Windows 10: Windows 10 System Image Solved

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  1.    30 Jan 2017 #1

    Windows 10 System Image


    I would like to create a complete system image using the built-in Windows 10 image backup. I understand how to do this onto an external hard drive. I also understand that I can create a bootable flash drive there as well. But do I have to create this flash drive or could I download that later from another computer should I need it? And if I do create it on USB how much capacity does it require on the USB? Since I have never done this so any tips would sure be appreciated.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    30 Jan 2017 #2

    Hi, we recommend using 3rd party tools for preference e.g. Macrium Reflect (free) as these are
    - more complete
    - more feature rich
    - maintained, supported and documented
    - more robust and reliable
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    30 Jan 2017 #3

    reelme said: View Post
    But do I have to create this flash drive or could I download that later from another computer should I need it? And if I do create it on USB how much capacity does it require on the USB? Since I have never done this so any tips would sure be appreciated.
    You can create it from another computer. If you do only the generic, Windows 10 installation drive from an ISO from Microsoft, you will need 4 GB, but it will use absolutely all of it. You are supposed to be able to restore Windows images from standard installation drives. I recommend 8 GB at a minimum. If you create an actual system recovery drive, the space required varies widely between 8GB minimum to 32 GB.

    There is no way I would trust built-in Windows imaging. The number of problems reported with Windows built-in imaging are many, many times greater than the number of problems reported with Macrium Reflect (including the Free version of Macrium Reflect).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    30 Jan 2017 #4

    Thanks for the info. I did a little reading after your posts, but in a nutshell, what is the general problem with using the Windows 10 system imaging? Does it not recover to a new hard drive properly or what? Thanks.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    30 Jan 2017 #5

    If you research the threads posted asking for help on that, you will find them unresolved as far as I've seen. For example, problems accessing external disks, or previous backups.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    30 Jan 2017 #6

    reelme said: View Post
    Thanks for the info. I did a little reading after your posts, but in a nutshell, what is the general problem with using the Windows 10 system imaging? Does it not recover to a new hard drive properly or what? Thanks.
    Various issues, the biggest issue has been trying to restore the image when required. To the best of my knowledge, the backup image is matched to the computer and can only be restored to that computer. There have been lots of complaints of people who have been trying to restore an image and Windows says there is no image for it. (Which is exactly what @dalchina posted about above mine!)

    Also people have had problems when making the image with Windows including drives they don't want in the image and not being able to save the image to the drive they want to. Let's say you have an SSD and a HDD. Most of the time the OS you want to image is going to be on the SSD and you probably want to save the image on the HDD. Well if Windows in infinite wisdom wants to put part of the pagefile on the HDD, then Windows imaging is going to want to backup the HDD as well as the SDD - which also eliminates the HDD as a possibility to save the image to because it is now one of the drives being backed up.

    Just curious, what is your hesitation to using Macrium Reflect Free? It does not have any of the problems or limitations above.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    30 Jan 2017 #7

    No hesitation really, I just discovered it reading these posts as of yesterday. I will probably try it since I don't want any headaches should I ever need to recover the image. By the way, my PC has a 2TB hard drive with maybe only 50Gb used. I read somewhere that the hard drive that you are cloning to had to be as big as the drive you are cloning. Does that mean I cannot make the image to a 1TB external drive?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    30 Jan 2017 #8

    reelme said: View Post
    I read somewhere that the hard drive that you are cloning to had to be as big as the drive you are cloning. Does that mean I cannot make the image to a 1TB external drive?
    By default, Macrium Reflect will create a compressed image of only the used space on the partitions you tell it to make an image of. Very conservatively you can calculate the space needed for the backup image to be about 90% of the used space of what you are backing up. In your case that would be 90% of the 50GB used. Also add in the System Reserved partition which might be 500MB. If you have less than 64GB of space used across all the partitions you wanted to backup, Macrium Reflect could save that image onto a 64GB USB flash drive if you wanted.

    To make my images as small as possible, I do a good disk cleanup before making the image:
    Disk Cleanup - Open and Use in Windows 10
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    30 Jan 2017 #9

    Only used data is normally included in an image. It is possible to create a forensic image, where everything is preserved, literally bit by bit. Such images are of course much bigger.

    Images are compressed. Different compression algorithms are supported, which can make images a little smaller at the expense of more processing time.

    Bear in mind that disk imaging normally means you will have a set of images - the base image being the largest, subsequent differential or incremental images being smaller and faster to create.

    You can restore using any of those as a starting point, thus a base image and 5 diff'l or inc'l images gives you 6 possible restore dates.

    Macrium allows you to control how many are kept. Thus you need to plan your image storage based on your image set, and the used data you are imaging. The different compression ratios make a marginal difference.

    As a rough guide, the base image will be about 50% of the used data you are imaging.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 2,838
    10 Home x64 (1703) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       30 Jan 2017 #10

    reelme said: View Post
    ...my PC has a 2TB hard drive with maybe only 50Gb used. I read somewhere that the hard drive that you are cloning to had to be as big as the drive you are cloning. Does that mean I cannot make the image to a 1TB external drive?
    Depends on the options you choose. I haven't used Macrium (yet), I have struggled with all the problems inherent in the Windows backup, and can confirm that while it can restore an image reliably, it is really temperamental about being able to see/find the image to be restored. There are lots of 'no-no's with it, particularly renaming/copying/moving images that are on external drives. In short, even I wouldn't advise using it.

    A byte-for-byte clone of a drive will require a drive larger than the drive being imaged to store it. However an image of the system won't include the unused space of the partition being backed up, it should be no larger than the used space on the original drive.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


 
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