Keep your system healthy by using the System Recovery Image in Windows 10
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Windows 10 has been out for some time now and many have been experiencing issues with it. There were crashes due to the Windows Store, MS Office, registry issues etc. Many Windows 10 users had to undergo the dreaded factory reset to recover a working Windows OS, and those who updated from Windows 8 may have found this very painful.
It’s true, Windows is not the most stable operating system out there and Windows 10 is still quite recent so we are bound to encounter some issues. For this reason -and others- I invite you to read the following article that will describe a way to avoid to have to undergo a factory reset.
This method will work best for you if:
• You just bought your computer and have a fresh Windows 10
• You are planning a factory reset
• You have done a factory reset very recently
• Your Windows 10 is working perfectly at the moment
The goal here will be to create a System Image Backup.
If you create a System Image from a clean, working, state of your system that you are happy with this will enable you to recover your system from this, should any problem arise in the future.
The image is the complete configuration of your system at a given time: Your files, programs, updates installed, background image, accounts… so you can manually recover all this if you create a System image.
Note that when recovering from this image, all the files on your system drive will be erased. However, other drives should not be affected.
Here is a way you can take advantage of this feature. Unfortunately, Windows 10 sometimes has registry issues especially when you try new softwares and then uninstall them. This then causes some operating problems. The files used to update windows tend to pile up and occupy space. If you’re not a confirmed user, you will find these hard to remove. A wise way of making use of the System Recovery Image could be to get a fresh configuration of your computer with everything working correctly and the drivers and softwares you are sure to use installed. Once your system starts acting up you can restore it, fresh from this backup. You could also test new softwares, wait for updates that are really good and then, recover your system from the backup, install the updates and new softwares you really want and then create a new System Recovery Image from this optimal configuration. This will save you some space from former unwanted update files and keep your registry in good shape.
This process may sound scary to you if you never used some of the tools that will be mentioned below, but do not fret, if you follow the steps everything will work well, it should not take very long and you should not have to go to the painful and scarier factory reset again. You may find useful to print this article to access it while you go into this process.
STEP 1 Create the Backup Image
• From the right-hand side panel click or tap on “All settings”
• In the “All settings” window, click or tap on “Update and Security”
• Then click or tap on the third option “Backup”
• On the right hand side find the link “Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)” and click or tap on it (note this tool is from Windows 7 and has been made available for your use in Windows 10 so you can click or tap safely). If you want, you can access this tool writing “Backup and Restore (Windows 7)”
• Now select the first option “create a system image” at the top on the left by clicking or tapping on it.
• Now you will have to decide where to store your image. The first option is the easiest and the fastest “on a hard disk”. Windows will take a few moments to analyse and locate the available drives that could be used to store your backup image. A backup image can take as many as 20 Gb of space or more, so choose a drive with plenty of space. This drive has to be a reliable one so it won’t fail while you will be restoring your system in the future.
• Then click or tap on “Next”
• And now click or tap on “Start Backup” when you are ready.
• Leave enough time for the operation to complete without disturbing the computer (I find it best to launch the process before the night so I find it done the next morning). But it shouldn’t take so long that it will invalidate your computer for the day. Half an hour to an hour may be enough.
• That’s it. On your drive now you should find a file called “WindowsImageBackup”. Do not touch it.
STEP 2 Refresh your computer from your System Backup Image
Once you find your computer has become cluttered, bloated or you get errors and bugs, or even if you contracted some light worms or viruses, or for any good reason you decide to bring your computer back to his former beautiful working state, you’ll then make use of the backup image you created.
Before going into this process, make sure you save all your files pictures… on a drive or pen of your choice because all that is stored on the System drive and was not saved when you created the image will be lost.
Once you are ready, you can start.
The first step here is to get into “Recovery Mode”
• Go to your windows menu, click or tap the power button to make the options appear. Locate on your keyboard the “Shift” key (Upward pointing arrow above the “Ctrl” key). Now, hold down the Shift key while clicking or tapping on the “Restart option” in the menu.
Give it some time and you’ll be welcome by a blue screen. You are now in Recovery Mode.
• Click or tap on “Troubleshoot”
• Then click or tap on “Advanced Options”
• Locate now the option “System Image Recovery” (second down on the left) click or tap on it.
Wait for a moment,
Now click on the username and enter your password.
The tool will now scan for recovery images stored in order for you to select the one you want to use in case you have created different ones. If you have followed the method given here, you should have only one image available.
A window will appear,
• Make sure that “Use the latest available system image (recommended) is ticked.
• Click or tap on “Next”
• In the window “Choose additional restore options” just click or tap on “Next”
• In the next window click or tap on “Finish”
From this point the process will begin and once it’s finished, you will find your computer exactly how you left it when you created the image. Once initiated, the process can take as little as twenty minutes.
The process however cannot be disturbed. Make sure you have plenty of battery or a reliable power source and make sure the computer will not be disturbed (away from kids...). Some choose to initiate this process before going to bed or upon leaving the office to find it fresh and healthy the next morning.
Once all this is done, you may want to get some useful updates that were not installed at the time you created your system image. You may want to install the softwares you are sure to use in the future and create a new system image containing these. Note that if you create your new system image on the same disk, it will erase your former system image.
I hope this method will help some of you to gain the ability to work with a healthy computer and have less worries.
Fi2 n Co
Note: If you experience hardware failure or feel you won’t be able to follow the above steps to the letter, seek assistance from your device’s manufacturer.