What Is Disk Backup?

Disk Backup is used to back up all partitions including the system partition, boot partition, and data partitions on a specific disk you select to an image file. That means if you back up a system disk via Disk Backup, after restoring it, the system can boot normally.

However, Disk Backup is different from System Backup, because System Backup backs up system partition and system-related partitions only (boot partition, system reserved partition, etc) while Disk Backup will also back up data partitions on the drive.

There is no need to run a system backup if you have created a disk backup. 

Best Free Disk Backup Software - AOMEI Backupper 

AOMEI Backupper, the all-around disk backup software, can back up MBR disks, GPT disks, external hard drives, USB disks, and other storage devices. For regular backup, you can enable schedule backup to backup disk at daily, weekly, monthly.

Then, you may worry about backup disk will be filled sooner or later. This software also provides you with some helpful features, such as, Normal or High compression level, splitting, Incremental and Differential Backup (to backup only changed files, thereby improving backup efficiency), etc. And more practical, there is a feature Backup Scheme, which is able to automatically delete old backup images to free up disk space.

You can do free disk backup with the free version of AOMEI Backupper - AOMEI Backupper Standard. Learn the detailed steps below. Before starting the operation, download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper.

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How to Back up Disks in simple steps

1. In the left tab page, select Backup and then select Disk Backup.

Disk Backup

2. Click "Add Disk". Also, you can choose to rename this backup using the "Task Name" field to help you distinguish it from other backups.

Add Disk

3. In the popup window, select the source disk that you want to back up and you can add several disks to be backed up via Disk Backup in a single backup operation. Please confirm if the destination path has sufficient space to save the image file of all these disks.

Select Disk

Tip: Even though you can add several disks to be included in the backup, you need to restore these disks one by one. Moreover, it is impossible to restore several disks included in an image file to one larger disk. 

4. Click where the arrow points to select a destination path to store the image file.

Select Destination

5. Click the Start Backup button to create disk backup in Windows 10 and wait for the process to complete.

Start Backup

★Before start, you can set some helpful features to make this task flexible.
Options: You can comment on this task, enable Normal or High compression level, split backup image, enable email notification, etc.
Schedule Backup: You can enable Daily, Weekly, Monthly backup to backup disk continuously for better protection. The Event trigger and USB plug in feature are available on the professional version of this software.
Backup Scheme: You can set full disk backup or backup only changed files on the disk with Incremental Backup. Note the Differential Backup and all the cleanup methods (By quantity, By time or By daily/weekly/monthly) are paid features.

While a disk backup is running, you can click an icon in the lower-left corner to set to Shut down/Restart/Hibernate/Sleep PC after backup completion. Please tick the box and then click "OK".

Disk Backup Shutdown

When the backup is running, you can also click the underlined sentence to check the backup process in detail.

Disk Backup Process

And, please kindly wait for the backup process to complete and then click the "Finish" button.

Disk Backup Complete

As a result, you can go to the destination location and check if there is a backup image (.adi).

Disk Backup Result

  • AOMEI Backupper Standard version does not support any operations on dynamic disks. To backup dynamic disk, you need to use both System Backup and Partition Backup. While for cloning dynamic disk, please use System Clone and Partition Clone.

  • This software will use the Sector by Sector method to back up disk by default if it's an encrypted disk, or there are non-NTFS or FAT32 partitions on the disk.

  • Backupper currently doesn't support backing up the disk with 4096 bytes/sector. But, you can save the image file to 4096 bytes/sector disks.

  • If you would like to restore a disk backup image, please use the feature "Disk Restore".

  •  If you would like to view the contents of disk backup without restoring a backup image or copy some files and folders in the backup image, you can use the feature "Explore Image" to mount the image.


The process of creating a disk backup in Windows 10/11 or previous system (Windows 8.1/8/7/XP/Vista) is very simple as long as you follow the steps above. And you can enjoy many helpful features during the backup process, such as, Compression, Intelligent Sector Backup,  Schedule Backup, Incremental Backup, etc.

Besides, you can enjoy more advanced feature in the professional version of this software. For example, you can resolve the backup disk space issue completely by deleting backup automatically. And you can backup only new or modified files on the disk with a safer way - Differential Backup. It requires one full backup at least but not full plus all the backup copies.