In part one of our series on backing up Windows 7, we walked through the process of creating and running a backup of your computer using the Windows Backup utility included with Windows 7. You may have even gone so far as to customize the backup schedule so Windows Backup runs automatically according to your schedule. Before you can confidently know your backup is properly configured, you need to test the backup file to make sure you got the data you need.

To ensure that your backup strategy actually works, you should perform a test restore. A test restore entails restoring your data to an alternate location to determine whether the backup procedure was performed without error.

To restore data in Windows 7:

  • Click Start and click Control Panel.
  • Click System and Security.
  • Click Backup and Restore Center.
  • Click Restore my files. This option is only available if you previously created a backup.
  • If you have multiple backups, select the backup from which you want to restore.
  • Click Next.
  • Click the Restore all users files link to restore the files of all users.
  • From the Restore Files window, you can browse for files, browse for folders or search for specific files. Once you have selected the folders and files to restore, click Next.
  • Select the restore destination. You can restore to the original location or restore to a new location.
  • Click the Restore button.
  • Once the process is complete, verify that your folders and files have been restore to the location you selected in step 7.