How to create a backup system image in Windows 8.1
In one of our previous articles I mentioned that Microsoft removed from Windows 8.1 backup, but as it turned out, this feature is still «alive», but in the console view. Now to create a backup of the system, users must use the tool «Wbadmin start backup» in PowerShell, which for many years used by system admins and server versions of Windows.
I recall the tool «Backup and restore», which in Windows 8 is named «Windows 7 file Recovery», is a simple solution designed to create backup system image. Simply put, this tool allows you to create an exact copy of the hard drive, which, in turn, can be used in case of system crash to restore desktop programs and Modern apps, PC settings and more.
In Windows 8.1 backup tool disappeared out of sight, but, as it happens, you can still create a backup system image, but using PowerShell. The mere mention of this console can scare many users, but it is actually not as scary as you might think. Just follow the instructions below.
Go to the start screen, type «powershell», click the right mouse button and choose «Run as administrator».
Connect your computer to an external hard drive. It will be a backup system.
In the PowerShell window, type the following command and press Enter:
wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:D: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet
To save backups to a shared folder in your local network, use the following command:
wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:sharedFolderfolderName -user:username -password:userPassword -include:C: -allCritical –quiet
- wbAdmin start backup – a command-line tool for archiving.
- -backupTarget:D: – by this command we specify the external drive on which to save backup of your system, so if your drive is assigned a different name, change «D» with the letter of your drive;
- -include:C: – this command we tell the backup tool that I want to make a backup of your main hard drive, which in our case it has Windows 8.1;
- -allCritical – command that specifies that the backup should include all data from the hard disk (very important parameter);
- -quiet – execute the command without displaying prompts to the user.
Note: if your PC more than one hard disk, you can enable them all. In this case, the team -include:C: will look like this: -include:C:,E:,F:
The duration of the backup process will depend on the amount of information on your hard drive and, of course, from the hardware configuration of the computer. During testing on a virtual machine this tool, it took 30 minutes to backup about 10 GB of data.
After you create a backup on an external drive that was selected as the repository, you will find a WindowsImageBackup folder, which stores files with the extension .xml and .vhdx.
How to restore Windows 8.1 from image backup
Now we will talk about how to recover Windows 8.1 from backup.
To restore the system, you’ll need to boot from the installation disc of Windows 8.1. Also don’t forget to connect to the computer the backup media.
So, restart the computer and then boot from the installation disk of Windows 8.1.
When setup starts, click «Next» and then click «system Restore» in the lower left corner of the window.
Click «Troubleshoot» then «advanced settings» and choose «system image Recovery».
Plug your external disk containing a backup of the system image, if you haven’t already done so. Now you can restore your PC from it.
As you can see, Windows 8.1 still allows you to do a full system backup that will save all data from your hard drive, including setup files for Windows desktop and Modern applications, user profiles, PC settings, personalization and even information from other sections.