This invention features a data backup procedure and apparatus for backing up and restoring, or otherwise loading a fully configured operating system to the high capacity storage device (e.g., hard disk) of a computer workstation, such as a personal computer. The method includes providing a first media having the desired operating system files to be loaded onto the storage device, providing a second media having configuration-specific data files, initializing the data processing system from the second media to provide a temporary operating system using the configuration-specific data files, loading the desired operating system files from the first media to the storage device using the temporary operating system, and reinitializing the data processing system with the desired operating system from the storage device. Embodiments of the method include providing the first media by copying the desired operating system files, or all the files, stored on the storage device to the first media. The copying can be achieved by running a data backup routine. Other embodiments include providing the configuration-specific data files to the second media by copying the configuration-specific data files from the storage device to the second media.