Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


When to create system image when setting up new computer?

  1. #1


    Posts : 3
    64 bit Windows 8.1

    When to create system image when setting up new computer?


    Hello,
    I hope this is in the right forum.

    In brief: Should an system image be created before or after getting a new computer all set-up with programs and files transfered.

    Details: I just installed Windows 8.1 on my new desktop. My old computer was a laptop (desktop replacement type). I've spent days trying to do this install the right way from the beginning (saving and backing up old computer, updating windows several times on the new, deleting bloatware, reinstalling software on new, etc.) Then I used easy transfer to transfer all my files, etc. from my old laptop.

    Then I remembered that I didn't create a system image backup. Does it matter much, other than file size?

    Thanks, in advance.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Posts : 3
    64 bit Windows 8.1


    By the way, I have a Lenovo desktop with a one-key recovery option. I don't understand what that is though or if I should use that or something else.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    as 32gigabyte memory sticks from Amazon can be $12 per stick, you might as well do one image with lenovo one key backup.. and then after you setup your computer do a system image from windows or macrium..

    you can do a system image backup from windows or use lenovo one key recovery..

    the lenovo one key recovery should let you "re-setup" your computer as if you didn't "set it up" yet.. hope that makes sense.

    if you use windows system backup/image, then your computer will already be setup.. (like your user name account etc..)

    but Lenovo one key recovery only works if you didn't change any of the partitions on your harddrive.. like if you used a format c: (etc)


    keep in mind, Lenovo one-key seems to not work if certain things change.. so you are better off with the system image backups.. like with Macrium reflect or etc..

    Try to backup your computer now with Lenovo one-key and see what it does.. a lot of people hate Lenovo one-key recovery because of it has to do it's thing it's way and it's way only.. and if one little thing changes then it won't let you backup or recover later..

    I can explain more if you need.. I have a lenovo laptop.. same thing.. and i don't and probably can't even use lenovo one-key recovery now.. because I put in a new SSD hard drive then the original it came with.. - there is a way I can still use Lenovo one-key recovery if I want to, but it's a long dreadful process to put back all the original partitions from my original hard drive..

    ask if you need more info.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 123
    Windows 8.1


    Before - Make your Recovery discs/USB key drive as per the manufacturers instructions. Essentially it just copies the recovery partition. If your HDD fails then you have another copy (external) to return to bought state.

    I presume that's just Lenovo jargon 'One key recovery' I guess from the Recovery partition.

    After installing all your applications - Then start to do Images, again to external Media drive, I do one about every month, keeping the last 3 most recent. I also make use of File History to make daily Time Machine type copies of Document folders and some others.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    N. Calif
    Posts : 2,582
    W10 Pro (desktop), W10 (laptop), W10 Pro (tablet), W10 (laptop)


    Personally, I wait until I have everything setup the way I want with bloatware removed, latest OS updates & programs installed and settings configured before I make a system image. That way, if I need to restore, I'll have a complete system to work with instead of something I'll have to spend a few hours getting back to a usable state. I have no desire to restore my computer back to the way it came from the factory!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Posts : 3
    64 bit Windows 8.1


    Quote Originally Posted by brooksndun View Post

    the lenovo one key recovery should let you "re-setup" your computer as if you didn't "set it up" yet.. hope that makes sense.

    if you use windows system backup/image, then your computer will already be setup.. (like your user name account etc..)
    Thanks everyone for the advice. I didn't think it was worth it to undo the easy transfer of files so I backed the image with my computer all set-up with my documents and programs.

    I'll try the one-key also in case I want a fresh start later. I didn't change anything other than the start page so hopefully it will work.

    It would be good for newbies like me to be able to find this info right away about when to do the system image . I found other info here but not that part. Maybe it can be added to a tutorial or something.

    Thanks! Great forum. Great help!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

When to create system image when setting up new computer?
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