Backup for Files - How can I backup my OS and applications?

Written By Tami Sutcliffe (Super Administrator)

Updated at March 31st, 2021


Our backup product excels at backing up and restoring files. However you need to take a few additional steps to backup your operating system settings and programs. This article describes how to backup Windows XP (Home and Professional) as well as Windows Server 2000, 2003, and 2008. These instructions require version 3.6.1 or later.

On Windows 7 (and later) desktop operating systems, Microsoft decided to discontinue supporting system state backups through ntbackup or the wbadmin. The instructions to backup your OS and applications on Windows 7 are different (see below).

Instructions (Windows XP, Server 2000/2003/2008/2008 R2, SBS 2003/2008/2011)

  1. Open the backup manager and navigate to the Folders page. Click Add . From the popup menu choose System State.
  2. On the dialog that appears, choose the drive that will used when building a temporary copy of the system state. Also select the schedule for how often you want to backup the system state. We recommend choosing to backup weekly on the weekends.
  3. Click the Save button to close the dialog.
  4. Click Save to save the settings on the Folders page.

Additionally, you need to make sure that you are backing up your program files and other system files. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Open the backup manager.
  2. Navigate to the Folders page. Click Visualize.
  3. Find your Program Files folder and make sure that it's checked.
  4. Make sure that any programs in other places (often in directories right off of the root of the drive) are checked also.
  5. Find your windows directory (usually C:\Windows) and make sure that it is checked.
  6. Click Save to close the Visualize dialog.
  7. Click Save to save your new folder settings.

Instructions (Windows 7)

Windows 7 does not natively support backing up the system state through Microsoft tools. Instead, we recommend using one of the following strategies:

  • Use the Windows backup utility (that comes with Windows 7) to make a one-time backup of your OS partition to a USB disk, and then use the backup manager to backup this bare-metal backup data from the USB disk.
  • Use the x360Recover solution to perform continuous bare-metal backups of the OS partition (or the entire computer). See the following KB for more details: