How to Backup Hard Drive with AOMEI Backupper

AOMEI Post By AOMEI Updated June 1, 2023

When our disks become physically damaged or otherwise corrupted, the data on the disk may also be lost and, in the case of system disks, the disk may become unbootable. Therefore, it is important to make regular backups of your disks.

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. 

AOMEI Backupper, the comprehensive disk backup software, offers support for backing up MBR disks, GPT disks, external hard drives, USB disks, and various other storage devices. To ensure regular backups, you have the flexibility to enable scheduled backups on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

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.

Create Disk Image Backup in Windows 10 step by step

Prerequisites for disk backup:  

The bootable computer that you want to back up from. 

A target drive (with enough free space) that you can save backup image to. A local path and Share/NAS devices are supported. 

Download and install AOMEI Backupper on the computer.

The basic disk backup is a free feature, you can download and use the freeware on the computer. 

But, if you want to back up windows server system, you need to purchase server or tech plus edition. Or, you can try the trial edition for 30 days.

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

Detailed steps about how to back up the system

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

  • Compression Level: Choose the desired compression level to optimize storage space usage while maintaining backup integrity. 
  • Encryption: Secure your backup by enabling encryption, which protects backup from unauthorized access. 
  • Splitting Image: Split large backup files into smaller segments for easier storage and compatibility with Different Storage Devices.
  • Email Notification: Receive email notifications to stay informed about the status and completion of backup tasks, ensuring peace of mind and proactive monitoring.
★In addition to the aforementioned options, disk backup offers additional features to further enhance functionality and convenience:
Options: there are various settings to enhance functionality and customization. These options include:
Schedule Backup: Since systems and data are constantly changing, you can set up scheduled backups to automatically back up the system at specified intervals. You have the flexibility to choose from daily, weekly, or monthly backups. In the paid version, you can also utilize event triggers or initiate backups upon USB plug-in.
Backup Scheme: With backup schemes, you have the option to choose between incremental and differential backup methods. Incremental backup captures only the changes made since the last backup, while differential backup captures the changes since the last full backup. This flexibility allows you to efficiently manage backup storage. Additionally, the paid edition can automatically delete older backup images to free up disk space, ensuring optimal utilization.

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.


By reading this guide, you will gain comprehensive knowledge about disk backup and master the essential steps to perform disk backup and. Always remember the importance of disk backup and tailor your backup strategy based on your needs and environment. If you have any questions or issues, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section or seek relevant technical support. We wish you success in completing your disk backup and safeguarding your data!

Besides this, making frequent disk backups can prevent data loss, and when data is lost, we can recover the lost data through disk restoration. In addition, by doing disk backups of the system disk, we can also restore the entire system disk backup when the system is damaged, which can greatly facilitate our life.


Q: Why cannot you run backup task again when you back up to CD/DVD?

A: AOMEI Backupper doesn’t support running backup task again when the destination is CD/DVD.


Q: AOMEI Backupper shows the error “Failed to initialize RPC service. Please retry or reinstall the software and try again." when you run a backup/sync.

A: Please first try to uninstall and reinstall Backupper and then recreate a new backup task to check if it works.

If the problem still occurs, please close the anti-virus program and firewall and then retry.

If the problem persists, please close Ransomware Protection under Windows Defender and retry.


Q: Why is the backup process stuck at 0%?

A: Please check if there is anti-virus software installed on your computer.

If so, the problem is that anti-virus software prevents AOMEI Backupper.

Please remove the AOMEI Backupper from the intercept list of your anti-virus software and rerun the backup.

If the problem persists, please contact our AOMEI Support Team  and attach the log folder under the installation directory of the software so that we can further analyze the problem and help you find solutions.


Q: AOMEI Backupper shows error “Failed to enable backup service. Please retry or reinstall the software…” when doing backup/sync.

A: Please check if you install AOMEI Backupper to a path containing a semicolon (;). The installation path that contains a semicolon will lead to AOMEI Backupper Service startup failure, please reinstall AOMEI Backupper into a path without a semicolon.

Please check if ABservice.exe is not running. You can manually start it in Windows Services: press Win+R, then run "services.msc" to open the Windows Services Manager. If the status of AOMEI Backupper Schedule Service is not running, please double click it, then manually click “Start” and make sure startup type is Automatic.

And, please check if ABCore.exe is running under Windows Task Manager. If not, please find the ABCore.exe under the installation directory of AOMEI Backupper, right-click the ABCore.exe and run it as an administrator and retry.

To further solve the problem, it is also recommended to add ABCore.exe to the whitelist of the anti-virus program.

And please add "AOMEI Backupper" as an allowed app and close the Ransomware Protection in Windows Defender and retry.

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