Tutorial Create a System Image on Windows 8.1 Update 1 or Later

Spawn

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#1
Source: TechSupportAlert.com

Creating a system image in Windows 8.1 wasn't as simple as it was in previous version. It is still possible by visiting the File History window. I have included some screenshots to help with creating a System Image Backup on Windows 8.1 Update 1.

Open the Search by pressing Win+S, search for "file history" (without quotes), and click on "File History".

upload_2014-5-5_12-50-29.png


Wait for File History to initialize, so if you see this screen just be patient and wait.

upload_2014-5-5_12-52-24.png


Once loaded, click on "System Image Backup", from the bottom left of the window.

upload_2014-5-5_12-54-9.png


If there is space available, you can choose to create a system image backup to your hard disk drive.
It also displays your last backup time and date.

upload_2014-5-5_12-58-29.png


Depending on amount of space taken, the backup varies in size. If you have used System Image Backup before, it will replace your last backup.

I recommend moving your system backup to an external hard drive.

upload_2014-5-5_13-0-58.png


(This last backup took no more than 10-15 minutes).


Source: TechSupportAlert.com
 

MrXidus

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#6
I've been using this feature since I had Windows 8 and I still use it to this day on Windows 8.1 Update 1.

When making the backup to an external HDD with USB 3.0 speeds it performs the backup quickly.

The restore process is also quick, I'd rather use this over having to freshly install Windows from a CD as that takes 4 times as long to do not to mention all the time having to re-install drivers and everyday software once installed.

I make a new System Image every month hasn't ever let me down and with Windows 8/8.1 (with a UEFI enabled PC/Laptop) you can boot into UEFI click the Troubleshooting option > System Image Restore and go from there. or you can boot up from your Windows 8 CD if you have one and do the same if you don't have UEFI.

Relating to fast and easy backups, a product called AX64 Time Machine might be worth trying.

Thanks.
 

Umbra

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#8
I've been using this feature since I had Windows 8 and I still use it to this day on Windows 8.1 Update 1.
Same here, no need bloated useless Acronis, paragon and other macrium.


Relating to fast and easy backups, a product called AX64 Time Machine might be worth trying
.

yep, it is my "weekly backup" snapshot tool
 
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#9
Nice wee article I'm sure it will be of use to more than one of our members.
Thanks for your time and the post! :)
 
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#10
Actually I believe the windows imager does make "changes only" backups after the initial first backup.You don't see these restore points until you're in the recovery environment and choose the advanced tab.
 
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#11
Here is a wee bit of an update to this problem: How to find the system image tool in Windows 8.1
The system image tool in Windows is one way to back up your system, but if you upgraded to Windows 8.1, it's not where you last saw it. So I thought I would post this as it may be a help to some members. :)
FIND OUT MORE HERE
 

TIA

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#12
This is just what i needed to do next, so thanks for the tutorial.
I wanted to get and image file of both 8 and 8.1 (don't ask me why)

I have ordered myself a new 2TB external and two more 64gb flash drives as I intend to back up big time in preparation for asking you lovely people to help me in rid my laptop of that rotton rootkit.
I have already made a bootable flash drive and a isystem image of windows 8 but it may be infected too much to use.
I did wonder how I did this image disk on windows 8.1?
Thanks again :rolleyes:
 

Razor555

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#13
Not sure if this works but last time i tried to restore the image it was asking for an 8.1 disk which i have "windows 8 disk" so it didn't work for some reason. Not to mention the broken refresh and reset functions when you update to 8.1. Simple and fast solution to all this mess is that i use Macrium Reflect. So screw MS, they can shove their broken functions where they know best.
 
Last edited:

bjm_

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#14
Um, just found Thread
Is there a way to create bootable media to use with native W8.1 image backup. Or, do I even need bootable. Do I simply change boot order and plug in my external and reboot to a recovery environment. Not in the know if Image itself is bootable.
Um, how do I boot into UEFI click the Troubleshooting option (System Image Restore and go from there).
I have OEM bootable thumbdrive.
W8.1 OEM
Edit: Is this what I need to know
http://www.techsupportalert.com/con...-troubleshoot-repair-or-restore-windows-8.htm
What about a bootable ...?
What if I can't get the Charms bar or keyboard shortcut Winkey+C
 
Last edited:

MrXidus

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#15
Um, just found Thread
Is there a way to create bootable media to use with native W8.1 image backup. Or, do I even need bootable. Do I simply change boot order and plug in my external and reboot to a recovery environment. Not in the know if Image itself is bootable.
Um, how do I boot into UEFI click the Troubleshooting option (System Image Restore and go from there).
I have OEM bootable thumbdrive.
W8.1 OEM
You can create a bootable recovery media below.

I personally have my System Image (WindowsImageBackup) saved on an external USB 3.0 portable HDD and when I need to restore to it I boot into UEFI and go from there via Troubleshooting option. I've done it this way since the beginning and haven't a need for an actual bootable recovery media.

You can also boot directly to UEFI/Recovery from inside of Windows 8.1 itself assuming you have a GPT UEFI install and not Legacy BIOS.

Via PC Settings:



Then click Advanced Startup and from there you can go straight to the UEFI and click System Image Restore /Troubleshooting options plug in the external USB 3.0 HDD with your WindowsImageBackup system image saved and restore for example.
 

bjm_

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#16
Great ~ Super
Found content of Spoilers. Now I just have to remember. ;)
I've been using DiskWizard (Acronis limited functions)
Now, decision. Which way to go. Wonder if I can use belt and suspenders. eg: W8.1 native image to internal. DiskWizard to external.
Like before M$ bork Tuesday. Do an external just in case and otherwise do an internal. May be overkill. :confused:
DiskWizard bootable gets by with DVD
Windows bootable wants 32gb...with checkbox for recovery partition. Wonder how DiskWizard gets by with DVD and Windows Recovery Drive needs recovery partition and why...?
and DiskWizard media has UEFI loader
 
Last edited:
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#17
CANNOT RESTORE FROM THE RECOVERY ENVIRONMENT USING USB3 DRIVE+ USB3 PORT.


To reproduce the problem:

1>Connect the HDD containing the system image to a USB3 port, connect a bootable USB flash drive containing Windows 8.1 installer to a USB2 (or USB3) port. (Hard disk must be USB3, I have not tried with a USB2 hard disk, as I don't have one).

2>Restart the laptop and select the option to boot from USB drive, Windows 8.1 boots up from the installer and asks you to select an option. (the external hard disk seems to be working at this point, the LED indicator on the external hard disk is lit up).

3>Go to "troubleshoot" and trigger a "system image recovery".

4>A message pops up saying no system images were found, and asking you to plug in the external hard drive or insert a DVD containing the image.

5>Unplug the external hard disk, and plug it back into the same USB3 port, or another USB3 port, click "Retry", the same message (mentioned in step4) pops up again. The hard disk is working though, the LED is lit up, it's as if Windows is unable to see the Hard Disk even though it's plugged in.

6>Unplug the hard disk and plug it into a USB2 port this time, click "retry", Windows sees the hard disk and shows you the recommended system image to restore from.

Conclusion: It appears that Windows 8.1 system image recovery, when started from the Installation disk, does not load USB3 drivers. The external hard disk is perfectly healthy, and the USB3 ports work fine when accessed from inside Windows 8.1, but fails to see the hard drive when booted up from the installation disk.

If your Windows 8.1 installer is present in a USB2 flash drive, and if you plug this flash drive in your USB3 port, Windows is able to see this flash drive and boot from it though.

QUESTION> Is there a workaround? I can restore properly using USB2 port, but USB3 fails. USB3 works ONLY if I start the restore from inside Windows, ie, i boot to Windows, click on "Change PC settings" in settings charm, select the "recovery" option, and select system image recovery. But if I try this from the Installer disk, it fails. I have ordered an Asus ROG laptop which has ALL USB3 ports and NO USB2 port. How will I restore from the installation disk on this laptop? I cannot just connect the HDD to a USB2 port like I'm doing on my current laptop.
 
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#18
Thank you for posting this - it's a little known tip that is really helpful. Appreciate your sharing.