How to Create & Restore a System Image Backup in Windows 7, 8 & 10

Create System Image Backup in Windows 7, 8 & 10

This tutorial will show you step by step how to create a system image backup in Windows 7, 8 and 10.

And also how to create a recovery disc and restore a system image.

But first:

What is a System Image Backup?

A is a backup that contains a copy of your Micrososft Windows with all of your installed programs, system settings, and files.

You can use a system image to restore Windows and software when your PC or hard disk stops working, or when your computer is infected by that is difficult to remove or when Windows is not working properly anymore.

You can store the on a second internal hard drive (installed in your computer), a external hard drive, usb flash drive, on one or more DVD(s) or on a network location.

I will show you step by step how to create a system image, how to create a recovery disc, and how to restore a system image in Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10.

And now:

How to Create a System Image Backup in Windows 7

  1. Click on the start menu button, go to "Getting Started" and choose "Back up your files".
  2. Click on "Create a system image" located at the top left.
  3. Select where you want to save the backup.
    • You will have the following 3 options:
      • On a hard disk (recommended)
      • On one or more DVDs
      • On a network location
  4. The following step depends on the backup option you've selected:
    • If you selected On a hard disk, then connect your external hard drive now. If it doesn't appear, then click on "Refresh".
    • If you selected On one or more DVDs, then insert the first blank DVD into the DVD burner drive of your PC.
    • If you selected On a network location, then click on "Select", enter the location, username and password, and click on "OK".
  5. Click on "Next" (located at the bottom).
  6. Click on "Start backup".

Windows will now create your system image backup.

This may take a while. The time it will take depends on your system and which method you use to save the backup.

After the process is completed you get the option to create a system repair disc and you should use this option.

A system repair disc can be used to boot your system. It also contains Windows system recovery tools that can help you recover Windows from a serious error or restore your computer from a system image.

To create a system repair disc, just select a CD/DVD drive, insert a blank CD or DVD into the drive and click on "Create disc".

How to Create a System Image Backup in Windows 8, 8.1 & 10

  1. Right-click on the start menu button and choose "Control Panel".
  2. Open "System and Security".
  3. Open "File History".
  4. Click on "System Image Backup" located at the bottom left.
    • Open Windows System Image Backup
  5. Click on "Create a system image" located at the top left.
  6. Select where you want to save the backup.
    • You will have the following 3 options:
      • On a hard disk (recommended)
      • On one or more DVDs
      • On a network location
    • I always save my system image backups to an external hard drive.
  7. The following step depends on the backup option you've selected:
    • If you selected On a hard disk, then connect your external hard drive now. If it doesn't appear, then click on "Refresh".
    • If you selected On one or more DVDs, then insert the first blank DVD into the DVD burner drive of your PC.
    • If you selected On a network location, then click on "Select", enter the location, username and password, and click on "OK".
  8. Click on "Next" (located at the bottom).
  9. Click on "Start backup".

Windows will now create your system image backup.

This may take a while. The time it will take depends on your system and which method you use to save the backup.

After the process is completed you get the option to create a system repair disc and you should use this option.

A system repair disc can be used to boot your system. It also contains Windows system recovery tools that can help you recover Windows from a serious error or restore your computer from a system image.

To create a system repair disc, just select a CD/DVD drive, insert a blank CD or DVD into the drive and click on "Create disc".

How to Restore a System Image Backup in Windows 7, 8, 8.1 & 10

A system image backup can't be restored from within Windows because it will completely overwrite the Windows system.

To restore a system image backup you will need to boot from a Windows recovery disc.

Warning! You should backup all your data (documents, videos, movies, music and other files) before restoring a system image backup, otherwise your data will be lost.

Windows 10 Only

  1. Connect the external hard drive (containing the system image) to your PC.
  2. Open "Settings".
  3. Open "Updates & security".
  4. Click on "Recovery" located in the left sidebar.
  5. Click on the "Restart now" button.
  6. When the startup screen appears, click on "Troubleshoot".
  7. Open "Advanced options".
  8. Click on "System Image Recovery".
  9. If you will be asked to select an operating system, then do it.
    • Windows will now search on your external hard drive for the system image.
  10. Select the system image and click on "Next".
  11. Click on "Finish".

The system restore process will now start. This may take a while. Windows will restart your PC when it's finished.

Windows 7, 8 & 10

  1. Insert the recovery disc into the CD/DVD drive of your PC.
  2. Connect the external hard disk (containing the system image) to your computer.
  3. Restart your PC.
  4. Boot from the recovery disc.
    • If the Bios of your system is set to boot from a CD/DVD or USB drive, you will see "Press any key to boot from DVD (or USB)".
    • But:
    • If you don't get this message, you will need to press the correct keyboard key to open the boot menu.
    • Common keyboard keys to open the boot menu are F9 on HP, F10 on Sony, F11 on MSI, F12 on Dell, Lenova and Acer, and Esc on ASUS.
  5. Press within 5 seconds on any key to boot from a CD or DVD.
    • Windows will now load the necessary files from the disc and after that it will open a "System Recovery Options" window.
  6. Select the right keyboard input (when asked for) and click on "Next".
    • System Recovery will now search for the system image on your hard drive.
  7. Select "Restore your computer using a system image you created earlier" and then click on "Next".
  8. Select "Use the latest available system image (recommended)" and then click on "Next".
  9. Click on "Next" in the "Choose additional restore options" screen.
  10. Check if it's the correct system image and click on "Finish".
  11. Just click on "Yes" when the warning message appears.

The restore process will now start. This may take a while. Windows will restart your PC when it's finished.

Related: