I am no computer wiz. Every morning my computer asks me to install updates. I try, then it comes to a windows xp pack 3. It says that may make me lose important things, which I don’t know how to back up. Should I install it? I don’t think the whole updates are going through because I always cancel that part. Anyone?
Back up your data files to disk.
Then install the update. It contains a few security updates not covered in SP2.
You are unlikely to lose anything important. But there is enough of a risk of things going wrong with the install that Microsoft has to mention it for big updates.
But if you can, it is always a good idea to back up the stuff you need to keep.
I can read this a couple of ways:
you don’t know WHAT to back up
You don’t know HOW to back up.
What to back up is all your personal files - e-mails, word documents, music, photos, etc. Things you created or put on your computer. I doubt you need to back up any OS or program files. If you do lose any program files, you can simply reinstall them. But if you lose a personal file (say a photo) you can’t reinstall that (unless you have it backed up).
How to back up depends on what you have available to write your data to. Placing the files on another partition or folder on your hard drive is one option, but not the best (if the hard drive fails, it’s gone). Burning to a CD or DVD, transferring to a thumbdrive, using an external hard drive will all work and are better options. Thumbdrives are inexpensive and probably your best bet. You can just copy the files over using drag and drop.
In addition to backing up, it is a pious idea to create a Window Restore Point.
Go to Start, Help, System Restore, and then click on Create A Restore Point. You can name it anything you want. Then if anything goes wrong, go back to that and restore to were you were before the download.
It is not unheard of to have something screwed up after installing some Windows updates.