How to Create System Image Backups of Windows 8.1 and Restore from it

This tutorial is on how to create a system image backup of your Windows 8.1 plus I’m also going to show you how to restore from it. For this video tutorial I’m using an external Hard Drive.

Create System Image Backup of Windows 8.1 and Restore from it

1. Got to This PC, to find out the drive letter of the hard drive other than your drive C: drive of where you are placing the image back-up. Also make sure that the back-up drive has more storage room than the space used of your C: drive.

2. Right click Start Orb and select Windows PowerShell (admin).

3. Click yes to the User Account Control if prompted

4. in the powershell enter the following command:

wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet

Note: The above command tells the Windows to back up the C: drive onto the E: drive, including all critical volumes containing the system’s state. The -quiet switch tells the cmdlet to run without prompting you.

Of course, you’ll have to replace the letter values with your own values. Instead of “E:” as the backup target, use whichever drive you want to save the system image to.

If you wanted to back up several drives or partitions in the system image, you’d include them as a comma-separated list:

wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C:,D:,F: -allCritical -quiet

You could also back up to a shared folder over the network:

wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:\\remoteComputer\\Folder -include:C: -allCritical -quiet

5. The command will take some time to run. After it’s done, you’ll find a “WindowsImageBackup” folder containing your backup images on the backup drive you specified.

To Restore from that System Image Backup

To restore a system image backup, you’ll need to boot from Windows 8.1 installation media, or system repair disc. I will be using the installation media since is free for now.

1. Insert the Windows 8.1 installation media, 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.

Video Tutorial:


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.

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