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Windows 7: Backing Up Files Before Reformatting

01 Aug 2011   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Backing Up Files Before Reformatting

I am going to be reformatting on my Laptop since SP1 will not install etc... The only things I really need are the documents and such. I was going to use Windows 7 Back-up to do so but I was wondering if there is an alternative besides going through each file and moving it/them to an external HDD?

I was going to make a system image just incase but I only have 300GB on my External HDD and my Laptop has a little less than 500GBs on it at the moment.

Any advice is appreciated.
Thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Aug 2011   #2
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Hello Lollies,

To be honest, for the best reliability, it would be best to just copy and paste the files you want to backup to the external HDD. This way you wouldn't have to worry about a failed, lost, or corrupted backup from some program or feature since it doesn't get any simpler than copy and paste to backup and to restore back.

If you have all of the documents in one folder, that would make it easier to just copy the folder instead of each file.

If not, then using the check box feature along with adding "Copy To Folder" and "Move To Folder" to the context menu can make selecting the files in a folder easier to backup.

Hope this helps some,
Shawn
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2011   #3

MS Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit
 
 

Brink has given you excellent advice.

A good fast, simple program to use, from the command prompt, is ROBOCOPY.

don't worry about the 1000 and one options simply use:
Robocopy sourcefilepath destinationfilepath

Of course, you substitute the actual paths rather than those generic words.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


01 Aug 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Lollies,

To be honest, for the best reliability, it would be best to just copy and paste the files you want to backup to the external HDD. This way you wouldn't have to worry about a failed, lost, or corrupted backup from some program or feature since it doesn't get any simpler than copy and paste to backup and to restore back.

If you have all of the documents in one folder, that would make it easier to just copy the folder instead of each file.

If not, then using the check box feature along with adding "Copy To Folder" and "Move To Folder" to the context menu can make selecting the files in a folder easier to backup.

Hope this helps some,
Shawn
Thanks Brink!

Ok, I'll probably just go through each and copy them to the external HDD from there folders either using the check box option or just making one mass folder.

That answered my question but I came across one more since I posted. The Laptop is an HP and I do not think there was a installation disc sent with it (I believe they said to make a system image instead). I found one I made but I didn't specify the date or any thing on it. So I could restore to that but I'm not sure whats on it (I think it was made before I updated to Windows 7).

The other would be using the discs from a different manufacturer for the OS installation but using the cd-keys hp provided. Would there be an issue?

The last option I know of is a "recovery" partition on D:/ which was there when I received it.

Since HP was nice enough to not include an installation disc (/sarcasm) whats the best way to do a clean install?

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2011   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by karlsnooks View Post
Brink has given you excellent advice.

A good fast, simple program to use, from the command prompt, is ROBOCOPY.

don't worry about the 1000 and one options simply use:
Robocopy sourcefilepath destinationfilepath

Of course, you substitute the actual paths rather than those generic words.
I'll do that.

Thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2011   #6
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Lollies View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Hello Lollies,

To be honest, for the best reliability, it would be best to just copy and paste the files you want to backup to the external HDD. This way you wouldn't have to worry about a failed, lost, or corrupted backup from some program or feature since it doesn't get any simpler than copy and paste to backup and to restore back.

If you have all of the documents in one folder, that would make it easier to just copy the folder instead of each file.

If not, then using the check box feature along with adding "Copy To Folder" and "Move To Folder" to the context menu can make selecting the files in a folder easier to backup.

Hope this helps some,
Shawn
Thanks Brink!

Ok, I'll probably just go through each and copy them to the external HDD from there folders either using the check box option or just making one mass folder.

That answered my question but I came across one more since I posted. The Laptop is an HP and I do not think there was a installation disc sent with it (I believe they said to make a system image instead). I found one I made but I didn't specify the date or any thing on it. So I could restore to that but I'm not sure whats on it (I think it was made before I updated to Windows 7).

The other would be using the discs from a different manufacturer for the OS installation but using the cd-keys hp provided. Would there be an issue?

The last option I know of is a "recovery" partition on D:/ which was there when I received it.

Since HP was nice enough to not include an installation disc (/sarcasm) whats the best way to do a clean install?

Thanks
When you updated to Windows 7, what did you use to install Windows 7 with?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
When you updated to Windows 7, what did you use to install Windows 7 with?
2 or 3 months later HP sent me an upgrade for Windows Vista 64 bit (Original OS when received) to Windows 7 64 bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2011   #8
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Depending on what type (OEM or factory recovery) of Windows 7 x64 upgrade installation disc that HP sent you, you may be able to do a clean install with the upgrade.

Before you try it if you like, be sure to create a set of HP recovery discs for your Vista x64 to be able to reinstall Vista x64 from them if you may need or want to later.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Brink View Post
Depending on what type (OEM or factory recovery) of Windows 7 x64 upgrade installation disc that HP sent you, you may be able to do a clean install with the upgrade.

Before you try it if you like, be sure to create a set of HP recovery discs for your Vista x64 to be able to reinstall Vista x64 from them if you may need or want to later.
The current OS is using Windows 7 64 bit. I made a set of repair discs yesterday but that was using windows 7 64 bit. Should I revent back to Vista useing the system image I made before upgrading to windows 7 and make repair discs for Vista that way? What should I do if I can not do a clean install from the upgrade? I just want to get the laptop back to the way it was when I received it.

After reading over create a set of HP recovery discs it looks like Hp's method is different than using the normal Windows 7 repair disk option?

Edit: I tried making a set of repair discs via HP's instructions but it says I already made a set. So I guess what I thought was the system image is actually the repair discs?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Aug 2011   #10
Microsoft MVP

64-bit Windows 8.1 Enterprise
 
 

Yes, the HP factory recovery disc is different than a retail Windows 7 installation disc. The recovery disc is basically just a clone of the HDD that can only be clean installed and activated on that specific computer.

It just depends if you actually created a system image or created a set of HP recovery discs.

Be sure to verify that you have a way to reinstall Vista first if needed incase you are unable to do a clean install with your upgrade copy of Windows 7, and end up having to install Vista first and upgrade to Windows 7.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Backing Up Files Before Reformatting





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