How to Create and Restore a Windows System Image

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In this episode, Jake shows you how to create a Windows Disk Image using the features built into Windows 10. Jake also shows the steps required to restore the system image to a hard drive. This demonstration uses Windows 10 but the steps are also valid for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1. An external hard drive with adequate free space is recommended but DVD-Rs can also be used. Note that if you use DVD-Rs, a large number of discs will be required since each DVD-R holds only 4.7GB of space.

Path to Windows 10 System Image Backup Utility:
Action Center (in system tray) or Start – All Settings (or Settings) – Update & Security – Backup – More options – See Advanced Settings – System Image Backup – Create System Image

Alternatively, click Start then type Backup – select Backup and Restore (Windows 7) – Create System Image

15 comments

  1. Answers to questions
    NO, a drive image from one computer WILL NOT work on another computer.
    Year ago a company could buy identical computers but now probably a serial number on a chip somewhere stops that!
    For 9 years I have been using a purchased drive image, there are many good ones! I have NEVER worried about viruses, BECAUSE a drive image RESTORES your computer EXACTLY as it was when you made the image! If anything seems slow or strange I take an hour and restore the OS, no sweat! All your programs and your Windows OS are EXACTLY the same It's Dec 31 2017 I am still running XP and getting upgrades from Microsoft and after I get upgrades I make a drive image of the whole C drive. I SUGGEST saving your Drive Image to the D drive and later(a day or two)an external drive as the writing/restoring to/from the D drive will be faster ! NOW, I save EVERYTHING to my D drive because after a month old restore your My Documents will be a MONTH old!! I SUGGEST before restoring the C drive copy your My Documents to the D drive and External HD C:Documents and SettingsXxxx Xxxxx After 9 Years I have 16 GB in MY Documents but I have a 1TB Ex HD

  2. When I clicked finish this is what popped up.

    The system image restore failed.

    Windows cannot restore a system image to a computer that has different firmware. The system image was created on a computer using BIOS and this computer is using EFI.

    I took a system image of my old PC using my external hard drive. But I am re using the same hard drive for my new computer. What should I do?

  3. I tried to follow your instructions, but, surprise, surprise, nothing worked [ the story of my life with Windows!!] I have a 64GB thumbdrive, formatted in NTFS, plugged into a free USB port on my laptop. For some reason, the file history program cant see the thumbdrive. There is a yellow box saying ' File History doesn't recognize this drive' . So much for Windows 10!! Has it EVER worked properly????

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