Free Data Transfer Tool for Windows XP user Migrating to Windows 7 and 8.1
For XP users, use the following free tool:
Copying your Files to an External Hard Drive
Press [Windows] and [e] and then aero snap to the left [Windows] and [←], navigate to C:\Users and select the folder with your username.
Insert your external hard drive and press [Windows] and [e] and then aero snap to the left [Windows] and [→]. Open the location you want to make your backup.
Create a new folder on the external hard drive by right clicking and select new > folder (alternatively, press [Ctrl], [Shift] and [n]). Rename it appropriately.
Drag and drop all the files to the external hard drive.
The files should now all be copied over.
You may also have a SkyDrive/OneDrive folder.
Hint for best results copy the files to multiple external hard drives.
2 thoughts on “Backing Up your Files”
I noticed in your "drag and drop" image that you do not include the hidden AppData folder in the back up. Could you explain the reason for this? Are there no important files in AppData that should be saved?
I once did a clean install on my parents' computer, but forgot to find and back up their Microsoft Outlook emails. My mother lost thousands of saved emails. I still feel awful about it and don't want to make a mistake like this again. How could I have saved those emails?
Thanks, Philip. Your website has been incomparably helpful as I prepare to clean install four computers in our household.
I don't use Outlook too much… Yes it saves a .ost or .pst file in the App Data:
I should add a note on that…
Also I should add a link to my Macrium Reflect guide which I wrote last month:
This allows you to backup your entire OS boot drive and restore it, just in case.