How to Backup Windows XP to an External Hard Drive
One of the drawbacks to storing information on your Windows XP personal computer is the risk that the computer could crash, leaving you unable to access your files. It doesn't make sense to back up your files on a second internal hard drive because if your computer crashes, you won't be able to access them. You can use an online storage site like Dropbox, but you're only given a limited amount of storage space for free. Another option for you is to back up your files to an external hard drive.
Connect the external hard drive to your computer. Make sure the external drive is at least the same size as the internal drive on your computer, if not larger.
Open the "Start" menu, then click on "Accessories," "System Tools" and finally "Backup."
Click "Next" when the Backup or Restore Wizard appears.
Select "Back up files and settings" in the Wizard, then click "Next."
Select "All information on this computer" on the next page, then click "Next."
Select your external hard drive in the box labeled "Choose a place to save your backup" on the next page, then click "Next."
Review the information on the "Completing the Backup or Restore Wizard" page to make sure that it's correct, then click "Finish." Your files will be copied onto your external hard drive.