Windows 10: Can I create multiple system images on a single external drive?
Can I create multiple system images on a single external drive?
"How to Create a System Image in Windows 8 and 8.1" at System Image - Create in Windows 8
includes the following approach for create multiple system images on a single external drive. Will this approach work in Windows 10?
1. Navigate to the backup location above for where you saved a system image that you want to keep before creating a new system image.
2. Right click, or press and hold, on the WindowsImageBackup folder, and click/tap on Rename.
3. Rename it to something like WindowsImageBackup-Copy-1, press Enter, and click//tap on Yes if prompted by UAC.
NOTE: This way you can just easily change the 1 an the end of the name to 2, 3, 4, etc... for each new system image that you make a copy of.
4. You now have a different system image version that you can leave at this location to be able to keep multiple versions.
NOTE: When you want to restore a system image in a renamed WindowsImageBackup-Copy-1 folder in the future, then you must rename the current WindowsImageBackup folder first, then rename the WindowsImageBackup-Copy-1 folder back to WindowsImageBackup in order to be able to restore it. The WindowsImageBackup folder must be in the root directory of the drive, and not within another folder.
Yes, you can use the same method in Windows 10 to create and save multiple system images on the same drive.
Ok - so I've renamed some of my system images on my portable hard drive with names that remind me (ie HPJune2015nofiles or VaioMay16cleaninstall). Does that mean my images won't work now because I've renamed them?
It won't work until you rename the one you want to restore back to the default name first. The blue note box at the top of the tutorial below can help give you more details about this. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have.
Backup Complete Computer - Create an Image Backup - Windows 7 Help Forums
If you move the image to another location, it will usually permanently break being able to restore that image though. However, you will always be able to manually mount and restore files from the image.
System Image - Extract Files Using Disk Management - Windows 7 Help Forums
Thank you Brink! So as long as I rename the one I want to restore back, I'm ok? I've never moved them - I have a portable hard drive just for system images. So if I rename one that I want to restore it has to be WindowsImageBackup? I just have the folders to rename.
I use Redo Backup. It's free and works well. Make all the images you have space for.
Easy way to rename default backup folder BACK to useful name
Worth a reminder is to carefully assure that there are not several folders with the default name spread across partitions or external drives so that the restore doesn't accidentally select an unintended one. Immediately changing all default backup folder names back to customized names after restoring any backup is the best insurance.
Some folks may (like me), forget what the customized backup folder was named after renaming it to the default. I solved this brain fade by simply appending the customized name to the folder name within that default folder (which is the computer name as I recall), then copy and paste that portion of that folder name back to the default folder name after the restore is completed.
This method also has the benefit of having that customized backup name (rather than the default name or just computer name) be displayed on the final confirmation window before the restore is actually done - just for one last cross check.
Hope this helps.
I like to keep local system images on a second partition on my HDD as an alterative to the OEM HDD reset partition I used to have back in the Win7 days (don't worry, I also keep images on external HDDs).
I do the 'rename' trick too, but one folder lower down. I rename the <your_PC's_name> folder in WindowsImageBackup to add the date of the image. To restore an older image, rename the latest one (restore still seems to find it, even under a new name) and give the one you want to restore back its original name. Click on 'find more images' and I'm offered a choice of two images to restore - the latest renamed as '.... (current)' and the old one I've temporarily renamed to just the PC's name.
If you're prepared to rename you computer before making each new system image (Backup & Restore always uses this as the name for its folder) then you could save (and be offered for restore) as many images as your HDD can hold - without the bother of changing folder names afterwards.
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