System Image Back Up Not Working

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  1. Posts : 147
    Windows 10 Home

    System Image Back Up Not Working


    I'm trying to do a system image back up with win10 (20H2) on a new install, but I can't get it working. I don't normally have a problem with this procedure. Nothing I do with any internal or external drive allows me to do it. The result is always a message indicating that there is not enough disk space - which is not the case. The 'Create a system image' process starts to collect the data, then the message pops up. (The install is a, as yet, non-activated version, but this has not been a problem for me before now, so I'm assuming that this is not the reason, unless MS has changed this for the current version - certainly 2004 version is OK.) I have checked the disk and Windows for errors using the safe boot, but no issues were found.

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  2. ignatzatsonic's Avatar
    Posts : 2,492
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit

    Do yourself a favor.

    Use another product.

    Or do you have a serious over-riding reason why you must use the Windows product?
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  3. Bree's Avatar
    Posts : 19,701
    10 Home x64 (21H1) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)

    Matt316 said:
    I'm trying to do a system image back up ... The 'Create a system image' process...

    Do not use this, it's unreliable at best. If you won't take my word for it, then take Microsoft's....

    Microsoft said:
    System Image Backup (SIB) Solution
    We recommend that users use full-disk backup solutions from other vendors.
    Features removed or Deprecated in Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

    My preferred 'other vendor' is Macrium Reflect. Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free
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  4. Hairy Scot's Avatar
    Posts : 230
    Windows 10 21H1 Build 19043.985

    ignatzatsonic said:
    Do yourself a favor.

    Use another product.

    Or do you have a serious over-riding reason why you must use the Windows product?
    I agree.
    There are free versions of reliable backup software available.
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  5. Railtech's Avatar
    Posts : 475
    Win 10 Pro x64 versions

    The most common reason for the type of behavior you mention is that the Shadow Copy service does not have enough free space on a partition on disk resulting in the snapshot image needed for the backup to fail. This is typical of version upgraded OS disks and is generally a lack of space on the recovery partition.

    You can try cleaning up the old Windows install files which may overcome the issue.
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  6. Posts : 147
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter


    It's funny to see MS suggesting (although perhaps not quite saying) that their utility is rubbish and to use someone else's.

    I tried a different back up software - Aomei - but, although this seemed to work and was easy to use, it seemed to screw up the system and I had to reset the system through trouble shooting, safe mode, whatever (can't quite remember the steps I took, now). It now seems fine, but seems to have taken a step back in time, as I now don't seem to have Brave or Aomei on the system, except for a near empty folder - not even the installation files in downloads. Also, when the system was back up and running normally, I re-examined the backup drive that Aomei had used, only to find that the drive was not viewable to the system except through disk management. It now seems to be hidden, inactive, etc. Not even sure if it's partitioned or formatted properly.

    Railtech, I'm not completely sure of what all this means, but if it means what I think it means then: the system is a clean install, the main drive has 300 out of 320 GB free, and the back up drive is a 120GB clear drive.

    I've heard others talk about Macrium Reflect. Do other, here, recommend it, and how easy is it to use?
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  7. Ghot's Avatar
    Posts : 10,829
    Win 10 Home 10.0.19043.1055 (x64) [21H1]


    Use Macrium Reflect... here's directions for making a backup all in one picture.

    In the 2nd RED circle, you will need to change G:\ to where ever you want to save your backup.

    System Image Back Up Not Working-0000-macrium-settings.png

    Also... make sure you make the Macrium bootable media ( CD or USB stick) so if needed, you can access your backups when Windows won't boot.

    Note: Your "Source" will not look the same as mine. I got rid of all those teeny Windows 10 partitions, by moving them all to the C:\ drive... sort of.

    When you choose the option in the 1st RED circle, you should see about 3 partitions with check marks, for Source. That is the way it should be.

    Lastly... in the third RED circle, I uncheck the box and use this format for "naming" my backups...

    JAN 13-746 (January 13th version .746 ) then my backups are easy to understand...

    If you let Macrium name them... they look like this... jkhbadgfagjhouidtghjib.mrimg

    System Image Back Up Not Working-image1.png

    System Image Back Up Not Working-image1.png

    Personally, I only make full OS image backups, manually, aka, not scheduled.
    I always run my cleaners before making a backup.
    I have 37GB on my C:\ takes about 2.2 minutes to make a backup. (from 2.5" SSD to 3.5" hard drive)
    It only takes about 2.1 minutes to restore from a backup.

    I've never had to keep more than 4 backups at a time.
    I make a backup right before MS Tuesday, and sometimes right before/after I've made a lot of changes that I don't want to have to redo.

    Aomei is a bit easier to use, BUT Macrium is both more reliable, and can do more than Aomei can.
    Last edited by Ghot; 15 Jan 2021 at 02:33.
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  8. Posts : 147
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter

    I'm a little bit stuck with what to do in my situation. The computer I'm setting up is for my daughter. I've completed the initial setting up and want to take a 'snapshot' of the system. I need to put reflect on it, but I don't want to use her email address. I also don't want my emails to be loaded on her computer. Reflect needs an email address to install.
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  9. Railtech's Avatar
    Posts : 475
    Win 10 Pro x64 versions

    If you truly have an issue with VSS snapshots not working using Macrium will not work any better than any other product. It will fail just like all the rest.

    If you want to try anyway create a one-time email address at an online service just for the Macrium purpose.
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  10. Posts : 147
    Windows 10 Home
    Thread Starter

    My apologies. It is possible to install Reflect without having to enter an email address. The installation process was not entirely clear that one could continue without having to. If I'd read it properly the first time, I would have realised this. I haven't tried the backup yet, but the application seems to be up and running. I'll let you know how I get on.
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