System Image in Windows 10 usefulness now

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  1. Posts : 24
    Windows 10
       #1

    System Image in Windows 10 usefulness now


    I have read that Microsoft has deprecated System Image Builder but has not set a date for its removal. I wonder if anyone knows if I can create a system image now, and then use the image even if I later can no longer create a system image with Windows.

    Anyone know the answer to this?

    Just a way to figure out if I need to get a substitute for a new system image software or can I live with creating a new image now and monitor the removal date.

    I'm new to all this so any help you can provide will be appreciated.
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  2. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 13,219
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    I see absolutely no need to rely upon the finicky built-in Windows system imaging which Microsoft may drop at any new release of Windows. Most of us here on this forum use Macrium Reflect Free:
    Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free

    To answer your question, though, if you choose to use Windows built-in imaging, you should be able to restore the image so long as you have a matching version USB restore flash drive to boot from. For example, if you create a Windows system image of version 1903 coming up. Then Microsoft drops system imaging in version 1910. You would need a version 1903 USB rescue drive to boot from to restore the image made of the 1903 Windows installation.
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  3. Eddie Doc's Avatar
    Posts : 306
    Windows 10 Home Version 1909 OS Build 18363.815
       #3

    Lynnea1941 said:
    Anyone know the answer to this?
    I can't answer that question, I'm afraid, but Microsoft themselves recommend the use of third party imaging/backup software. I've been using Macrium Reflect Free for a while now and can recommend it (others are alao available), as it does what I need it to do and does it well.
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  4. Eddie Doc's Avatar
    Posts : 306
    Windows 10 Home Version 1909 OS Build 18363.815
       #4

    NavyLCDR said:
    You would need a version 1903 USB rescue drive to boot from to restore the image made of the 1903 Windows installation.
    Am I correct in supposing that that would not be necessary if using Macrium Reflect?
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  5. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 13,219
    Windows 10 Pro
       #5

    Eddie Doc said:
    Am I correct in supposing that that would not be necessary if using Macrium Reflect?
    Correct.
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  6. Eddie Doc's Avatar
    Posts : 306
    Windows 10 Home Version 1909 OS Build 18363.815
       #6

    NavyLCDR said:
    Correct.
    That's what I thought - thanks.
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  7. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 15,378
    10 Home x64 (2004) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    Lynnea1941 said:
    I wonder if anyone knows if I can create a system image now, and then use the image even if I later can no longer create a system image with Windows.
    I am one of the few on this site that stuck with the built-in system imaging for a long time. In my experience it is fragile, temperamental, and prone to fail just when you need it to restore an image.

    One thing I learned is that to maximise the chances of restoring an image reliably, then you need to boot from a recovery drive or repair disc made by THE SAME Windows system that you just made an image of. You either need to make a Recovery Drive usb, or the repair CD it offers to make at the end of imaging. Armed with one (or both) of those you should always be able to restore that image.

    Create Recovery Drive in Windows 10 | Tutorials
    Create System Repair Disc in Windows 10 | Tutorials

    The final straw for me was when Microsoft broke system imaging for the 32-bit version or Windows 10 with the release of 1803 (and never got round to fixing it to this day, though it does work again in 1809).

    1803 creating a system image fails with RPC server error 0x800706BA - Windows 10 Forums

    That's when I tried this Macrium Reflect that everyone was talking about. I'm a convert and would never use anything else now.
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  8. Eddie Doc's Avatar
    Posts : 306
    Windows 10 Home Version 1909 OS Build 18363.815
       #8

    @Bree said "I am one of the few on this site that stuck with the built-in system imaging for a long time. In my experience it is fragile, temperamental, and prone to fail just when you need it to restore an image."

    I used it once to restore an image and it worked fine, then I discovered Macrium Reflect and have used it ever since.
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  9. Posts : 24
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #9

    I am mostly interested in figuring out how to backup software programs. I recall how painful it was to make a list of all the programs I use so I could be sure they were put on my new PC. I am thinking ahead about when I will need to replace my current PC. I have an old Windows 7 system image which obviously wasn't kept up-to-date as I am now on Windows 10 Pro.

    Any suggestions?
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  10. galileo's Avatar
    Posts : 264
    Windows 10 Pro
       #10

    Lynnea1941 said:
    I am mostly interested in figuring out how to backup software programs. I recall how painful it was to make a list of all the programs I use so I could be sure they were put on my new PC. I am thinking ahead about when I will need to replace my current PC. I have an old Windows 7 system image which obviously wasn't kept up-to-date as I am now on Windows 10 Pro.

    Any suggestions?
    If all you are seeking to do is have a record/list of all your installed programs...try making screenshots of your Start menu...or use something like Geek Uninstaller and make screen shots of that...

    If you are seeking to actually make "backups" of your installed programs, that may prove problematic in that restoring a backup of your programs would not restore their registry entries nor their User profile settings. Optimally, your software would need to be "reinstalled" in order to properly function...only programs that are standalone (i.e. not requiring installation) could be relied upon to function correctly by only copying the files...

    If you are seeking another imaging option, take a look at "Drive Snaphot". It has a very small installation footprint, is as fast as any other imaging option, and has a stanalone executable that can be copied to a recovery USB key...and will run in GUI mode when started from a Command prompt in the Recovery Environment.
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