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How to backup Windows 10

Our PCs and laptops are vulnerable to malware, ransomware and even operating system failures. Some anti-virus software can prevent such threats but computers are also prone to hardware failures. A corrupted hard drive could mean years of data lost. It also means the loss of hours and days of time spent on customizing our Windows.

Creating a Windows backup is one of the best ways to safeguard data. You can backup data to external drives or on cloud services using third-party software. However, Windows 10 offers you a simpler way of backing up your data using the free System Image Backup tool that is bundled with Windows 10. It creates a copy of your entire system including the Windows 10 installation, personal files, settings and apps. The system image can be restored in the occasion of hardware or software failures. Creating a backup

The Windows 10 backup tool can create backups in several locations, such as on network drives or external hard drives. To create a backup, go to Settings > Update & Security. Windows offers the option Add a Drive or creating a full system backup by clicking Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Click on ‘Add a Drive’ to backup specific folders. Windows will detect the drives connected to the computer. Select the one you want to store the backup. Select the files and folders to backup under the Backup Option tab. You can also schedule backups so it’s taken care of automatically. Finally, click on Backup now to start the process. Customised backups are a good idea when there are storage constraints. A full system backup is recommended for better security though. Click on Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7). Click on Create a System Image on the left. Select the drive where you want to save your backup. You can also save the backup on the internal hard drive. However, we recommend using an external hard-drive, so you can disconnect and store it securely. You can also save your backup on network drives by clicking the On a network drive option.

You can also include additional drives in the backup. The Windows installation drive will be included, so you are likely to see C drive pre-selected. Click the Next option and click the Start backup option. The backup process can take hours depending on your external drive’s performance and the amount of data being backed up.

Restoring the backup

Restoring your computer from a backup will bring back the Windows OS files, settings, and apps. If you have no issues with Windows booting, access Update & Security and click on More options. Scroll to the end of the page and click Restore files from a current backup. Select the files and folders you want to restore, then click Restore.

If you are unable to boot your Windows 10 computer or if you are trying to restore data to a new hard-drive, you need to boot the device using Windows 10 USB installation media. You can create a Windows 10 USB installation media on a working Windows PC by following the instructions on Microsoft’s web site. Once ready, connect it to your computer along with the backup drive. Ensure you set the Windows installation media as the boot device in the system BIOS.

Restart your system till you reach the “Windows installation screen”. Select language, Time and Currency Format and Keyboard Input. Click Next.

Click the Repair your computer option which appears towards the bottom-left corner of the Windows setup screen. Click the Troubleshooting option after entering the Windows recovery screen. Click on System Image Recovery which appears under the Advance options menu. Windows will then open a Re-image your computer wizard. Click the Use latest available system image option and then, Next to start the recovery process. If you are trying to restore an older copy, click on Select a system image option.

Once you follow all these steps, Windows will start the recovery process. The time taken to finish restoring depends on the amount of data and your PC hardware. If you are using a laptop, connect it to a power source. Once the restoration process is complete, check for the latest updates by going to Settings > Updates & Security > Check for Updates. You can also visit ResQ at your nearest Reliance Digital stores, where our technical experts can do all these tasks for you and help you with backing up and restoring your data.

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