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Windows 7: Where do I look to backup important personal files?

24 Sep 2009   #1

Windows 7
Where do I look to backup important personal files?

New user here in the forum,

I frequently backup files for other users and start w/ a new clean OS. I tried looking for some articles online, but none were really informative for me - wasn't what I was looking for. I was wondering if I could get some help here. Doesn't really matter the OS, mostly XP, Vista, or even Windows 7, but I guess the file structure btw. Vista and Windows 7 arn't really much diff.

Here is where I look to backup files:

C:\ --- sometimes I see users save some personal files at the root.

My documents
My Pictures

There are some software like (that save their files in Program Files or AppData):
Mozilla Thunderbird

Let me know if you can think of other places. Hopefully this post could help others in backing up essential directory locations.

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Sep 2009   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

Not sure I understand the question but basically what you want to back up I think would be the entire "User account" so it would be something like C:\users\name of user account and you back up the bolded part and everything below that and that should give you all the user settings and data for those programs as well as all the user's data files like music, videos, pictures, documents, etc.

Appdata is a hidden folder just one level below the user account so that will get backed up by backing up the user account.

But the proper method to back up, imo of course, is to use an app like Acronis TIH or equivalent and just back the whole system up to an external drive or media, so that if something real bad happens to the main drive, it can be swiftly and easily restored, if necessary to a replacement drive. I additionally go a step further and also make sector by sector clones of my entire main drive to a back up drive. With clones, there is no need to restore, so one possible link in the recovery chain that can break is eliminated. But compressed image backups have certain advantages too, so that's why I do both.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Sep 2009   #3

Windows 7

Yeah, I use Acronis at work. I usually just acronis to a network file server. Since I do alot of new computer upgrades/installations, I don't have alot of spare backup space. So I usually like to start everyone fresh and move their profiles over.

I just always get the *sighs* when I tell users for the most part w/ software, it needs to be reinstalled. Sometimes it gets tricky finding the software's settings.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

25 Sep 2009   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 (Retail)

Check out "Windows Easy Transfer."
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Where do I look to backup important personal files?

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