Windows 7 already offers a number of system backup and system restore options built directly into the operating system. But Windows 8 introduces a few new features for backing up your data, as well as some twists on the existing Windows data backup options. Read on for a brief overview of what to expect after upgrading to Windows 8.
File History in Windows 8
Windows 8 file history is a new feature that lets you roll back to previous versions of individual files. This is useful for documents that are in your Libraries, Favorites, SkyDrive or Contacts. With File History turned on, you can roll documents back to previous versions, even if you’ve overwritten or edited the file. This “undo” feature works on the file level—it doesn’t help when attempting to roll back changes to your operating systems drivers or configuration.
To activate File History in Windows 8, open the Control Panel and launch the File History applet. Click the Turn On button. If you want to customize which folders are backed up, how many versions are kept, how often files are backed up and the amount of disk space to use for backups, you can click Advanced settings. To restore files, click Restore personal files in the left-hand pane of the File History applet in the Control Panel.
Windows System Backup
Windows System Backup is fairly unchanged since Windows 7. In Control Panel Windows 7 File Recovery Set up Backup, you can access the features that were previously located in Backup and Restore. Here, you can schedule regular backups to external media, or create a system image or system repair disc. With a system image, you can restore Windows and all of your documents and settings. A system repair disc allows you to restore a system if Windows becomes unbootable or corrupted.
Windows 8 Refresh and Reset
Refresh and Reset are new features in Windows 8. These can be accessed from the Control Panel. A Reset will reset Windows and the applications to the default “factory” settings. With a Reset, this includes removing any documents or personal files that are on the computer. A Refresh does the same thing, but it retains your personal files and documents. You can also create a Recovery Drive on a removable disk which can be used if Windows isn’t bootable.
Windows 8 introduces several native backup and recovery options that may be useful for simple day-to-day backup operations. The new File History feature is excellent for personal files, but it’s important to note that only documents in the Libraries, Contacts and Favorites are backed up. The existing system imaging support does a good job for most users, but for more advanced functionality, such as image file compression, restoration of individual files and folders from a system image, image file splitting, file system conversion, disk to disk copy and image file verification, you may want to try a third-party application, such as R-Drive Image.
Data Backup in Windows 8
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