Creating a system image in Windows 10 is a simple task, which allows us to recover the operating system in case of serious errors, malware or crashes on our machine.
Microsoft offers in Windows 10 a wide array of proprietary maintenance tools for file or system backup tasks, as well as other functions to create recovery and restore units.
If the new “File history” function is a more accessible approach to backups so that typical home users have a backup in case their files are lost or damaged, creating a system image allows cloning the partition whole where we have installed Windows 10.
How to create a system image in Windows 10
Very simple although it should be remembered that this tool needs to have enough free space available depending on the size of our system partition.
Windows 10 supports copying to internal storage drives (always on partitions other than the system, on optical media (not recommended because of the high number of disks you may need) or, best, an external storage drive (hard drive / SSD to USB) or a network drive Once we are clear about the unit that we are going to use, we begin the task as we will see in this step by step :
- Access the control panel, using the «control» command in the function of executing or simpler from the system search.
- Look for the «Backup and Restore (Windows 7)» tool. It is called that because it was transferred from that version of the system, but it works equally in Windows 10.
- Click on “Create a system image” and select where you will save the cloning. In a storage unit (internal or external) DVDs or network.
- For example, we select “in a network location” to save the copy on a NAS that we have connected to the local network.
- Once it has been verified that the tool accesses the local network, it will offer us the possibility of selecting additional partitions to be saved in addition to those of the system selected by default.
- It will warn you of the minimum size you need for the backup (247 GB in the example) and start the process.
As you will see, the idea is to do it on a network drive or on an external hard drive, because it is a barbarity to create it based on DVDs. If you have multiple partitions in the internal storage drive, another (less secure) option is to create the system copy in one of them. The problem here is that if the drive fails, be it hard disk or SSD, you run out of the option to use it.
Subsequent creations of the system image in the same location will be much faster since Windows compares blocks to avoid having to repeat the entire copy. It is a good maintenance task to safeguard all system partitions and to recover the equipment in case of problems.
An alternative is the creation of a system restore point as we saw in this guide. It is not as complete as the previous one and depending on the system error it may not work, but it is another utility that should be activated because it saves the files and main operating system settings, settings, drivers, registry keys or installed programs, and in case of errors, it allows to revert the changes made and return to a previous state where the system worked correctly