Ensure all the files and folders you want to backup are in one location. For example, you may want to backup everything in the My Documents folder.
To move files and folders around, use the following method:
- Open My Computer from the desktop
- Navigate to the C: and open Documents and Settings
- Right–click on the background of the folder and choose New then Folder
- Right–click on the new folder and choose Rename. Call it Data for Backup
Navigate through the Documents folder. Right click on any folders you want to backup and choose Copy, then right click on Data for Backup and select Paste
You can select multiple files or folders at once by holding down Ctrl and clicking on each one before right–clicking.
Repeat this process until you have moved everything you want to backup into the folder.
Backing up the data
Once everything is in one location, this is a simple process.
- Right–click on the Data for Backup folder and choose Copy
- Using My Computer, navigate to your second hard drive – this is likely to be the D:\
- Right-click on the background of the second drive's folder and choose Paste
All your backup files will copy across from the C–
Depending on how many files you are backing up, this may take some time.
Saving time for future backups
Use the Save As function on any important files to keep them in your Data for Backup folder. You can also choose this location when you upload photos from a digital camera. This saves you having to search through all your other folders and moving files across when you want to do a backup.
We recommend you create a new backup on a regular basis, replacing older versions of files with updated ones. You can select Yes to all when Windows asks about overwriting files if you want to do this.
Important: While copying to a second hard drive is convenient, there are issues associated with it. If anything physically happens to your computer, both hard drives are likely to be affected – this means that your backup could be lost. It's also important to do regular virus checks to ensure nothing nasty gets into your system – these unwanted programs could affect files on both drives.
If you want to backup your whole system:
Most versions of Windows have a built-in backup and restore facility. If you want to backup more than just some files and images, we'd advise you to use these.
These applications can take an "image" of your computer system that lets you restore it to a previous state if anything goes wrong, as well as keeping your documents, images and music safe.
For more information, see our guides: