Today we are going to discuss the easiest way to do an image backup on Windows 8.1
This way applies to Windows 7 and Windows 8.0 too!
The reason why we do this is that Windows doesn’t have a backup utility by default. Unlike Ubuntu and Xubuntu. So we have to come up with this way to keep the system safe. It’s not a backup! It’s an image. And there isn’t much difference! It’s how we use them!
In short an image is like taking a picture of your drive (and from here comes the image name :3) It’s created once and cannot be edited, if you need a different image then you need to deleted the old one (If you are using the same drive to store the image) and create a new one.
The image copies the whole partition or drive, we can’t select files or folders.
What is a backup?
While a backup saves the files and adds to them every time you backup.
Files and folders can be included and excluded from a backup. You can even backup a single file!
This isn’t the same as Creating a restore point. As the restore point saves settings only and doesn’t affect files( And it’s useless at a lot of cases!). While system image creates a full image containing programs, files, settings, etc. And will replace the files completely.
and keep it on an external drive or several DVD’s. ( I highly recommend the external drive as DVD’s take ages to burn and not that effective).
Why do you use images?
Now that we know what an image is, how do we proceed?
First of all we have to talk about cleaning up
Before creating the image we must ensure that it’s as small as possible.
We can achieve that through simple steps
1. Using Software like CCleaner
2. Uninstalling software you barley use
3. Do some further cleaning
4. Defrag your drives
5.Clear history and cookies
After we cleaned the C: drive and removed the excess files it’s time to start working with the image!
Make sure you have an external hard-drive inserted and that the file system is NTFS
Make sure you have sufficient space on the drive. The utility will report if the space isn’t enough ( You can use DVD’s but it’s much faster to use an external drive )
Navigate to Control PanelSystem and SecurityFile History and click on System Image Backup.
Wait for it to load a little bit 🙂