Backups, System Images and Cloud Storage Services

When creating a system image using Backup and Restore, Windows 7/8.1/10 overwrites the previous system image

When you use Windows Backup and Restore to create a system-image backup on an external hard disk drive, it creates a folder on the drive called WindowsImageBackup. However, when you create a new image on the same drive, Windows 7/8.1/10 overwrites the previous backup. It is a good idea to keep one or two previous system images. For example, you would be left with no system images if your computer failed while creating the new image or the latest image might fail to restore, leaving you with no image to restore.

Here is how to save more than one system image. After you have created the first one, it is saved in a folder called WindowsImageBackup in the root (say, G:/WindowsImageBackup) of the external hard drive. Create an empty folder named after the computer you just backed up and then move the image file in the WindowsImageBackup folder into the new folder. Rename the image file in the new folder with the computer’s name and the date. When you create a new system image, Windows will place its file in the WindowsImageBackup folder, which you can also move in its own folder. Alternatively, just rename the system image file stored in the WindowsImageBackup folder with a name that describes which computer it was taken from and the date. Windows will not overwrite it, because it won’t recognise the file’s name.

To create a new folder on a drive, locate it using Computer, click on the entry for the external or flash drive to open it, right-click on an empty space in the drive’s window, place the mouse pointer over New and click on the option that appears called Folder. Give the folder a name, for example, Office PC, Home Laptop, etc.

When you want to restore a particular system image moved into another folder, move its file back into the WindowsImageBackup folder and then restore it by booting the system with a Windows Repair Disc created with that computer. Note that Windows 10 only creates a USB Recovery [Flash] Drive. A Windows Repair Disc or Recovery Drive provides the ability to restore system images.

Create a USB Recovery Drive in Windows 10 –

Note that the Repair Disc or Recovery Drive must be created with the same computer that the system image belongs to because it uses the same file system (NTFS, GPT) and bittedness (32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows 7/8.1/10).

That method allows you to store separate, multiple system images from different computers.

Remember that in order to boot the system with a third-party recovery disc or flash drive or Windows Repair Disc (Windows 7/8.1) or Recovery Drive (Windows 10), the type of drive must be set as the first boot device in the PC’s BIOS or UEFI BIOS. Windows PCs started coming with the new UEFI BIOS from Windows 7 onwards, which can prevent boot discs or drives from booting the system. The following post provides information on how to turn off the UEFI protection.

Windows 7 Repair Disc won’t boot the system

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