Everyone should be concerned with the most important computer system files and folders to Backup.I am not really talking about Windows system files, but the files and folders that are important to you.
I could tell you 10 different ways on how you can lose data, however I am sure everyone has experienced one or two of them.
Your hard drive can crash, there may be a power surge, or someone could simply spill a drink on the computer. This is why backup is so important!
Often when I go to restore my computer or transfer my data to another system, I have more than likely forgotten to backup at least one important file. Data backup and recovery both go hand in hand.
Sometimes it is a password or a setting, and sometimes an entire folder. By making simple mistakes, I have lost a lot of important information over the years.
However now I have vowed to religiously backup my data at least once a week. This is easy enough to perform as long as I can remember all of the files and folders I need to backup. My memory isn’t that good so I devised a list of the most important computer system files to backup from my computer hard drive.
Now please note that you can choose to backup your files manually to your chosen backup storage device or you can use Windows backup and restore option.
What Files and Folders to Backup
The files on any operating system you are using are important and must be included in your backup of files and folders. Most of us have the same kinds of files to backup which include documents, photos, passwords, downloaded programs, Ebooks, and emails. But it really comes down to what programs you use. for example you might use Adobe Photoshop so you will want to backup all PSD files and also the ACTIONS you might have stored.
To backup important files and folders, you first need to take note of what files you have stored and are important to you.
Windows XP Files and Folders
This is an old operating system but people still use it. In Windows Xp the My documents folder is a vital key to everything as it includes everything in it like My pictures, My music etc. Read my article on how to organize your computer. You can simply copy the entire folder, that is providing you have saved your files in the correct location.
In my experience many users save files all over the computer so you can never presume that all important files are actually going to be stored in the documents folder. I have seen computers with files saved onto the desktop, directly to C drive, and even in hidden files.
Files and Folders to Backup in Windows Vista and Windows Seven?
Windows Vista and Windows Seven still have files that you need to backup, however they both have an inbuilt backup feature. This will help you safely backup the most important computer system files. Again this relies on the fact that the files are stored in the correct location in the first place. If you are backing up manually and the files are stored in different areas it is going to take a while to find them all.
In Windows Vista and Windows seven the my pictures folder and others were taken out from the documents folder. It is all stored in the User file. For example mine are stored in C:\Users\Mitz. This is where you will find the Documents folder, the pictures, music, and so on.
Windows Seven libraries do not store files, but only manages them. The real files to backup are stored in their folders under your username also. Some people get confused.
If your documents are in the documents folder then you will have no problem backing them up. As stated above, in Windows XP the documents folder should contain most of your important files. In Windows Seven documents only contains documents so photos are in a separate pictures folder.
Photos and pictures
I guess this is one of the most important system files to backup. Even though it is not classed as a system file, but it is a folder with very important stuff. I would have to say that this is sometimes the most important thing to backup. I have had people crying to me after losing their photos and memories. You can backup your pictures onto a disc or another hard drive but just make sure you do it.
If you use a program like Roboform to remember your passwords then make sure you back it up. Using these programs makes you very lazy with passwords as you rely on the program too much.
Installer files are programs you have downloaded from the internet and installed on your computer. For example I recently purchased Windows 8 from Microsoft online and downloaded a file. This file can be burned to a disc or pressed on to install. But what if something happens to my computer before I have had a chance to burn it to a disc?
If I was to lose this windows 8 file then I would have to prove my purchase to download the file all over again.
Email Account Settings and Contacts
Email Address Book How to backup your address book
Email Folder System (Inbox, Sent items etc) Here’s How to backup your email folders
Email Account settings like your password and username. How to Backup email account settings.
Email contacts are often forgotten and you know how annoying that is. Stop and think before doing anything drastic with your computer. Ask yourself..”Have you backed up all of the most important computer system files and folders?”
Drivers for my computer
You do not have to backup your drivers if you have a driver disc and you are using the same operating system you started out with. However if you have updated or upgraded then your drivers would have also. Without a doubt, drivers are one of the most important computer system files to backup. These are the things that can cause the most problems when you can’t find them to install. To backup your drivers manually is not easy so I recommend you use a third party program or find the ones you need on the internet, download them, and then store them safely. Find out more About Device Drivers
Should I backup my online Email Accounts?
Online email account settings and contacts lists are stored online and are almost 99% safe from disaster. However it is still good to make a backup of everything.
Favorites for Internet Explorer. Located in C:Documents and SettingsYour usernameFavorites Simply copy the folder. See importing and exporting bookmarks and favorites.
Clone your hard drive so you never have to backup
I actually like to clone my entire hard drive and replace everything the way it was. Even software I installed, old emails, and just everything! The catch is I never store saved files on my C: drive. I always save files directly onto an external hard drive which are extremely cheap now days. 3TB external hard drive for around $120.
Anyway this means I am free to clone my computer and restore it (the entire system) anytime I wish. This process almost eliminates computer maintenance and there is no need to ever format your computer. No need to get all the discs out to reinstall Windows.
If you have Windows 8 you can use the reset or refresh option to restore your computer.
Have you got a list of the most important computer system files and folders to Backup and what process do you use?