Windows 10: System Image and file history

Discus and support System Image and file history in Windows 10 Backup and Restore to solve the problem; I am backing up to a new seagate 1tb external drive. I mainly want to back up file history, which is turned on, but I think it is also doing a system... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Backup and Restore' started by PeterD600, Jan 14, 2016.

  1. PeterD600 Win User

    System Image and file history

    I am backing up to a new seagate 1tb external drive. I mainly want to back up file history, which is turned on, but I think it is also doing a system image back up as a default. Taken about 4 hours and using more space than files and folders etc.

    Is this a once only system image back up and future scheduled back ups will only update files and folders etc. If so can the individual folders be retrieved at a later date without doing a system restore.


    PeterD600, Jan 14, 2016
  2. JCBnSF Win User

    Windows 10: File History, System Image, System Repair Disc, Recovery Drive - Do I need them all?

    Ok, I think I finally understand the difference between System Repair Disc and System Image and that (for some reason) I need them both, although it seems the System image makes the system repair disc redundant... But why do I need a File History if I have
    a full system image? And, if I have a File History and/or a system image, why do I also need a recovery drive?

    It would be great if any replies could be entered using this matrix:

    Used to/Contains
    Redundant (Y/N)
    Additional Comments

    System Repair Disc

    System Image

    File History

    Recovery Drive

    Thank you in advance!

    JCBnSF, Jan 14, 2016
  3. Red95 Win User
    Windows 10: File History, System Image, System Repair Disc, Recovery Drive - Do I need them all?

    How is a system image created in Win 10 accessed to allow the files in it to be restored?
    Red95, Jan 14, 2016
  4. VBS
    VBs Win User

    System Image and file history

    AFAIK file history doesn't make system images. It takes more space than original files because it saves history as the name implies that means older version of files, deleted files, etc.
    For file backup i recommend FreeFileSync it offers scheduling, one side/two side mirror sync, file versioning etc. be careful with installer thought it may offer some unwanted software so don't click next next without reading.
    For image backups I recommend Macrium backup free.
  5. PeterD600 Win User
    That answers the space question.

    PeterD600, Jan 14, 2016
  6. PeterD600 Win User
    Thanks for that explanation.

    Still a little confused. I investigated a little further after your reply.

    I did the first back up using back up and restore ( windows 7) which appears to have created a system image as well as a file / folder history back up. It since did a scheduled back up set within this command.
    My files and folders account for only about 200gB, but the back up procedure so far, including 1 scheduled back up, has used around 560gB of the back up drive.

    It seems to me that if I leave the scheduled back up on this command (back up and restore windows 7) each scheduled save will do a full system image back up.

    I have stopped the scheduled back up in this (windows 7) mode, retained the already saved version and switched the scheduled future back ups using the file history command. I am really only interested in backing up documents and photos regularly. Is my understanding of the procedure correct?

    Forgive me if my terminology is not exact but I am not a real savvy computer person.

    Thanks in advance.

    PeterD600, Jan 15, 2016
  7. The two types of backups serve different purposes.

    1) File History automatically runs in the background every hour (which is the default setting if you don't change it and if you don't switch it off) and the most work you can lose is thus 1 hour, as you can always restore that particular file that you are working on, from the last hour. These automatic backups are incremental and thus much, much smaller than the initial 'all files and folders' backup. You should not switch off File History, IMHO.

    2) The purpose of System Image Backup is to quickly restore an entire system (OS, apps/programs, and files and folders) as System Image Backup makes a bit-by-bit image of your internal HDD at only one point in time, i.e. at the time you run the System Image Backup utility.

    You may have done both types of backups on your external HDD.

    Edit: Windows 7 you said? File History did not exist back then, File History began with Windows 8. Check your control panels and external HDD very carefully to make sure what exactly you have done. (If indeed Windows 7, you need to ask in a Windows 7 forum. This is not to be snotty, but Windows 7 had somewhat different backup and restore utilities)
    FrozenCursor, Jan 15, 2016
  8. PeterD600 Win User

    System Image and file history

    Got that.

    Thanks a lot

    PeterD600, Jan 15, 2016
  9. b1rd Win User
    Just some additional.

    I know that EaseUS (free) allows for this, but you have to have EaseUS installed to view the contents. Also, you can only 'explore' drives with NTFS or Fat file systems. I think TrueImage allows the same, but it's not free.

    I have Windows Imaging scheduled to run daily. Each night It rights over the existing image with the new one, which limits the amount of space you need. If you wanted to retain one of the images, you just have to rename it, then another image will be created along side. It didn't sound as if you were too concerned about the images, but moreover the ability to retrieve some files, but I wanted to throw it out there anyhow.

    Also, I'm not sure if you can open the Windows Image and navigate it like you can with EaseUS. I played around with one of my images to see, but things started looking as if I might initiate something unintended, so I stopped. (I am curious about that myself)


    After I posted this, I was curious, so I looked at a back up image that was created by Windows. You are able to navigate to the actual image. From there you can right-click it, which offers a 'mount' option. From there I would think you might be able to explore it, however this is nothing that I have personally done.
    b1rd, Apr 5, 2018

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