My computer recognizes it but doesn't give me a prompt like I have had in the past that just says "do you want to back up your system? This is a new computer and I haven't ever backed it up before. It is windows 8.
More about :start total back toshiba canvio external hard drive
According the Microsoft site - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/what-happe... - you need to do the following to create an image backup:
"1.Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.
(If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)
2.Enter File History in the search box, tap or click File History, and then click System Image Backup."
To backup or restore personal files:
"You can use File History to back up the files on your PC in the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders. Over time, File History builds a history of your files. You'll first need to set up a File History drive and turn File History on. For more info, see Set up a drive for File History. If your original files are lost, damaged, or deleted, you can restore them. You can also browse and restore different versions of your files. For more info, see Restore files or folders using File History."