Copy and Paste (Backup Files) Outside Windows Vista or Windows 7

It sometimes is necessary to backup important files when Windows Vista or Windows 7 is unable to boot. There are two methods to navigate to Windows Explorer to allow copy and paste to occur:

Method 1:

  1. Insert the Windows Installation Media.
    • Before you can use the installation media, configure your BIOS for the proper boot order. The installation media should be the first option in the boot menu, i.e. your CD/DVD drive or USB drive.

    • Refer to your system manual for steps to enter the BIOS and change boot order settings. Most system manuals can be found online through the system manufacturer (Dell, HP, etc.) or motherboard manufacturer (Gigabyte, ASUS, etc.).

    • If you cannot find your installation media, please contact your system manufacturer (Dell, HP, etc.) to replace missing recovery discs or contact Microsoft to replace a missing retail copy. If you were not provided with installation media, you may need to purchase a retail copy from an online or local store.
  2. When you receive the message Press any key to boot from CD or DVD... press a key.

  3. Let Windows load the files.

    • This may take a few minutes depending on the speed of your installation media source.

  4. Choose your installation options and click Next.


  5. Choose Repair your computer.




  6. The first screen you should see is a screen to select your operating system. Choose Load Drivers to access Windows Explorer for copy and pasting your files for backup.

Method 2:

  1. Press F8 every second or every half second when your system first turns on or restarts. Some BIOS systems may not recognize the F8 being pressed unless it is pressed very rapidly. Others require the F8 key to be pressed with a longer interval in between. You may have to try different methods of pressing F8 after the Power On Self Test (POST) screen in order to reach the Advanced Boot Options screen. For reference: the POST screen generally has the name of your motherboard (ASUS, Gigabyte, MSI, etc.) or the name of your system's manufacturer (HP, DELL, Toshiba, etc.) as an image/logo or in text as it proceeds through the test, and it appears just prior to seeing the Windows logo for the Windows loading process.

  2. Once you have the Advanced Boot Options available, choose Repair Your Computer if it is available.


    • Repair Your Computer will only be available if it has been installed on your hard disk.


  3. You'll see a screen that says Windows is loading files...; this may take a few minutes depending on the speed of your hard drive and RAM.

  4. Select your language and login to your administrative user.

  5. To get to Windows Explorer:
    • For Windows Vista, choose Windows Complete PC Restore.

    • For Windows 7, choose System Image Recovery.

  6. Click Cancel when the System Image is not found. Then click Next >.


  7. Click Advanced..., and then click Install a driver.