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how can I backup and restore an entire hard drive within Windows 8.1?

Posted on 2015-01-02
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Last Modified: 2016-10-27
Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone,

             I am interested in any step by step procedures for using the backup and restore features of Windows 8.1.  Basically, I have a laptop with Windows 8.1 on it and everything is running very smoothly on it.  With that point in mind, I would like to create an entire image or clone of the hard drive so I can restore it if need be in the future.  I am assuming any image file of the hard drive will be bootable on whatever backup storage device (external USB drive, DVD +-R, etc.) that will be used.  

             I look forward to all shared insights and links outlining the logistics of using the backup and restore features of Windows 8.1.

            Thank you

            George
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Question by:GMartin
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by:noxcho
noxcho earned 50 total points
ID: 40528241
Here is a video tutorial: http://youtu.be/dEvoVcB2cXQ
But frankly speaking I would recommend you using third party backup tool which is simpler and still effective.
Like Backup and Recovery Free: http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40528402
Hello and Good Afternoon

            Thank you so much for your submitted audio/video tutorial link for using the backup and restore features of Windows 8.1.  In less than 5 minutes, this entire video demonstrated in an easy to understand and follow manner of carrying out these tasks.  I do however have an important follow up question.  The external 1 TB USB hard drive that will be used for the backup and restore functions of Windows 8.1 will have pre-existing data on it including end user files such as pictures, music, video clips, etc.  With this important point in mind, will the integrity of the pre-existing data be preserved while a backup and restore is being carried out?  Is there any risk of it being deleted?

             Thanks

             George
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by:garycase
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ID: 40528612
Hi George.   The Windows backup feature will not destroy any files on the target drive.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40528667
Usually it keeps the data intact. And when you go through the wizard read what it says to you.
The tool I mentioned above does not touch the existing data on target storage drives as well. Give it a look.
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by:nobus
ID: 40528855
in such cases, i make a folder for the other data, and one for the backups, to separate both a bit, so you have no confusion possible
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by:NVIT
NVIT earned 300 total points
ID: 40529538
Also, it's good practice to have at least 2 drives for your backup, in case one drive becomes inaccessible. Use a different drive during each backup session.

Restore Tip:
The restore steps in the video restores the entire drive. Here's a way to restore individual files from a System Image. Basically, you...
1. Mount the image as a drive letter
2. Copy desired files.
3. Dismount the drive letter.
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/windows-and-office/quick-tip-restore-individual-files-from-a-system-image-in-windows-8/
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40530306
Hello and Good Morning Everyone,

             I want to take a moment and provide an update on my progress.  Last night, I spent some time carrying out the steps outlined within the youtube link of http://youtu.be/dEvoVcB2cXQ.  After two attempts, I finally had to hang it up.  In the first attempt, the backup stopped at 55% complete.  The second attempt almost completed, but stopped at 98%.  

             At this point, I am wondering if I might could use to backup and restore utilities which I have at home.  The ones I have are as follows:  Ghost 11.5 Corporate which is compatible with both, SATA and IDE HDD's.  While it is WIndows Vista compatible, I am unsure if it is compatible with Windows 8.1.  I also have Norton Ghost 15 in addition to Acronis 2011.  Upon looking further within my personal utilities, I notice having Acronis True Image 2011.  My reservation about using any of these tools surrounds my uncertainty about whether they are Windows 8.1 compatible.

             Any shared thoughts to my follow ups will be deeply appreciated.

             Thank you

             George
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NVIT earned 300 total points
ID: 40530535
One alternative I've had good results with is DriveImage. It works similar to Microsoft's. https://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm
It is Windows 8 compatible.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40530589
Hello

           Thank you for your follow up suggestion and link to DriveImage.  If it would not be too much of a bother, could you provide a youtube link on the logistics of imaging my entire laptop hard drive to my external USB drive?  Also, will this image file created by DriveImage be bootable, thus, allowing an easy restore of the drive when need be?

            George
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by:noxcho
ID: 40530607
I gave you a link to Paragon Backup & Recovery 14 Free which you somehow ignored.
Here is a guide how to use it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUXALq5JTf4
The software you listed above such as Ghost and Acronis are good tools but not yet compatible with Windows 8.1
You would need the latest versions of Ghost or ATI which are definitely compatible with 8.1
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by:NVIT
ID: 40530778
Here's a good example to follow. It includes backup, restore selected files, and complete drive restore. I assume you have an extra drive to test complete restore to. Ideally, a similar drive as your working computer's. http://lifehacker.com/326086/hot-image-your-pcs-hard-drive-with-driveimage-xml
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by:NVIT
ID: 40530791
Here's a good example to follow. It includes backup, restore selected files, and complete drive restore. I assume you have an extra drive to test complete restore to. Ideally, a similar drive as your working computer's. That way you can test the boot on the other drive. http://lifehacker.com/326086/hot-image-your-pcs-hard-drive-with-driveimage-xml
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by:nobus
nobus earned 50 total points
ID: 40531021
George, the fact the image stops indicates often a bad harddrive
in such cases, copy over the data you can access, or use Getdataback
i have had very good results with HDDRegenerator, for making the drive readable again also
http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html
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by:NVIT
ID: 40531056
George,

Your OP said everything was running very smoothly. Seemingly, your backup may be having issues. Is your event log showing any related errors? If so, as nobus suggested, try to copy what you can, manually or otherwise, to another drive.
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by:noxcho
ID: 40531102
George, you better give us clear explanation of your meaning - stopped. How did it stop? With error message or simply hanging? Have you seen any errors?
Otherwise we will start suggesting everything on this world but far away from the real problem like cleaning dust out of your PC, getting a cup of tea, visiting neighbors etc etc.
Stopped backup does not indicate a bad drive. When a drive is bad then backup does not start at all.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40531585
Hello and Good Morning Everyone

               I have so much to say here I am not sure where to begin.  At this point, I will start with comments brought up by noxcho.  Your suggestion to use Paragon Backup & Recovery 14 Free was not ignored.  I was searching for a tutorial link, which you later supplied, in order to determine the proper procedures for using it.  Just so you know, I never ignore any suggestion given by any advisors of EE.  I always welcome and entertain any ideas which can potentially lead to resolution of my concern or concerns.

               The second issue surrounding my comment about the progress of the operation stopping.  To be perfectly honest, I thought that was self explanatory.  However, I do acknowledge that I should have followed up with more detail which I will now provide.  When I said stopped, I was referring to the backup operation itself.  The laptop never locked up and there were not any error messages displayed on the screen.  This evening I will resume troubleshooting by using the tutorial link given by noxcho and try out Paragon Backup & Recovery 14 Free.  If for some reason I do not get the expected outcome with this program, I will continue further by trying out DriveImage as suggested by NewVillageIT.   In the meantime, I would like for everyone's indulgence and patience with me as I continue to seek final resolution to my wishes to learn proper backup and restore protocol for a system running Windows 8.1.

                  On a more personal note, I hope you will accept my apologies if I offended you noxcho.  Based upon the tone of some of your responses, I sense you are a bit frustrated and perhaps even angry.  If there are some personal issues going on here between us, please email me at GMartin615@aol.com.  Out of respect to the advisors of EE who have and continue to provide a high caliber of professional feedback, I would rather not engage in any kind of personal debate.  I hope you understand and respect my decision here.  Just so you know though, I do sincerely thank you for your follow up advise, resourceful links, and continued interest in this post.  It does mean a great deal to me.  Besides, I think your suggestion to use Paragon Backup & Recovery 14 Free in addition to your follow up tutorial link will prove to work out for my needs here.  I will be getting around to trying this out tonight.  In the meantime, just be patient with me ok : - )

                 I will be back in touch with further updates this evening.  Once again, many thanks everyone for your shared insights, links, and suggestions.  Everybody's feedback is always appreciated and respected and never ignored.  

                George
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by:noxcho
ID: 40531620
Hi George,
its my fault, it was not meant to be looking as offended. After writing the visiting etc etc I have forgot to put smiles :)
There are some things that irritate me here on EE but definitely not in this thread.

I usually try to get to the core of the problem and for this reason exact description is important. Like errors, which stage etc etc.
The backup process works in most backup tools (including Windows) the following way: it runs VSS snapshot task (data allocation bitmap is taken, like a stopped movie) and then the data is written.
Usually at this step if the HDD has problems it will show them up. In case the HDD gets bad after the data writing process was started then the whole PC will lock down.

Just a little bit information.

Let us know how it went.
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by:garycase
garycase earned 100 total points
ID: 40531688
George,

If you have any issues with the various 3rd party imagers that have been suggested, there's another thing you can do that will usually let these work just fine:   Go into the BIOS and disable Secure Boot.    You'll get some "nasty" warnings, but it's fine to do this -- it won't hurt anything r.e. the ability of Windows to boot; and if you later choose to re-enable it everything will still be okay (it's not really necessary to do so).     Many utilities that don't work with Secure Boot work just fine when it's disabled.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40534072
Hello and Good Afternoon Everyone

              As promised, I am providing some updates on the progress of my interest in backing up and restoring a hard drive.  Using the link of https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj6EGH-Qi8w, I was able to easily follow the logistics of backing up my Windows 8.1 laptop hard drive using DriveImage XML.  The entire backup process completed smoothly and without problems.  Since this youtube video was so helpful in figuring out how to properly use DriveImage XML to backup a system, I am wondering if there might be a youtube link demonstrating the steps for restoring a backed up hard drive.  If someone could supply a youtube link demonstrating the necessary steps for restoring a backed up hard drive, I believe that will round out everything which I need to know.  

                With respect to further personal comments, I must say that I am nothing less than impressed with everyone's shared insights.  All feedback given is met with acceptance, confidence, and trust.  It is always so reassuring knowing I have such a bond with such special people on EE.  

                  Many thanks once again.  Look forward to hearing back from someone regarding my request for a youtube video demonstrating the steps for using Restore within DriveImage XML.  

                  George
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40534766
Hello and Good Evening Everyone

           After reviewing the following youtube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocyz9G1l2gs, I am under the impression that one way of carrying out a restore using DriveImage XML would involve hooking up the desired blank hard drive, either internally or externally via USB which can be accomplished by using a USB 2.0 to SATA/IDE Cable.  Of course, if the hard drive is IDE, it would need to be set as a slave.    I am not exactly sure though if any kind of configuration would be needed if the blank drive is SATA. Then, DriveImage XML installed on the computer with the blank drive hooked up would be opened to its main menu and Restore would be chosen as the option.  The program itself would walk me through it from that point. At any rate, I wanted to share this just to get everybody's thoughts about it because I might be wrong with the conclusions drawn here.

             George
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by:NVIT
NVIT earned 300 total points
ID: 40534777
George,

I think as long as DriveImage can see the drive, it should work. I would try to get the same type of drive as the computer, if possible, e.g. If the computer has a sata drive, use a sata drive.

After the image.
- Turn off the computer
- Remove the original drive (make sure you mark it or know which drive is which)
- Connect the imaged drive
- See if it boots.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40534785
Hello

             With respect to SATA hard drives, do they auto-configure themselves when connected?  Or, do they require configuration like IDE drives which use jumpers?

               Thank you

               George
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by:NVIT
ID: 40534795
All the SATA drives I've used never had jumpers. At the most, I've had to enable the SATA port in the BIOS.
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40534873
Hello

           Is SATA the standard for hard drives today or is it SATA II?  Would it be more advantageous to purchase a SATA II hard drive when restoring backed up data as opposed to a SATA hard drive?  Of course, this part of my question derives more from my curiosity because I know it is important to match up the backup drive to the original drive with respect to its design.

           Thank you

           George
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by:NVIT
ID: 40534934
Not certain but I think SATA III is the standard. SATA III is backwards compatible with SATA II and SATA I. The price seems to be close between standards.
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by:nobus
ID: 40535093
summary :
no need for jumpering sata drives, since each connects with it's own cable (before, iDE drives could be 2 on a cable - that's why you needed the jumoper)
as for SATA  -the connectors are the same, but speed varies from 150 to 600 from sata 1 to 3
there's even sata 3.1, and sata express - more info :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_ATA

best buy sata 3 drives (for speed) if your budget allows - they can be used on later systems too
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by:noxcho
ID: 40535103
Here is a video which shows restoring via DriveImageXML: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptKd7MDG650
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Author Comment

by:GMartin
ID: 40542126
Hello and Good Morning Everybody,

             When I first took steps toward my goal of backing up my entire Acer laptop running Windows 8.1, my desire was to use their integrated tool without the implementation  of any sort of 3rd party backup/restore software.  After running into issues mentioned in one of my earlier post to this thread, I simply had to look into other avenues of backup and restore.  While I certainly did carefully go over all of the insightful and resourceful suggestions given, I found the program DriveImage XML downloaded at https://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm and provided by NewVillageIT  to fit my needs for a variety of reasons.  It was easy to download, install, use, and understand.  In fact, I successfully used DriveImage XML to backup both, my Acer desktop running Windows 7 SP1 and my Acer laptop running Windows 8.1 without any issues or problems.  I am confident I will be using it more in the future as well for my system backup and restore needs.

               Thanks so much once again for all of the recommended programs, tutorial links, and follow ups given which certainly did add to the enrichment of this post.  Much was certainly learned here.  

              George
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by:NVIT
ID: 40542140
Hi George... Thanks for the update. I'm glad you found a solution. Thanks.
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