I am attempting to make a system image of a Windows 10 laptop. I had a 16 GB inserted to use but the machine rejected that as an option so I am using DVD+RW 4.7 GB size.
Which is insanely too small, as is a 16GB flash drive. But you've already figured that out.
I am using System Image Backup found on the File History page.
I'm not seeing that on File History, but you can get to that option via the "Backup & Restore (Windows 7)" panel.
So far however it has taken 5 DVDs and 5 hours of copying. By the looks of the progress bar it will take at least 4 more DVDs. Am I missing something here? This seems excessive on all fronts to me.
But it's not excessive. A system image is just that - an image of your *entire* system including user data, etc. I feel rather certain that if you look at "This PC" that your C:\ drive will have well over 100 GB on it. If it only had that much on it that will take you over 20 DVDs to create a system image on. You really need to invest in a backup drive of at least 500GB to have for not only a system image but to use File History for your data files and/or other backup software (many drives come with backup software included if you don't want to use File History). A 500GB drive is about $50 or so and a 1TB drive is between $80 and $100.
Please help and explain to me what I need to do to make some kind of backup of this clean system to restore to in case I ever need to. I do have an initial "System Recovery" on a 16 GB thumb drive of the factory install. And I have a "Boot Disk" on a DVD.
Noted above. A System Recovery disc (or USB thumb drive) is nothing more than the Windows utilities necessary to try to fix an unbootable computer or to recover using a system image you've created when you can't use the repair facilities to revive the machine. The "boot disc" is probably your Windows 10 install media, but I can't be absolutely certain of that. There are many different things that can take the form of a bootable disc. Your System Recovery disc/thumb drive is itself bootable.
Just now noticed that the Backup and Restore page is also labeled with "(Windows7)". What does that mean?
The Backup and Restore utility was carried over directly from Windows 7 and can be used to work with images from Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10. There's no other significance to it, really.
Thanks all. I am feeling really dumb right now and anxious about having a good copy of this OS to restore from.
Go to your local Wal-Mart, Staples, Best Buy or whoever has the best deal on backup drives. For myself, I far prefer the USB 3.0 models designed for laptops (whether I'm backing up a laptop or not) that are about the size of a pack of cigarettes or smaller. I've found these far more durable, and handy, than the full sized desktop drives. I have a 2TB Toshiba Canvio that I have four or five machines backed up on and *lots* of other copies of user data that I want to have backups for. I also use it as the File History drive for my Windows 10 laptop and my partner's Windows 8.1 laptop.
Relax. So long as you get yourself a reasonable backup drive in the near future it's highly unlikely that you're going to have a catastrophic failure at any moment. Just pick one up in the next day or two or wait until the "day after Christmas" sales.
By the way, cancel that image you're taking to DVDs.