The Windows 7 Backup and Restore Utility

This is a series of tutorials by about how to use Windows 7 Backup and Restore Utility. In Tutorial 2 you learned how to restore files from a backup. In this tutorial we'll be using Windows Backup and Restore Utility to initiate a system image restore.

Windows Backup and Restore Utility includes the ability to restore your entire system in the event of a hard drive failure or if your operating system becomes corrupt. As long as, when you performed your last backup, you chose Create a system image, which is created by default, then this option will be available to you.

There are two ways we can start the process; the first is to choose the "Recover system settings or your computer" link, the second is to choose the "Create a system repair disc" link. It's very good to have a system repair disc stashed away somewhere safe. If Windows will not start normally you can use the system repair disc to start your PC and initiate a recovery.

In this tutorial we'll be using Windows Backup and Restore Utility to initiate a restore. You can access the Backup and Restore Utility by selecting Control Panel | System and Security | Backup and Restore Utility. To initiate a restore click on the "Recover system settings for your computer" link.

Normally before restoring a system image you would try the system restore function first. For this example we skip directly to clicking on the "Advanced Recovery Methods"link. From the "Advanced Recovery Methods" window choose "Use a system image you created earlier to recover your computer".

Windows will give you the option of backing up your files. When you restore from a system image, everything on your computer is overwritten to the time when you created the image. You may lose recently changed files if you don't back them up now.

In the Restart your computer and continue the recovery window, click on the [Restart] button and Windows will reboot into recovery mode. In the "System Recovery Options" dialog box you need to choose a keyboard language. Then click on the [Next] button. Windows will scan for system images and find the last one you made.

Note the warning message that informs you to make sure that your computer is plugged into the wall outlet and to make sure that no-one turns the computer off during the recovery. Click on the [Finish] button to begin the restore.

When the image restore process is complete Windows will reboot automatically. Log back in and, if you made a backup before you started the recovery process, you can now use the Backup and Restore Utility to restore any files.

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