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I'm setting up a backup for a friend's computer onto his USB drive. I was reading this article about the Windows 7 Backup and Restore feature.

Everything looks okay, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to get to this screen.

I need to set up some excluded folders, since the backup media is a little smaller than the home folder. I need to exclude the replaceable 100 GB video directory.

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Where the hell did they get that screenshot from, it does not exist on my W7 PC. Worthless backup software IMHO. MAybe it was in RC and they got rid if that in the final release. – Moab Jan 13 '11 at 1:17
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You could use a another program instead of the built-in windows utility. I use GFI Backup Home Edition ( ) - it's a free version that works pretty well and let's you exclude a directory that's inside a directory you want to back up. It has a good number of available options, and backs up as a copy (so you can still browse through the backup) or as a zip.

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If you select the "Let me Choose" option, you can do this. The trick is to ignore (uncheck all boxes in) the section labeled "Data Files". Then, you can select all the folders you want in the "Computer" section.

If you initially check the box under your Users\accountname\ folder, it will check all the subfolders. Then you can drill down and individually un-check the subfolders that you don't want.

If you use this method, you won't need to do the hack where you put all of the files that you don't want to back up in some subdirectory of one of the "libraries" that Windows recognizes.

This link shows the screens in more detail, but it ignores the method I propose. The most important screenshot is the one with the "What do you want to backup?" dialog.

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Do you get this screen? Windows Backup

I'd assume chosing "Let me choose" would get you to the desired options...

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That's what I thought. But I don't. I get this: – Matt Alexander Jan 13 '11 at 0:38
Can you step back through the steps using the left arrow up the top left? – Windos Jan 13 '11 at 0:41
@Joshua Yes I can. But I never get to the screen I want. – Matt Alexander Jan 13 '11 at 0:44
Ahh, I get the same thing. I think one way to do what you need to do is go to "Let me choose" then manually un-check videos library. Or un-check everything under the user data tree (I forget the name) then drill down into the Computer part and select the folders you DO want backed-up. Bit longer than saying "I want to back up everything but this" but it will get the job done. – Windos Jan 13 '11 at 0:52
@Joshua I don't want to exclude the whole library, just one directory within the video library. – Matt Alexander Jan 13 '11 at 0:55

You could use a third-party program. If you have a google account, you could use Gbridge. I use it, and I find that it's excellent.

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In the 'Let Me Choose' options of Windows 7 backup, and this is how I do it in Windows 8, I put the files in 'Saved Games' because it will let me exclude them. Try clicking on the files it is backing up and find that option. I have since renamed saved games to be my exclude directory. Perhaps another user can tell us how to really so what we want and learn how to get our directories visible in the let me choose options, but this will work for you.

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