Another very important thing you should be doing on a regular basis is backups. Backing up your data files and photos should be done frequently (daily or weekly), but it’s also a good idea to backup your entire operating system at least once per year. If you have Windows 7, then you already have a free utility to accomplish this task. It’s included as part of their “Backup and Restore” program. If you have Windows 8.1, then the utility is there just harder to find.
Click here for How-To Geek’s article on backing up Windows 8 systems
To create a full backup of your Windows 7 operating system, you will either need to have your hard drive partitioned into C: and D: drives or purchase an external hard drive to store the image. Obviously storing the backup image on another hard drive is the preferred and safer method, but if your drive is partitioned you can keep the image of C: on D: instead. If your drive is not partitioned, you can purchase fairly low-cost external drives on sale at the depots. Just make sure you purchase a good name-brand unit (Western Digital, Seagate, etc.), keeping in mind that even a 500Gb drive is plenty big enough for storing backups.
If you are going to store the image on D:, make sure you have enough free space to hold the backup. If you open Computer, then look for the C: and D: icons you can check each one to see what kind of space you will require vs what you have available. Right-click the C: icon (Windows) and select Properties, this will give you an idea of how much space is required for the backup image (usually 30Gb or more). You then right-click the D: icon and select properties, then make sure the free space is at least equal to the space used on C:.