Backup System with Shadow Copy Cloner in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7

You will learn how to backup system with Shadow Copy Cloner and a safer way in Windows 11/10/8/7.


by Ivy Updated on October 18, 2022

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What is Shadow Copy Cloner for?

Shadow Copy Cloner can help you to create a bootable backup of your system volume for quick recovery including your programs, documents, pictures, and the Windows registry. And you can access and copy all files and directories from one NTFS partition to another one without restoring. 

This software uses Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service to backup your partition or system drive, which can generate a point-in-time ‘frozen image’ of your source drive in advance. You can make subsequent updates later after you make an exact copy of your hard drive. And it will only backup changed files since last backup, so you do not need to spend much time on it every time.

How to backup system drive with Shadow Copy Cloner

Step 1. Download Shadow Copy Cloner, install and launch it. Then, click Use Trial if you do not pay for it.

Step 2. Select the source drive and then the target Drive from the pull-down list subsequently.

Clone Hard Drive

◒ To successfully backup your source drive, you need to make sure your target drive with the same capacity of your source drive at least.
◒ To customize the task, you can select any setting listed below. 
◒ To exclude certain files or directories, click Add to mount the data you don't want to backup. 

That's all for how to use Shadow Copy Cloner to make an exact copy of hard drive, but there are limitations you need to know:

  • The first backup is really time-consuming, for example, it takes about1 hour to copy 8.19GB data. 

  • It only backup partition with NTFS file system. 

  • It only supports backing up to internal hard drive and external hard drive. 

  • It does not backup hard drive with multiple partitions, so you can only backup one partition every time. 

  • It does not pack all the items on the system partition to an image file. This poses a great data security risk. 

If you want a safer or more flexible way to backup system, you use the best free backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard to do so. You can learn more about it and step by step guide in the next part.

Safer way to backup system drive in Windows 10

AOMEI Backupper Standard supports full backup solutions, including file backup, system backup, disk backup, partition backup, so you backup any items you want. And it's not limited to NTFS file system, except for this, you still can backup with FAT32, EXT2, etc. Below are some advantages of it:

Backup system continuously: It supports daily, weekly, monthly schedule backup, so you can backup it with proper frequency. And you don't need to worry about data loss due to forgetting backups.
Backup only changed files on the system partition: It uses Incremental Backup as default backup method, which backup only backup changes. This will undoubtedly save much backup time and disk space for you while performing a scheduled task.
Support multiple backup destinations: It's compatible internal hard drive, external disk, USB drive, network drive, and more.

Now, please download Shadow Copy Cloner alternative software - AOMEI Backupper Standard to create a system image backup for Windows 10. Also, this way is still applicable to Windows 11/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista. for server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Before you start to backup the system with the following steps, please prepare an external disk or other storage devices to save the system image as long as it can be detected by Windows. After preparations, continue to see below.

Step 1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Standard, then you will see its deep-blue interface. Click Backup and System Backup subsequently. Then, it will automatically select the operating system (OS) and boot-related partition(s) required to start Windows.

System Backup

Note: If you want to make exact copy of hard drive, you could consider using "Disk Backup" that will include everything on the disk, such as, operating system, installed programs, personal data etc.

Step 2. Click where the arrow point and select the prepared drive as destination. You can backup system to external hard drive, network drive, OneDrive etc.  

Select Destination

Step 3. Click Schedule Backup and select daily/weekly/monthly backup. Then, click OK and Start Backup to create a system image backup in Windows 10.

Schedule Settings General

Also, you can use Event trigger and USB Plug in feature in the professional version.

After setting a schedule task, this software will create a complete system backup and then 6 incremental backups, repeat this process until the backup disk is full.  

To avoid this issue from root, it's suggested to enable Backup Scheme and delete backup file automatically. You have 3 options, By quantity,  By time, By daily/weekly/monthly. You need to upgrade now (5% off for one computer) before using it. 

Enable Automatic Backup Cleanup

And the incremental backup has a high requirement for recovery while the differential backup is much easier. For differences between them, learn my previous article: Incremental or Differential Backup.

Besides, you still can enable email notification during the backup process. Comment, split, compress the backup image, or select a backup mode, etc. 

AOMEI Email SMS Notification Settings

Also, it's suggested to create a bootable media in advance. It allows you to boot computer when it does not and restore the system image in the event of a disaster.


Shadow Copy Cloner creates a bootable backup for system and you can accesss files on it at any time. This may pose a great security risk. Thus, it's suggested to create a system image with real backup software. I mean it will pack all the items on the system partition to an image file and on one can access it flexibly without restoring.

You could consider using AOMEI Backupper Standard. It is more compatible, and supports different storage devices and file systems. And its schedule backup makes this task simple and effecient. In advanced edition, you can still enjoy differential backup and automatic backup cleanup. 

In addition, it is still a disk clone software that can help you easily and quickly migrate operating system to SSD, clone hard drive to larger drive, clone large HDD to smaller SSD, move system reserved partition to another drive etc. And the cloned drive can be used to boot your computer directly without restoring the system or disk image first. Please download the software for self-exploration.

Ivy · Editor
Ivy is an editor of AOMEI Technology, she covers backup & restore,hard disk & partitions management and cloud files transfer and so on for AOMEI. She is an outgoing girl and enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. She loves traveling, eating, reading and so on. She usually hangs out with friends at her leisure time.