It’s old but good: Creating a system image of your Windows 10 PC in case your hard drive goes acts up and you need to recover your files, apps, and settings.
Read also: How to Restore an iPhone
It has been around since Windows 7 ($22.95 at Amazon.com), and Microsoft has not touched it for a long time. You can’t find it in the Settings app where you’ll most likely first turn to when you need to perform some system maintenance on your PC. Instead, it’s being hidden out in the old Control Panel of Windows. What it is is the ability for a full system backup to be created, which can be used to restore your PC in case it fails, become corrupted or stops operating or running smoothly.
Because the tool to create a system image is hidden in Windows 10 ($92.97 at Amazon.com), let’s show you where it’s located and how to it can be used.
Steps to create a backup system image
1. Open the Control Panel (the easiest way is to ask Cortana or search for it).
2. Click System and Security
3. Click Backup and Restore (Windows 7)
4. Click on Create a system image in the left panel
5. You have options for where you want to save the backup image: external hard drive or DVDs. I suggest the former, even if your computer has a DVD-RW drive, so connect your external drive to your PC, select On a hard disk and click Next.
6. Click the Start backup button.
After the system image has been created, you will be asked if you want to create a system repair disc. This will place your image on a CD or DVD, which can be used to access the system image you created if your PC refuses to boot. Do not worry if your laptop doesn’t have provision for a CD or DVD drive; you can jump this step and boot the system from the system image on your external hard drive.
How your PC can be recovered by using your system image
To restore your PC using your system image, you have to open the Settings app and go to Update & Security > Recovery. In the Advanced startup section, click the Restart now button. When your PC restarts, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > System Image Recovery and follow the instructions to restore your PC using your the system image you created.