Solutions to System Image Restore Failed No Disk That Can Be Used

Sometimes, when you try to do system image restore, an error may occur: system image restore failed no disk that can be used. Learn how to fix it from this page.


By Delia Updated on October 18, 2022

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Sometimes, you try to do system image restore, but only receive an error message: "The system image restore failed. No disk that can be used for recovering the system disk can be found". What’s the problem? What should you do to solve this issue?

System Image Restore Failed

Reasons of system restore failed no disk can be used

Mainly, there are two reasons cause the system image restore failed no disk that can be used for recovering.

Reason 1: the destination drive is of less capacity of the original drive partition used to create a system image backup. Windows system image can remember the partition size of the source disk. The destination drive must equal or exceed the capacity of the original drive partition.

Reason 2: the destination disk to which you image must be formatted in NTFS. A disk that is formatted in Fat32 will accept an image, but the recovery programs cannot restore that image.

How to fix system restore failed no disk can be used?

So, before you do system image restore, make sure your destination drive capacity is equal or exceed the original one. Also, do not forget format the disk using NTFS to which you image. Let’s see how to format the disk using NTFS.

Step 1. Suppose that you have created a system image backup to an external hard drive. Insert your external hard drive. Click “Repair your computer” in the interface of Install Windows.

Repair Your Computer

Step 2. As system recovery options loaded, choose “Use recovery tool that can help fix problems starting Windows. Select an operating system to repair”. Then click "Next".

System Recovery Options

Step 3. Click "Command Prompt".

Command Prompt

Step 4. Type “diskpart” and press Enter. Then type “convert D: /fs:ntfs” and press Enter. D means the disk you want to convert to NTFS.

Convert to NTFS

After converting the disk with NTFS, you can use your system image to restore your computer. Actually, Windows Backup and Restore is a powerful tool. If you have a problem with your Windows computer, you can try to use Windows Backup and Restore tool, which rolls back everything to a previous state.

However, Windows Backup and Restore tool may disappoint you sometimes. For example:

Windows Backup won't back up the following items:

  • Program files (files that define themselves as part of a program in the registry when the program is installed).

  • Files stored on hard disks that are formatted using the FAT file system.

  • Temporary files on drives smaller than 1 GB.

  • Files that are in the Recycle Bin.

If you want to restore above-mentioned items, Windows Backup and Restore will not do you a favor.

Sometimes, System Restore may not work properly in some cases - you may see error messages like “The system image restore failed. No disk that can be used for recovering the system disk can be found”, “System Restore did not complete successfully” when you try to do system restore. Reasons may be various but have one thing in common: Windows Restore has some limitations.

Alternative to Windows Backup and Restore – AOMEI Backupper

Since Windows Backup and Restore has many limitations, it is necessary to find an alternative to remedy the limitations. AOMEI Backupper Standard is all-in-one backup, sync, recovery and clone software. It is free, easy and fast to use, even if you aren't an IT expert.

Unlike Windows Backup and Restore, AOMEI Backupper allows you to restore your system when destination drive capacity is smaller than the original one.

Restore Using a System Image with AOMEI Backupper

Suppose that you have created a system image backup and a bootable CD/DVD or USB disk with AOMEI Backupper. If you don't have a CD/DVD or USB drive at hand, you can also create a recovery environment to perform backup and restore operations without loading Windows.

Now let me show you how to restore using a system image with AOMEI Backupper.

Step 1. Connect the bootable media to the computer to be restored. Start your computer and press a specific key (usually Del or F2) to boot into BIOS. Switch the bootable media as the first boot option.

Boot Order

Step 2. It will directly boot into the intuitive interface of AOMEI Backupper. Under the Restore tab, click Select Image File to browse a path to select a system image file and then click Open.

Select Image File

Step 3. The program will pop up a prompt which says “The program detects the selected backup is a system image, would you like to do a system restore?”. Click Yes to go on with the process.

Step 4. Choose Restore this system backup option, and hit Next >>. Or you could choose Restore a partition in this system backup.

Restore Entire Backup

Step 5. You can see the operation that will be executed in Operation Summary. Just confirm it, and click Start Restore. Wait for the process to complete, and then click Finish.

Start Restore

Note: If you want to restore system to another computer or to other location, you should tick Universal Restore to ensure a bootable system after recovery. This feature can be only used in Pro edition. You can upgrade to it if needed.

After the first system backup, there may be some new applications which have been installed on the current system. These new applications installed after system backup cannot be recovered by system restore. Therefore, to avoid reinstallation of those applications after system restore, you had better schedule automatic backup. Thus, the system can be restored to the latest state.

✐ Easier way to restore system image to new SSD without booting into Windows:

Instead of creating system image and bootable media one by one, you can use one key recovery software AOMEI OneKey Recovery to create them simultaneously. And it will add a boot men on the computer as well as a fast key to access it,  F11 or A, for example.  Then, when your computer not working, you can press F11 or A to access this software via boot menu and then restore system image with OneKey System Recovery option.

OKR Backup


AOMEI Backupper Standard is perfect backup and restore software. With the help of it, you do not have to worry about the “system image restore failed, no disk that can be used for recovering” issue. In addition, AOMEI Backupper has some features that Windows Backup and Restore does not have. For example, restore system image to another PC and make incremental and differential backup.

All in all, Windows Backup and Restore alternative, AOMEI Backupper, allows you to manage your computer with more powerful features. Also, this freeware supports all Windows PC systems like Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and Windows XP/Vista.

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.