Secure Your Data: Bare Metal Backup and Restore Solutions

Read this detailed post to learn a step-by-step tutorial to learn what is a bare metal backup and restore. Also, learn top solutions on how to perform bare metal backup and recovery easily to new computers with dissimilar hardware.


By Lily Updated on June 6, 2024

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What is bare metal backup and restore

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. 

Bare Metal Backup

This kind of backup applies to the following situations: 

📌Complete System Recovery: When your system's hardware fails completely, and you need to restore everything, including the operating system, applications, and data, to a new piece of hardware
📌Hardware Upgrades: When upgrading to a new computer or server, bare metal backup allows you to transfer your entire system, ensuring a smooth transition without needing to reinstall and reconfigure the operating system and applications.
📌Disaster Recovery: For businesses, having a bare metal backup is essential in disaster recovery plans to quickly restore operations after events like floods, fires, or earthquakes
📌Testing and Development: Developers and testers can use bare metal backups to create exact replicas of production environments, ensuring that tests are conducted under identical conditions
📌Data Center Migration: When moving a data center or migrating systems to a new location, bare metal backup and restore ensure that all systems are transferred accurately and efficiently.
📌Regular Maintenance: As part of a regular maintenance schedule, performing bare metal backups ensures that you have a complete system snapshot that can be restored quickly if needed.

Common ways to create Windows 10 bare metal backup

If you are in these 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. You can use WBadmin to restore backup to another machine without the requirement to the previously installed operating system or programs if you include all the critical volumes in the WBadmin backup.


Besides, you still can try another method, it's using the best bare metal backup software for Windows 10 - AOMEI Backupper Professional. It's much easier, you can complete the backup process in 3 steps. It ensures a 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

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 the Volume Shadow Copy service (VSS).
 Besides the critical volumes, you can also include other partitions like recovery partitions 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 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, very old computers usually use Legacy mode and the system disk with MBR partition style, while recent computers use UEFI mode and the system disk 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. 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 the 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 a command line, you can also select Command Prompt and refer to the steps in the WBadmin for bare metal recovery.

System Image Recovery

Easy way to make bare metal backup and restore in Windows 10👍

For common users, it's not easy to create bare metal backup and recovery with the 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, and 7. The steps are simple and easy to operate, with only a few clicks. 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 a 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, scheduled backup will generate multiple backups, thereby resulting in a 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 backups.
Various backup options: You can enable email notifications to confirm if your backup task runs smoothly, set normal or high compression level, choose backup service, etc.

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. Then, download and install AOMEI Backupper Professional on your computer. For server users, try the AOMEI Backupper Server.

FREE DownloadWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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1. Launch AOMEI Backupper Professional, and click System Backup under the Backup tab. 

System Backup

 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.

2. 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

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

Start Backup

Perform 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 a bootable USB, or CD/DVD. Except for this, you can still use the AOMEI PXE Boot tool to load the micro-system over the network, especially useful for multiple computers. 

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

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

Select Image File

2. Tick Restore this system image backup and Restore the system to another location. Then, click Next

Restore to Other Location

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

Select Destination

4. 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

How to perform bare metal restore on Windows 10/11

For a bare metal backup created with built-in utilities, you need to enter WinRE for recovery. Here's how to perform a bare metal recovery in Windows 10:

1. Insert the installation disc or recovery media to start the computer that needs recovery.

2. On the Windows Setup screen, select the language and keyboard preferences, then click Next.


3. Click Repair your computer > Troubleshoot > Advanced Options.

Repair Your Computer

4. Select System Image Recovery and follow the wizard to perform a bare metal restore in Windows 10. If you created the backup with WBadmin, you can also perform bare metal recovery with Command Prompt.

System Image Recovery

5. Choose the system image saved on a removable device or network location, and click Next.

Use The Latest Available System Image

6. Select any additional restore options, then click Next.

Format Repartition Disks

7. Confirm the details, click Finish, and then Yes to start the bare metal recovery. The process may take several hours, and the computer will reboot automatically when finished.


Pros and cons of bare metal backup and restore

Aspect ✔️Pros ❌Cons
Comprehensive Recovery Captures the entire system including OS, applications, and settings. It can be time-consuming to perform a full backup.
Disaster Recovery Effective in restoring systems after catastrophic failures. Large backups require substantial storage space.
System Migration Facilitates easy migration to new hardware. May encounter issues with driver compatibility on new hardware.
Built-in Tools Utilizes existing system tools, reducing the need for third-party software. It may lack advanced features that are available in dedicated backup solutions.
Ease of Use Simplifies recovery with automated processes. Requires technical knowledge to set up and perform correctly.
Versatility Suitable for various environments including personal and business use. Less flexible than incremental or differential backups.

This table provides a clear overview of the advantages and disadvantages of bare metal backup, helping users determine its suitability for their specific needs.

FAQs about bare metal backup

1. Why is bare metal better?

Bare metal servers offer dedicated hardware, ensuring consistent performance for your applications. Unlike virtualized environments where resources are shared, bare metal eliminates resource contention, preventing unexpected performance issues.

2. Is a bare-metal backup better than a full backup?

Bare metal backups are superior to file-level backups because they allow for a complete restoration of the entire disk to its previous state. This capability enables administrators to quickly rebuild a crashed system using previously backed-up disk images, whereas file-level backups take longer to restore.

3. How long should backups be kept?

Many businesses retain full backups for up to a year or more. However, incremental backups, which only capture changes since the last full backup, may not need to be kept for as long. The retention period depends on the specific needs and policies of the business.


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 back up and restore the system to a new computer. You can benefit from its rich backup features, such as email notification, incremental or differential backup, backup scheme, etc. Its Recovery Environment feature helps a lot to restore a crashed system on the same computer.

Besides, AOMEI Backupper provides a Clone function. If you want to transfer the Windows system to identical hardware or upgrade the hard drive, you can clone the hard drive and then install the cloned hard drive to the new computer. Why not give it a shot? 

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.