Windows 8 has a Control Panel tool called Windows 7 File Recovery Tool. You can use this for backups and there is a great option to backup your system configuration. In case the hdd ever fails, having the system configuration on a network drive or other device is very convenient.

I don't do data backups anymore. Instead, I use File History to mirror my computers and laptops on a NAS device.

I have about 6 PCs on a home LAN and each have their data replicated on a network drive, using File History. I use Windows 7 File Recovery tool to replicate the system configurations of each PC in case I need to recover from a hdd failure. I have 3 questions:

(1) Is my model of replicating data an effective model for backing up my data? Any problems with my approach?

(2) Is there an easy way (besides xcopy or robocopy) to backup configuration info such as Favorites, Desktop items, etc.?

(3) One of my PC's is running Vista. Is there an easy way to include this PC in my backup strategy? RIght now, I am using xcopy and robocopy to back it up to my network drive.