If you read ‘How to dual boot Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux’, you may remember that I mentioned creating a system image to recover your Windows 10 installation should anything go wrong with setting up dual boot. I was politely reminded that not everyone knows how to do this, which I’m addressing today.
We do a lot of data recovery here at Dave’s Computers in New Jersey and much of it could be avoided if more people used system images and proper backups. The term ‘system image’ sounds complicated and can put some people off. It really shouldn’t. Windows does a great job of handling all the details and keeping all the complicated stuff hidden.
Plus, I’m going to talk you through the entire process so there really is no excuse!
Creating a system image in Windows 10
A system image is essentially a copy of your Windows drive that a utility can access to overwrite the one you’re using if anything goes wrong. Much like you would copy a file from one place to another, a system image is an entire drive. Windows 10 hides the function away from users but it is still there, for now.
Here’s how to create a system image in Windows 10:
- Type ‘control’ into the Cortana/Windows Search box and select Control Panel.
- Select Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
- Select Create a system image from the left of the new window.
- Select where you would like to save the image. It is best to save is somewhere separate to your boot drive for maximum effectiveness.
- Select Next.
- Check the box next to your C: drive in the next window and select Next.
- Select Start Backup in the next window to create a system image.
Depending on the speed of your computer and size of your C: drive, this could take a couple of minutes or longer. There is a progress bar in the window to show you how things are going.
Using a system image to recover Windows 10
If anything should happen to your Windows 10 installation, you can now restore it from the image.
- Boot your computer from Windows 10 installation media. Press F8 to access the boot menu if necessary and select your Windows 19 USB or DVD.
- Select Troubleshoot this PC instead of Install Windows 10 in the first blue window.
- Select Troubleshoot and Advanced.
- Select System Restore and select the system image you created.
- Allow the system to use that image to restore Windows.
That’s all there is to it!
Now you have all the tools you need to recover your Windows 10 installation. If you need help with Windows 10, data recovery or anything to do with computers, the guys here at Dave’s Computers can help. Contact us to see what we can do for you!