How to Create a System Image in Windows 8?

It has been big time since the release of Windows 8 and RT. The reviews were positive but not without any hiccups. The sales however were impressive. But what, if you had a system crash or need to format your Windows 8 Pro computer?

Well if you use a Microsoft account you can re-install all the apps and settings! But what about local applications on your desktop? Hmm. I know what you are thinking of! The backup feature or the System Image would solve your problem with ease. Ha Ha! This is not possible by default in Windows 8!

So don’t worry, this post will help you in such a scenario.

How To Create a System Image in Windows 8?

Well, it’s sort of hidden in the new Windows 8 Pro. The best way to see it is through Control Panel. Just press the Win key and type “Cont”. Click on the Control Panel app on the left hand side.

How To Open Control Panel in Windows 8

Now view all the items by small icons. This is possible by setting the “View by” functionality on the top right hand corner to “Small Icons”.


Now in this list, go to the bottom.

Windows 7 File Recovery

 Ah, there it is!

Now the System Image recovery functionality is provide through this utility called “Windows 7 File Recovery”. Don’t be mislead by the name. You may be thinking that this item may be used to recover files backed up in Windows 7. But it’s not! It can be used to create backup or system image in Windows 8.

Create System Image in Windows 8 through Windows 7 File Recovery

From now on, the steps are straight-forward as in Windows 7.

The Process of Creating a System Image …

Just click the link “Create a system image” on the left hand side. This will bring up the following screen. Using this feature you can clone your entire computer to a USB connected-hard drive, DVD’s or network drive.



You should read the message above before you start the back up process. It clearly mentions that you can only restore the whole drive in case your computer stops working. There is no possibility to restore individual files.

Personally, I create System Restore points and recover from them. I have never tried restoring from a System Image Backup, though I have created them several times. So, you should try this option only when you need a complete restore of your PC.

How to Restore from a System Image Backup?

The advantage with System Image is that, you don’t even need to re-type your Windows license key, when you restore your PC back. You can restore your System Image using the “Refresh your PC” feature functionality provided new in Windows 8.

Generally, you apply the System Image restore function when everything is dead and you are not able to log in to your Windows 8 PC. In that case when you try to login, Windows 8 automatically comes up with the above setup.

But if you want to manually use this feature, you can go to PC Settings/General /Advanced Startup. This can be arrived using the Charms bar. (If you are new to Windows 8, the shortcut for desktop users to Charms bar is Win+C).

Restore System Image Backup


If you want further assistance you could use these tips from arstechnica.

Once in Advanced Startup Options, choose Troubleshoot/Advanced Options/System Image Recovery. There are also various other ways to repair your computer here. The new-to-Windows 8 “Refresh your PC” keeps your files, personal settings, and Metro apps, but deletes all your desktop applications.

If your PC is in such bad shape that you can’t get to PC Settings, you should automatically boot into Advanced Startup Options after a couple of restarts. Holding down one of the Shift keys during a restart also brings up Advanced Startup Options. If the easy methods don’t work, you might have to boot from Windows 8 install media or a system repair disc.

Hope you are refreshed after visiting this post. If this article helps you gathering assistance and creating a system image in Windows 8, please rate it and comment in the disqus comments below.

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1 comment… add one
  • yousefemam

    thanks a lot for this help u solved a big problem 4 me

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