We have already published an article on Cloning Windows 8.1 and we are inundated with the huge response from readers, which eventually has raised one more query from one of our loyal reader on “How to Backup and Restore Windows 8.1″? So, to solve this query, as we always do, here is the detail guide on Windows 8.1 Backup and Restore.
Let’s start with the very basic and simple question that why you need to backup Windows 8.1? Some of you may think the backup process as useless and time consuming process.
However, Backup is extremely important part of a computer or so called “Digital life“. What if you lose your pictures, videos, and important files containing your beautiful memories and personal details due to hardware failure? What if you have written a long program (if you’re a programmer) over a period of many days and your hard work suddenly quelled due to data lost? Irksome, Isn’t it?
That would be a great disaster for anyone and there will be almost nothing left to get it back. So taking backup is a very important step which everyone must follow.
Also, taking backup does not mean you have the only option to take backup of OS (Windows 8.1 or any other), you can even backup a single file or folder as well as complete hard drive.
Backup process now does not stand only on built-in backup tool, as even you can use other third party applications and tools that can easily backup Windows 8.1 and restore Windows 8.1 in few clicks.
Why Regular Backup is Important?
To keep your computer’s data safe and disaster proof backup is must. If you don’t have a backup, you might lose your important data due to hardware failure or any other reason, which can lead to poignant situation.
And as major of the Windows users have upgraded there Windows machine to Windows 8.1, So here we’ve just focused only on Windows 8.1 backup and restore process.
What Type of Media is Good for Windows 8.1 Backup?
Now there are many Windows users who opts to use the same hard drive for Windows 8.1 backup process on which there current OS is loaded and running. Needless to mention, it is a wrong process, as in case of hard disk failure you will lose all your data and you have nothing to recover, and that’s not what we are aiming for.
So, it is better to use any external resource like portable hard drives, network location or any other storage device to keep your backup data safe.
The most powerful and secure way to backup windows 8.1 is to upload your backup data on online cloud storage.
Please note that uploading backup at online cloud is not for slow internet connection users because it takes huge bandwidth and time as well.
Online backup system is the best way for users who have unlimited broadband and high-speed for downloading and Uploading Purpose. The best online cloud base services are Dropbox, SugarSync and SkyDrive also.
On the other hand network location for Windows 8.1 backup and restore is an ideal solution because in the Local network you can access high-speed bandwidth without any charges. Today external portable hard drives also are not costly and you can buy any budget hard disk within in approx. 70$.
Is Windows 8.1 Built-in Backup System in Enough?
When market are full with lots of backup software and applications, then the question of Windows 8.1 built-in system image backup feature being enough or not is inevitable.
The opinion must be matched with your personal requirements and queries. However, the default Windows 8.1 image and restore feature is definitely a better option to keep your system data always backed up.
In many other cases you can use third-party application. For instance, if you are looking for automatic daily backup thenyou must install any third-party backup solution for the same.
There are other lots of backup tools where Windows default backup system does not stand. Apart from System Image Backup feature Windows 8 and 8.1 comes with one more new feature called File History. File History keeps your files copies at backup location so that you easily get them back in case you lost them.
Lets start with Windows 8.1 Backup and Restore built-in feature. You can access System Image Backup option under File History that can be easily found using Control panel search box as shown in Figure A.
Now you’ll be on the main window of Windows System Image Backup. In the Figure B as you can see, you have to select your external hard drive to save your all important data and then you can keep your external hard drive with all personal backed data at any safe place. Moving ahead, Click on Next button to start Windows 8.1 backup process.
In the Figure C you can see the System Drive being already selected for backup, but you can choose any other drive you want to add in your System Image Backup. Finally, click on Next button and complete the Windows 8.1 backup. In the next section
Further you can use the System Image Backup to restore Windows 8.1 in the case if you lost your data.
Restore Windows 8.1 System Image Backup
If you are not that fortunate, there may be a scenario when you have lost your data due to virus attack or hard disk failure. Data recovery from failed hard disk is not an easy task and you will surprised to know that many online servicestakes $200 to $4000 to recover your important data.
But if you have a backup of your data you can recover them at absolutely no cost. Here is the process that you need to follow to get your data back, or in simpler words, to restore Windows 8.1.
For Windows 8.1 recovery make sure you have attached the hard drive or storage media that you have used to backupwith computer and reboot the system.
Now press F8 Key to go in Advanced Startup on Windows 8.1 booting screen. In case your system is not booting insert the installation media of Windows 8.1 and click on Repair your computer option at the setup screen.
In the Advanced Startup, click on Troubleshoot option and wait for the next screen.
Click on Advanced option where you can select all the recovery options.
In the Advanced options window, click on the System Image Recovery to restore windows 8.1 (the computer) with the image that you have created using Windows 8.1 System Image Backup process.
Finally you are on the wizard where you have to choose the location where the system image had stored.
Move ahead on next steps and Voila!!! Your full data will be restored.
Can I Use SSD (Solid State Drive)?
Solid State Drives are getting popular day by day. However, SSD’s are not available at reasonable price. So, if SSD falls out of your budget, we recommend you to use any popular portable hard drive like Seagate, WD, Toshiba or Buffalo to Backup Windows 8.1.