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Restoring Files from Backup

You should backup your important files to an external storage media, such as DVD/CD-ROM disks or an external hard drive, on a regular schedule. In the event of a problem with the PC, the latest backed files can be restored to the original PC or another PC using one of the following methods. When you perform the regular backup, be sure to document where the files were stored and which file belonged to which software program or application.
To learn more about how to backup your files so that they can be restored to another computer or the same computer that has been upgraded, see HP Notebook PCs - How to Back up User Files.
Most programs give you the option to restore the files either to their original locations or restore all the files to a folder of your choice. Restoring the files to a single new folder allows you to review the files and decide which files you actually want to save and which files you can discard.
If you are not familiar with the backup and recovery program, consult the software manufacturers’ Help files for more specific instructions.
Restore files without a specific backup program
If you backed up the files by manually dragging and dropping them from folders on the hard drive to an external storage media, such as DVD/CD-ROM disks, follow the steps below to restore your files.
  1. With the notebook PC operating in Windows, insert the backup disk into the optical disk drive. When prompted, select the option to open the disk in Windows Explorer.
  2. Right-click the desktop and select New , Folder to create a new temporary storage folder. Name the folder Backup Files or something else easily remembered.
  3. Copy all the files from your storage medium to the new folder.
  4. Using the Windows Explorer, select the individual files or groups of files and use the drag and drop method to move them to the desired location.
    In Windows XP the default location for personal documents is C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\My Documents\.
    In Windows 7 and Vista the default location for personal documents is C:\Users\<User Name>\Documents\.
  5. When you have moved the files you want to keep to the desired locations, delete all the files that are left in the temporary storage folder. If you ever need one of the deleted files, you can restore it again from the backed up disk.
Restore files automatically saved during upgrade to Windows 7
If you upgraded your operating system from XP or Windows Vista to Windows 7 and either did not make a set of backup files, or if you think that your backup may be missing some files, it may be possible to restore lost files.
One installation option for Windows Vista creates a directory folder on the hard drive that saves some of the contents of the original XP system’s My Documents and Settings folders. The Windows Vista installation does not save any other files from any other locations automatically. HP does not recommend relying on this automatic backup, because it is far too limited in its scope for most customers’ needs.
Follow the steps below to access the automatically backed up files:
  1. With the notebook PC operating in Windows, click Start, select Computer, and double-click on the hard drive icon (normally called Local Drive C:) to expand the list of folders.
  2. Navigate the folder structure to find the C:\Windows.old\Documents and Settings\ folder.
  3. Find and double-click on the folder with your old user name (or administrator account) to expand the folder. The files that were automatically saved during the upgrade will appear in the right-hand pane of the window (My Documents, Favorites, etc.).
    If C:\Windows.old does not exist, all of the old files were deleted during the upgrade.
  4. Copy the files that you wish to retain out of this backup folder and into you new C:\Users\<User Name>\Documents folder.
When you have copied all the files you want to the new folders, if you want to reclaim storage space on the hard drive, you can select and delete the entire C:\Windows.old folder.


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