There are relatively few differences between Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional for home users and small businesses sharing computers in a workgroup. (If your company has a Windows domain, the workstations must run Windows XP Professional; the Home version won’t connect to a domain.)

I thought a significant difference was that only WinXP Professional included a backup program, a relatively lightweight program licensed from Veritas. It can back up onto CD-RW discs but not onto CDRs, as near as I can tell, as well as floppy disks, zip disks, and tape drives. It’s a perfectly good solution for many people.

It’s not installed by default on Windows XP Home, but I found out today that the same backup program is on the WinXP Home CD. You can install NTBackup for XP Home by performing the following steps:

1. Insert the XP Home CD-ROM.

2. Navigate to the valueaddmsftntbackup folder.

3. Double-click the ntbackup.msi file to install NTBackup.

The grownup version of Veritas’ backup program was named Backup Exec Desktop Pro; after doing a licensing deal, the same program is now available from another company under the name Backup MyPC. It costs $60, but it backs up onto CDRs and backs up files across a network, plus adding more flexibility on memorizing and scheduling jobs. It’s one of my essential tools. (There’s a handful of negative comments on Amazon about it, but I’ve never experienced any of the problems that people are whining about there. It’s been rock solid for me and my clients.)

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