Windows 8 includes a new File History program that automatically backs up user content. Microsoft says this program was included as a way to protect and backup users files since users never seem to setup their backup program. Unfortunately this new gem only backs up files stored in the Libraries, Desktop, Favorites and Contacts folders. You can specify which external device or secondary hard drive you want to backup to. By default the program updates every hour. The program only copies changed files and retains version history of your personal files over time. To set this up hold down the Windows key (It’s the one with the Windows logo located between Ctrl and Alt in the lower left) and “X“, select Control Panel and the System and Security, then File History. The instructions for this program are on several other blogs so I’ll leave the detailed setup discussion out of this post. Instead I’d like to switch gears and discuss how to access the old “Full” Backup and imaging program.
While File History is great as far as it goes, anyone who has been around computers for a while can tell you, imaging the entire system including programs and the operating system is a better way to make sure you don’t spend hours reloading. So if you want to create a full system image, how to find backup in Windows 8? The same program that was available in Vista is in Windows 8. Since it’s not easy to find I suggest pinning the program to the Start Metro screen. To do this hold down the Windows Key and R. In the Run box type “C:\windows\system32” and hit OK. Now Browse for the program sdclt.exe (your explorer may not show the .exe extension depending on your settings). You can run it by double clicking but I suggest you Right Click it and select “Pin to Start“. If you prefer to just quickly start the backup program you could alternatively hit Windows R and then type “SDCLT.EXE” in the Run dialog. Now you can access the default Microsoft backup program, which will allow real bare metal restore if you have a complete hard drive crash.