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Published on 01.09.06 by Brent Trahan

How To Restore A Backup

You’ve been good about using Windows XP’s backup tool Backup and Restore Wizard and now you need to restore a backup for some reason. The Backup and Restore Wizard makes it just as easy to restore a previous backup than it was to make that backup. Before I show you how it’s done please note […]

You’ve been good about using Windows XP’s backup tool Backup and Restore Wizard and now you need to restore a backup for some reason. The Backup and Restore Wizard makes it just as easy to restore a previous backup than it was to make that backup.

Before I show you how it’s done please note that when you restore the backup files that might have been added after the backup will not be there. Files that have been deleted since the backup will show back up. Be careful if you are restoring a backup because of a virus. If that virus is in the previous backup it will cause the same damage all over again.

In this example I created a folder called TestBackup&Restore and created a folder inside that one with a file in that folder. I backed up the TestBackup&Restore folder. After I backed it up I deleted the TestBackup&Restore folder that was on my desktop. Now I will restore it.

To open the Backup or Restore Wizard to restore your backup you can open the backup file itself or do the following below.

To open the Backup or Restore Wizard click Start, point to All Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Backup to start the wizard.

A welcome screen will open. This screen gives you the option to start the Backup or Restore Wizard in advanced or wizard mode. For simplicity reasons let’s start it in wizard mode. Wizard mode is set by default. Click Next.

The next window asks you if you want to backup or restore files. Backup is selected by default. We are going to restore files. Click restore then click Next.

The next step (shown below) is where you pick which folders to restore.

When I opened the restore wizard it listed the items it knows about. If it doesn’t find the backup file you need to restore, click browse and browse to the backup file you want to restore. You might have to click the + signs to see what is in each item to find the backup you want to restore. Notice above how I clicked on the + next to File, then I clicked the + next to TestBackup&Restore which opened a folder that I checked off. I want to restore TestBackup&Restore so I checked the box next to the folder that appeared when I clicked the + next to TestBackup&Restore.

Notice the name of the folder I checked off is not the original TestBackup&Restore folder that was on my desktop. That folder called C is the root of the directory that the TestBackup&Restore folder sits in. TestBackup&Restore folder site in the directory C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Desktop\TestBackup&Restore\ on my computer. If you click the + next to C it will show you the next folder in the hierarchy of folders it sits in. If you keep clicking the + next to you will end up at the TestBackup&Restore folder.

There is a reason it’s done this way. Lets say you don’t want to restore all the files in that backup. Lets say you just want to restore one folder that was accidentally deleted. You would click the + signs until you found that folder. You would then uncheck all the folders you don’t want to restore and leave only the ones you want restored checked.

Once you checked off all the folders you want to restore, click Next.

A screen similar to the one below will pop up showing you its progress.

When it’s finished a window similar to the one below will pop up.

That’s it. The file(s) have been restored to what they were when you backed them up.

Still need help? Ask your computer question now.

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One Response to “How To Restore A Backup”

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  1. Gerard Harlan says:

    When I try to restore backup files from an external hard drive back to my laptop, I get an error message that “backup has not been set up on this computer. An administrator must first create a backup before you can restore files.” I replaced my hard drive and now I want to restore or transfer files back to the new hard drive.

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