Copy of original data saved at some other location, so that it can be reused in case of losing the original data is called backup. Windows has always been providing tools in its operating system for taking backing up the system and files and every tool that has come from their box has some new features in it. Backup can be of various types. It could be a data backup, incremental backup, full backup or full system backup. In Windows Vista there are two types of Backups. First is a File backup and other is a Full system backup. The File backup keeps a track of changes which we make in files which have already been backup up and modifies those changes in the backup files when we run the backup again. It is a good practice to keep on backing up our files so that we do not walk in a situation when the data gets lost or corrupt and we have no way of restoring it back. The full system backup takes an entire image of the hard drive including the operating system, all the software and all the data on it and then saves it on a backup location. The full system backup in Windows Vista is an incremental backup if being taken on a local drive or on a removable drive.
To start the Backup Utility in Windows Vista, click on the Start menu, and then on the Maintenance Submenu. In Maintenance submenu you will find an option called Backup and Restore Center. Click on this option to launch the backup and restore center. Once it is open select a media on which you want to take the full system backup. Full system backup is an image of the entire system so make sure that the backup drive which you select has sufficient space in it for holding the data of your entire hard drive. Once you have selected the backup location click on Backup Computer. On clicking this option you might get the Administrators prompt and you need to accept it or provide the administrators password. Now Windows will scan your hard drive for the size of data to be backed up and will also scan the space available in your backup location. It will prompt you if the space available is low. Confirm this by selecting the backup location again and click on Next. By default Vista selects all the disk drives or partitions to be backed up; however you wish you can select a particular drive by selecting it in the screen being displayed now. After selecting the drive click on Next. Now Windows Vista is all set to backup the entire drive and will show you all the selections done by you so far in a single screen. It will give you the backup location, source location, size of your back up, space available on the backup disk, and will wait for your final confirmation. If you wish to make any changes then click on Back and make the changes other wise click on Start Backup to start the backup process. When the backup starts it will show the progress in a small window and it is advices that you do not work on your computer while the backup is being done. You will be prompted after the backup gets over and then you can close the Backup window and keep your backup disk in a safe place.