Creating a System Image is a valuable way to make a bit for bit image of your system drive. In this movie, I'll show you how to create a System Image in Windows 10.
- [Voiceover] Let's say you just finished installing a fresh copy of Windows on your computer and have it set up to your liking. One of the first things you'll want to do now is create an image of the drive so, in the event of a drive failure, you'll be able to restore it to it's current state. An image is an exact copy of everything on the drive. It's probably best to create this image when everything is clean and organized on your system. This will make the image file smaller and allow you to restore the system with a smooth running setup. Once you have a system image, you can use a tool in the image recovery environment, which I cover in more detail in the next video, to restore your system just as it was when you created the image.
Unlike the other solutions I've covered here, this allows you to create an entire image of your current Windows system, including your operating system, installed programs, setting, and user files. This backup can be stored on an external drive, on several DVDs or on a network location. So, to summarize, this system image is an exact copy of everything on the drive, including your operating system, programs, settings, and user files. You can restore the drive back to it's current state using a tool in the Windows Recovery Environment.
It's best to create this image now, when everything is clean and organized and the backup can be stored on an external drive, on several DVDs or on a network location. Microsoft introduced the System Image Utility in Windows 7 and then tried to hide it in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. It's still hidden in Windows 10, but you can still use it to create a system image. Perhaps one reason for this is that, realistically, most people probably won't use this feature. You can get your computer's operating system back to it's initial state using either the Reset, the Restore, or the Refresh features that I demonstrated previously.
Your backups then will be much smaller and you can also have Windows automatically create them on a regular basis, however, this feature is still included in Windows 10 although it's kind of hidden. It's still very useful. This is the only way that you can create an exact copy of your original system so all your preferences and applications and where everything was and how it looks will be exactly the same. If you want to create a system image backup, you also won't need third party tools like Norton, Ghost, or Acronis True Image to do it.
Let me now demonstrate how to create a system image in Windows 10. Select settings from the Start menu. You want to choose the Update and Security tile down there. Choose the Backup tab and then, you can see this is kinda hidden, down below "Looking for an older backup", there's a link that says "Go to backup and restore Windows 7." Select that option. The system image backup utility will open and you want to choose Create a system image over here on the left.
You want to pick a place to save your system image backup. You can choose a drive or on one or more DVDs or on a networked location. You can also include other drives if you want, as well, but remember they will add to the size of the final image. So, here I'm going to save my backup on an attached USB hard-drive. I actually have two of them here. Notice it tells me how much free space I have on the drive. Click on the Next button and now it's asking me which drives do I want to include in the backup.
I'm gonna just do the Windows drive, but notice I can do the others if I wish. Note that the total size is about 931 gigabytes. I'm gonna actually use 18 gigabytes of that, so it's gonna compress it. By the way, this took about 30 minutes to back this up when I did this as a trial run. That'll give you an idea of how long this'll take. Go ahead and confirm your backup settings. I'm gonna backup to my E drive here and click Start Backup. Progress meter will be displayed while the images are being created and backed up.
Again, it took me about 30 minutes to do this backup but your time will vary depending on your system and where you're backing it up to. After the process is complete, you'll get the option to create a system repair disc, which I recommend that you do. You'll obviously need a CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive and rewriteable media to create these discs. For the purposes of this demonstration, I'm gonna go ahead and skip this step by selecting No and notice that it tells you that the backup has completed successfully.
Go ahead and click on the Close button. Now, if your drive ever gets damaged, you can purchase a new drive and then use the System Image Recovery Tool in the Windows Recover Environment, which I'll demonstrate in the next video, to restore your system to the state it was when you first created this image. Keep in mind that for this type of backup to be truly effective, you'll need to regularly create new system images so that you always have a recent version of your system to recover.
Note: The course maps to the Manage Updates and Recovery domain from the Configuring Windows Devices exam (70-697).
- Configuring system restore points
- Completing a system restore
- Performing a Windows refresh or reset
- Creating a system image
- Working with Windows Recovery Environment
- Configuring File History
- Recording files
- Configuring and managing updates