Sometimes backing up files and folders just isn't enough. What happens when you turn your computer on and Windows won't even start up? You can't access anything. That's a little more serious and we are going to look at a couple of options on how to handle that type of error. Here, from the Control Panel we'll go to Back up your computer under the System and Security section. But we are going to focus on the left-hand side of our screen in the navigation pane. So a couple of options are here to handle those serious boot errors, like creating a system image or a system repair disc.
Let's start with Create a system image. We'll select that link. Now right away, you're going to see you're prompted to choose where you want to save the back up. Down below, there are three radio buttons, On the hard disc and you can see the hard disc that shows up here is called BOOTCAMP, and down below it appears I can't use this drive, because it's not formatted using the NTFS which is the file system required for backing up. So if I click this dropdown, I do seem to have another drive. It's a removable disc. If I select that, no, it's not formatted properly either.
So if you don't have an additional hard drive, and this is aside from the hard drive containing Windows and what's going to allow Windows to run, you may have to choose from one of the other options, such as one or more DVDs. When you select this radio button, you'll need to have a blank DVD on hand ready to be used for storing this system image. Now the other option is a network location. If you use a network location, be careful. Look what happens down below. Backed up data can't be securely protected for a network target, meaning people will have access to that data. That is, other people who can access the network.
So let's go back to one or more DVDs. Now depending on your hard drive and the Windows system, you may need one or more DVDs. Let's click Next. For my particular computer, this back up could take up to 217 GB of space. That is a lot of DVDs when you consider a single DVD hold just under 5 GB. So I could be sitting here, popping in blank DVDs one after the other as I'm prompted, to back up my C drive that's my entire system.
But if that's my only option, I would click Start backup and I would continue popping in those DVDs. At the end I have a full set of DVDs that contains my whole system. An image of what I am using right now when I turn on my computer. That means if there is a fatal crash, something happens, even if it's physical damage, I can take that image to another drive and restore it. Off I go working just as I was before that fatal crash. But I am going to click Cancel and let's explore another option.
Maybe everything is okay. You just can't get into Windows. You can't boot up the system and you need what's called a system repair disc. That's the third option down here under our navigation pane. Create a system repair disc. Now here, you need to select a drive that will contain the CD or DVD. I've got my blank DVD in there already. It's the only drive for me to select from. And when I choose Create disc, I am going to be creating a repair disc that's going to be used to boot up my computer. So when I turn it on, this is going have to be in the drive already and my computer is going to use this to boot up my system and then I'll have access to that hard drive where there seems be some kind of issue.
And the thing here is I am also going to have some recovery tools on this DVD that will help me recover Windows from a serious error or even restore my computer from one of those system images I might have created. So I am going to click Create disc and I have got my blank DVD in there already. So I am not prompted for it. And you can see it's actually starting to create the disc. I have this progress bar. It's showing me that it's in the stage where it's creating the disc and of course it's going to start copying some of my system information and those tools I was talking about.
In the end I'll be left with a DVD that I can use, should I turn on my computer and not be able to boot it up. If for some reason something has happened to my C drive, this boot disc will allow me to see what's going on my system disc. So let's let it finish up here. Now, eventually you're going to see the AutoPlay window open up. Notice that my DVD here has something on it now. It's called a repair disc for Windows 7 and down below, if I want to check out what's on this disc, I can click Open folder to view files.
If you don't care, you can close this window. I am going to take a peak though and you can see there is a folder called boot, another one called sources, and there is an actual file here, the bootmgr file that was created. This is the file that's going to automatically run when I pop this into my drive and turn on my computer, after some kind of fatal error. So I am going to close up Windows Explorer. The other thing you're going to see is they Create a system repair disc dialog box here. And it just gives you some information about using the system repair.
You can use it to access the system recovery options that, of course, will help you to recover your computer from that serious error. What you should do though when you pop this out is label it. So you wanted to make sure that it's clearly labeled as your repair disc and you can see the name, that they are recommending Repair disc Windows 7 32-bit. If you don't need to see this message every time you create a repair disc, just click the checkbox before you click Close. I am going to leave it uncheck, just to remind me. I don't mind being reminded and I can click OK. And now I can go to that drive and eject it, label it properly and if for some reasons something happens when I turn on my computer and Windows won't start up, it's like I am stuck, I can pop this into the drive and restart my computer and I'll have those tools and that information that I need to restore my system to where it was before the fatal crash.
I am going to close this up and that's another way to backup and restore your system.
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