to get your personal documents and pictures in order. If possible, arrange your essential data files to be stored in one location (folder) - this is the folder called "My Documents"

Windows XP and Vista make this document grouping easier by allocating each user an account with its own personal user profile. This 'user profile' consists of a set of grouped sub-folders in the main Documents and Settings folder.

The User Profile stores your personal files; My Documents, Outlook Express e-mail messages, Outlook data, E-mail Address Book, Internet Explorer Favourites and information about your program settings and preferences. If you have personal data stored elsewhere, consider moving it into the My Documents folder to make backing up easier. If you're unwilling or unable to move those files, make a note of where they're located so you can be sure you add them to your data backup later.

Backing Up your important Windows Data

Understanding what to Back Up:

It is not necessary or desirable to back up your entire Windows XP (or Vista) hard drive. Windows and any other applications are normally best re-installed should your hard drive fail. But it is necessary to back up your own personal files, including email and your address book.

Backing up your personal files (or other users) is easier if you try to keep all the files you create in one location (within the My Documents folder). By default, most programs will save your personal documents, music and pictures to C:\Documents and Settings\[My User Name]\My Documents

Where possible, save all of your files in subfolders of C:\Documents and Settings\[My User Name ]\My Documents

Note: [My User Name] is the folder name given to your own user profile work folder; examples would be = Administrator, Peter Bowey, Peter.Bowey, John Smith, etc.

You'll also need to backup up your email, bookmark and preferences files. See the table below for some default locations of these files.

Easy Backup Tip: If you back up everything in the folder C:\Documents and Settings\[ user name ]\My Documents folder, you will automatically back up all your important data; - email, address book, favourites, My Documents, Internet History and other program preferences.

There may be other files you wish to back up, depending on what programs you use and where these programs save data.

To make backup of your Outlook Express e-mail messages:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Maintenance tab, click Store Folder.
  3. Select the folder location, and then press CTRL+C to copy the location.
  4. Click Cancel, and then click Cancel again to close the dialog box.
  5. Click Start, and then click Run.
  6. In the Open box, press CTRL+V, and then click OK.
  7. On the Edit menu, click Select All.
  8. On the Edit menu, click Copy, and then close the window.
  9. Right-click any empty space on your desktop, click New, and then click Folder.
  10. Type mail backup for the folder name, and then press ENTER.
  11. Double-click the Mail Backup folder to open it.
  12. On the Edit menu, click Paste.
  13. Close the Mail Backup window.

Export Your Outlook Express Address Book:

  1. On the File menu, click Export, and then click Address Book.
  2. Click Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Export.
  3. Click Browse.
  4. Locate the Mail Backup folder that you created.
  5. In the File Name box, type address book backup, and then click Save.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Click to select the check boxes for the fields that you want to export, and then click Finish.
  8. Click OK and then click Close.

Export the Mail Setting Account to a File:

To make a backup copy of your Outlook Express mail account:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. On the Mail tab, click the mail account that you want to export, and then click Export.
  3. In the Save In box, locate the Mail Backup folder on your desktop, and then click Save.
  4. Repeat these steps for each mail account that you want to export.
  5. Click Close.

Restoring Outlook Express Mail, Address Book, and other Settings:

Follow these steps to restore your Outlook Express Mail, Address Book and account settings.

To import your Outlook Express messages from the Backup Folder:

  1. On the File menu, point to Import, and then click Messages.
  2. In the Select an e-mail program to import from box, click Microsoft Outlook Express 5 or Microsoft Outlook Express 6, and then click Next.
  3. Click Import mail from an OE5 store directory or Import mail from an OE6 store directory, and then click OK.
  4. Click Browse, and then click on the Mail Backup folder in your backup location
  5. Click OK, and then click Next.
  6. Click All folders, click Next, and then click Finish.

Import your Outlook Express Address Book:

  1. On the File menu, click Import, and then click Other Address Book.
  2. Click Text File (Comma Separated Values), and then click Import.
  3. Click Browse.
  4. Locate the Mail Backup folder in your backup location, click the address book backup.csv file, and then click Open.
  5. Click Next, and then click Finish.
  6. Click OK, and then click Close.

Import your Outlook Express Mail Account File:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Accounts.
  2. On the Mail tab, click Import.
  3. In the Look In box, locate the Mail Backup folder in your backup location.
  4. Click the mail account that you want to import, and then click Open.
  5. Repeat these steps for each mail account that you want to import.
  6. Click Close.
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