What is System Backup?
A system backup involves all of the system files, boot files, and program files. Backing up both the system and boot partitions can ensure that the operating system works normally after system recovery. If only one of them has been backed up, the operating system may fail to work after restoring from the backup image. Therefore, it is necessary for us to know what the system partition and boot partition are.
Before the introduction of Windows 7, the earlier operating systems such as Windows XP, Vista, as well as Windows Server 2003, had the system and boot partitions combined together. That is to say, the boot partition was a system partition and the system partition was a boot partition. Thus, with those earlier operating systems, we just need to backup one partition during system backup.
In Windows 7 and later operating systems, the system partition and boot partition are usually separated. The system partition is the C Drive that can be accessed normally, while the boot partition is a 200MB or bigger partition, named "System Reserved Partition". The boot partition usually does not have a drive letter, and we cannot access it in Windows Explorer. When running system backup in Windows 10/8.1/8/7, we should have these two partitions included.
Fortunately, the free system backup software - AOMEI Backupper Standard edition has provided the specially designed function of "System Backup", which can automatically detect these two partitions that need to be backed up. In addition, during system restore, it will automatically restore the backed up files to two respective partitions. It offers us one-key operations of system backup & restore.
Why is a Regular System Backup Needed?
In general, when the operating system has been used for a long time, most users would face the problem of system crash, and there can be many other hard disk errors that prevent the system from working normally. In such cases, reinstalling the operating system is a viable solution. However, OS reinstallation is time-consuming. It requires at least half an hour at a time. And then it can take many hours to install various drivers and applications.
To save a lot of time and effort, we could create system image backup immediately after a new operating system and some commonly-used applications are installed. It is wise to do a full system backup at intervals no matter how old the computer is. Thus, if there is any system problem, the system can be restored to the previous normal state quickly with the system image backup file.
How to Do a System Backup in Windows 10/8/7?
AOMEI Backupper provides a one-key function of system backup for Windows 7/8/8.1/10 and the earlier Windows PC operating systems like Windows Vista and XP.
It can backup system and boot partitions to an image file easily, and other hidden partitions are also backed up during the system state backup, including EFI System Partition (ESP), Recovery Partition, etc.
Meanwhile, it possesses the function of compression which can reduce the storage space required for the system image backup file to the largest extent.
It also provides advanced users with the function of incremental and differential backup so as to improve the backup efficiency and further reduce the storage space taken by the image file.
✌ Good to Know: The program files and personal data (like photos, music, documents, etc) in C drive are also backed up along with the OS.
1. Download AOMEI Backupper, install and launch it. Then, click "System Backup" under the "Backup" tab.
2. Modify the “Task Name” to distinguish it from other backup tasks. The program will select the system and boot partitions by default as the source. And then choose a destination path (local disk, external drive, network share, NAS, etc) to save the system backup.
3. Click "Start Backup" to begin system backup in Windows 10/8/7.
"Options": Customize the settings based on your own needs. You are allowed to comment for system backup to distinguish it from other backups, compress the system backup image file, splitting large system image file to smaller ones, enable email notification to get alert after the system backup finished, etc.
"Schedule": to get the latest changes since the full system backup, and protect your system continuously, Specify the intervals in Schedule to backup system automatically on regular basis, Daily, Weekly or Monthly, etc. (Event triggers and USB plug in is premium features in advanced editions)
4. When the system backup is in progress, you can click the settings icon and tick the box before "Check backup integrity on completion" to make sure the system backup image is valid for restore. You can also choose what you need your computer to do after system backup is completed, such as shutdown, restart, etc.
5. Click "Finish" option when the system backup operation is done.
In addition, the operations of system backup will not interrupt your work. That is to say, you can do system backup while working on the computer. The time the system backup process will take is determined by the amount of the valid data. More valid data costs more time to do system backup.
Useful Tips for System Restore
AOMEI Backupper provides different methods for you to restore system backup.
If your system crashes or disk fails, you can create a bootable media to boot your computer, and use the system backup software and the system backup image file to restore system to previous state.
If you buy a new computer, you can use "Dissimilar Hardware Restore" with a bootable media to restore system files on the new computer even with dissimilar hardware configuration.
If you just want to restore individual files or folders, you can mount the system backup as virtual partitions with "Explore Image".
If you are a system admin or service provider who manages and maintains a large batch of computers, AOMEI Image Deploy enables you to deploy system image to multiple computers simultaneously over network.