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Windows Vista Tip: Excluding Directories From Vista's Built-In Backup

Windows Vista's built-in backup utility is a love-or-hate thing: Some people swear by it, and some people swear at it. I do a little of both. The backup function has saved my skin at least twice since I started using Vista Ultimate, and once it's set up it runs with no baby-sitting. But it's so limited in some ways that I've had to engineer end runs around the program to use it effectively.

Problem: You can't manually exclude directories from Vista's backup utility.

Here's the single biggest annoyance I've had so far with Vista's backup function: It's not possible to manually exclude directories from the backup. If you select a drive for backup, everything on the drive barring system files is backed up. It's only possible to exclude file types, and even that's only possible to within a certain degree of granularity.

And yet what Vista's backup program does, it does well enough that I felt compelled to find ways to engineer an end-run around not being able to exclude directories from being backed up.

Solution #1: Move the files to another drive or partition.
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