How to create a full backup of Windows 8.1
recimg /createimage C:Custom_Image_Refresh
Tip: if you do not have enough free space on the hard disk, you can select the external USB drive to store your system image. To do this, replace the «C» in the above command with the drive letter of the external drive.
So, we have created a custom image of Windows 8.1 on the drive where operating system is installed (C:Custom_Image_Refres). Now we need to register the image to the operating system knew about it and used it when restoring. To do this, enter the following command at the command prompt:
If after entering the command, you will receive a message «there is no active custom recovery image. Error code 0x80070490», you will need to manually register the image using the following command:
recimg /setcurrent C:Custom_Image_Refresh
Where «C» is the drive on which the image is stored.
Keep in mind that if the operating system does not detect user system image when recovery takes place, it will use a standard image or installation media.
Restore your PC using a custom recovery image
In Windows 8.1 the option «refresh your PC without affecting your files» works the same as in the previous version of the OS. The only change is the location of this function in the app «PC Settings». If it was located in the «General» tab, you should now be able to find it in the following way: the key combination Win + i -> «Change PC settings» -> «Update and recovery» -> «Restore» partition». Then you have to press the Start button and follow the easy instructions in the wizard.
It is worth noting that Modern backup applications, documents, personal settings, and user profiles are not stored in the custom system image, so after restoring computer, all this information is not going anywhere.
We have just created a backup of the operating system and desktop applications, and now it’s time for the second part of creating a full backup of Windows 8.1. You will now use the function «file History», which debuted in Windows 8, and allows you to create a backup of all files on a daily basis. I will not be repeated, therefore, to learn how to configure and use this feature, read our article: How to configure and use the feature «file History» in Windows 8 to backup data.
Backup of PC settings with SkyDrive
Even though when you restore your computer all your files, personalization settings and apps from Windows Store will be saved, just in case you should care to preserve computer settings, as they will be reset to the default values. Thanks to the deep integration of SkyDrive with Windows 8.1, you can synchronize these settings with the cloud. Go to the application «PC Settings» in section «SkyDrive» and make sure that is enabled on your PC sync settings.
That’s about it. If you have questions, ask them in the comments below.