Microsoft KB Archive/308422

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Article ID: 308422

Article Last Modified on 5/30/2007


  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

This article was previously published under Q308422


This article describes how to use the Backup utility that is included with Microsoft Windows XP to back up files and folders on your computer.

Note You must have permissions as an administrator or as a backup operator on your computer to back up files and folders. Backup operators and administrators can back up and restore encrypted files and folders without decrypting the files or folders.

This article is intended for a beginning to intermediate computer user.

You may find it easier to follow the steps if you print this article first.

How to back up files and folders

Step 1: Start the Backup utility

  1. Click Start, click Run, type ntbackup.exe, and then click OK.
  2. If the Backup or Restore Wizard starts, go to Step 3. If you receive the following error message, the Backup utility is not installed:

    Windows cannot find 'ntbackup.exe'.

    In this case, click Exit, and then go to Step 2.

Step 2: Install the Backup utility

  1. Insert the Windows XP disc in the CD drive or in the DVD drive of the computer.
  2. Click Exit.
  3. Click Start, click Run, type the following, and then click OK:


    Note CDDrive is the drive letter for the CD drive or the DVD drive. If you do not know the drive letter, try "D" or "E."
  4. When the Backup or Restore Wizard prompts you, click Finish.
  5. Remove the Windows XP disc.
  6. To start the Backup utility, click Start, click Run, type ntbackup.exe, and then click OK.

Step 3: Select folders or drives to back up

  1. On the "Welcome to the Backup and Restore Wizard" page, click Advanced Mode.
  2. Click the Backup tab.
  3. On the Job menu, click New.
  4. Click to select the check boxes for the drives that you want to back up. If you want to be more specific in your selections, expand the drive that you want, and then click to select the check boxes for the files or for the folders that you want.
  5. Click to select the System State check box.

    Note If you want to back up system settings and data files, back up all the data on your computer plus the System State data. The System State data includes such things as the registry, the COM+ class registration database, files that are under Windows File Protection, and boot files.

Step 4: Select a location for the backup files

  1. In the Backup destination list, click the backup destination that you want to use.
  2. If you clicked File in the previous step, click Browse, and then select the location. You can specify a network share as a destination for the backup file.

Step 5: Back up the files

  1. On the Backup tab, click Start Backup. The Backup Job Information dialog box appears.
  2. Under If the media already contains backups, use one of the following steps:
    • If you want to append this backup to previous backups, click Append this backup to the media.
    • If you want to overwrite previous backups with this backup, click Replace the data on the media with this backup.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. Click to select the Verify data after backup check box.
  5. In the Backup Type box, click the type of backup that you want. When you click a backup type, a description of that backup type appears under "Description."
  6. Click OK, and then click Start Backup. A Backup Progress dialog box appears, and the backup starts.

Step 6: Exit the Backup utility

  1. When the backup is complete, click Close.
  2. On the Job menu, click Exit.


Watch a video about how to use the Backup utility

The following video steps you through the backup process. To watch this video, click the Play button.

Note To view this video, Microsoft Windows Media Player 7.0 or a later version of Windows Media Player must be installed on your computer. To obtain the latest version of Windows Media player, visit the following Microsoft Web page:

Additional query words: ntbackup ntbackup.exe

Keywords: kbexpertisebeginner kbceip kbarttypeshowme kbhowtomaster KB308422