After you set up your new Windows 8.1 computer, it’s a good idea to create a system image so you can revert back to it if disaster strikes — here’s how.
After you set up your new Windows 8.1 computer, it’s a good idea to create a system image so you can revert to it if disaster strikes or you want to do a clean install. We covered how to create a system image in Windows 8, but in the new 8.1 update, the feature’s location has changed.
Before starting, make sure you have an external drive connected, network location, or go old school with a blank DVD available.
Create a Windows 8.1 System Image
Now System Image is located in File History. So open the Control Panel on the desktop – not the metro version – and click File History. Go to File History control panel, lower-left corner click “System Image Back Up.”
If you want to use the modern interface, hit Windows Key + W to set up Setting search and type in file history, and select it under the results.
Next, click on System Image Backup, located in the lower-left corner of the screen.
Now, just like in previous versions of Windows, follow the wizard to create the system image. In this case, I’m backing up to my Windows Home Server.
After selecting the backup location, verify the drives and/or partitions you want to include.
After that, confirm your backup settings.
Now wait while the System Image is created and backed up, and you’re done!
I find that the best time to create a system image is after a clean install or after you get everything set up how you like it on a new computer. Then when you want to do a clean install, you’ll be able to revert everything to how you like it.
Remember, Windows 8 has two new PC Reset and PC Refresh features that allow you to recover your system if something goes awry. Both of those features are still available in 8.1. But if you can’t get to those features for some reason, you’ll be set.
Also, while you’re at it, you might as well create a USB Recovery Drive. That will allow you to boot from the flash drive. And restore a system image if you have a hard drive crash.
If you’re not on Windows 8 yet, check out our article on how to create a Windows 7 System Image.
Windows 8.1 will be a free upgrade to existing Windows 8 users through the Windows Store. Microsoft confirmed it would be released on October 18th.