Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can not restore Windows 8.1 System Image

  1. #1

    Can not restore Windows 8.1 System Image


    I made a system image from Windows 8.1 using Windows' own system image feature. I seem to be unable to restore it. I booted with the Windows 8 disc, and told it to restore from a system image. It found the image, ran a few minutes, then failed because of version mismatch (?). Not before hosing the entire system, by the way. Luckily, I was well backed up.

    I booted with the Windows 7 disc, and it didn't even see the system image (on my external HD). It saw my Windows 7 system image and restored it just fine, and here I am.

    Anyway, is there some trick to restoring a Win8.1 system image? I am not running Win8.1, so I can't generate a repair disk that way. Is there one available online somewhere for download?

    TIA

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    Not clear what the version mismatch is about.

    Couple of things you could try.

    1. Use an 8.1 recovery/install media

    2. Restore the image using wbadmin commands , that should work from any windows pe, Vista or newer.

    3. Mount the vhd and then image it with another imaging program. E.g use Aomei to make an image of the mounted vhd. Then restore the Aomei image.

    Is there one available online somewhere for download?
    . You would need to look for it. Not hard to find, I believe.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by SIW2 View Post
    Not clear what the version mismatch is about.

    Couple of things you could try.

    1. Use an 8.1 recovery/install media

    2. Restore the image using wbadmin commands , that should work from any windows pe, Vista or newer.

    3. Mount the vhd and then image it with another imaging program. E.g use Aomei to make an image of the mounted vhd. Then restore the Aomei image.

    Is there one available online somewhere for download?
    . You would need to look for it. Not hard to find, I believe.
    I downloaded 8.1 installation image and booted with it. It did not find any System Images on the system. At least the Windows 8 boot found the image.

    Don't know what wbadmin is, but will look into it.

    (edits in [])

    [The reason I had made a Win8.1 SI in the first place:] I [had] updated my Windows 7 to Windows 8, did all the updates, updated to 8.1, did all the updates, and then made a system image so that when it was time to test the Update 1 thingy, I wouldn't have to go through all that again. I guess I won't be checking out Update 1 ;-)
    Last edited by sgage; 29 Mar 2014 at 11:19.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,121
    Windows 8.1 x64


    I am a little surprised the attempted re-image would have trashed your install. In my experience, with a version mismatch, the utility just refuses to run and does not make any changes to an install.

    After your install was trashed, what indications were you getting when you tried to boot?

    Did you already have a WindowsBackupImage folder on the external drive with an 8.0 image from that named computer in it?

    I don't know why the 8.1 install media could not find the image, unless what happened may have corrupted it. After you made the 8.1 image originally, you did check to make sure it could be found by the 8.1 recovery media? Does the 8.0 media still see the image?

    There have been instances where a backup image was made but errors were encountered due to the 8.1 situation and imaging. The image was completed, but was not actually usable. Did you get any notices or advisories during the making of the 8.1 image?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    Click image for larger version

    Click image for larger version


    backuptarget is the volume ( partition ) your windows image is stored on ( you must use the letter you see from winpe )

    recoverytarget is the volume ( partition) you want to restore the image to ( you must use the letter you see from winpe )



    The trick is to restore to exactly the same volume ( partition ) it was originally from.

    It will still tell you are restoring to a different target, because drive letters are different from winpe.

    [ It is possible to restore to a different target, but that requires some complicated fixes afterwards]
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 5,360
    7/8/ubuntu/Linux Deepin


    The above assumes it can find the image. It might not.

    In that case you will need to mount it using e.g. diskmgmt, or a few other programs, Paragon paid products, partition guru pro or Free, bootice, etc.

    You can the make a different image using a different imaging program.

    Everybody needs to have decent winpe bootable media with useful tools included.

    You can make it yourself easily with this: new versions of simple winpe maker - Windows 7 Help Forums
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Thanks for all the input/ideas everyone.

    To be clear, at the time I made this attempt, the only System Image on the external drive had been generated by Windows 8.1. I tried to restore it using a Windows 8.0 boot disk. It DID find the image, and started restoring. The progress bar in the 'restoring system image' dialog box had gone a very short way when a message popped up complaining about version mismatch, and that was that.

    Upon rebooting, I got a 'no operating system found' error, so evidently the restore operation went far enough to write something to the disk. Anyway, at that point, I made a Windows 8.1 boot USB, went to restore the image, and 'no images were found'. At that point I simply restored the Windows 7 System Image that I had (prudently) made just the day before, and that's where it stands now.

    I will study the responses above some more when I get a chance and see what I can do - I'll report back.

    Thanks again!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Hello again.

    Just on a whim, I tried using Disk Management to mount the vhd from my Windows 8.1 System Image.

    "The file or directory is corrupted and unreadable"

    Not sure what happened, or where in the proceedings it happened, but I guess that's that. I am going to mark this thread solved. Not a total loss - I learned some good stuff from the tips and suggestions that you all put forward.

    Thanks!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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