How do I make a copy of my Windows partition for restoring?


I would like to be able to have a complete backup of my windows partition so that I could move it to another computer that currently does not have any OS on it and then boot from there. Is this possible? What tool would I use to do this?

Thank you


Yes, it is possible.

What tool to use depends on your situation. I generally use macrium reflect for windows. It can copy a parition(s) to another drive(cloning) or copy parition(s) to a file on another drive(imaging).

Also, nice to meet another SW EU fan :grinning:

You should not be cloning os to another device… Enjoy the fun.

Best method is purchase new os and fresh install. You waste your time in regards to cloning and the issues that will follow moving a cloned os to another machine… Second… Windows might have something to say about that.

the problem with cloning to a different machine is during an install windows is set in stone to the hardware of its host machine.
switching it to a different machine often ends up with massive resource conflict and bsod.
if for some reason it does work it will need to be re-activated.
as @ thevillageidiot stated its best to purchase a new os.

if you are making a copy as backup to the machine you are currently using you can use clonezilla to clone to a backup drive (should the current drive fail it can be immediately replaced with the back up drive)
( I do this with my servers (redundant copies of the os drive) and updated cloning after major security updates).

Maybe for older Windows versions like XP, but 7 and up are pretty good about switching hardware. I have done it a fair number of times, and only time I remember having issues was when the computer was totally incompatible with that version of windows(older Opteron without needed CPU instruction).

I always try to run Sysprep with OOBE and generalize checked before switching machines. I also check that the new machine is booting the same as type as the old(UEFI vs BIOS boot), and this is for older machines that the SATA controller is in the same mode(AHCI vs IDE).

I also expect the windows is deactivated, and that I have to install drivers for the new machine.

But with these precautions, I have not really had any issues.

1 Like

true but ive switched away from windows a while ago and very rarely do anything with it aside from teaching system maintenance to other people.
Ive started as a linux user since 1998 and full time since 2001

Here is something new to me…

May or may not apply.

Very specific method and use case.

1 Like