When you've finished with setup and tweaked basic system settings to match your preferences, it's a perfect time to set up a regular backup schedule. The first step, of course, should be to back up your newly installed and properly tweaked and tuned system by creating a system image. This option is available as part of the built-in system-image feature, which is part of the program in all retail editions of Windows 7 . (If you prefer, you can choose from a multitude of third-party products that offer similar backup features .) After the image is complete, be sure to create a system repair disk so that you can restore the backed-up image easily in the event of a disk failure or other problem .
For a full discussion of the many backup options available in Windows 7, see "Using the Windows Backup Program" on page 376.
Obtaining Help and Support
Using Windows Help And Support 78 Connecting to Another PC with Windows Remote
As the Microsoft Windows operating system becomes more complex—even while it's supposedly growing more intuitive with each successive version—inevitably some parts will be unclear to some users, creating a need for help and support systems.
Creating a help system that meets the needs of all users has been the subject of much research, and the help system in Windows has evolved as dramatically as Windows itself. Most experienced Windows users quickly learned to skip right past the help files in Windows 95 and 98, which were aimed at novices and were hampered by a help engine that was extremely awkward to navigate. The reservoir of help content in Windows Me (Millennium Edition) and Windows 2000 was much deeper, and the HTML-based interfaces were slicker and easier to use than their predecessors . However, in both of those Windows versions, the online help file was still essentially a user manual that had been carved into small pieces and grew increasingly outdated with each Windows update. Windows XP added a Help And Support center, which serves as an entry point to a tremendous collection of resources for Windows users at every level of experience. Windows Vista and Windows 7 have expanded that resource trove with narrated video demonstrations to explain key concepts, updated help topics (available whenever your computer is connected to the internet), and handy links to other online help resources.
This chapter offers a brief survey of the Windows Help And Support application (the help application is simple and straightforward enough that little explanation is required), followed by a somewhat more detailed treatment of Windows Remote Assistance, a program that lets you connect your computer to that of another user so that you can either offer assistance to or seek help from that other user. If you're coming to Windows 7 from Windows XP and have used Remote Assistance there, you'll find significant improvements in Windows 7 . Windows Remote Assistance now offers substantially better performance and security enhancements. But the biggest change is its far superior network connectivity, which makes it easier to connect to another person's computer even when both computers are behind routers that use Network Address Translation (NAT).
What's in Your Edition?
All features described in this chapter are available in all editions of Windows 7 .
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