Create System Image Backups of Windows 8.1 and Restore from it

A system image is an exact copy of a hard drive. A system image includes the required files for Windows to run, including system settings, programs, and personal files. You can use a system image to restore the contents of your computer in case of a hard drive failure or computer stops working.

Restoring your computer from a system image, it’s a complete restoration โ€” you can’t choose individual items to be restored, and all of your current programs, system settings, and personal files are replaced with the contents of the system image.

Video Tutorial:

For this tutorial ill be using an external hard drive to place my file temporarily.

To create system image backups of Windows 8.1 and restore from it:

1. Right click this PC and select Manage from the context menu.

2. Select Disk Management from computer management.

3. Make sure that the destination drive is larger than the space used on the C: drive.

A. To know the spaced used on you C: drive just right click your C: drive , Properties, in the properties window you’ll see the space used on your C: drive.

4. Go to the Control Panel, Then go to File History.

5. Now select the option to the bottom left called:ย  System Image Backup.

6. Choose the drive to perform your backup. You can also use DVDs or a network folder and click Next.

7. Confirm your backup and click next

8. The procedure may take a long time depending on how much info. you have.

To restore your computer from that image back up:

Once the image is created, you would need the Windows 8.1 installation disk and Change First Boot Device in BIOS to Boot From windows 8.1 disk.

1. Insert the Windows 8.1 installation media,ย or system repair disc and reboot your computer.

2. Press Enter if you see “Press any key to boot from CD/DVD

3. In the Windows Setup window, click the Repair your computer link. on the bottom left.

4. Click the Troubleshoot icon from the Choose an option Window.

5. Click the Advanced Options icon in the troubleshooting Window.

6. In the Advance Options window click on System Image Recovery icon.

7. Choose the target operating system witch would be the Windows 8.1

8. Windows 8.1 will scan your computer to detect any recent images created.

9. Because we booted of the Disk the drive letter might change but not the drive name or date and time.

10. So click on next in the Re-image your computer window.

11. Check-mark Format and repartition disks. click next.

12. Confirm the re-imaging process by clicking on finish and click on yes to the warning saying that the drive will be re-image from the back up you created.

13. Once you re-start your computer should boot exactly the same as when you created the image backup.


I started this tech blog back in 2011 as a place to write down processes I took to fix my client systems and network. Now I write some tips and tricks to help others with the tech issues that one might encounter.

You may also like...