How-To Geek

How To Use Backup and Restore in Windows 7

The backup utilities in previous versions of Windows have been less than spectacular resulting in a nice market for third party applications.  Today we take a look at the Backup and Restore feature in Windows 7  that may be their best backup tool yet.

Set the Backup

To set up a backup in Windows 7 open up Computer right-click on your local drive and select Properties.  Then click on the Tools tab and click the Back up now button.

Back Up and Protect Your Computer the Easy Way

Windows includes a number of backup and recovery tools for free, but the reality is that they aren’t anywhere near as good as commercial solutions. Carbonite automatically backs up all of your files, photos, and documents and stores them encrypted in the cloud.

Not only do you get cheap unlimited cloud backup, but you can also use Carbonite to backup your PC to a local hard drive. And you get versioning, deleted file protection, mobile apps so you can access your files from any device, and a whole lot more.

And for a limited time, How-To Geek readers get 2 free bonus months.

Backup Your PC or Mac with Carbonite Today

Backup Now

In the Back up or restore your files window click the link to set up a backup.

Set Backup

Windows will search for a suitable drive to store the backup or you can also choose a location on your network.  If you backup to a network location you might need the password to the share.

1 external or network

You can have Windows choose what to backup or you can choose the files and directories.  Because I like more user control for this tutorial I am choosing what to backup but it’s completely up to you.

Note:  If you let Windows choose it will not backup Program Files, anything formatted with the FAT file system, files in the Recycle Bin, or any temp files that are 1GB or more.


Select the files and folder to include in the backup.  Also notice you can select the option to create an image of your local drive.


Now review the backup job and make sure everything looks correct.


Here you can also schedule the days and times the backup occurs.


Save the backup settings and kick off your first backup and while it runs you can monitor the progress.

in progress

Click the View Details button to see exactly what is being backup during the process.


When the backup is complete you will see the two backup files and image folder if you created one.  I backed up 20GB of data and it took around 15 minutes including the system image which came to 11GB.


Double click on the backup file and can restore files or manage the size of the backups folder.


Restore Files from Backup

If you need to go back and restore a file from a backup click on Restore my files in the Backup and Restore Center.


Now you can browse or search the most recent backup for a file or folder your missing.


Next you can restore them back to the original location or choose a different spot then click Restore.


Progress of the restoration will vary depending on the size of the data and location it’s restoring from.


Manage Backup Size

Sometimes you may need to recover some disk space and Windows 7 allows you to manage the size of your backups.  In the Backup and Restore section click on the Manage Space link.


Your given a summary of the backup location and what is taking up space from the backup.


Click on the View backups button to check the different dated backups where you can delete older ones if needed.


You can also change how windows retains older system images.


Backing up data is one of the most important but overlooked tasks for a computer user.  If you have another backup app you might not consider letting Windows do it, but overall, the new backup and restore utility in Windows 7 is much better than previous versions.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 06/22/09

Comments (91)

  1. whiplash55

    Looks pretty good, I used Vista’s backup and it saved my bacon big time when I had to nuke and pave my daughters laptop after she install PC-Antivirus on it. Windows 7 looks similar but a little more full featured. I will be using 7 exclusively once it ships I’ve been surprised at its performance and polish.

  2. Dude

    You saved me big time thx man

  3. William

    I downloaded Windows 7 to review to see if i wanted to buy it later. I am really impressed with the software.
    The interface and the graffics are great. The start menu is easy to use and the system is really fast. I do have one complaint though. I have four computers i work with and i do make some mistakes at times.Vista
    lets me create my own restore points,but Windows 7 does not have this feature. It sure would be nice if
    Microsoft would add that feature to the Final Version.

  4. Lee S

    hey william. You’ve prob found this out by now but click on the start icon in windows 7 and type restore and it will come up with loads of options including the ability to create a restore point.

  5. JonZ

    Is there a way to force Win7 to backup in a folder? I only have the option to save on root and that’s all, it makes things a little unorganized since it create 3 components when you can have only one.

  6. John

    What about restoring backups made in previous versions of windows? Doesn’t look like it will do it…?

  7. james mcdonald

    i currently use ghost 12.0 to cover my butt . this will not work on 64 bit vista or i assume on 7 is there a program to do this that does not take a masters degree , im am not a teckee thanks

  8. torgar

    Hi, I’m solving one problem and maybe you could help me. First time when you start back up you have to click on “Set up backup”. When you do it you won’t get this message (Set up backup) again. I’m making some screenshots for Win 7 and I already set up backup, but I need to view this messege again and make a screenshot of it (in various languages). Is this somehow possible?

    thanks a lot

  9. geoff

    hey guys, have a network in office and use stand alone hard drive as server, I want to back up via my computer using windows7 the files on the server. used to use back2zip but windows7 won’t allow exe to be downloaded. when I try and use backup I can’t find network, only my computer comes up. any suggestions?

  10. bicyclops

    “A system image is a copy of the drives required for Windows to run. You can use it to restore your computer if it stops working.”

    But if your computer stops working, how do you restore? Can you boot from a CD or DVD and restore your system?

  11. bicyclops

    OK, looks like a System Repair disc should do it.

  12. oldsportbiker

    I’m generally impressed with Windows 7 Backup/Restore but I’d like to backup files daily and backup the image weekly and Windows 7 doesn’t seem to allow for multiple schedules. Am I missing something?

  13. dannieb

    Glad it works for you, but it does not for me. Recently migrated to Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit from the same in Vista. Backup chews along for 12+ hours, then gives an “unable to complete” error message because it is too big for my EMPTY 300 GB external hard drive! This from less than 110 GB of operating system and data.

  14. alan dowson

    I have up graded from vista Home to windows 7 . but hav ecome across a problem that I cannot back up, just only on an external drive. it stats to back up t around 78% then says back up was unsucsessful. tried formating d drive no good. any sugestions


  15. Mary Ellen Coblentz

    I had trouble access the HP files (troubleshooting, learning documents etc) just got a lot of jibberish, Also, my HP analysis would get stuck at downloading updates. I was on chat with HP. They had be backup all of my files. I did so on an external hard drive and 2 CDs. Then they had me restore the HD to factory conditions. Now the original issue is resolved, but I cannot open any of my saved files except the jpgs. The file extension is WIM and is not recognized. Can anyone help. Tried the chat again, but I’m not sure they know what they are doing.!!

  16. Jeff

    I had the same problem as dannieb (and probably alan dowson). The answer lies in the backup Help and Support: “By default, Windows automatically saves as many system images as it has space for without taking up more than 30 percent of space on the backup disk. Once the disk starts running out of room, Windows deletes older system images. You can set Windows to retain as many system images as it has space for on the backup disk or to only keep the most recent system image.” The 110Gb OS and data are 33% of the external disk space available, so Windows 7 backup won’t write all the backup to the disk. Why it doesn’t know this before it tries to backup is weird.

  17. top gun

    Thanks a lot. This tutorial made things lot easier and simpler. Saved me lot of time. Everything worked fine!! :)

  18. Tom W

    I still think Acronis True Image is the way to go. I found the Windows back slow and tedious, plus it somehow deleted Norton Internet Security files such that had to reinstall the program.

  19. Ed

    I backed up 20 GB from Windows 7 64-bit onto my old Maxtor Mini 3 120GB. Took about 30 minutes. Restored some files to different location & the detail was there so that portion apparently was successful. Don’t know how you’d check the system image backup — but the OS disk is there to fall back on. The Maxtor software is not compatible, but the device certainly functions — so I plan to make total backups weekly & regularly delete previous backups from the Maxtor to optimize its limited storage.

  20. Glen

    ShadowProtect from StorageCraft is compatible with Windows 7. It creates full and/or incremental backups while you work. Backups can be restored to the same or different hardware. You can download a trial from their website.

  21. TT

    Hi, I have just started to use the Windows 7 backup feature, I have it set up to write to another HDD within the same computer, as an extra safety measure I also want to write another backup to a NAS I have. Is there anyway to write two backups to two different locations? Thanks.

  22. Friis

    windows 7 ultimate 64 bit here, and i have a problem to restore…
    I made a restore point after i installed the needed programs right after i installed windows 7, now that i want to restore, it won’t let me, as in file not found.
    what you say:
    Double click on the backup file and can restore files or manage the size of the backups folder.
    every file in my backup folder are unknown and the computer ask me what program it should open it with.
    I do have a alot of files in my WindowsImageBackup folder, did notice a 8GB+ VHD file…
    How do i restore?

  23. craig

    i like the ability to make a system image but why does win 7 include my d drive (my hp recovery partition) when i just want it to image my c drive?

  24. John

    Great! How do you restore from external backup drive if Win 7 will not boot, though?

  25. Donna M. Davis

    In the backup and restore utility for Windows 7, I learned how to restore files, but what if you want to delete a file or files from the backup? Is there a way to do that?

  26. Cassandra

    I want to delete my Windows 7 backup folder.. but I can’t. It says it is in use. Help? :\

  27. milton

    I restored my files and my pics and music folders are empty. what am i doing wrong?

  28. Johnny

    I personally like to use to backup and restore free software like Dmailer BackUp Software , It saved you from a lot of undesired work and you can store them online that is the reason i like it.

  29. Jordan

    Can Windows 7 restore the whole system, including the operating system, if that’s needed?
    Could it for example fix the OS and restore all the last saved data, even if the computer got riddled with a bad dose of virus? Being lazy, I’m interested to know if the laborious job of reinstalling the OS can be avoided.

  30. Naplan

    I have created system image but don’t know how to use it I case I need to restore one?

  31. Sarah

    hi, I had to reinstall my OS cos i had massive hard drive failure, but i had restored my files to an external hard drive which inevitably broke!! however i was able to drag and drop the restore file using a hard drive docking station which thankfully my external worked with. now the back up is on my desktop but in my back up and restore centre windows doesn’t detect any previous back-ups (which is understandable since i’m starting with a fresh slate so to speak)

    when i double-click the back up file and click on restore files from this back up i’m diverted to the Back-up period page where normally you can select previous back ups etc, but nothing comes up. and when i tried to use my network to enter my computer and manually select my back up file windows tells me that it’s not a valid back up … which is ridiculous because it most certainly is! (just on my desktop instead of the broken external hard drive) what should i do? i don’t want to go through the hassle of going through each of my 131 individual back up folders to back up the files that should NORMALLY be backed up AUTOMATICALLY to their original location!!!


    OS – Win7 x86

  32. Blanca

    hi, there thank for this information it help me lot to back up my files since i am formating my notebook comp n i didnt know how to record my old file so that afterwards i can put it back to my comp………

  33. Selvan

    On the top of this page, note the second image, it’s the Backup and Restore window. In the left pane, you’ll see two choices: Create a system image & Create a system repair disc. First, create a system repair disc, you’ll need it to access the system image if windows will not boot. Secondly, create a system image, it will restore your computer to the exact way it was when the image was created, less personal stuff like the contents of My Documents, My Music, My…, etc, etc, etc. For those, and other non-system files/folders, utilize the right pane of the Backup and Restore window I mentioned above.

    Hope that clears the air for some.

  34. illyax

    I had this problem (error code 0x8078012D) with backup and system image creation with Windows 7 Professional.

    Hardware: HP HDX1000-EO, backup to WD 1 TB usb HDD (NTFS).

    There were some writings on various forums, but nothing seemed to help. The same error kept on popping up no matter what I tried.

    I did the following things:

    1 – Made a clean Windows 7 Professional install.
    After this the same problem continued.

    2 – Made sure that all windows services were started automatically
    VSS, COM+ etc.
    This did not help.

    3 – Did CHDSK /r
    Nothing found.

    4 – Disabled Norton 360, Advanced System Care Pro and Ad-Aware
    This did not help.

    5 – Disconnected all connections that could interfere with the backup.
    Other usb’s, my net connection, I even unplugged my headphones.
    No success.

    6 – Tried to do the backup manually.
    This worked to a certain degree. Most data files were backed up, but still no system image.
    The same idiot code kept on popping up: 0x8078012D.

    7 – I gave up
    This helped. I simply downloaded a free 3rd party software to create the backup and system image.
    I still have to see if I am able to recover anything with this free software, if (read: when) my highly praised Windows 7 crashes again.

    Question: If some free third party software is able to solve this Windows 7 backup and system image problem, why does Microsoft choose not to do so?

    Suggestion: Microsoft, put up a web page, where people can enter their error code and donate a reasonable sum of money, and in return get a solution to their problem in due time. That is, after you have got enough money to release the solution.

    Considering all the problems people seem to have, this would be a great business opportunity for Microsoft.

    It would, of course, hurt a lot of businesses, which ride on problems that Microsoft does not feel like solving.

    But, it would be businesswise more productive than throw the money in false promises and expensive mind-bending campaigns as was done with Windows 7.

  35. Jon

    Thank you so much for posting this tutorial. There has been countless times where I have lost so much valuable data. Never again!

  36. wguru

    Cassandra –

    You say…”I want to delete my Windows 7 backup folder.. but I can’t. It says it is in use. Help? :\”

    Have you tried starting up in safe mode with networking and then try deleting that folder (ref. whatever you named the backup as) as well as it’s counter part (the “MediaID.bin” file) both at the same time?

    If I’m off base there (and your backup is not on an external hard drive and/or maybe a USB connected EHD can’t be accessed in safe mode, but I think it can), then I’d suggest you try using another pc to access and delete the folder and it’s associate bin file that way.

  37. wguru

    Jordan –

    You say…”Can Windows 7 restore the whole system?”

    At least for my W7 Pro installation (not sure about regular W7), I’ve made a full system backup as well as saving a system image, and anytime I’ve used “backup and restore” to reinstall (recover) the OS, it installs my “W7 Pro” system exactly as it was, save for some administrative and a few other settings that seem to revert to W&’s default settings, but all my programs, even my AV are restored just like when they were when i made the backup.

    And i once recovered the system as I described after I’d lost the ability to boot to Windows (my user profile got corrupted, actuall deleted), ie; I simply booted to safe mode with networking so I could access my USB ext hard rive for my backup files (apparently safe mode doesn’t require a user profile or if it does apparently a profile is stored other than in NT user files), then opened backup and restore and let it do it’s thing finding the backup file and using it.

  38. wguru

    illyax –

    Not certain, but I think I recall Norton360 reportedly creating backup issues, that or W7Pro has issues with ‘360, but I think that might be why you’re having issues creating a backup.

    Not certain if this’s accurate too, but I think if you’ve turned off “system restore”, you/we might not be able to create a backup.

    I hope you’re not actually talking about system restore, as many users don;t realize that any RP’s having included an ex hard drive in that Rp, unless that hard drive is online and also drive letter named axactly as it was when the RP was created, then sys restore’s RP won’t work.

  39. wguru

    Now I wish someone would jump in here and explain what the default setting is for W7 Pro’s backup and restore utility (regarding if a new backup file is made, ‘completely’ overwriting the old one, or if that’s not the default, then “how” to back up, I think the term is incrementally, ie; simple add to the existing backup any changes since it was initially created).

    Either way, whatever the default is, I’d like to know that AND how to backup other than the default way; eg; either creating a separate one, overwrite the old one and/or simply append the intial backup with newly changed data.

    I’ve read article after artcile, few address this and none seemed to clearly explain ‘how to’ in each of the optional methods of backing up.

  40. wguru

    Plus little to no info on how to use a “system image” (once we create and store one). grrrr.

  41. Audil

    I had to reinstall my OS cos i had massive hard drive failure, but i had restored my files to an external hard drive. After reinstalling my OS (WIN 7 32bit) i copied my restore file using a hard drive. now the back up is on my desktop but in my back up and restore centre windows doesn’t detect any previous back-ups.

    when i double-click the back up file and click on restore files from this back up i’m diverted to the Back-up period page where normally you can select previous back ups etc, but nothing comes up. and when i tried to use my network to enter my computer and manually select my back up file windows tells me that it’s not a valid back up … which is ridiculous because it most certainly is! (just on my desktop instead of the broken external hard drive) what should i do?


    OS – Win7 32 bit

  42. Pete

    On a slightly different note, I’ve been trying to get W7 to backup to a hard drive connected to my wireless router, so that I won’t lose both the original and the backup in the event of a fire. After many abortive hours searching through help files etc., a guy on the Microsoft forum told me that W7 Home Premium doesn’t support network drives. You apparently have to upgrade to W7 Professional, at a cost of £200. I’m surprised no-one on this forum has come across the same problem (or perhaps you all have W7 professional?) Perhaps I should try Acronis True Image or some other thiid party software.

  43. Jeff

    I have become numb to Microsoft’s cluelessness. Windows home premium doesn’t support network backups. It also has been dumbed down to the point of near uselessness. The old NTBackup’s simplicity was elegant. I have actually found tar/gzip scripts to be simpler in most cases than most of the backup solutions. So disappointed.

  44. Farhan Hoti

    Really Very helpful……………….learnt much more so simply…Thnxxx

  45. Ali From IRAN

    hi, It’s very good .tanks

  46. Lisa

    I have a question regarding Windows 7 Backup. Is there any way to overwrite a previous backup on a flash drive through the backup schedule? I don’t see any options and I don’t have enough space on my flash to store more than one backup. If I manually delete the previous backup my backup says my flash is disconnected until I go into change settings and manually start the backup.

  47. Effy1

    The only files I have saved to flash drive are the ones I have been working on or have information I need. However I do know that I should be backing up other files. Can I used my recovery partition to backup to or does one need to backup onto a Cd/Dvd disk or flash drive ?

    Just got the first first system warning and sut down and want to be ready in the event something much more serious happens. Any help from U guys will be appreciated.



  48. Effy1

    I have backedup files I have been working on and those with info that I need, but know I should be dong much more. Do I have to backup to flash drive, cd, dvd, or can I use the recovery partition to backup to ?

    Just had a system warning and pc shut down so want to be ready. Any help will be appreciated.



  49. A_Stray Ending

    i wonder i made a back up iso. off of my dell d830 and it broke so i had a old Hp laying around could i use that to restore all of my stuff and the operating system?

  50. greg

    Is there any difference when it comes to the restore process and how the image ends up being restored, whether you use the system image, or the backup files and system image combination?

    I’ve been using just the system image so far. It take about 18 minutes to backup 38gb of data onto a USB portable external. However I cannot specify a folder. And it seems if I move the folder windows system image folder creates into another folder, then the program cannot find it. I’d like to have more than one backup and name it so when I look at the file or folder, I know which one it is, but Windows 7 doesn’t seem to like this.

    Macrium reflect has a free equivalent and is a little more flexible in this respect. It takes about the same amount of time to backup. You can use the rescue DVD the program lets you create, just as Windows creates a system repair DVD to restore the image to your hard drive or a new one. The reflect program allows you to resize the C partition if necesary. Also I’ve found that the reflect program is better at imaging several partions, i.e. the two rescue and recover partitions on many Dell computers. I had problems with Windows 7 imaging those.

    However, only the paid version of reflect allows you to back up incrementally.

  51. Charles Raedy

    Do you have available a program to save web (HTML) pages to PDF.

  52. Terry

    Hi I am running Windows home premium 7
    Is there a way that will let me select another drive on a network PC rather than an external hard disk or DVD


  53. Mike Echo

    I am a newbie to Windows 7. I’m using Windows 7 Professional on an HP Elitebook 8740w with an Intel Core i5 CPU and 4GB of RAM, with a 64-bit operating system. My question is about Windows Backup. I previously used Windows Backup when running XP on a different computer and I understand how it works. But I just ran Windows Backup on Windows 7 and something unexpected happened. Windows Backup apparently backed up the files I requested, but when I look in the location where it’s supposed to be (a 1-terrabyte external hard drive made by FreeAgent), I see no backup file of any kind. However, when I go back to Control Panel/All Control Panel Items/Backup and Restore/Manage Space/View Backups, I see what is apparently my backup file. So the backup apparently worked, but the backup file is not showing up on my external hard drive. The external hard drive is otherwise working normally and I see my other files there. My first thought was that the backup file was a hidden folder so I went into folder options and selected show hidden folders, but I still don’t see my backup folder. Any ideas?

    Separate question — does anyone know if the backup file generated by Windows 7 can be read by a Windows XP machine. If my Windows 7 machine crashes one day, I want to know if I can drag out my old XP machine, plug in my external hard drive, and restore the backup file that the Windows 7 machine had generated. Thanks.

  54. Derek


    I was wondering if there is a way to possibly encrypt my backup? I have 7-10 stations backing up to a server. This gives access to anyone to anyone’s data that has access to the server. Does anyone have any solutions to this problem?

  55. shafi

    Thank you very much…………

  56. kamal

    how to recover window 7 hp notepad
    pavilion dv6

  57. BrianK

    My issues with Windows 7 Backup is:

    – unable to create daily backup jobs (Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu and 4 Fridays, alternately run every 4 weeks)
    – unable to use multiple backup drives.

    We use three (3) external drives for backup: One is in use, one is on deck, and one is off site. They rotate weekly. Win7 Backup is IDing the first drive, and will not backup to drive 2 or drive 3. The old NTbackup.exe did not have these problems.

    Anyone know a work-around?

  58. Bob

    i didn’t see how to change the backup drive from cd/dvd to flash drive……..i’m not very computer savvy, so i could have missed it……….thanks, Bob

  59. Jim

    Windows7 backup utility is nothing short of a joke.

    You cannot backup from a file share……
    Even if you add that file share to a library using a symlink it fails……

    All i want to do is backup \\server\drive to a removable hdd I: and it cannot do it…even if \\server\drive is mapped to a drive letter

    Please give us ntbackup back, at least it worked……stop trying to make everything user frinedly and uberUI driven…give us back script driven backups that work and the command line…

    Win7 backup utility …what a joke

  60. Joe

    >You cannot backup from a file share……

    This is an intentional built in restriction, read the help files, you are supposed to buy the professional version of win 7 to be able to backup to any network path….*sigh*

    Microsoft micromanaging your computer … again

  61. Stephanie Grubb

    I’m having a hard time backing up everything on an External HDD. I plug it in, it recognizes it, but still for the backup it wants to show the DVD RW Drive. How can I get it on the external hard drive?

  62. Doug

    I have Windows 7 Home Premium and have set up the initial backup and run it. The First backup took about 68 gb. I then ran it again a few days later and it took about 20gb which is fine since I had added quite a bit of data. However I noticed that it was backing up old pictures from 2008 which were already backed up in the initial full backup. I then backed it up again without doing any additional work and the backup was 13 gb and again included old pictures that were in earlier backups. What is going on? It obviously isn’t doing a full backup because the file sizes are way too small but why is it backing up the same files more than once?

  63. dick

    hahhahaha omg i love dick

  64. stain

    i use windows seven ultimate
    i really find windows seven in-built backup is quite useful, especially backup my system state, but it seemed too slow to restore the system after my former system got crashed.
    Then i checked my hard disk, it works well. help me

  65. Kevin

    @Doug, just because you can see the older files when reviewing the backup doesn’t mean that it is backing up old files (unless you changed them). This is expected behavior. When viewing the latest backup, all backups are, basically, compiled into one to allow seemless recovery of files no matter when they were backed up.

  66. steward

    Stain, if there is something wrong with your Windows 7 built-in backup, ok, just try those professional backup software. These will do a better job than windows backup.
    using your google to find one suitable for you.

  67. Mitch


    1-When I finish my system image it says:

    The backup failed – Mew bad clusters were found on the source volume. These clusters were not backed up (0x807887D).

    When I check my backup hard drive it shows a disk image has been created so I don’t know if it worked even though I’m getting that error.

    I tried to shrink my volume to get rid of this as some sites suggest but nothing. I ran chkdsk but it doesn’t detects bad clusters.

    2-This is a Windows 7 Professional upgrade from a Windows Vista Home Premium that is pre-installed on a C drive that now is labeled M. Windows 7 is installed on an OCX Vertex SSD 30 GB drive that is the new C drive. When I go to create my system image it insists in including my M drive even though that only has my old Vista that came preloaded with the computer so instead of being only 30GB from the Vertex SSD the image wants to include all the junk on the M drive. I tried removing the factory installed Vista hard drive to see if that way Backup and Restore wouldn’t say it needs the M drive to create the image but the system wouldn’t find a boot drive even though the new C with my Windows 7 Pro installation is my SSD drive.

  68. ozcoz

    My system drive (C:) needs more space. I was going to do the following.
    1. create a full system image and backup to external HDD
    2. reinstall windows and repartition the drives (using same letters) with more space for C:
    3. use system restore from the backed up data on the HDD to restore all my data.
    Will the old partition spaces come back when I do the system restore? or am I making this task too difficult?

  69. Cheryle Pauley

    Recently installed a hard drive into my computer. I want to use it as backup. When I tried, I got the message “Transaction support within the specific resourse manager is not started or was shut down due to error. (ox80071A91) What is this and how can I fix it? Thanks

  70. Steve

    I just successfully ran Windows 7 full system image and backup to an external HD via usb. The total backup was only 45gb and took about 7 hours. My question is, if I were to manually run another backup in a month or so (not adding much data in that period) how long could I expect the update to the backup to take? Will it just add the new data to the existing backup or does it start from scratch each time? Thanks.

  71. Nico

    Would someone please clear something up for me: I am planning on backing up some folders on my D: drive (My Docs, Movies, Steam, etc.), and imaging my C: drive alongside that. That said, I assume I wouldn’t need to back up any additional folders from C:, since the drive image contains ALL of the folders in C:, correct? Thanks.

  72. sam

    it keeps on coming back to picture of screenshot number 16 (the first of the last three) …
    then what ??????
    I can see in my external hardrive there is some image data created for back up.
    What am I supposed to do with it ?

  73. COLDRH

    In vista there was a function where it would back up changes and updates to files and folders on the origional hard drive back up. Where did did this function go on windows 7? All I can find is reference to a total back up each time.

  74. Steven

    I have a new system (64bit) running a Crucial SSD-C300 on a 6g/s sata connector. I am not being allowed to create a system image. Backup stops almost immediately to tell me that there is a problem imaging the drive. But the drive is ntfs, and I can’t see anywhere that there are any access privelages not switched on. Btw, I can backup the folders, just not the image.

    Anyone have any ideas – a system image would be very nice.

  75. January

    This does not work. When I follow the above rules, all I get is Acronis TrueImage which is already set to image C drive. No Windows backup of any kind!

  76. alan hunt

    Ok I did this, but my system image came up to be about 100GB. Why would it do that? Isn’t windows 7 something like 20GB?

  77. alan hunt

    Oh wait, never mind. I see that a system image is not only the operating system, but everything else.

  78. lime

    Hi there why all the time do I need a new cd everytime I update my computer. It says backup files. Why do I always have to back them up. What are the reasons and if I ever did need them how do I know when to use them or what disk to use. please help me thanks..

  79. judy hurd

    can u help me restore my system back to april 27 2011,,,,,,please,,my system restore does not work

  80. elliot

    I have looked at my backup files and find that they are stored in several folders named Backup Files , 2, etc. If I want to retrieve a particular file instead of restoring the whole system, I have to look through these different folders to locate it. Is it possible to get your files saved in the original directory structure without these Backup folders?

  81. XB70

    I have Win 7-64 Ultimate thus network access for Backup & Restore. It used to run fine daily backup, files and System Image. NAS has loads of room, so my problem isn’t about that. No changes to router (NAS on HomeNetwork LAN), etc. For a few months now, whenever it tried to run, it would bomb, claiming a network problem. I took it off schedule and run in manually now. Still bombs–unless I reboot! Then it will run. Note that before running B&R I was accessing the NAS right down to the backup folder, no problems with Explorer or whatever. After reboot, don’t have to do that, but it didn’t help anyway (if done before B&R attempt). Dont’ get it. Have seen a few otehr folks mentions something like this, but seen no solution or explanation. Why does Exlporer have access, but not B&R? Unless after reboot? No other NAS issues or network issues whatsoever. All B&R.

  82. XB70

    Here is more info on my problem immediately above:
    Win 7/64 Ultimate Backup & Restore gives this error: 0x800704B3

    Backup and Restore (B&R) used to work without this problem. It hasn’t for some time, and I don’t know of any precipitating change. Here is what happens:

    When attempting to run at scheduled time, B&R bombs giving this error: 0x800704B3. It will not run after re-attempting. The target drive is a NAS on my LAN and all are connected via ethernet (no wirless issues). I can access the NAS drives, folders (including Backup & Restore’s folders) using any other program on the computer (Word, WordPerfect, Excel, Explorer, etc.) except Backup & Restore. If I open the B&R folders on NAS before attempting to run B&R–just to make sure the computer has access to NAS–that the NAS is “hot,” it doesn’t make any difference. The one exception that allows B&R to run a backup is if I do a restart and immediately run B&S–then it works!

    But why would B&R not have authorization when everything else does, except immediately after a restart? So now I am only running backups manually (no automatic schedule) after a restart and wondering if I will be even able to do a restore if ever needed. My B&R routine includes both a system image and some file/folder backups FWIW–MS default choices. There is no capacity issue. I do not have any other issues, networking or otherwise. The machines are clean and haven’t been infected. AV and FW don’t have any effect. (This is happening on two Win 7/64 Ultimate machines–exact same symtoms, same LAN, same NAS.) I am thinking that it is a B&R issue, but can’t find any reference to it. MS doesn’t seem to support B&R or trying to find answer in B&R threads hasn’t yielded anything.

    Here is Event View or error:







    [computer name]

    \\[NAS name]\Volume_1\[computer name] BackUps\

    The network path was either typed incorrectly, does not exist, or the network provider is not currently available. Please try retyping the path or contact your network administrator. (0x800704B3)


    I have changed [computer name] and [NAS name], as indicated out of an abundance of paranoia. However I doubt that it will obscure any interpretation, which this Event View isn’t yielding to me. Anyone else?

  83. XB70

    Event view was truncated. Here is complete:


    [computer name]

    \\[NAS name]\Volume_1\[computer name] BackUps\
    The network path was either typed incorrectly, does not exist, or the network provider is not currently available. Please try retyping the path or contact your network administrator. (0x800704B3)

    I have changed [computer name] and [NAS name], as indicated out of an abundance of paranoia. However I doubt that it will obscure any interpretation, which this Event View isn’t yielding to me. Anyone else?

  84. XB70

    Oh well, won’t post. Probably not helpful anyway.

  85. Christina


    Every time i try to back up by C drive, it starts but then it thouws out an error message that says that “The system cannot find the file specified”. I have tried to backup my D drive (extra partition) and that it did pervectly, but not with my C drive. any Ideas???

  86. SINBAD

    I just got an external 1 terror bite drive to back up computer. I have tried multiple times for 2 weeks and it is not backing anything up. Every time I try it just says “The last backup did not complete successfully.” I just do not know what to do.

  87. Tia

    I tried to restore my system from my back up disk but i lost back up disk 7 is there any way i can skip number 7 and continue to back disk 8-13? please help i have all disk but 7 :(

  88. Bodie

    I am running Windows 7. My backups were working fine every month until a few weeks ago when the external HDD i was using died. I am now using another external HDD. I don’t know what is happening but i keep getting a windows error message that i do not have enough space for my backup. I have checked everything, deleted old backups that were on the HDD and made sure that i am only keeping the latest backup. Still, this doesn’t seem to be fixing the preoblem.There is over 200GB of space(which is more than the one that died) but for some reason windows is telling me thats not enough??? I am lost and need help before i lose my mind!

  89. Someone


    Check how the external is formated. A FAT formatted disk will not accept a file larger than 25GB I believe. You need to have a NTFS disk for your backup to accept a larger file size. I have come across this problem when transferring large files from one hard drive to another.

  90. W7

    Yeah! It’s really nice to explore the features of Windows7. Nice backup-recovery tool.

  91. nik

    Hi Guys Is it necessary to set up back up.As Norton security keeps on reminding to set up back up…. Cheers

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