By Ivy / Last update July 3, 2020

What is System State Backup?

System state backup means backup your Windows system files, including the following files:

  • The registry.

  • Sysvol (on a domain controller only).

  • Cluster database (on a cluster node only).

  • Active Directory (on a domain controller only).

  • Component Services Class registration database.

  • Performance counter configuration information.

  • Certificate Services (on certification authority only).

  • Boot files, including the system files, and all files protected by Windows File Protection (WFP).

Then, system state backup enables you to perform system image recovery for Windows 10 while system boot failure due to the lost system files or registry. To backup Windows 10 operating system, there are two ways provided in this article. Windows 10 Backup and Restore (Windows 7), and AOMEI Backupper Standard.

By the way, Windows 10 File History can only backup the files stored in the Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos, and Desktop folders and the OneDrive files available offline on your PC to external hard drive or network location.

Create System Image for Windows 10 with Backup and Restore

It’s easy to create Windows 10 system state backup with Windows 10 Backup and Restore, here is the instructions:

1. Input backup and restore in Windows 10 search box, and select Backup and Restore (Windows 7) at the list.

2. Select Create a system image at the left panel.

Create System Image Windows 10

3. Tick On a hard disk here and hit Next, or select On one or more DVDs, or On a network location.

On A Hard Disk

4. Then all the system partitions, like C drive, EFI system partition, Recovery partition, will be selected automatically. And then press Next.

Choose C Drive

5. Preview the Windows 10 image backup settings, click Start Backup to create system state backup.

Start Backup

Sometimes, you may get Windows 10 backup failed errors while using Backup and Restore due to different causes. Besides, you could use WBAdmin start systemstatebackup commands to create a system state backup if you’re an expert that running Windows Server systems.

Best Backup Software for Windows 10 - AOMEI Backupper

Apart from the Windows built-in tools, you could use the best free Windows 10 backup software – AOMEI Backupper Standard, which is available for Windows Vista/XP/7/8/8.1/10, you could customize what you want to backup, only Windows 10 operating system, entire hard drive of the computer, or individual partition, files/folder, etc.

Here, we will show you the detailed steps how to backup Windows 10 OS, and it’s highly recommended that backup Windows 10 to external hard drive to protect your data. Before that, please download AOMEI Backupper Standard first.

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

Step 1. Execute the best Windows 10 backup software – AOMEI Backupper Standard after installation. Connect the external hard drive with your Windows 10 computer and make sure it can be detected.

Step 2. Choose the Backup tab at the left panel, then select System Backup.

System Backup

Step 3. Click to choose a destination path to save the System Backup image file (suffix with .adi). Meanwhile, you could rename the Task Name to differ from other backups.

Select Destination

Tips: The partitions associated with system files will be selected automatically, you don’t have to select manually.

Step 4. Click Start Backup button to create the system state backup in Windows 10/8/7.

Start Backup

In the lower left corner of the software, you will find multiple settings(It's Optional):
1. Schedule: you could set the system backup task running daily, weekly, or monthly, event triggers, USB plug in, real time sync, etc. The last three options are advanced features, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional or other editions to enjoy.
2. Options: you could comment, split, and encrypt your backup image, and customize the compress level, enable email notifications, and more.
3. Scheme: This option allows you to delete old backup images automatically while the backups exceeding the backup number that you specified. There are 5 schemes for you to choose.

Wait for a moment, the system state backup image file will be stored on your external hard drive successfully. Hope you will not use. If something bad happens, you could use the system state backup image file to restore your Windows 10 system. If you create a disk or partition backup image file, it allows you to restore individual file that need to restore.

Extra Reading: backup Windows 10 entire computer without losing data

If you would like to backup entire hard drive in Windows 10, you could try Disk Backup features, choose Backup -> Disk Backup, then follow the instructions to backup. If there are multiple hard drives, you could select them all to backup at the same time.

Disk Backup


As there are many uncertainties, you do not know what will happen to your system next second. Creating System State Backup in Windows 10 seems more important, and it could be part of your backup plan and preparation for disaster recovery. Plan ahead is the best solution.

If you would like to migrate Windows 10 to SSD, please try system clone without reinstalling Windows 10.