By Lily / Last update December 13, 2021

What is bare metal backup?

Bare metal backup (BMB) is a kind of backup that can be used for bare metal recovery, so you can restore the backup to another computer with identical or dissimilar hardware.

Bare metal backup backs up all the critical volumes including system partition, boot partition, and other partitions (if you have applications installed on elsewhere besides boot partition) to ensure all the applications are in a consistent state.

With a bare mental backup, you can restore it to a new computer when the hardware of the old computer fails or when you want to upgrade your computer hardware without reinstalling Windows 10. A full backup for bare metal recovery can really reduce the downtime when your computer runs into issues.

Windows backup feature that you may not know

In Windows 10, you may only find the File History, Backup and Restore (Windows 7), or System Image Backup. That is to say, you cannot perform a bare metal backup in Windows 10 from GUI program, but you can run it from command line.

Windows 10 WBadmin is kind of like the command line version of Windows Backup and Restore, but with more advanced features. Unlike the GUI backup tool, WBadmin is available and has the same features in Windows 10/8/7.

Once you include all the critical volumes in the WBadmin backup, then you can restore this backup to another machine without the requirement to the previous install operating system or programs.

How to create a bare metal backup in Windows 10

To perform bare metal backup in Windows 10, you need to open an elevated command prompt. You can follow the steps below to create a bare metal backup.

1. Click on the Start, and type “Command Prompt” in the Search box. In the search results, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator. You can also use Powershell to run WBadmin backup.

2. Type “wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:F:\ -allcritical -quiet” and press Enter. You should change the “F:\” to the drive letter of the volume where you want to save the backup.


  • The “-quiet” switch means that you will not be prompted to confirm the operation and it will automatically start the bare metal backup.
  • Besides the critical volumes, you can also include other partitions like recovery partition in the backup. Just use the "-include" switch to specify the volume letters.
  • For the partitions without a drive letter, you can use volume GUID to specify this drive. You can use “mountvol” command to get the volume GUID information.


For example to backup C: drive, system reserved partition, and recovery partition to an external hard drive (F: drive), use this command:

wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:F:\ -include: \\?\Volume{d4192b6f-0000-0000-0000-804c0c000000}\ -allCritical -vssCopy -quiet

Besides Windows 10, this backup command also applies to Windows 8/8.1/7 and Windows server 2008(R2)/2012(R2)/2016.

How to perform backup metal restore to another PC

As mentioned, this bare metal backup can be restored to another machine without any requirement to the previous OS or software, but there is something that you need to pay attention to.

The original computer and the target computer have to use the same boot mode, Legacy or UEFI. Otherwise, you will receive the error “System image restore fails because of EFI/BIOS”.

The very old computers usually use Legacy mode and system disk is with MBR partition style, while the recent computers use UEFI mode and system disk is with GPT partition style.

Before you try to perform the Windows 10 bare metal restore, you can boot into BIOS to ensure the boot mode is the same or reconfigure it. If you change the boot mode, you also need to convert the system disk into the corresponding partition style.

To perform bare metal recovery to another computer:

1. Boot the computer that needs recovery from a Windows installation disc or USB drive. If the destination computer has no system, you need to Windows installation disk because system repair disc or Windows 10 recovery drive will not work on the non-system computer.

2. Specify the language and keyboard, and then click Next on the Windows Setup. Click Repair your computer.

3. Click Troubleshoot and then select Advanced Options.

Bare Metal Recovery Windows 10

4. Select System Image Recovery and follow the wizard to perform a bare metal restore. If you prefer command line, you can also select Command Prompt to use WBadmin for bare metal recovery.

Note: Besides the boot mode and partition style issue, there are other two things you need to take care of. The target disk to receive the bare metal recovery has to be equal to or larger than the original disk, and the target disk has to be formatted with NTFS.

How to do bare metal backup and restore more flexibly

If you think the Windows bare metal backup is not so convenient or you cannot make it work, you can switch to another tool. Windows bare metal backup software AOMEI Backupper Professional allows you to perform bare metal backup and bare metal recovery on dissimilar hardware in a much more flexible way.

You can use it to restore from MBR disk to GPT disk, and vice versa. It also enables you to restore to smaller hard drive or SSD. It is very easy to use because of its concise interface.

To perform a bare metal backup with AOMEI Backupper:

1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper.

2. Click System Backup under Backup tab. You can also select Disk Backup if you want to include all partitions on the hard drive. AOMEI Backupper allows you to restore both system backup and disk backup to another computer that has dissimilar hardware.

System Backup

3. Specify a folder or drive as the backup destination. The program will select the system partition(s) that need to be backed up automatically.

Select Path

4. Click Start Backup to start the bare metal backup.

Start Backup

To perform dissimilar hardware restore:

If you want to restore the backup to a new computer with different hardware, you can either restore from a CD/DVD/USB bootable media or from AOMEI PXE Boot tool to load micro-system over network.

To ensure the restored disk is bootable, you just need to make sure the option “Universal Restore” is checked.

Universal Restore

Besides the feature of bare metal backup in Windows 10, AOMEI Backupper also provides clone function. If you want to transfer Windows system to identical hardware or upgrade hard drive, you can clone hard drive and then install the cloned hard drive to the new computer.

If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed to deploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.