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Use the Create a System Image tool in Windows 8.1

One of my good friends here who recently updated to Windows 8.1 asked about how to make a backup. He did not see a way in Windows 8.1 to make one, and it was beginning to look like you would need to use Windows7, then upgrade to 8.0 then 8.1 - probably an all day job.  John called me for some help on this. I know its not ancient  computing but I wanted to help him anyway.. so those of you who would not look at such a operating system as Windows 8.1 - please go to another article now so you won't get ill or hurl things at the monitor.  Thanks

I dug around a little bit and discovered that Microsoft had removed Windows 7 File Recovery tool from Windows 8.1. A little more digging and I discovered that you can still create a System Image in Windows 8.1; however, you now launch the tool from File History.

First I'll briefly cover the Windows 7 File Recovery tool. Then I'll show you where you can find and use the Create a System Image tool in Windows 8.1.

Windows 7 File Recovery

Windows 7 File Recovery used to be called Backup and Restore in Windows 7. It would have made life easier if they left that name - but knowing Microsoft - they changed it. Apparently they only left the old Backup and Restore capability in Windows 8 so that upgraders could access the files contained in backups previously made in Windows 7.

In addition to allowing you to make and restore old fashioned backups, just like in Backup and Restore, Windows 8's Windows 7 File Recovery tool provided you with a way to create a System Image of your entire hard disk. Selecting the Create a System Image command from the left panel, immediately launched the Create a System Image tool.

Windows 8.1 File History - a bit of explanation

When putting together Windows 8.1, Microsoft decided to do away with compatibility for backups created in Windows 7's Backup and Restore tool and completely removed the Windows 7 File Recovery tool from the newest version of Windows. In reality, the File History tool is a fine way to make sure that you have backup copies of all your important data files and the other tools, Refresh your PC, Reset your PC, and System Restore, allow you to easily revive your operating system files. Maybe I can see how yanking Win7 File Recovery would make sense. However, why did they make it so hard to find and access the Create a System Image tool?

Microsoft search tool in Win8.1 is no help. .

Fig B 11-22.png

Then when I finally did go to File History, It was still hard to find. Not only is the system image tool on the bottom of the left panel instead of on the top, where it used to be on Windows 7 File Recovery screen, the command is now called System Image Backup instead of Create a System Image, as shown below.

 

Fig C 11-22.png

 

To create a system image, select the System Image Backup command in File History.

Once you launch the tool, you'll see that it is still called Create a System Image as shown in the next screen picture.

 

Fig D 11-22.png

 

Even though the command to launch the tool has changed, the tool is still called Create a System Image. Try this for your Windows 8.1 backup image and it should help out.

Programmer 1971

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