Question How can I make and restore an image stored on a hard drive partition (not a separate media)?

Jun 19, 2020
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Most articles online tell you how to create a bootable image of your C and store it on a DVD or USB drive. But what if your image weighs like 50GB?

I want to make and store my image on one of my hard drive partitions, and in the future when Windows has become too sluggish or corrupted by viruses or whatever, I want to be able to restore my C by using that hard drive stored image.

Is this possible with native Windows 10 image feature? If not, what software allows to do that easily?
 

RealBeast

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Use the free version of Macrium Reflect and rather than using a clone, use the disk image option for the partitions that comprise your Windows 10 install. You can save it anywhere, but it is best not to store it on the same drive or another drive on that computer if possible, as loss of the system to a virus could corrupt everything.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Most articles online tell you how to create a bootable image of your C and store it on a DVD or USB drive. But what if your image weighs like 50GB?

I want to make and store my image on one of my hard drive partitions, and in the future when Windows has become too sluggish or corrupted by viruses or whatever, I want to be able to restore my C by using that hard drive stored image.

Is this possible with native Windows 10 image feature? If not, what software allows to do that easily?
I use Macrium Reflect for exactly this every day.
A central part of my whole backup routine.


A Full image, and then nightly Incremental.
All systems, all drives. (not just one or two partitions)
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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And, I actually had to use this to recover from a dead drive.
960GB SanDisk SSD died, 605GB data on it. Most irreplaceable pics.

Put in a new drive, click click in Macrium...all 605GB recovered to the replacement drive, exactly as it was at 4AM that morning.
 
Jun 19, 2020
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Thanks guys, I see this software is very mature and highly praised. I tried to make an image of my C with it but it looks like it's not designed for doing this type of thing, because it always asks for a schedule with ongoing, regular stuff.

I just want to do one image once, and in the future restore it once. But I'm forced to go through scheduling settings anyway. Am I missing something?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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Thanks guys, I see this software is very mature and highly praised. I tried to make an image of my C with it but it looks like it's not designed for doing this type of thing, because it always asks for a schedule with ongoing, regular stuff.

I just want to do one image once, and in the future restore it once. But I'm forced to go through scheduling settings anyway. Am I missing something?
You can tell it to do it just once.
When you get near the end, Uncheck the box for "Save backup and schedules...."
 
I want to make and store my image on one of my hard drive partitions, and in the future when Windows has become too sluggish or corrupted by viruses or whatever, I want to be able to restore my C by using that hard drive stored image.
Just be aware that if something like ransomware encrypts your hard drive contents, it will likely do the same to that other partition as well, making the image useless. Likewise, if the hard drive fails, you similarly won't be restoring from an image stored on the same drive. So it doesn't really make for much of a backup unless its stored on another drive, preferably not connected to the system.

And if your goal is just to restore Windows to a fresh install in the future, as it was when you first built the system, then I don't really see the point. You will still need to redownload and reinstall any subsequent windows or software updates, and any software you added in the interim, so it's probably not going to save much time over just installing Windows from installation media as you did the first time.
 
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USAFRet

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Agree with the above.
That image stored on the same physical drive isn't the best way forward. Or even in the same system but a different drive.
Physical drive death, ransomware...make that null and void.

To an external drive that is actually inaccessible most of the time is the way forward.


And a 'once and done' image also isn't much good.
For all my systems, I save a Day 1 and Day 2 image.
Day 1 = the bare OS
Day 2 = after all the updates, and my basic load of applications.
After that, my regular Full+Incremental routine.

I've never had to use the Day 1/2 images.
I HAVE had to use the nightly backup.

The state of the drive 6 months ago is of little use. Especially if it is 'just windows".
 
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