Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

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Charles L. Cotton
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Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#1

Post by Charles L. Cotton » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:42 pm

I have a 2 TB external HD that I use for backing up my laptop. Most of may important files are kept on Dropbox, so I'm not worried about those. (Actually, almost all my files are on Dropbox.) I hate setting up a new computer, because you have to load software, configure it as you wish, etc. I'd like to be able to restore my current computer to a new one, or the same laptop with a new hard drive. It appears a System Image Backup will achieve this. It may be necessary to have a recover DVD as well, but that's not a problem.

Here are my questions:
  • Does a System Image Backup fully restore your computer such that you don't have to load anything?
  • If so, can this be done with a new hard drive?
  • If a new laptop is purchased, can a System Image Backup from the older computer be used to "set up" your new computer? This assumes you are using the same version of Windows.
Thanks folks,
Chas.
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AndyC
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Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#2

Post by AndyC » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:48 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:42 pm
Here are my questions:
  • Does a System Image Backup fully restore your computer such that you don't have to load anything?
- yes, it contains everything, even your wallpaper and Desktop items.
  • If so, can this be done with a new hard drive?
- yes. Edit: Just be aware that you generally can't read/write to/from the same drive, so wherever the image is kept (I'm excluding the option of having separate partitions on the same drive, which is possible but you need to know what you're doing) is going to be source from where the image can be written (ie. Windows reinstalled) to another drive.
  • If a new laptop is purchased, can a System Image Backup from the older computer be used to "set up" your new computer? This assumes you are using the same version of Windows.
- yes, to a point; Windows would still need to detect all your hardware and download/apply drivers for the different hardware components in the new laptop. The most likely issue you'll face is that your license-key will give you issues as it's been previously-used on another PC.
Last edited by AndyC on Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#3

Post by rogersinsel » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:15 pm

Both methods are possible. You can copy an existing disk to another disk and then install that disk into the host machine so long as the original disk is operating or by using a complete image that was made prior to failure. This takes special software to complete. It is also possible to restore a backup to a new machine. This is called a bare metal restore and also requires specific software and knowledge so that you can inject the required hardware drivers of the new system into the old image. Both are dependent on what was used to create the backup.
When moving from one machine to another newer machine it is often best practice to backup the original and only to restore the user data from the user's profile folder to the new machine. At which time you reinstall the user apps and reset your preferences on the new pc. you can locate your user folder by opening the windows file explorer and typing the following: %userprofile%
Enable hidden files and folders and copy everything you see to an external disk. I would also back up any installed programs home folder located on the disk.
Disk2VHD is a nice Microsoft utility that can backup an online disk and push it to a file on an external disk that can later be mounted or used to restore to another disk.

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sysint ... s/disk2vhd


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Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#4

Post by Tex1961 » Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:19 pm

As AndyC stated in the last point, assuming this is a completely different model PC, your drivers, firmware and even different hardware components will most likely be different. If so then trying to mirror an older PC most likely will be problematic.... Honestly my personal recommendation is to use offsite storage for your important files.... Personally I use a combination of Dropbox and iCloud... My main PC is an Apple but my other office machines are Windows based, thus the Dropbox storage... Fortunately for me being primary Apple based, restoring from on pc to another is super simple and easy...
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Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#5

Post by rotor » Mon Apr 15, 2019 4:33 pm

Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:42 pm


Here are my questions:
  • Does a System Image Backup fully restore your computer such that you don't have to load anything?
  • If so, can this be done with a new hard drive?
  • If a new laptop is purchased, can a System Image Backup from the older computer be used to "set up" your new computer? This assumes you are using the same version of Windows.
Thanks folks,
Chas.
First, you need good software. I have used Easeus for this many times. Never had a failure.

Your questions.. System image backup restores everything but I have found that some software will still need you to re-enter passwords. I don't know why this is except that perhaps the software can tell that it is not in the same exact spot on the disk.

This is easily done on a new drive as long as the new drive is the same size or larger than the original.

Your last question is a possible but probable no due to different hardware and windows activation.

My routine has been to clone my c: drive every month onto a hard drive that I can just pop into the same spot in my computer. I also do regular backups to a usb hard drive. Easeus software does everything. I previously used Acronis and did not like it. Once upon a time I used Norton Ghost and it failed a recovery. Easeus never fails. They also have a free but limited version and for most people that's all you need. I suggest you download the free version which allows you to make a restore dvd as well and you can play with the program. They always have sales as well. I tell all my friends it's only a matter of time until you need this.

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Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#6

Post by Rafe » Thu Apr 25, 2019 4:06 am

I agree with rotor about Acronis. I used it for a while with a Windows 10 Home system and the automatic reboot after a forced Win 10 update not only corrupted that day's backup, but the subsequent incremental backup data became corrupted by the incorrect header data or table data from that first failed backup carrying forward, even the full, non-incremental backups. I learned this the hard way when I had a disk failure over a month later and could only recover partial data from any of the recent Acronis backup runs.

I don't use any external backup aps any longer, though. I have three primary PCs, a workstation and two laptops, and the bootable/OS drives are 2TB on the workstation and and 1TB on the laptops. Have equal-sized USB 3.0 HDs for each, and run a new Windows 10 system image at the beginning of each month. I have a 10TB NAS at the house set as a persistent mapped drive on each PC, and use Windows backup to run automated weekly backups to it. And last I have a couple of 4TB external drives that I use alternately for "semi-manual" backups. That's actually a simple .BAT file on each PC that uses Windows' internal Robocopy to copy all specified data over, separate directory for each PC. Doesn't get the OS or (most) apps, but it runs much faster than simply doing a manual copy via Explorer. So a couple of times a week I snag a data backup from each PC that way. Two is one and one is none. :-) I rely on the system image to build a new hard drive if the OS drive on a machine crashes, but I also keep the standard Windows backup plus the Robocopy backups of the data.

Like Andy said, you'll have a lot of detailed issues to deal with if you use a system image to transfer to a different machine. I had a Dell laptop that was a lemon and they replaced it under warranty with a similar machine, but not exactly the same. So after transfering an image I had to deal with incorrect drivers and stuff, but nowadays tons of software is keyed via unique licenses assigned to a given machine. So not only was the Windows 10 OS license not happy about being moved to a new PC, but I had to deal with everything from Office 365 to Norton to Adobe Creative Cloud and other apps to the populated Windows registry table that wasn't meant for that machine. Took several days to get everything straightened out, and I had to keep going in and out safe mode to get everything resolved.


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Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#7

Post by baseballguy2001 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:01 am

It's very easy on a Macintosh - restart, choose which backup, carry on. System software, applications, everything.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203981
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Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#8

Post by DXer » Sat May 11, 2019 6:47 pm

For this job, take a look at Laplink.com, PC Mover. they have several levels, but the idea is to install the program on both the old and new computers, it creates files and moves the old stuff to the new computer, leaving the new drivers on the new machine untouched, not transferring what isn't needed, and when done, the new computer boots and looks like the old with all software installed. Better than Acronis because it doesn't copy over or overwrite software drivers if not needed.

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Re: Question Re: Windows 10 System Image Backup

#9

Post by narcissist » Sat Jul 20, 2019 9:53 am

My opinion is to not use Windows 10 ever! To unsafe it has so many holes in the system, Security---> Privacy is what I'm speaking of. Try using Linux based systems if* possible, I know this wasn't answering your question but I was afraid your next one was going to be how did all my info leak out [ credit cards, ssn, identity ect]. Sorry for being off topic. Have a good one
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