Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Windows 8.1 - System Image Backup Solution; Fine Details

  1. #11


    Posts : 13
    Windows 7 Ultimate SP1


    Quote Originally Posted by rowlands111 View Post
    Hello eightforum users, I am a new member.

    I own an OEM Machine which is from Acer.

    To ask what is probably well known amongst IT pro's; does a system image backup solution (and consequently a restore from that image if needs be) work on OEM PC's, like a desktop from Acer, actually work without problems, and would I get a proper bootable and working machine after restoration.

    Brief scenario - I have used Acronis TI 2014 (Or even the Windows 8.1 system image utility) to create an image of my C: Drive/EFI Partition/Recovery Partition - and backed it up to an external USB HDD.

    My OS crashes for whatever reason and I can't boot.

    I then either use my Acronis bootable media CD (which I've tested and boots despite all the secure boot/UEFI/GPT mania going about users like myself) to reinstall the Acronis disk image.

    OR I use a Widnows 8.1 bootable disk with the ISO (which I've tested to boot) to reinstall the Windows created system image. (I could also use the recovery drive I created in Win 8.1, which just to add, however irrelvanat it might be, includes my OEM factory default partition which was copied as part of the recovery flash drive creation)

    Would either of those restore solutions give me a reasonably likely working PC again - taking into account all the stuff I don't understand like the Windows 8.1 OEM key being on the motherboard (which I would understand in terms of Windows activation and authentication could have a negative impact on restoring images over an OEM installed OS and it's partitions)

    If anyone can put my probably paranoid worries to bed, and verify that these procedures actually work in the new version of Windows - I'd be much appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Someone who is fumbling their way through this thing :@

    **EDIT** PS, I suppose I could test this myself - but blah blah excuses blah blah I'm not much an expert, and use my PC to work, and if if I'm left without a working PC, or if I need to reinstall Windows from scratch and the image restores STILL don't work - then I lose all my company installed apps and can't work :'(
    Sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I'm planning to purchase a new business-class laptop with Win 8.1 Pro installed and this backup issue concerns me greatly.

    I'm running Win 7 Ultimate SP1 on my current machine. Shadow copies and the ability to create a system image and subsequently restore from it are top priority features I value highly on Win 7.

    What was Microsoft thinking when they deprecated this feature for Windows 8.1?

    This new machine will be customised by Toshiba and Win 8.1 is the default OS. One available option is an OS downgrade to Win 7 Pro on the new machine which will be a Toshiba Tecra A50-A. Would that be a good idea, considering Microsoft are discontinuing mainstream support for Win 7 in January 2015?
    Last edited by iain; 09 Nov 2014 at 14:51.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #12


    Posts : 13
    Windows 7 Ultimate SP1


    Contacted Microsoft and they referred this thread:
    System Image Windows 8.1 - Microsoft Community







      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #13


    Posts : 53
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    From this thread and after a lot of research, AND testing with the software, I confirmed that Macrium seems to be a really powerful imaging tool. I work from home for my company and I need to have an exceptionally reliable backup system, and Macrium really does fit the bill.

    With Windows 8.1 native imaging, that's probably fine to use, but I'd honestly advise to download Macrium Free (or pay for the Standard version if you want incremental/differential backups) - I've verified it to be nigh on 100% reliable, even with the new technology that Windows 8/.1 brings (UEFI..etc.).
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Posts : 13
    Windows 7 Ultimate SP1


    Quote Originally Posted by rowlands111 View Post
    From this thread and after a lot of research, AND testing with the software, I confirmed that Macrium seems to be a really powerful imaging tool. I work from home for my company and I need to have an exceptionally reliable backup system, and Macrium really does fit the bill.

    With Windows 8.1 native imaging, that's probably fine to use, but I'd honestly advise to download Macrium Free (or pay for the Standard version if you want incremental/differential backups) - I've verified it to be nigh on 100% reliable, even with the new technology that Windows 8/.1 brings (UEFI..etc.).
    Under Vista/Win 7. I viewed the incremental/differential system image backup feature with a great deal of scepticism. I always quick formatted the backup disk before creating a new system image on it.

    Thanks for the information of Macrium as it seems to be a quite powerful system image application. However, the real test is when you must have a viable system image to be able to restore from. Have you done this yet?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    Posts : 53
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by iain View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rowlands111 View Post
    From this thread and after a lot of research, AND testing with the software, I confirmed that Macrium seems to be a really powerful imaging tool. I work from home for my company and I need to have an exceptionally reliable backup system, and Macrium really does fit the bill.

    With Windows 8.1 native imaging, that's probably fine to use, but I'd honestly advise to download Macrium Free (or pay for the Standard version if you want incremental/differential backups) - I've verified it to be nigh on 100% reliable, even with the new technology that Windows 8/.1 brings (UEFI..etc.).
    Under Vista/Win 7. I viewed the incremental/differential system image backup feature with a great deal of scepticism. I always quick formatted the backup disk before creating a new system image on it.

    Thanks for the information of Macrium as it seems to be a quite powerful system image application. However, the real test is when you must have a viable system image to be able to restore from. Have you done this yet?
    I certainly have.

    For an example: I have an application on my computer called RSA Secure ID. It generates a unique, single use token code so that I can log onto my works' Citrix based applications platform (just another layer of security on top of my password).

    RSA Secure ID working properly (and what makes it useful) is subject to it generating a serial number of a user's computer (as far as I am aware, if generates this serial based on the motherboard and hard drive) - if it detects that the hard drive or MB has been changed, then the serial will change, and the token codes will not generate.

    With this in mind, if I were to restore a backup from Macrium, could I be sure that the restore image will be EXACTLY the same, and valid, so as not to affect this critical serial number?

    The answer is yes - perfectly. After risking a restore (so I knew that my system was crash proof) everything worked as it should. And even the scenario with OEM Windows 8.1 machines' product keys being encoded onto the motherboard; the restore image so so valid as to not "mess with that" -

    Based on these parameters for success - I can safely say that Macrium Reflect is an outstanding product.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Canada
    Posts : 1,950
    windows 8.1 Update 1 Pro 64bit


    I use Acronis True Image 2015 whereas I perform incremental image back ups with a new full image performed after 5 incremental backups. Have tested the restores of both features and never had a problem.

    I also use Macrium image backup, call me paranoid, but never tested the incremental method. Full image recovery never posed a problem.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


    Harrisonburg, Va.
    Posts : 10,488
    Windows 8.1.1 Pro with Media Center


    Thanks for the information of Macrium as it seems to be a quite powerful system image application. However, the real test is when you must have a viable system image to be able to restore from. Have you done this yet?
    Yes. Several times.

    The backup was flawless.

    I would suggest the paid Standard version.
    I use it.
    It has a boot time Macrium Recovery Option.
    Easy to use.

    Click image for larger version

    I would also suggest formatting your USB as NTFS so you get one big image file.
    Fat or Fat 32 results in a bunch of 4 GB files.

    Hope this helps.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    Posts : 53
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Three users vouching for the software.

    Probably a safe bet.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


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


    Yes, it does the job. There are several alternatives, Aomei Backupper is popular, it has incremental/differentail in the free version. Paragon do a free version which works well. You could have a look at a few and see which you prefer.

    Best Free Backup Software for Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows 7, Vista, XP

    Backup & Recovery Free Edition - Overview
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Posts : 13
    Windows 7 Ultimate SP1


    Quote Originally Posted by rowlands111 View Post
    Three users vouching for the software.

    Probably a safe bet.
    Indeed.

    BTW, my backup disk is NTFS formatted 500 Gb Western Digital Scorpio Black, enclosed in a Vantec enclosure using eSATA/USB 3.0 interface. Anyone see a problem with that?
    Last edited by iain; 12 Nov 2014 at 12:06.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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