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Preparing System Image for Windows 10 Upgrade

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Windows 7 System Image Restore

Any backup is only as good as its ability to be restored. System administrators usually learn this painful lesson the hard way, after adhering to a rigid backup routine only to find that the media was somehow corrupted and won’t restore when needed. If you’re upgrading to Windows 10, you’ll definitely want to ensure you can return to Windows 7/8 if necessary. In this section, Benchmark Reviews details the steps necessary to successfully restore a Windows 7 system image.

The first step in restoring Windows 7 from a system image, is to boot the computer from the Windows 7 system restore disc (32- or 64-bit specific). The process for creating this disc was detailed in the previous section. Once booted into the System Recovery Options menu, choose the second option: Restore your computer using a system image that you created earlier. After pressing the ‘Next’ button, the Re-image your computer tool appears and scans for the latest available system image. Now would be the best time to attach any external device holding your system image. If the Windows 7 system image you want to restore is not listed, you may choose Select a system image and press ‘Next’. You may then press the ‘Advanced’ button to Search for a system image on the network, or Locate and install a driver for a device that is attached to the computer but is not in the list of available system images.

Once the Windows 7 system image has been located and selected to be restored, the Re-image your computer tool will allow you to select the appropriate date and time if more than one system image is available to restore. It is recommended that you choose the most recent backup image, unless you have planned a previous restoration in advance. Please note that the listed drives in backup will appear as ‘\\?\Volume{…’, and will not be listed as ‘C’ drive or similar.

In the final screen, you will be given the opportunity to Choose additional restore options. You may choose to check the box to Format and repartition disks, which is recommended on brand-new or completely lost drives. There’s also the opportunity to disable two advanced options which are enabled by default: 1) automatically restart after restore is complete, and 2) check for update disk error information. After this point, Windows 7 will begin to restore the drive from the selected system image.

Windows 10 Notes

While most of this guide has focused on the user experience backing-up Windows 7 using the Backup and Restore tool, Windows 10 also uses this exact same tool (actually named Windows 7 Backup and Restore). The process to backup a system image and restore is the same as described in this article.


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