Backup your Windows computer for free.

Backup Software

Backing up the data that is stored on your computer is very important for several reasons.

If your computer’s hard drive goes bad and is physically damaged, it could be very expensive IF EVEN POSSIBLE to recover your data.

If you permanently delete something or get a virus that deletes your files, you won’t be able to restore them without a backup.

Software

Cobian Backup is a free backup software that is simple to use but does have robust features for advanced users.

Hardware

I would recommend backing up to an external hard drive because backing up to your local drive isn’t going to help you if the drive fails physically.

Configuration

File locations

The data that should be backed up in usually stored in each user’s profile.

On Windows XP this is usually C:\Documents and Settings\username

On Windows Vista this is usually C:\users\username

The Desktop, My Documents, and favorites are where most of the data will be stored. Also, include any additional locations where data is stored.

Some programs such as quickbooks store data in the “Program Files” folder.

Outlook files

If you’re backing up Outlook PST files, you will need to have Outlook closed while the backup is running.

By default, Outlook PST files are stored in the users profile under local settings/application data/microsoft/outlook

Outlook NK2 file

I get a lot of requests from users to transfer their NK2 file. The NK2 file is where Outlook stores the autocomplete email addresses for the “TO” field.

The NK2 file is located in the users profile under:
Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.NK2

Note that this is not in the local settings folder like the PST files.

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