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Windows 8.1 System Recovery

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#1 Bondy100


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Posted 20 February 2014 - 04:10 PM

Since my computer has to be sent away for a repair I thought that it would be sensible, just in case, to create a SYSTEM IMAGE BACKUP, for use with either “SYSTEM RESTORE” OR “SYSTEM REFRESH”. Being a novice to these functions, I researched the internet. There appears to be a number of methods to create an image from which I selected two.

Method 1:

                Open Control Panel

                Type “File History” in search box

                Select “System Image Backup”

                Follow instruction on screen (Selected an external hard drive)

This created a number of folders one of which was “Backup 2014-02-19 153758” (This this the image file?)

Method 2:

                Select:  “windows + X”

                Select:  “command prompt (admin)”

                At Prompt Input “recimg.exe/createimage “K :/BackImage”” (an external hard drive)

                Creates in the folder BackImage a file “CustomRefresh.wim” (This is the restore file?)


This raises a number of questions in my mind:

  1. Do both “SYSTEM RESTORE” and SYSTEM REFRESH” operate from then same SYSTEM IMAGE BACKUP?
  2. Which of the two highlighted files is the image that is used
  3. Since, at least in “SYSTEM REFRESH”, there is no prompt for a folder/file name how does windows decide which folder/file to use, if there are more than one on the hard drives.


Any help in understanding this would be greatly welcomed



Tony B 


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#2 memegan816


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Posted 24 February 2014 - 10:02 AM

You can install Deep Freeze restore software. It will freeze your system configuration. You need not to worry about loosing any of your file, photo, software etc. I'm using it from last 2 years. Working good for me.

#3 dc3


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Posted 24 February 2014 - 12:30 PM

You could use Macrium Reflect to clone the drive.


Why is this computer being sent back to the factory?

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.





#4 Bondy100

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 09:05 AM

Many thanks for the responses. I will try both solutions. The computer is being returned to correct a CD drive problem, under warranty.


Tony B :bananas:

#5 MakeItBetter


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Posted 11 March 2014 - 10:29 PM

While those are solutions, it doesn't quite answer the OP's question...I am likewise wondering about the differences between the two different commands...


...I'm also curious about the difference between a "disk image" and a "system image"...


I'm sorta kinda hoping that I can do what is essential a "refresh" with a pre-configured system (i.e., without having to download over 100M of win8 updates)...and then, beyond that, something where I wouldn't have to re-install my applications.


...and, of course, do it in minimal amount of storage...I don't want to have to create a 1T disk image in order to have a "backup"


I have a 1T internal drive, but am moving to a configuration where I keep my data files MOSTLY on an external.  (Provides for a bit more peace of mind if a computer should have to be returned to the factory under warrantee.)


Yes, that means I'm wasting a lot of space on the 1T drive...but such is life...


(Just in case you're wondering, I'm also exploring things like dual boot systems, GPT vs MBR -- I have a new internal drive with an external hook up which I need to initialize, and those were the choices given to me --  VirtualBox and more...


When I discovered that chrome runs in a sandbox, I got very excited...and then discovered firefox doesn't have that feature, and virtualbox was recommended...but haven't found anything that tells me how to do that!)


This is a great community, and I appreciate it greatly!


Thanks a Million!



Edited by MakeItBetter, 12 March 2014 - 09:05 PM.

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