Many of you are in the position where you need a new computer, so here are a few tips to make sure you do what’s necessary to help in the future if that new computer starts acting flaky [translation: make a backup!]
First, create a system repair disc. Windows 8 doesn’t make it easy to find the tools you need to create this disc. The easiest thing to do is go to the control panel, and type the word “recovery” in the search box. You’ll see several options, but the one you’re looking for is called “Windows 7 File Recovery.” Strange title, eh? Anyway, you’ll need a blank CD to proceed. Just follow the instructions, and you’ll be fine.
Next, use the same tools to create a system image, also known as a backup. Your computer will come with what is known as a factory image. Using that image, you will always be able to return your computer to the same state it was in when you opened the box. Creating a system image will save you a bit of time because it will restore your computer to what it looks like at the time you created the image. That means your computer name, how the icons look, the programs installed, etc will all be there IF you take the time to create this image after you do your initial setup. I recommend storing system images on an external hard drive that you’ve plugged into a USB port, but you can use any of the storage mediums presented. I also recommend creating additional images on a regular basis, either manually or automatically.
This is a good place for me to point out a trend that I have been seeing. Many new computers don’t come with a DVD / CD drive. I recently bought a computer, and I was amazed to find that it didn’t have a CD drive when I was ready to install software. So, if you’re old school like I am, you will want to either make sure the computer has a drive, or you will want to purchase an external DVD drive. Not doing so doesn’t mean you won’t be able to install software. It just means that you will have to install it from an on-line source, an external hard drive, or a USB device.
Since restoring from this type of backup is not intuitive, I’ll briefly outline the steps here:
- Swipe from the right-hand side of the screen or place you mouse in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
- Click Settings
- Click Change PC Settings
- Click General
- Click Restart Now under the Advanced Startup Options section
- Follow the instructions after the computer reboot
Next time we’ll discuss the other recovery choice presented in most Windows 8 computers when you search for “recovery” in the control panel, because it wouldn’t be right to only give you one choice.
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