Peggy from Florida is concerned about not being prepared in case something happens to her system.  She writes “How do you get a Windows 7 Recovery disk?”

Hi, Peggy.  Thanks for the great question!

Well, first off, not trying to sound like a broken record here or anything, but if you’re not backing up your data regularly, you need to do that now.  Especially if you’re going to do a Windows upgrade or restore.  Probably nothing will happen to your data, but just to be on the safe side.  I also recommend keeping two copies of your backup, one at your home and one off-site.  I keep one at home that I back up every week, and one in a safe deposit box that I do every month.

The next thing that you want to do after backing up is to make sure that you’ve got your product key handy.  If you don’t know what it is, check on the bottom of your laptop or back of your desktop.  A lot of times the manufacturer will include a sticker with the key on it.  Failing that, download the Magical Jellybean Key Finder (www.magicaljellybean.com/keyfinder/) and run that.  When it provides you with the information, save it somewhere and write it down in case you need it and don’t have access to your hard drive.  If you want to keep the written version, store it with your backup.

The first way to get recovery discs is to simply order them.  You can find them on Ebay or just about anywhere else that sells software from about $10 up, but make sure that you’re buying from a reputable seller.

But for me, I’m kind of a cheapskate, so I would use the following method to create your own recovery disc instead.

First, click the START button, then either start typing BACKUP into the search box until BACKUP AND RESTORE comes up and then click on it, or click the START button, open your control panel, click on BACKUP YOUR COMPUTER under System and Security.

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Once you’re on the backup and restore screen, one of the options on the left sidewalk will be CREATE A SYSTEM REPAIR DISC.

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You can download the software on a thumb drive or a disc.  I would recommend a disc, simply because it will be bootable.  Follow the instructions, and then you’ve got your restore disc.

Next, restart your computer.  Microsoft recommends powering your computer down, and then using the power button to power it back on for some reason, so I’d do it that way.

Your computer should boot from the disc immediately, but if it doesn’t, then it will give you an option to press a button to start from DVD or CD.  Follow the instructions, and you’re all set!  And again, I would recommend keeping this disc with your backup.

I hope that this helps!
~ Randal Schaffer