Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


I want to make an "image" of my system..

  1. #11


    I use Acronis and like it as it automates the image backup for me.
    Not worth the cost though.

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  2. #12


    Renton, WA
    Posts : 1
    Windows 8.1.1

    KISS, try the Windows 8.1 System Image Backup


    Go to Control Panel, and under System and Security, select Save Backup Copies with File History. On that page you will find in the bottom left corner a link for System Image Backup. Click and follow the very simple steps to create a full image that will include the Windows system partition or drive (usually a hundred megabytes or so). You can find easy restore steps in help or online.

    I used to use Macrium Free for years, but this is the neatest and cleanest way to get full image backups. If you're not on 8.1 this is a good time to move up. Or wait for 10, this perk will be around from now on. Good Luck!

    SIB is faster than Macrium, too. You could do one image clean as you have it now and then another periodically with your current status. (This is good if you just need a good install, even with all programs installed. Remember there are lots of Windows Updates to reload if you go way back!)
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  3. #13


    Posts : 112
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Phelps View Post
    Few points to consider about using Macrium Reflect (MR) ...

    MR allows for either (1) image backups (entire contents of one or more partitions), or (2) file/folder backups (selective files and folders). It does not provide the capability to ONLY backup the operating system components. I know of no third-party backup tool that DOES.
    The MR image restore rewrites the entire partition that was backed up, not just selective files; so basically, there is no way, using MR, to backup/restore only the operating system components.
    Actually ... Windows System Restore is supposed to do just that ... backup/restore the operating system components, as it does not back up user files or folders.
    Thanks, that answers my Q in post 3. I do exactly what the op wants to do, using Acronis 2015 and just excl my User and OneDrive folders. The OS image is only 22gb and takes about an hour to do and validate. I allows a Recovery Manager at startup by hitting F11 which boots into Acronis and you just select the image from an ext drive. I actually had to do this once when I had ransomware lock all my files. I mounted the TI image and then my files which I backup regularly and only lost 2 days work. Lesson learned.
    Agree that System Restore will serve his purpose but I think he wants a copy to fall back on, sort of like a 'custom refresh' image.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #14


    Posts : 19
    Windows 8.1 (64 bit)


    Hey thanks everyone and Bergie532 I'm keeping your instructions for possibly future use.. Have a look Bergie at what I did instead. Maybe your way is even easier.

    I found the below instructions on another Win8 help site and this is what they said to do and what I did, let me know if anyone else was thinking of this, it seems the most direct way without involving 3rd party software:

    Run the following "command prompt with admin rights" to create a new recovery image. You can place the custom image in any folder or give it any name you like, so feel free to change the C:\CustomRefreshImages\Image1″ part of the command:

    recimg /CreateImage C:\CustomRefreshImages\Image1

    This command creates a custom refresh image from the current system state and sets it as the default. When you refresh or reset your PC in the future, your custom image will be used. If this is all you wanted to do, you can stop now.

    To create and Switch Between Multiple Images:

    Windows 8 allows you to have more than one image. In the future, you can run the command again to create a new image. For example, the following command would create another refresh image known as Image2 and set is as the default image:

    recimg /CreateImage C:\CustomRefreshImages\Image2
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now I haven't had the need to "refresh" yet, but supposedly I can just go to the standard "refresh" (you get to from the charms bar, then settings) and it will bring up MY refresh image, not the "original" refresh that has all the bloatware software that came with the laptop along with the OS. I ran this before I put any of my software on the machine so it will go back to a "clean" refresh.

    I would have preferred making my own "restore" image, but apparently, Windows wont let you "restore" your OWN image. I read that there is only ONE restore image allowed and that's the one with all the bloatware.
    Funny thing, I also read that MS will sell you a "clean" OS of 8.1 without all the bloatware for $99. Don't know how true that is, but not worth $99 at any rate. Especially when I will probably have to do this all over again with Win 10.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #15


    I used Acronis from 2010 through 2015, actually 2014. I started using Macrium Reflect with my notebook in 2012 at that time Acronis advertised that they could recover a GPT disk bootable but that was not the case. In 2014 I still have 2 computers using Acronis and I still could not just create an Image and have it restore and boot. Users claim that the 2015 version did work I don't know as I installed in on one computer they had completely changed the UI and that just convinced me to make the move to MR. The biggest problem with Acronis is there lack of support. They have a few good people in there support forum but Acronis doesn't seem to care or have any interest. So if your only running BIOS/MBR computers it works great.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #16


    Quote Originally Posted by probe View Post
    Hey thanks everyone and Bergie532 I'm keeping your instructions for possibly future use.. Have a look Bergie at what I did instead. Maybe your way is even easier.

    I found the below instructions on another Win8 help site and this is what they said to do and what I did, let me know if anyone else was thinking of this, it seems the most direct way without involving 3rd party software:

    Run the following "command prompt with admin rights" to create a new recovery image. You can place the custom image in any folder or give it any name you like, so feel free to change the “C:\CustomRefreshImages\Image1″ part of the command:

    recimg /CreateImage C:\CustomRefreshImages\Image1

    This command creates a custom refresh image from the current system state and sets it as the default. When you refresh or reset your PC in the future, your custom image will be used. If this is all you wanted to do, you can stop now.

    To create and Switch Between Multiple Images:

    Windows 8 allows you to have more than one image. In the future, you can run the command again to create a new image. For example, the following command would create another refresh image known as Image2 and set is as the default image:

    recimg /CreateImage C:\CustomRefreshImages\Image2
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Now I haven't had the need to "refresh" yet, but supposedly I can just go to the standard "refresh" (you get to from the charms bar, then settings) and it will bring up MY refresh image, not the "original" refresh that has all the bloatware software that came with the laptop along with the OS. I ran this before I put any of my software on the machine so it will go back to a "clean" refresh.

    I would have preferred making my own "restore" image, but apparently, Windows wont let you "restore" your OWN image. I read that there is only ONE restore image allowed and that's the one with all the bloatware.
    Funny thing, I also read that MS will sell you a "clean" OS of 8.1 without all the bloatware for $99. Don't know how true that is, but not worth $99 at any rate. Especially when I will probably have to do this all over again with Win 10.
    You can get a free one here direct from MS Create installation media for Windows 8.1 - Windows Help You'll have the option to create an ISO. As long as you download the same version you already have it will activate using your stored product Key in your UEFI/BIOS
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #17


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


    That is not the same as image. Imaging includes all your existing programs, settings, etc.

    @mrgeek,

    Windows system image is built in since Vista. Though it was only included in Vista Ultimate. All editions of windows 7/8.1 and 10 have it. Not as flexible as 3rd party programs and the image is huge as it uses vhd\vhdx format.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #18


    UK
    Posts : 275
    Windows 8.1 64 bit


    Beware of using Acronis software since it installs an extra disk driver which can be hard to remove - see Safe Removal of Acronis True Image Drivers

    I want to upgrade to a SSD soon and intend to use Macrium Reflect Free - see Quickest Way to Backup & Clean Install Windows 8.1 Pro?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #19


    Posts : 19
    Windows 8.1 (64 bit)


    SIW2 said: That is not the same as image. Imaging includes all your existing programs, settings, etc.

    Actually, I think that IS what I am looking for....just PURE Windows 8.1 OS (I will install all MY software after the OS is installed)

    Although, now that Win 10 is coming out, might as well wait to do this with Win 10.

    Thanks for the link though Clintlgm

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #20


    Posts : 112
    Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by probe View Post
    SIW2 said: That is not the same as image. Imaging includes all your existing programs, settings, etc.
    Actually, I think that IS what I am looking for....just PURE Windows 8.1 OS (I will install all MY software after the OS is installed)
    Although, now that Win 10 is coming out, might as well wait to do this with Win 10.
    Thanks for the link though Clintlgm
    I think he directed that at me and mis-understood. By excluding OneDrive and User folders, I DO have an image with just Windows and all installed Programs, but no Pictures, Music, etc that take up a lot of space and I back those up separately and often. It's too time consuming to find and re-install all programs and updates so I just do that with updated 8.1 every couple weeks.
    You might use Clint's suggestion to get a clean copy of Windows thru the media creation tool so you have a fall back image. This would be pure Windows 8.1 Update 1 which is 8.1 almost thru end of 2014 which seems to be what you want. No programs or OEM drivers included but you'll need to install Windows updates issued since then. But likely, this image is much farther along than using the OEM Recovery Drive to refresh your computer. Windows 8.1.1 can fit on just one DVD and contains the setup.exe. A similar Windows 10 ISO may not be available for quite a while after you get the upgrade, in case you're thinking to do a clean install. Good Luck.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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I want to make an "image" of my system..
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