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How to Create System Backup in Windows Easily

AOMEI Post By AOMEI Updated August 31, 2023

System crashes can occur due to various reasons such as hardware damage, virus attacks, or system updates. However, reinstalling the operating system, along with all applications and configurations, can be a time-consuming and troublesome process. Fortunately, by implementing a proactive system backup strategy, you can mitigate these challenges. With a reliable system backup in place, you can easily restore your entire system and quickly resume normal operations.

AOMEI Backupper is an excellent solution that offers a user-friendly system backup feature for all Windows operating systems, including Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP, Vista, and server systems. This powerful tool focuses on creating an image of the C: drive and other system-related partitions, encompassing critical system and boot files, installed applications, and user profiles stored on system partitions.

Create System Image Backup in Windows 10 step by step

Prerequisites for system backup:  

  • The bootable computer that you want to back up from. 
  • A target drive (with enough free space) that you can save backup images to. A local path and Share/NAS devices are supported.
  • Download and install AOMEI Backupper on the computer. The basic system backup is a free feature, you can download and use the freeware on the computer. 


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

But, if you want to back up the Windows server system, you need to purchase the Server or Tech Plus edition. Or, you can try the trial edition for 30 days.

Detailed steps about how to back up the system

1. Run AOMEI Backupper, click “Backup” in the left tab, and then select “System Backup”.

System Backup

2. It will detect and list system partitions as source automatically. Then, please click the destination box to select a destination path.

Tips: You can click the “Task Name” field to rename the backup.

System Backup Location

3. Click “Start Backup” to run the system backup task. 

Start Backup

4. In addition to the aforementioned options, system backup offers additional features to further enhance functionality and convenience:

Options: There are various settings to enhance functionality and customization. These options include:

  • 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.

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.

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

Tips: You can click an icon in the lower-left corner to set to Shut down/Restart/Hibernate/Sleep PC after backup completion. 

System Backup Shutdown

6. When the backup is completed, you can click “Finish”. Then, you can see the backup task is created in Home Screen. After that, you can continue to back up the system and do backup management for the task. 

7. After the backup is completed, it generates an xxx.adi backup image file in the destination.  After completing the system backup, you can easily restore your system in the event of a system crash. For more details about restore steps, please access System Restore.

System Backup Result



  • For MBR disk, System Backup backs up the system reserved partition (“system” partition) and C: drive("boot" partition). For some environments, there is only C: drive as system partition, which includes “System” and “Boot” files.
  • For GPT disk, System Backup backs up the EFI partition, C: drive, and system recovery partition.
  • AOMEI Backupper will detect running system partitions only to do system backup. If the system doesn’t run, it can’t do the system backup.
  • AOMEI Backupper currently doesn’t support backup for GPT dynamic system volumes.
  • The System backup image file can’t be opened directly by Windows.  If you would like to view the contents of system backup or copy some files and folders from the backup image without restoring the whole backup image, you can use the "Explore Image" feature to mount the backup image.


By reading this guide, you will gain comprehensive knowledge about system backup and master the essential steps to perform system backup. Remember to consider factors such as backup frequency, storage capacity, and the retention period for your backups. Regularly test the restoration process to verify the integrity of your backups and make any necessary adjustments to your backup strategy.

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 system backup and safeguarding your data!


Q: When you do the system backup, it shows the error message: The program did not find the system partition. Please reboot the system and try again.

A: System Backup will detect the system partitions as source automatically. But, it failed to find the system partition.  In this situation, please check if the system disk failed to be listed. You can click Disk Clone, and then the disk list to see if it lists the system disk.

If it doesn't list your disks, please check:

1. Please check if the system disk is 4096 bytes/sector. You can press Win+R, type “msinfo32” in the Run box, then open Components-->Storage-->Disks-->check the Bytes/sector of the drive. AOMEI Backupper currently can't list 4096 disk. So, it can't back up for 4096 disk.

2. If the disk is 512 bytes/sector, but it also failed to be listed, please try to uninstall AOMEI Backupper, and reboot computer, and then reinstall it again to check.

3. If you are using WinPE environment of AOMEI Backupper, it might be that the WinPE lack of the drives of disk. So, WinPE can't read the disk. You might need to recreate the WinPE and manually add the drivers. 

If AOMEI Backupper can list the system disk, but the system partitions fail to be read correctly (display them blank), it might be that some other applications are protecting the system partition from being read by other software. Currently, we found that RollBack Rx, Reboot Restore Rx and Drive Cloner Rx software will protect system partitions, and make AOMEI Backupper can't access system partitions. In this case, you might need to uninstall the software so that AOMEI Backupper can do the system backup.

Q: Why does running an existing system backup task report error 4123?

A: When the source partitions have changed, for example, the starting sector, partition’s size, or/and some other physical configuration has been changed, the program can’t detect the same source with the record of the backup task, then you will get the error. Please try to recreate the backup task. 
If all disks fail to be listed after you do an automatic update for AOMEI Backupper and then cause the error, please try to reinstall AOMEI Backupper manually.

Q: Why does the backup fail with error 4101?

A:  Please check the following items:

1) Please first check if ABCore.exe is prevented by your antivirus software. You can run ABcore.exe (under the installation directory of AOMEI Backupper) as an administrator to check if it can run successfully. Or, antivirus software(such as Windows Defender) will prompt that the program is prevented (please allow it).

2) The backup process needs "System" permission. Please check if your destination path has "System" permission. If not, please add "System" permission for your destination path and retry. You can add permission under the "Properties"-"Security" tab.

3) And, please check if the external drive is disconnected or if its' drive letter is changed when you back up to an external drive. Please reconnect the external drive with the same drive letter as the target path.

4) If you back up to NAS, you can try to map the network drive as a local drive in Windows and then please set the mapped drive as the destination location. 

Or, the NAS is disconnected because the unstable network or user account is changed when you back up to the NAS. Please delete the NAS.xml file under C:\ProgramData\AomeiBR, and then reconnect the NAS by typing into the IP address.

Click here to learn more FAQs.