Disaster Recovery

Get Windows XP's Backup utility to use recordable optical media

Learn a workaround that will allow you to indirectly make Windows XP's Backup utility use recordable optical media as a backup destination. Be sure to notice that the author points out that you need to ensure your backup file fits on one CD.

Windows XP's Backup utility does not allow you to directly select any type of recordable optical media (i.e., CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R, or DVD-RW) as a backup destination—even though you can copy files to recordable optical media from within Windows Explorer. However, there is a workaround that will allow you to indirectly make the Backup utility use recordable optical media as a backup destination.

In this workaround, you direct the Backup utility to save the backup file in the CD Burning spool folder. You can then burn the backup to your recordable optical media. Here's how:

  1. Launch Backup.
  2. Select the Backup tab and choose the files that you want to back up.
  3. Choose File from the Backup Destination drop-down list.
  4. In the Backup Media or File Name text box, type the following path:
    C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\CD Burning\Backup.bkf

where <user name> is the name of your user profile folder and Backup.bkf is the name of the backup file.

As soon as the backup starts, you'll see a balloon appear in the notification area that alerts you that you have files waiting to be written to the CD. Once the backup is complete, click the balloon to open Windows Explorer and then click the Write These Files To CD command in the CD Writing Tasks section of the task pane.

Note: The only drawback to this technique is that you cannot make Backup span large backup files across multiple CDs. As such, you'll need to ensure that your backup file will fit on one CD.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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