In one of our earlier posts, we talked about creating system backup image in Windows 8.1 using the Command Prompt. If you have previously created an backup image of your Windows 8.1 drive and would like to restore the image now, you can follow the given below instructions to successfully restore the backup image.
Things you will need:
# Windows 8.1 bootable DVD or USB
# Your external USB drive containing backup image
Warning: All existing data on the drives to be restored will be replaced with the data in your backup image. So we suggest you create a backup all data before beginning to restore a previously created backup image. Also note that if for some reason the backup image is corrupted or if the restore process fails, your PC might become unbootable. We recommend you have a backup of all data before proceeding further.
Step 1: Connect your Windows 8.1 bootable USB or insert Windows 8.1 bootable DVD, restart your PC, and make appropriate changes to the BIOS or UEFI to enable boot from USB or DVD.
Step 2: Boot using Windows 8.1 bootable USB or DVD. Once setup completes loading important files, you’ll see the following screen where you will need to select your language and keyboard type.
Step 3: Select the language to install, time and currency format, keyboard or input method, and then click on the Next button to proceed to the next step.
Step 4: On the Install screen, click on Repair My Computer option located on the lower-left of the screen to open the following screen:
Click on Troubleshoot to see Refresh your PC, Reset your PC, and Advanced options.
Step 5: Click Advanced options to see System Image Recovery option. Click on System Image Recovery option.
Step 6: Connect your external USB drive containing Windows 8.1 backup image file.
Step 7: In the following screen, you’ll see a list of Windows versions installed on your PC. If Windows 8.1 is the only Windows version on your PC, you’ll see Windows 8.1 entry only. Click on Windows 8.1 entry to start scanning your PC for image backup.
Once the backup image is found, you can click on the Next button.
If you’re getting “Windows cannot find a system image on this computer” error, simply click on the Cancel button to see an option to browse to the backup image file.
Step 8: If Windows has found your system backup image you can skip to the next step. If for some reason Windows hasn’t detected backup image located on your PC or external drive, or if you have more than one backup images, check the option titled Select a system image, click Next button, and then select an backup image, and finally click Next button.
Step 9: Here you will see options to Format and repartition disks. Since you already have a system partition on your PC, simply click on the Next button without checking Format and repartition disks option.
Step 10: Finally, click on the Finish button to start restoring the image backup. Click Yes button when you see the confirmation prompt to continue the process. As we have mentioned earlier, all data on the drives to be restored will be replaced with the data in the system image.
Depending on the size of the image and your system hardware, this process might take up to hours. So be patient. Once the backup image is restored, you’ll be asked to reboot your PC. Remove your Windows 8.1 bootable media and boot into Windows 8.1. Good luck!