By Lily / Last update April 22, 2022

What is bare metal backup?

Bare metal backup (BMB) backs up operating system files and all data except user data on critical volumes. Usually, it will include a system state backup, so you can easily restore backup to another computer, whether it has identical or dissimilar hardware. This process is called bare metal recovery. And it can really reduce the downtime when your computer runs into issues. 

And this kind of backup applies to the following 2 situations: 

  • Restore bare metal backup to a new computer when the hardware of the old computer fails.
  • Upgrade your computer hardware without reinstalling Windows 10.

Common ways to create Windows 10 bare metal backup

If you are in the 2 situations above, you may want to know how to create a bare metal backup in Windows 10 easily. File History or Backup and Restore (Windows 7) can only be used on the same computer, thus you can turn to Windows 10 WBadmin.

It's the command line version of Windows Backup and Restore, but with more advanced features. And you can use Wbadmin to restore backup to another machine without the requirement to the previous install operating system or programs if you include all the critical volumes in the WBadmin backup.

Mountvol

Besides, you still can try another method, it's using best bare metal backup software for Windows 10 - AOMEI Backupper Professional. It's much easier, you can complete the backup process in 3 steps. And it ensures high success rate of bare metal recovery, so you can boot from the restore drive and use your computer normally. 

AOMEI Backupper Professional

How to create a bare metal backup in Windows 10

Here we will take Wbadmin as an example and show you all the steps for bare metal backup and recovery. Please follow the steps carefully.

Perform bare metal backup with Wbadmin 

Then, to perform bare metal backup in Windows 10, open an elevated command prompt and follow the steps below.

  1. Click on the Start, type “Command Prompt” in the Search box and select Run as administrator in the search results. You can also use Powershell to run WBadmin backup.
  2. Type the wbadmin command line below and press Enter. You should change the “E:\” to the drive letter of the volume where you want to save the backup.

▶ wbadmin start backup -backuptarget:E: -allcritical -vssfull -quiet

Wbadmin Bare Metal Backup Command

Notes:✎...
The “-quiet” switch means that you will not be prompted to confirm the operation and it will automatically start the bare metal backup.
The "-vssfull" switch means that it will run a full backup using Volume Shadow Copy service (VSS).
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 11, 8, 8.1, 7 and Windows Server 2008 (R2), 2012 (R2), 2016, 2019, 2022, etc.

Perform backup metal restore to another PC

Although bare metal backup and recovery in Windows does not require previous OS or software, you need to be sure 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”.

To be specific, 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.

Thus, before you 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.

Change Legacy to UEFI

Besides the boot mode and partition style issue, you still need to take care of disk space of target disk - it needs to be equal to or larger than the original disk. And the target disk has to be formatted with NTFS.

Afterward, you can perform bare metal recovery to another computer with the following steps. It requires an installation disc or USB drive. If you don't have one, you can create one with Media Creation Tool or Windows 10 recovery drive first.

  1. Boot the computer that needs recovery from a Windows installation disc or USB drive. 
  2. Specify the language and keyboard, and then click Next on the Windows Setup. Click Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced Options.
  3. Select System Image Recovery and follow the wizard to perform a bare metal restore in Windows 10. If you prefer command line, you can also select Command Prompt and refer to steps in the WBadmin for bare metal recovery.

System Image Recovery

 

Easier way to make bare metal backup and recovery in Windows 10

For common users, it's not easy to create bare metal backup and recovery with Wbadmin command line utility, since you have to learn all the necessary parameters and the recovery process has many restrictions. You may be tired of this. 

Fortunately, you can achieve the same goal with the best Windows bare metal backup software - AOMEI Backupper Professional. It also works on other Windows operating systems such as Windows 11, 8, 8.1, 7. The steps are simple and easy to operate, with only a few clicks. And you can directly use your computer as normal after bare metal restore, because all the software and personal data are still lying on the computer. 

For bare metal backup, you can enjoy the following advantages of this software:

☆ Schedule backup Windows 10 OS: It provides you with 3 different backup frequencies, namely, daily, weekly, monthly, and other 2 special features - Event trigger (for a particular situation like system shutdown) and USB plug in (to backup system to USB flash drive automatically when it's plugged in).
☆ Backup only changed files: By default, this software uses Incremental Backup as backup method, which only backs up changed files since the last backup, whether it's a full backup or incremental backup. You can also change it to differential backup and it does not require all the backup files in a set to be intact during the recovery process.
☆ Delete old backup images regularly: In the long term, schedule backup will generate multiple backups, thereby resulting in backup disk full one day. Don't worry about this too much, because this software offers you a feature called Backup Scheme, which allows you to delete backup files automatically to free up disk space for new backup.

For bare metal restore, you just need to tick its Universal Restore feature during the recovery process when you want to do this. And it will take care of the rest.

Perform a bare metal backup with AOMEI Backupper

Before you start to create a bare metal backup, you need to prepare a storage device to receive the backup image temporarily. And then, download and install AOMEI Backupper Professional on your computer. For server users, try AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download Free TrialWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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  1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Professional, click System Backup under Backup tab. 

System Backup

Tip:
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.
  1. Specify a path on the prepared storage as the backup destination. The program will select the system partition(s) that need to be backed up automatically.

Select Path

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

Start Backup

You may want to make the backup task hassle-free if you need to protect your system and data continuously. Try the following features:
Backup Options: You can enable email notification to confirm if your backup task runs smoothly, set normal or high compression level, and choose backup service, etc.
Schedule Backup: You can backup system based on different frequencies, daily, weekly, monthly. Also, you can use Event trigger or USB plug-in.
Backup Scheme: You can change backup method from incremental backup to differential backup, which will not require all the backups to be intact for system recovery. Also, you can delete old backup images regularly to ensure your backup disk always has enough space for new backup.

Perform dissimilar hardware restore to another computer

To restore the backup to a new computer with different hardware, you need to prepare a bootable media, and it can be bootable USB, or CD/DVD. Except for this, you can still use AOMEI PXE Boot tool to load micro-system over network, especially useful for multiple computers. 

Then, launch this software and follow the steps below to perform dissimilar hardware restore: 

  1. Click Restore and then choose Select Image File to locate backup image.

Select Image File Winpe

  1. Tick Restore this system image backup and Restore system to other location. Then, click Next

Restore to Other Location

  1. You will be asked to select a destination location to store the backup image. Do as suggested and click Next.

Select Destination to Perform Bare Metal Restore

  1. Finally, in the Operation Summary window, be sure the option “Universal Restore” is checked and click Start Restore to restore system to a computer with different hardware.

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.

Summary

Wbadmin command line utility is very useful when you want to perform bare metal backup and recovery in Windows 10, but it's really complicated for home users. And the recovery process has many restrictions.

Thus, if you want to make this task easier, you can try the best bare metal backup software on Windows 10 - AOMEI Backupper Professional to backup and restore system to a new computer. You can benefit from its rich backup features, such as email notification, incremental or differential backup, backup scheme, etc. And its Recovery Environment feature helps a lot to restore crashed system on the same computer.