These days it is more convenient to store image copies of your hard drive, all the better to protect the data inside it from corruption. You can do this with a drive and get a single file inside which everything is stores – the partition table, the boot sector, and whatnot. And then, after you have transferred this file to an external drive, your OS is safely stored elsewhere against the event of a PC crash. Any other backup would only take your user data, but an image backup would also copy your Windows environment.
The procedure described above is supported for both of the Windows 8 versions, and for Windows 7 as well. What you need is an external drive with the requisite space on it. When you have that, do the following:
For Windows 8
- Go to the Charms bar, and find and access the File History When this comes up, choose the System Image Backup option on the lower-left. Wait a few seconds for the wizard to come up.
- Follow the instructions you see on the screen; it’s all self-explanatory.
- After the process is finished, choose the Safely Remove option to get the external drive out. Go to File History once more and choose Recovery, then move to option on top of the System Image Backup Here, choose Create A Recovery Drive option, and follow the instructions you see after that.
- When you next need it, boot from it. You will be asked to choose a keyboard layout. This is when you plug in the external drive, into another port. Moreover, do not forget to choose the keyboard layout.
- The next screen prompts you to choose an option from the menu shown. Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > System Image Recovery > Re-image your computer. Proceed by following the instructions.
For Windows 7
The procedure here is different from what you would use for the Windows 8 versions.
- Go to Backup and Restore, and choose Create a system image.
- When asked if you want to make a recovery disk, and if you have not already, do. An installation disk would also work in this stead.
- When there is an issue with the booting, use this disk in to boot. Press any key when you get the prompt to do so. That is when you plug in the external drive with the backup image.
That was on how to backup and restore your Windows OS. The need for this may arise any time; so it is good to be sufficiently prepared.