Chapter 13. XP Backup and Recovery
At some point, it's going to happen: you're going to lose something you want back. No matter what happensthe kids accidentally delete a file, your computer gets hacked, the power goes out, your system gets a virusyou'll have to either roll back changes made to the system or restore files from a backup.
Fortunately, XP includes a powerful set of tools and utilities that can help you recover a failed system and the data contained therein. These tools include the Backup Utility program and System Restore. If you use computers long enough, you'll eventually need one of these tools, and this chapter explains how both of these can help you get back on your feet again.
Of these, the Backup Utility is the one you should be most familiar with right from the start. You've heard it by nowif it's important, or even if you think it will be, back it up. The hard disk on your system is arguably the most important piece of your computer; without it, your computer would be little more than a calculator or a video game console. People usually buy computers, after all, so that they can work with a set of information day after day. A draft of a certain computer book comes immediately to mind.
Yet the hard disk is also one of the more fragile devices of your system, failing on average more times than any other computer component. In the event of a disk crash, your data can be impossible to retrieve without dropping a movie budget for a data recovery service. Your data is also vulnerable to the vagaries of human error. People have been known to make typos, and they have also clicked the wrong button a time or two, sending critical data into the ether. What's more, some people have been known to "try out" utilities like format and fdisk for (their own) entertainment.
All right, I've made my point: you are going to lose data, and your next paycheck may depend on your ability to get it back.