Easy Ways to Fix “Windows Cannot Find a System Image on This Computer” Issue

This passage will analyze reasons for “Windows cannot find a system image on this computer” and provide easy ways to solve this issue.


by Delia Updated on October 18, 2022

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Scenario: Windows cannot find a system image on this computer

I am trying to restore a backup system image to my repaired PC. It is wiped clean. I insert the Repair Disc and start the system. Get to System Recovery Options. I have the external Hard Disk with the system backup image connected.

Select System Image Recovery option. Says "Windows cannot find a system image on this computer. Attach the backup hard disk or insert the final DVD from a backup set and click retry. Alternatively, close this dialog for more options. Retry gives me the same message. Tried starting with drive attached, not attached, same result.

Windows Cannot Find a System Image on This Computer

Reasons and solutions to Windows cannot find a system image on this computer

Generally speaking, this error message often happens when you do system restore with an external hard drive. There are basically 6 things will prevent system images from being found on the external hard drive. You should check and avoid these five things when doing system restore, and then you can fix windows cannot find a system image on this computer issue.

Check the following details.

1. The change of folder name of system image "WindowsImageBackup" will cause windows cannot find a system image on this computer error. So, do not change the folder name.

2. Putting the folder "WindowsImageBackup" into another folder will cause the error. It must be at the root (top level) of your external hard drive (it cannot be inside any sub-folders). If not, Windows won’t be able to find it. So, make sure the folder named "WindowsImageBackup" is still in the root of the external drive where it was originally created. Like H:\WindowsImageBackup

3. The change of sub-folder name will cause the error. The next sub-folder must be exactly the Windows computer name that it had when you created the system restore.

4. Adding any other folders in the "WindowsImageBackup" folder except disk images of other computers will cause system image not to be found. So, make sure not add any other folder in the "WindowsImageBackup".

5. If you have multiple system images on one USB drive and rename the mediaID file on any of the images, then all images alphabetically trailing the one with the renamed mediaID file will not be found. MediaId or MediaiD.bin is a file created as a result of your backup. If you move your backup files to any other location, make sure you copy mediaID.bin along with it.

6. If you put your system image in a USB flash drive, for some default reason, Windows could not recognize it. That means cannot do system image restore from USB drive. You can change USB flash drive to other available external hard drive.

All in all, any change of system image backup will cause windows cannot find a system image on this computer windows 10/8/7. Also, the error has something to do with USB flash drive.

To solve this problem, just do not make any change of system image backup. And change USB flash drive to other available external hard drive.

Free Alternative to Windows System Recovery

If the above-mentioned methods fail, or you just want to have double insurance to do system image restore, you can turn to a third party software. AOMEI Backupper Standard is a professional backup and restore software. It is free and easy to use.

You can name the system backup as you wish and change the name randomly, and you do not have to worry Windows cannot find a system image on this computer issue. Also, you can restore system image from USB Drive. Let’s see the detailed steps on how to do system restore.

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How to do system restore with AOMEI Backupper Standard?

Important: suppose you’ve made a system backup and a bootable CD/DVD or USB disk  to external hard drive with AOMEI Backupper Standard already. If you did not do the preparations, do it first.

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. Press "+" to switch the bootable media as the first boot option. It will directly boot into the intuitive interface of AOMEI Backupper.

Boot Order

Step 2. Choose Restore, click “Select Image File” to select the backup image and restore data from it. Then click “Next”.

Select Image File Winpe

Step 3. Select to to restore entire backup or a part and click "Next".

Select Entire Backup or Partition

Step 4. You can see the operation will be executed in an Operation Summary. Just confirm it, and click "Start Restore". Wait for the process to complete, and then click "Finish".

Preview Restore

If you want to restore system to another computer or to other location, you should tick “Universal Restore” (paid function) to ensure system bootable after recovery.


If you want to get out all this trouble of the error message “windows cannot find a system image on this computer”, you can try to use AOMEI Backupper Standard to solve this problem. With the help of AOMEI Backupper, you do not have to worry this issue anymore.

Besides system restore and backup, AOMEI Backupper is also a professional disk clone software. It has a good compatibility which can support Windows 7/8/8.1/10/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.