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How to create an image backup in Windows 10 and restore it, if need be



How do you recover from a dead internal harddrive or SSD? Or if Windows becomes so messed up it's useless or even unbootable?

You can always reinstall windows from scratch.

But if you have a few minutes' worth of work, you can recover your mobile phone.

Image backup vs. file backup

An image backup copies everything on your drive, including partitions and the boot sector. It's just the way to back up your Windows installation properly, with all of your programs and settings. Do not confuse this with a file backup, which will only copy your data files.

Of the two, the file backup is by far the most important. You can always reinstall Windows and your applications, but you can not reinstall your business records or your family photos. You should back up data files daily.

By comparison, an image backup simply saves you the major hassle of reinstalling everything. I recommend you create an image backup three or four times a year, saving it to an external hard drive.

This article is on Windows 1

0. I have already covered the subject for Windows 7 and 8.

How to create an image backup in Windows 10

1. Plug in your external hard drive – which should have enough space to hold everything on your internal drive. Make sure Windows can access the drive.

2. Now Control Panel > Backup and Restore (Windows 7) – Do not worry about the "Windows 7" label.

 backup and restore IDG

3. Click to create a system image in the upper left.

 create a system image IDG

3. On the following screen, make sure your backup drive is selected.

 backup drive IDG

4. Hit Next make sure your C: drive is selected, and click the Start backup button.

The backup may take a few hours.

When the backup is over, you'll be asked if you want to create a System Repair Disc.

If not, create a disc.

Create a recovery drive, and follow the prompts. Or follow our guide to making a recovery drive.

Restore the backup

When Windows is in a seemingly hopeless condition, you will need to restore the image to the image. Here are three ways to do that:


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