Create Windows 8 Backup Image
To get started, you need to open an elevated command prompt in Windows 8. To do this, go to the start screen and right-click anywhere to see All apps.
Next, right-click on the the Command Prompt and you’ll see a couple of options show up on the bottom. Go ahead and click on Run as Administrator.
Now at the command prompt, you have to type two simple commands. One to create the folder that will hold the image and one to actually create the image.
recimg -CreateImage C:\RefreshImage
The process to create the image takes about 10 to 15 minutes and could take longer depending on the amount of data you have on your system. Overall, though, the process is fairly fast for a backup image.
It will first initialize, then create the snapshot, then write the image and then register the image so that it is used automatically when you refresh the PC. That’s it! You now have a complete backup image of your Windows 8 machine. If you go to the directory you created, you’ll see a .WIM file there, which is a Windows Image file.
I suggest copying this backup file to an external drive also, just so you have a backup of the file in case the entire hard drive crashes with some kind of hardware error. In that type of case, no recovery option will help if the hard drive is physically damaged.
You’ll have to get another hard drive and then restore the image using the Windows Recovery Environment. Anyway, assuming your hard drive is OK and something went wrong with Windows, you can restore the image by going to Refresh PC.
Open the Charms bar and then click on Settings and then click on Change PC Settings.
Click on General and then click on Get Started under Refresh Your PC.
You’ll see a dialog pop up telling you what will happen in the process and then click Next. Refreshing the PC from an image will take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes, possibly longer depending on your hardware specs and the size of the image.
Once the refresh is done, you can login and you’ll be good to go with all your settings and apps! Pretty sweet eh! You can also update the image at any time by simply creating another one using the commands above and the latest image will be set as the currently registered image for the PC refresh to use. Enjoy!