While you can store the backup on a secondary drive, network location, and even use blanks DVDs, it’s best to connect to external storage, which you can quickly disconnect and store in a safe place.
To create a full backup using Windows 10’s system image tool, you need to connect external storage with enough available space and then use these steps. (If you don’t know exactly how much space will be needed to store the backup, you can always connect the drive, and the wizard will let you know.) Here’s how:
- Open Control Panel.
- Click on System and Security.
- Click on Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
- On the left pane, click the Create a system image link.
- Under “Where do you want to save the backup?” select the On a hard disk option.
- Using the “On a hard disk” drop-down menu, select the storage to save the backup.
- Click the Start backup button.
Once you completed these steps, the wizard will proceed to create a full backup of your system, including everything that is stored on the main drive, as well as the system reserved partition.
During the backup process, Windows 10 will also use Shadow Copy, a technology that allows you to create a backup while files are still in use, which means that you can continue to work normally as the image is being created.
After the backup is done, you’ll be prompted to create a system repair disk to access the recovery options if your computer is unable to boot. While it’s recommended to create the repair disc, you can always access the recovery options using a bootable USB drive with the installation files for Windows 10.