To use system image recovery on Windows 8.1 and 8, you're required to have created a system image backup before. After creating system image backups of your computer and storing them on an external drive, optical media, or network drive, it can be very handy. This article will show you how to restore Windows 8.1 and 8 with system image backup back to how it was at the time a system image was created if your hard disk or entire computer ever stops working.
Note: Last time we have introduced how to refresh or reset Windows 8.1/8, which can put your computer into totally new (factory reset). There are both for restoring your Windows computer. When you restore your computer from a system image, it is a complete restoration. You can't choose individual items to restore, and all of your current programs, system settings, and files are replaced with those on the system image.
Walk through these steps to achieve your goal as below:
How to Restore a System Image in Windows 8.1 and 8?
1. Boot to the System Recovery Options screen, and click or tap on the System Image Recovery option.
2. If prompted, choose the operating system you are running that you want to do a System Image Recovery with.
Note: You will usually only see this if you booted from a Windows 8 installation DVD or USB thumb drive, or ISO file if in a Virtual machine.
3. If prompted, select and click or tap on an administrator account on the computer that you are doing a system image recovery on.
4. Type in the password for the selected administrator account, and click or tap on Continue.
5. Here you can choose which system image you want to use.
A. To Use the Latest Available System image
Select Use the latest available system image, click or tap on Next, and go to the next step.
B. To Select to Use Another System Image
a. Select Select a system image, and click or tap on Next.
Note: This is if the system image that you want to use is not listed here, and/or is saved at another location that you wish to choose from instead. If you saved your system image to a set of DVDs instead of a HDD/SSD, then insert the last DVD from the image set first.
b. Select the location of the system image for the computer that you want to restore, and click or tap on Next.
c. Select a system image with the date and time that you want to restore, click or tap on Next, and go the next step.
6. Choose from the options in following part depending on what you would like to do.
A. To do a Full System Image Recovery
Use this option if you want to delete any existing partitions and format all disks on this computer to match the layout of what was included in the system image when it was created.
a. Check the Format and repartition disks box and uncheck the Only restore system drivers box, and check or tap on Next.
B. To Only Restore System Drives from System Image
Use this option if you want to format and restore only the drives from your system image that are required to run Windows.
a. Check the Only restore system drives box, click or tap on Next, and go to next step.
C. To Exclude Restoring Specific Drives when Doing a System Image Recovery
This option will allow you to exclude specific disks from the restore process to make sure that these disks will not be formatted or repartitioned.
a. Check the Format and repartition disks box, and click or tap on the Exclude disks button.
Note: If the Exclude disks button is grayed out, then the HDD that you are restoring to is empty, or you do not have any disks in the system image that are able to be excluded from being restored.
b. Check the disks that you want to exclude from being restored from the system image, and click or tap on OK.
7. When you finished selecting what you want to restore from the system image, click or tap on Finish.
8. Click or tap on Yes. Then you will see a window showing the recovery result.
9. When it is finished, click or tap on the Restart now button.
Note: You will have 60 seconds before the computer restarts automatically.
All of these steps above are to enable you to restore your Windows 8.1 or Windows 8 computer from a system image backup. In addition, if you need more tips or tweaks of using Windows 8.1 and 8, click here to learn more information about Windows tips.
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