Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Create a system image

  1. #1


    Posts : 93
    Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit

    Create a system image


    I'm using the original Win 8 . . . I just did this:
    Control Panel / Win 7 File Recovery / Create a system image

    40.33 GB (estimate) . . . 30.2 GB actual . . . 18 files, 5 folders . . . took 26 minutes

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Questions:

    1.) Will it get a true copy of the Registry? It seems like I should have to boot using the System Repair Disc, and "Create a system image" through that, because then the Registry would not be in use.

    2.) Some other thread said to use Macrium Reflect Free - because of some problem using Win 8's program to do it, where the image will not restore . . . (but here too, Macrium Reflect is run off of the hard drive, you don't boot to it - wouldn't the Registry be in use for Macrium also, and not copy because it's locked?)

    3.) I'm making the image of the OS from a 160 GB drive to another 160 GB drive. I thought the program would be formatting the whole drive before it made the image, but the whole process only took 26 minutes, so I'm pretty sure it didn't do that . . . Do I need to delete what's on there, before I do another image - I think I should be able to do this . . . Will it make the next one with a different file name automatically? . . . I'm wondering about this for both the Win 8 program, and Macrium Reflect.

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I made a System Repair Disc through this:
    Control Panel / Recovery / Create a Recovery Drive

    Is that the same thing as if I went through:
    Control Panel / Win 7 File Recovery / Create a system repair disc

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    I keep all my files in one folder. I found this program is good to Mirror them to an external drive. I keep two extra copies:

    SyncBackFree
    2BrightSparks | Download SyncBackFree

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 93
    Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit


    In SyncBackFree, I figured out that they apply a filter, so it doesn't backup copy thumbs.db and desktop.ini (among other needless things) . . . that's why there was a difference in the number of files between the source and destination (262 fewer) . . . I deleted the contents of the filter, because then I can easily verify that it copied over everything.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 2,130
    Windows 8.0 x64


    I haven't used the W8 built in imaging program. I do use Macrium. Macrium uses the Shadow Copy Service to copy the files, such as registry and other system files, even though they are in use.

    Saving an image to an identical drive with a sector by sector copy, which seems to be what you are expecting, is done by some programs. But Macrium uses compression and indexing, rather than sector by sector copy. If you want to try sector by sector you can find some imaging and/or cloning programs that use that technique on thefreecountry.com: Free Programmers' Resources, Free Webmasters' Resources, Free Security Resources
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    UK
    Posts : 150
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    I used system image restore the other day and it saved my bacon. I was using EASus Backup/Restore which made the backup successfully on schedule but failed at the restore process. Im now using 8.1 Update 1 which doesnt have the Windows 7 recovery tools so you cant schedule an image its a manual process. EASus backup has never let me down before and has a Linux recovery tool inserted into the the windows 8.1 boot menu as does image recovery. I had no problems with the MS image recovery and the registry so I would recommend the MS tool, just a shame it cant be sheduled. Will also have to try Macrium.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    St. Augustine
    Posts : 388
    windows 8.1 64, LT -Windows 10 Home 64


    I believe (but can not guarantee on all systems) that when you make a System Image via the File History Screen (lower left) the System Image will overwrite any existing System Image Backup. I also use Macrium for backup imaging but a couple of months ago I created a System Image to an external HDD via the File History screen just to try it out and was pleased that it was successful but when I did another it did in fact overwrite the first one so that is the way it worked on my system. So another downside would be that you cannot keep multiple backup images. I never had Windows 7 so I don't have much experience with this utility but I would imagine others here must know it well.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    UK
    Posts : 150
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    You can keep multiple backups on multiple partitions, I made a later system Image to an external HDD using the Native System Image. Just tried Macrium and the Rescue USB stick it created (PE) wouldnt boot!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    St. Augustine
    Posts : 388
    windows 8.1 64, LT -Windows 10 Home 64


    Quote Originally Posted by banger View Post
    You can keep multiple backups on multiple partitions,
    I think that would make sense, using another partition.

    Depending on your system you may need to access BIOS to change the boot order to get the Macrium CD/USB to boot.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    UK
    Posts : 150
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Just tried a different USB stick and it boots. F11 for boot menu here. Testing Macrium now
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    Posts : 93
    Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit


    I haven't clicked around to look into this yet, but . . .

    I previously made a "system repair disc" - when you boot to it, I imagine that's how it's also known as (at that point, at bootup) a "recovery drive."

    . . . When I boot to the "recovery drive," is there anything in there where I can select to make the "system image?" . . . The reason I ask is that the Registry would be totally free . . . This is how I thought it worked to make a system image, before I even looked in to how to do this.

    The part where I say that I heard that the Registry won't copy - I think it was in an example where they were explaining why you can't just copy and paste your whole C: drive to an external HDD, Windows and all, and expect it to be a usable, restorative image - it's because the Registry is locked.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    St. Augustine
    Posts : 388
    windows 8.1 64, LT -Windows 10 Home 64


    Third party backup imaging software such as Macrium, Acronis and others utilize a utility built into the windows OS known as Volume Shadow Copy service. This allows the copying of the entire volume even when it is in use.

    Volume Shadow Copy Service (Windows)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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