The image I would use would depend on whether the bootable media could see the latest current image which is stored on the same internal disc (different partition of course) as the OS and system reserved partitions. Assuming it could (and it should) then that image is never more than 24 hours old. If it could not, then the next available image is on an external drive and this could be up to 7 days old (I store week end and then full month end images. Month end images are kept for 12 months, week end images are deleted in a rolling sequence).
If the main disk had a problem then that would probably be a good excuse for a replacement and a clean install. All my user files are backed up in 3 separate locations and also duplicated on a second PC.
So no worries... I have a backup strategy that works for me.
Edit... I also use 'File History' with a 15 minute setting which means that copies of any user files are never more than 15 minutes old. File History has actually proved extremely useful over the few months I have used it as it retains copies of all files created and deleted... and sometimes you want an old file or picture long deleted... and with file history its there. All brow-sable manually and available for a copy and paste if required.
Thanks once again,I am taking the easy route and using the Windows "Create a Recovery Drive" leaving the box ticked "Back up system files to the Recovery Drive".Will this be ok to use on my two laptops or will I have to do one for each?
It is a mistake to use Windows backup. If you move the image set to another drive, you lose the ability to select the incrementals.
You are stuck with the last (full, including ALL the incrementals) backup. That is the only selection.
At least that was my experience when I tested it on Win 7.
I found this unsuitable, and used Macrium reflect instead.
Enlighten me a little here
Windows Backup I understand to be the File/Folder imaging utility. I don't know if that is incremental or not.
Windows 'Create a System Image' (not just file and folder backup) as far as I know only does full backups. When you create a new image it overwrites the previous one. That's how I understand it to operate. You think they are incrementals, in which case you would be offered a tree of backups to restore from ?
Yes, I'm talking about imaging here. Sorry for using the term backup. I have read that the Win10 imaging utility is the same as was used in Win 7. I haven't confirmed that, and may be wrong about that. I'm not even going to test that assumption.
But Win 7 was incremental imaging, unless you renamed the image target, in which case you another full image would be created. Which would then have to be renamed if you wanted if you wanted to make a full image subsequently.
Without renaming you were presented with a tree of images, based on time/date of the image.
But if moved to another drive the tree was lost, and you could only restore the full image.
There may have been a way to get at the incrementals, but I wasn't interested in that.
It was simpler to move to Macrium for imaging, since I had no need for incrementals, and prefer to name my images once, and move them as desired.
I've not had to restore image on 10 yet but I used Windows in built system image on 7 a few times. It always worked 100 % reliable. Since getting 10 I have taken a few images and it's ok doing them but as mentioned I've not had s scenario requiring a restore yet. The only thing will say is it's not fast (at least for me). Takes an hour or two even with SSD drive (as boot OS, I also backup my supplementing mechanical drive too) and using USB 3.0. But I guess the fact my image is around half a terabyte could have something to do with it. But I would say in my experience it works well enough
backup as its created. When I've completed a few I'll see what the restore options are.
I did have a suspicion about the incremental thing a little while ago but concluded (maybe wrongly) that it wasn't doing proper incrementals or that it was a full base image and that the incremental nature of the next backup didn't reflect changes to the OS. Post #42 below,
System Image - Create in Windows 10 - Page 5 - Windows 10 Forums
OK, so I need to prove what happens......
I've certainly found it 100% reliable though, as have you.