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How to backup my Windows 8 drive to a single file?


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#1 Erando

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 09:14 AM

Hello,

 

I have a SSD 256 GB (1 partition with Windows OS) and an internal hard drive 3 TB (6 partitions).

 

I format my PC very often, so I need an easy solution not to spend 7 hours of re-installing always everything.

 

I am looking to backup my Windows 8.1 Installation (from SSD to HDD) with all settings/files and installed programs.

So cloning my drive C: to a single file that will be located on another partion (which is not empty but has also music files)

 

I would like that the restore process be done with a free bootable software that lets me select this file.

 

I have already burned a bootable DVD with Partition Wizard Home Edition.

When I try to backup it needs me to select a Partition where to transfer, but I don't know if it will delete the data on that partion?

 

If with Partition Wiziard this is not possible, please suggest me any other way or software.

 

Your assistance will be very much appreciated.


Edited by Erando, 15 December 2014 - 01:32 PM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 09:31 AM

Hello, and Welcome

 

My first choice would be Macrium Free. You can create a WinPE boot disk easily on a Windows 7 computer.

 

Also good, and free, with the ability to make a UEFI bootable disk is Aoemi Backupper Standard. They also make a separate WinPE builder with all their tools including Partition Manager.

 

In order to boot the disks on a Windows 8 computer, you need to disable Secure Boot and possibly Fastboot. If that does not work change the BIOS from UEFI to Legacy or CSM boot.


Edited by JohnC_21, 15 December 2014 - 09:31 AM.


#3 Erando

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 01:29 PM

JohnC_21, thank you for your welcome. :) It's a pleasure being part of bleepingcomputer community.

 

Also I am very greatful for your time and support. :)

 

Is there any free download version to a  .iso dvd bootable image for any of the software you listed?

 

So just making the backup directly from a bootable dvd and not installing anything on my current system.


Edited by Erando, 15 December 2014 - 01:34 PM.


#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 15 December 2014 - 02:43 PM

For the software I listed, there is no direct iso. The programs have to be downloaded and installed. Sorry.



#5 Romeo29

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 12:43 PM

You can use CloneZilla that comes in live bootable CD and USB formats.

The one I personally use is Acronis TrueImage. The WD Edition is free for WD disk users.



#6 rp88

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 03:31 PM

You should be able to do it using window's own system imaging tool, it is described and explained on the following pages. I use it regularly to create and restore from images to return my system to an older state in time, before some problem occured. It is, for me atleast, the most effective and reliable way of restoring my windows 8 pc and effectively doing a reinstall of windows but in such a way that any programs installed a the time of making the image will be on the system once the image is restored so the user doesn't need to spend ages reinstalling programs.

System restore can be selected so as to backup only the C partition of the drive where windows and your programs are kept, but i would recommend you backup all your personal files on the D and other partitions just in case.

As another tip i would recommend when you download the programs that you install on the computer that you save (NOT open) the exe files and copy them onto a flash drive, that way you have the installers backed up so that if you ever need to restore the system to a point before any of your desktop programs were installed you can quickly install them on the fresh system from the installers backed up on your USB drive, when savng exe files onto a USB drive it is important to first fully verify your system is free of viruses, and then to never plug that USB into any computer ever again except one which is brand new and fresh or has just had a reinstall (or reimage) performed and hasn't gone online since then. Some program installers have an online component to them (the computer needs a connection to perform the install)but atleast backing up those installers will let you avoid hours of searching online to find the download for the program.
1.system restore or reinstall of windows
2.before going online at all plug in the usb and copy it's exe file contents onto the computer
3.unplug the USB, put it back under lock and key in the safe where it lives
4.take the system online, don't open the browser yet
5.immediately get your antivirus working, one of the installers you have backed up should be it's so just run that exe file
6.it will need the computr to be connected for the antivirus to install, and it will need to update itself
7.use it to scan all the other exe files you copied onto the "new" computer
8.then run them one by one to reinstall all your programs

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/create-system-image-in-windows-7-8/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/system-image-recovery-in-windows-7-8/
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/advanced-startup-options-menu-in-windows-8/

Edited by rp88, 17 December 2014 - 03:34 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#7 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 04:27 PM

Unfortunately in Microsoft's Infinite wisdom or lack of, they removed sytem image backup in 8.1 which the OP has. It's basically junk now.

 

http://www.howtogeek.com/167610/8-features-microsoft-removed-in-windows-8.1/


Edited by JohnC_21, 17 December 2014 - 04:28 PM.


#8 rp88

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 04:41 PM

Are you sure of that, i thought they removed it from the initial test versions but put it back in later, if an 8.1 user could just check "control panel-->windows 7 file recovery-->create a system image" andplease see if thye have removed it. I had heard that they removed it from the preview versions of 8.1 but user demand forced them to put it back into the main release. Another reason for windows 8 users to refuse the updates KB2871389 and KB2973544.

Erando, you said you have windows 8 in the title, in the first post you said you have 8.1, which do you have?

Edited by rp88, 17 December 2014 - 04:42 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#9 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 04:45 PM

rp88, I think you are right in regards to it still being in Windows 8.1.  My mistake , sorry. The system rescue disk is now a Recovery Drive that can only be made on a USB.

 

https://www.winhelp.us/system-image-backup-in-windows-8-1.html

 

Edit: I wish someone could confirm if System Image Recovery is still available through the Recovery Drive. Then I see this and I am really wondering if 8.1 has System Image or not.

 

http://www.thewindowsclub.com/system-image-windows-8-1


Edited by JohnC_21, 17 December 2014 - 04:48 PM.


#10 old rocker

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 04:57 PM

Hi

 

How to Geek informs us...

 

http://www.howtogeek.com/167984/how-to-create-and-restore-system-image-backups-on-windows-8.1/

 

Paul Thurrott wrote this article...

 

http://winsupersite.com/windows-8/windows-81-tip-use-system-image-backup

 

Windows 10 is progressing nicely... Can't wait!

 

 

Rock On :guitar: My Friends



#11 rp88

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 05:06 PM

I can't confirm (or deny) either, i am trying my best to stick with 8 NOT move to 8.1. There is a simple way that 8.1 users can confirm/deny these rumours and theories. I would, like you JohnC_21, also appreciate knowing.

Check that system images can be made:
go to "control panel-->windows 7 file recovery (it might be called file recovery now)-->Create a system image" and see if it lets you make an image on the external drive.

Check that system images can be used:
swipe to the top left of the screen, click on "settings", then click on "power", then hold down the "shift" key whilst clicking restart, this will restart the computer into the recovery environment. The select "troubleshoot-->advanced options--> system image recovery". this brings up a system recovery wizard, plug in a usb drive with a system image on it, see if the computer recognizes it. if it does follow through the options until it brings up the "if you continue you can't go back" dialog box. The if you actually want to do a system restore click "ok", if you just wanted to check it is possible choose "cancel" and go back to the recovery environment then boot normally.

If it works from the system recovery environment it should work just as well from a recovery stick or disc (i do suspect it's only for sticks on 8.1 and that it can't do recovery discs, whilst 8 could use cd discs or usb sticks). I've found recovery discs and drives to be quite unreliable on windows 8 (i've also found "reset" and "refresh" and "system restore" to be unreliable) but system image recovery works on 8.0 .

"Then I see this and I am really wondering if 8.1 has System Image or not."
that might have been written at the time of the preview not once 8.1 was released in full, that's why a user checking those two procedures would help clarify things. The how to geek article was certainly written at the time of the preview version.

"Windows 10 is progressing nicely... Can't wait!"
What about the logic of "it it ain't broke don't try to fix it", windows 8 has worked for me as soon as i went through the program defaults to disable all the metro interface junk and installed the programs i used to run on xp. the last thing people need is new systems while their current ones wrk fine, the problem happens when 8 stops getting supported in january 2016, no doubt ms will try and erase it from history then and pretend it never existed.

Edited by rp88, 17 December 2014 - 05:09 PM.

Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 17 December 2014 - 05:14 PM

Even though I have had rock solid reliability with Windows 7 System Image backup and restore, I went with Macrium for the speed and the ability to make multiple backups. It's just easier with Macrium as the system image backups have a better naming convention. With Windows 7  you have to rename your backup folders because it sees the Folder name as the image to backup and Windows 7 only gives one name to it's backup folder and each folder has multiple files.

 

Macrium has a very good WinPE backup disk that will let you restore and backup offline. Full disk images as well as separate partition images can be backed up.



#13 rp88

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Posted 18 December 2014 - 09:38 AM

Just to clarify, the way i've been doing system images is saving one to a USB stick and using a separate 64gb USB stick for each other image. This way you can have multiple backups as though thye may have the same name thye are on different devices and you only plug in the USB stick containing the image you wish to restore from. Having images stored on an external device rather than on a partition of the hard drive gives much better reliability and resilience to damage, as if your hard drive is wiped the image still survives on the USB.
Back on this site, for a while anyway, been so busy the last year.

My systems:2 laptops, intel i3 processors, windows 8.1 installed on the hard-drive and linux mint 17.3 MATE installed to USB

#14 zhgsru

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Posted 24 December 2014 - 09:44 PM

Maybe it's too late for me to post an answer but I still want to add my own opinion, hoping it will help others. AOMEI Backupper is indeed a good choice. You can select the destination path of Windows 8 system Backup. Also as JohnC-21 said, it supports create bootable CD. Find more details at : http://www.backup-utility.com/windows-8/create-system-image-backup-windows-8.html.



#15 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 December 2014 - 02:53 PM

Aoemi is a good choice. It also supports incremental and differential backups with scheduling and Aoemi also has a WinPE builder that includes Backupper and Partition Assistant which is a good partition manager. It can also be used to recover files on a computer that does not boot. For the WinPE builder you need to install it on Windows 7 or later.






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