Draft:WSU Technology Knowledge Base Backing Up Your WSU PC Laptop

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If your laptop failed right now, could you restore all of your important files and information on your new laptop within an hour? It is absolutely essential that you back up important information from your laptop to external, network, and/or web storage. Your laptop can be lost, stolen, dropped, spilled upon, or otherwise rendered unusable at any time. Its hard drive can fail without warning, making it impossible to access any of its data. If the only copy of your important intellectual property, hard work, and creative effort is on your laptop, you are running a terrible risk of losing it all forever. This prospect is disturbing enough for students, who risk losing semesters of academic work, but it is of critical importance for WSU employees who risk losing tremendous professional and institutional investments. Backing up your laptop data is an easy thing to do, there are a number of good, relatively inexpensive storage solutions available, and there is plenty of help available for both students and employees who have questions.

  • Students - Contact the Digital Learning Center (457-5240 Option 1; dlc@winona.edu)
  • Faculty and Staff - Contact TLT in the Professional Resource Center (457-5240 Option 3; tlt@winona.edu)

The following Backing Up and Restoring Your Laptop table should serve as a checklist as you work to migrate your content from your old laptop to the new one.

Backup Instructions

Data What Needs Backing Up How To Backup How To Restore
Folders within your C:\Users\username drive (e.g. Desktop, Documents, Library, Movies, Pictures, Outlook) must be backed up from your hard drive. Backing Up Your Hard Dive

New 2012 PC Directory Structure

Backing Up And Restore Your Hard Drive Video
Outlook emails Email that is in your username@winona.edu mailbox, including the Inbox, Drafts, Sent Items folders and custom subfolders, is not stored on your laptop and does not need to be backed up. If you have archived your email, it will appear in a directory other than your username@winona.edu directory. Not applicable Overview Of Email At WSU
Outlook Archives If you use the email archive function in either the Outlook or Entourage applications, it creates a file on your laptop with a .pst (Outlook), .ost (Outlook Connector for Windows Live Hotmail accounts), or .rge (Entourage) extension. You will want to make a backup copy of these files. Backing Up Outlook Email Archives

Introduction To .pst And .ost Files

Restoring Outlook
Microsoft Office Tool Modification If you have modified any Microsoft Office applications (e.g., added words to the dictionary, added macros), these are stored in files on your laptop that can be backed up and imported into the corresponding applications on your new laptop. Note that this may not be possible if you are changing versions or operating systems (e.g., Mac to Windows). Backing Up Your Microsoft Office Custom Dictionary

Backing Up Excel Macros

Restoring Your Custom Dictionary

Restoring Your Macros

D2L Classes Although it's a great practice for instructors to save a copy of their Desire2Learn (D2L) courses, D2L is a web application and does not store anything on your laptop automatically that would need to be backed up and moved to your new machine. Archiving Old D2L Courses Restoring Old D2L Courses
Microsoft OneNote Notebooks If you use OneNote to take notes, you will need to create a backup copy of your notebook files for import into the corresponding application on your new laptop. Backing Up OneNote Notebooks Restoring OneNote Notebooks
Browser Favorites or Bookmarks If you save the addresses of frequently visited websites to your Bookmarks (Firefox, Safari, Chrome) lists, this creates a file on your laptop that you can export, back up, and then import into your new laptop's browser. Backing_Up_Internet_Explorer_Browser_Favorites

Backing Up Firefox Browser Bookmarks Exporting and importing Chrome bookmarks

Restoring Internet Explorer Favorites

Restoring Firefox Browser Bookmarks Exporting and importing Chrome bookmarks

iTunes Music Libraries If you use iTunes, any purchased or burned music track is stored as a file on your laptop. The folder in which these tracks are located can be backed up and imported into iTunes on your new laptop. Backing Up Your iTunes Library Restoring iTunes
Supported Software Titles Supported applications like Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, or Dreamweaver can and should be reinstalled on your new laptop. Never attempt to transfer a WSU-licensed application from one laptop to another by copying it. Not Applicable Restoring Software from the WSU Network

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