Data loss is a common problem for most computer users. Backing up software is done by creating duplicate software copies on different storage devices in case you lose your files accidentally. Because backups can easily be restored, backing up your software can help save time whenever problems arise.
Acquire an installer of the software from the Internet or CD where you accessed it. Ensure that it is exactly the same version as the one you have installed so that when recovery is necessary, you have the same software once again. If your software has been patched in the past, obtain copies of the patches as well. Save the installer in a removable disk or optical media.
If your software has important settings that you need to backup, launch the software and see whether there is an option to export settings or make backup copies. If not, find out where the program is installed (usually C:\Program Files) and look for INI files or files that have been modified recently. Copy those files to the same location of the installer you previously saved.
Label your backups if you decide to put them in disks. If you are backing up multiple software applications and games, separate each by placing them in a folder so that restoration will be easier.
If you are using optical media for backing up, make full use of the disk capacity by putting as many software backups as possible onto a disk. You may use flash drives or external hard drives for backing up sensitive data. Optical disc media are prone to scratches leading to data loss if not handled properly.
If you are backing up software that you purchased, be sure to have a copy of the serial key or registration information.
- Using backup software such as Windows Backup, Norton Ghost or Acronis makes the process easier and covers all installed programs including the operating system and settings.
- It is recommended to back up often by repeating these steps once you get new versions of software or change your settings. This will ensure that your backups are always updated.
- Some applications have settings that are stored in the registry. If these settings aren't backed up using recommended software mentioned above, they will be lost if the backups are restored to a damaged or new system.