Backing Up Data with Windows Live
Before proceeding with a hard reset, however, you will need to spend some time looking into the available options for backing up data.
For instance, your emails may be lost if you perform a hard reset -- this depends on the type of email account that you have. Exchange and IMAP email accounts will not completely delete the messages as they will be stored on the mail server, which means that when you set up your email accounts after the reset you will be able to quickly restore the messages to your phone.
As far as Microsoft Exchange goes, the same applies to contacts and calendar information, while your chosen contacts and calendar service (Google or Windows Live) will also keep a version of this information in the cloud, ready to sync whenever necessary.
With the original release of Windows Phone there is no way to sync Microsoft Office documents to a Windows Live account, so if you’re using a pre-Mango device your best bet is to email any files that you wish to keep.
Photos, meanwhile can be both synced to your computer via Zune (check Settings > Phone > Sync Options to clarify the options here) or uploaded to the Windows Live SkyDrive cloud storage or Facebook, depending on your preference. This can only be done on a photo-by-photo basis, although you can also use the Settings > Applications > Pictures and camera > Auto upload to SkyDrive option to ensure that all future snaps are uploaded when they’re created.
Meanwhile, if you have a lot of apps and games on your phone that you wish to restore to your phone after the hard reset, you can view a list of these via the Zune client. Open Settings > Account > Purchase History > Apps to check the list, a useful way to decide on which apps to reinstall on your freshly restored phone. Remember to jot down the list of apps or use the print screen button to create an image of the list that you can paste into a Word document or Microsoft Paint, as the list may not persist after the phone is reset and reconnected to your computer.