Until the introduction of Windows 7, Microsoft has lacked a complete solution for backup and restore. While Windows Vista's Backup and Restore Center came closer to the ideal than previous versions, some editions lacked image backup, while others used separate programs for file and image backup.
In Windows 7, Microsoft finally provides users with a backup program that backs up files and the system image at the same time. In Part 1 of this article, you'll learn how Windows 7's Backup and Restore compares to previous versions, how to use Backup, and how to deal with error messages.
In Part 2, Using Windows 7 Restore, you will learn how to access and understand system-generated backup reports, how to create a system repair disc, how to restore files, how to restore a system image, and what your options are for restoring backups made with older Windows backup programs.
What's Different About Windows 7 Backup and Restore?
Microsoft's goal with Windows 7 Backup and Restore was to provide usable image and file backup services for users of external hard disks, recordable/rewritable DVD drives, and (in some editions) network shares without the need to turn to third-party solutions. Windows 7, unlike Windows Vista, uses a single backup operation to perform both file and image backup, and all editions of Windows 7 include file and image backup support. Windows 7, unlike Windows XP, supports true "bare metal" disaster recovery without needing to reinstall Windows first.