People who are not computer-savvy are often confused by computer repair lingo. This is dangerous, since you could accidentally erase everything on your computer or activate viruses. Another example of the headaches with computers is the process of backing up a computer versus restoring it. Here are the very important differences between these two processes, and why you definitely do not want to do one before you do the other.
Backing up your computer means that you are taking every important piece of information on your computer or laptop and moving it to a safe place, such as an external drive. You do this so that your computer cannot destroy or lose anything important in the event of a bad computer virus or someone hacks you and you have to erase your computer's memory banks.
Then you can restart your computer, reload all of software, and transfer all of the important stuff back onto your computer and lose absolutely nothing. You can also back up your computer to the "cloud," if you have Cloud services from any software company. This tends to be even safer than backing everything up to an external drive because you are not relying on another device to save your stuff. If you are going to restore your laptop or computer, you have to back it up first.
Restoring the Computer
A computer restoration means that you completely erase everything on it and start it with a factory restart feature. This resets your computer to its fresh, out-of-the-box settings, which can help remove any and all malware, viruses, trojans and programs running in the background that you are not aware of. When your computer is experiencing a lot of problems, this can make all the difference in the world with its operation, but the drawback is that it will also erase everything else that you leave on your computer. Ergo, you should back up your computer first, and then restore it.
Be sure that your backup method has successfully stored everything you want to save. You can check this by opening your external hard drive's programming from your computer and viewing the files. (To check "the Cloud" for your files, you can usually check the byte usage--if all of your storage bytes are used or almost used, most of what you want saved is there.) If everything is there, close your external hard drive, disconnect, and begin restoring your computer to its factory settings.