A system image backup is a copy of drives required for the smooth functioning of the Windows operating system. The system image can be restored if your PC’s HDD or SSD ever fails. The beauty of system image is that it can be restored without booting into Windows, meaning the system image can be restored even on an unbootable PC.
There are plenty of free tools around with advanced options to create a system image backup, but the built-in system image backup is good enough for most users.
The system image contains all your essential data on the desktop, documents, pictures, downloads, and other areas of the system drive. If there are unnecessary files and applications, please delete or uninstall them to reduce the space required to save the system image. You can temporarily turn off the hibernate feature to save a few more GBs. Once the image is created, turn it on again.
Preparing the Windows 10 system image
In this guide, we will see how to use the built-in system image backup tool to create an image backup of your Windows 10 drive.
Step 1: Type Backup and restore in Start menu or taskbar search box, and then press Enter key to open Backup and Restore (Windows 7) window.
Alternatively, open Control Panel, change View by to Small icons, and then click Backup and Restore (Windows 7) to open the same.
Step 2: In the left pane of the window, click the link labeled Create a system image to open Create a system image wizard.
Step 3: Here, you need to select a location to save the system image. You can either choose one of the partitions on your HDD/SDD with plenty of free space, one or more DVDs, or a network location. We recommend you use an external drive as you will have easy access to the system image if and when required.
Please avoid saving the system image on the same drive where you have installed Windows 10 as HDD or SDD crash will make your system image inaccessible.
Select a place to save the system image and then click the Next button.
Step 4: By default, the backup tool selects all the drives that are required for Windows to run. In other words, drives that are critical for the functioning of Windows 10 are selected by default, and you can’t deselect them.
However, you can include new drives containing important data if you wish to do so.
As you can see in the picture above, the tool also displays the free space required to save the system image backup.
Click the Next button to continue.
Step 5: Finally, click Start backup button to begin creating the system image backup. The time required to create the system image backup depends on the size of the data, and your PC’s configuration.
Once the image is created, you will see “The backup completed successfully” message. Along with that, Windows might also display “Do you want to create a system repair disc” message. Click the No button to close it.
If you have saved the system image on an external drive, be sure to keep it in a safe place. And if you have saved the image on an internal HDD or SSD, it’s a good idea to hide the folder containing the image to avoid getting accidentally deleted.
Do let us know if you need any assistance while creating the system image backup by leaving a comment.