Article ID : S700023590 / Last Modified : 07/12/2018

How to make a backup of your data

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This article provide some general guidelines for making sure your data is safeguarded against loss.

difficulty rating Difficulty rating:
Intermediate
time needed Time needed:
Not relevant

A backup is a safe copy, preferably on an external medium, of the important data contained on your hard drive. The lack of data backups is the source of a lot of frustration and money/data/time loss, so we strongly recommend to make sure your data is backed up on a regular basis.

Some examples of 'external media': external USB Hard Disk, Optical discs, USB stick, flash memory.
Certain websites also provide online backup solutions.


Options for making backups of your data

Windows backup tools

Windows contains a preinstalled tool for creating and restoring backups.

In Windows 7, click on Start, and type Backup and Restore.
In Windows Vista, Backup and Restore Center can be found in Control Panel.
The Backup and Restore Center contains an extensive help section, which can be accessed by clicking on the question mark in the top right corner.

In Windows XP and before, this Backup can be accessed from Start - (All) Programs - Accessories - System Tools.
Please note that Windows XP Home does not have the backup utility preinstalled.
On most systems, you can find it on the first recovery disc, in the folder \VALUEADD\MSFT\Ntbackup. On some discs, this folder is missing; in this case you have the option to

  • Contact VAIO Link Support. We will be able to provide you with the installer.
  • Look for the installer online. There are various websites that provide it.
  • As Ntbackup is a very limited utility, you may want to go to the next option.

3rd party backup tools

In case you want to explore other options for managing your backups, a good place to start when you look for information is the wikipedia article about backups http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backup. This article also contains a link to a list of backup software: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_backup_software.

Manual backup

Copy/Paste important files on external media.
This option is the least recommended, as it requires manual work every time, and is prone to human error.

What if things went wrong

a. your operating system has crashed, and you do not have a recent data backup.

If you have a reasonably recent VAIO model, the VAIO Recovery Center will contain the option Rescue Data. This option provides the possibility to connect an external USB Hard Disk, and make a backup of the files you still require.

Rescue Data instructions:
If the recovery partition still exists, press F10 at boot. Rescue Data will appear in the list. If you have created recovery discs, you can boot from the recovery discs, and the option will appear in the list of recovery options.
Note: If Rescue Data does not show, it means your VAIO does not come equipped with this tool. Please understand that we are not able to make it available separately.

b. your operating system has crashed, and you do not have access to Rescue Data.

This is a complicated situation for which we cannot provide a straightforward, simple solution. Here are a few options which may or may not work depending on the gravity of your problem:
  • Use 3rd party data recovery software which allows booting an application from a CD, and backing up on an external hard disk. We cannot recommend a specific one.
  • You may want to consider trying to install a 2nd Operating System on your computer. This way you may be able to locate and backup your data before running a complete system recovery.
    Warning:  take into account that we cannot assist in this, and that it may turn out to be quite complicated.
  • If you have a model with an easy to remove hard disk, you could insert the disk in an external USB enclosure, and access the data from another computer.
    Warning:  take into account that hardware manipulations may void the warranty.
  • Various computer companies specialize in data recovery, and may even be able to recover data from faulty hard disks.