Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

Most of us are not "computer people" so post your technical questions and comments here. If you have computer or Internet expertise, share it here.

Moderators: Keith B, carlson1

Post Reply
User avatar

Topic author
Charles L. Cotton
Site Admin
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 17335
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Friendswood, TX
Contact:

Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:42 pm

I have a 2 TB external HD that I use for backing up my laptop. Most of may important files are kept on Dropbox, so I'm not worried about those. (Actually, almost all my files are on Dropbox.) I hate setting up a new computer, because you have to load software, configure it as you wish, etc. I'd like to be able to restore my current computer to a new one, or the same laptop with a new hard drive. It appears a System Image Backup will achieve this. It may be necessary to have a recover DVD as well, but that's not a problem.

Here are my questions:
  • Does a System Image Backup fully restore your computer such that you don't have to load anything?
  • If so, can this be done with a new hard drive?
  • If a new laptop is purchased, can a System Image Backup from the older computer be used to "set up" your new computer? This assumes you are using the same version of Windows.
Thanks folks,
Chas.
Image

User avatar

AndyC
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 10225
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2007 12:34 pm
Location: Garland, TX

Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#2

Post by AndyC » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:48 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:42 pm
Here are my questions:
  • Does a System Image Backup fully restore your computer such that you don't have to load anything?
- yes, it contains everything, even your wallpaper and Desktop items.
  • If so, can this be done with a new hard drive?
- yes. Edit: Just be aware that you generally can't read/write to/from the same drive, so wherever the image is kept (I'm excluding the option of having separate partitions on the same drive, which is possible but you need to know what you're doing) is going to be source from where the image can be written (ie. Windows reinstalled) to another drive.
  • If a new laptop is purchased, can a System Image Backup from the older computer be used to "set up" your new computer? This assumes you are using the same version of Windows.
- yes, to a point; Windows would still need to detect all your hardware and download/apply drivers for the different hardware components in the new laptop. The most likely issue you'll face is that your license-key will give you issues as it's been previously-used on another PC.
Last edited by AndyC on Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Remember Kitty Genovese

Image

Amateurs skip safety-checks - pros don't.
Preferred Travel Agent - 72 Virgins Dating Club
There's nothing quite like the offer of 230 grains to a man's chest to remind him of his manners


rogersinsel
Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 7:52 am

Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#3

Post by rogersinsel » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:15 pm

Both methods are possible. You can copy an existing disk to another disk and then install that disk into the host machine so long as the original disk is operating or by using a complete image that was made prior to failure. This takes special software to complete. It is also possible to restore a backup to a new machine. This is called a bare metal restore and also requires specific software and knowledge so that you can inject the required hardware drivers of the new system into the old image. Both are dependent on what was used to create the backup.
When moving from one machine to another newer machine it is often best practice to backup the original and only to restore the user data from the user's profile folder to the new machine. At which time you reinstall the user apps and reset your preferences on the new pc. you can locate your user folder by opening the windows file explorer and typing the following: %userprofile%
Enable hidden files and folders and copy everything you see to an external disk. I would also back up any installed programs home folder located on the disk.
Disk2VHD is a nice Microsoft utility that can backup an online disk and push it to a file on an external disk that can later be mounted or used to restore to another disk.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysint ... s/disk2vhd


Tex1961
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 445
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2017 5:11 am
Location: Frisco, Texas

Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#4

Post by Tex1961 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:19 pm

As AndyC stated in the last point, assuming this is a completely different model PC, your drivers, firmware and even different hardware components will most likely be different. If so then trying to mirror an older PC most likely will be problematic.... Honestly my personal recommendation is to use offsite storage for your important files.... Personally I use a combination of Dropbox and iCloud... My main PC is an Apple but my other office machines are Windows based, thus the Dropbox storage... Fortunately for me being primary Apple based, restoring from on pc to another is super simple and easy...
I ordered a chicken and an egg from Amazon. . . I’ll let you know.


rotor
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 3166
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:26 pm

Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#5

Post by rotor » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:33 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:42 pm


Here are my questions:
  • Does a System Image Backup fully restore your computer such that you don't have to load anything?
  • If so, can this be done with a new hard drive?
  • If a new laptop is purchased, can a System Image Backup from the older computer be used to "set up" your new computer? This assumes you are using the same version of Windows.
Thanks folks,
Chas.
First, you need good software. I have used Easeus for this many times. Never had a failure.

Your questions.. System image backup restores everything but I have found that some software will still need you to re-enter passwords. I don't know why this is except that perhaps the software can tell that it is not in the same exact spot on the disk.

This is easily done on a new drive as long as the new drive is the same size or larger than the original.

Your last question is a possible but probable no due to different hardware and windows activation.

My routine has been to clone my c: drive every month onto a hard drive that I can just pop into the same spot in my computer. I also do regular backups to a usb hard drive. Easeus software does everything. I previously used Acronis and did not like it. Once upon a time I used Norton Ghost and it failed a recovery. Easeus never fails. They also have a free but limited version and for most people that's all you need. I suggest you download the free version which allows you to make a restore dvd as well and you can play with the program. They always have sales as well. I tell all my friends it's only a matter of time until you need this.

Post Reply

Return to “Technical Tips, Questions & Discussions (Computers & Internet)”