There is a built-in tool in Windows 10 to create a system image backup of Windows 10. However, the tool is outdated as Microsoft has not touched it ever since it was first launched with the now decade old Windows 7.
More than anything else, many users are encountering issues while restoring the system image backup created using the built-in tool in Windows 10. What’s point of creating a system image backup if you cannot restore it?
If you want to create a system image backup of Windows 10 and don’t want to pay for it, go for the best in class Macrium Reflect Free edition (or get the higher edition by paying a reasonable price). The Free edition of Macrium Reflect offers much more than the built-in tool in Windows 10. More importantly, the system image backup works, and can be restored with ease.
Besides creating a flawless system image backup, Macrium Reflect Free allows you to browse files in the image backup using the File Explorer. In other words, you can access specific files in the image backup, if required. In addition to the full backup, it supports differential backup which lets you save both time and space.
The Macrium Reflect Free supports direct disk cloning and restoring non-booting computers. You just need to create a rescue media of Macrium Reflect Free on a USB or DVD to that you can restore the system image on a non-bootable PC.
After creating a system image backup with Macrium Reflect Free, how do you make sure that the system image works when required? To address this concern, it lets you verify the image for errors, and lets you boot into your system image backup using the Windows 10 Hyper-V. And lastly, you can also schedule your system image backups.
Using Macrium Reflect Free to create Windows 10 system image backup
Refer to the given below directions to create Windows 10 system image backup using the Macrium Reflect Free edition.
Step 1: Get the Macrium Reflect Free setup file from here, install and then run it on your Windows 10 computer. If install directions, refer to our how to download and install Macrium Reflect Free guide.
Step 2: On the home screen of Macrium Reflect, click on the Backup tab in the left pane. Click Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows option. It will launch the Disk Image wizard.
Step 3: Here, the partition(s) required to run Windows 10 is already selected. So, you no need to alter the default selection. Select a location to save the backup image, enter a custom name by deselecting Use the Image ID as the file name and then typing a custom name.
Options to set a password for the image backup and change the compression level can be found by clicking on the Advanced Options link placed at the lower left of the dialog.
Click the Next button.
Step 4: On the second page of the wizard, in the Define Retention Rules section, you can select Full and Differential. Select the Differential only if you plan to update your full image backup later by including additional files and programs. Note that the Incremental backup feature is not present in the Free edition.
Click the Next button.
Step 5: Finally, click on the Finish button to begin creating the system image backup of your Windows 10 installation.
Once the image backup is ready, select the image backup in the Macrium Reflect window (switch to the Restore tab in the left pane to see the backup copies), click Other Actions and then click Verify Image option to make sure that the system image is perfect and has not issues.
To restore a system image backup, click the Restore Image option and then follow the on-screen directions.
By the way, don’t forget to create a Macrium Reflect rescue USB which helps you restore the system image backup even if your PC is not bootable.