Yes, Windows 8.1 completely removes the "Windows 7 File Recovery" from the control panel.

(Along with the insistence that you link a Microsoft Account during installation to, necessarily, use their cloud I can't believe that this is anything but their evil marketing department making these choices rather than a heartfelt concern for the best user experience.)

Windows 7 Backup and Restore deprecated:


How are we supposed to back up baremetal to an external drive now?? I don't see where this functionality is replaced.

I've tried WBADMIN commands but for example with wbAdmin delete systemstatebackup -keepVersions:3 (or wbAdmin delete backup -keepVersions:3)

I get:

Warning: The DELETE SYSTEMSTATEBACKUP command is not supported in this version of Windows. The operation ended before completion.

Are there other commands that replace this functionality?

An immediate problem is that I have a Windows Action flagged to "check my backup results" which does nothing when I click it and I can't dismiss it. Next, I have a backup scheduled and I don't know if the backup schedule will be kept now in 8.1, but if it does, it will fill up my backup drive if I can't wbAdmin delete systemstatebackup them.


  • Technically it was already deprecated when you upgraded to Windows 8. Sounds like you are not sure this is even a problem. The feature you describe was replaced with File History. Before you upgrade to Windows 8.1 I would disable the backup. If you have already upgraded the following question might be helpful superuser.com/questions/492012/…. I have not tried arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/12/… on my Windows 8.1, I will later today, and post an answer. – Ramhound Sep 10 '13 at 12:10
  • You can also update the Refresh image and use third-party software to image the hdd. Between Refresh and File History you should have a complete recovery solution. – Ramhound Sep 10 '13 at 12:15

It is still here but hidden. You have to go to the File History options, here you see a link:

enter image description here

  • Yeah, but I can't run this on a schedule with differentials, right? Is there command-line equiv that could be scheduled? – Jason Kleban Sep 11 '13 at 13:05
  • I have no idea how to schedule this. – magicandre1981 Sep 11 '13 at 18:25
  • 2
    You can schedule an Windows Task and use this command: wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet where -backupTarget is the location to save and -include is what to include in the backup. – Justin Skiles Oct 18 '13 at 1:02
  • 1
    I wrote a GUI to Justin Skiles answer. sourceforge.net/projects/backupmaster – swordfish6975 Jul 5 '14 at 10:08

A couple of points:

  1. "File history" is not the same thing as the file-system backup features provided by the "windows 7 file recovery" (ie the Win7 Backup utility). It can back up some of the same things, but is end-user oriented and does not seem to have the ability easily to back up "system" or non0user files that aren't located within the user "libraries"

  2. system imaging is OK for bare-metal disk images, but doesn't have the granularity of the file-system backup utility we used to have. It's not really the same thing although it might satisfy the given requirement.

IIRC, the file format for the backups was "vhd" which is a virtual disk format. It's been on my list to try mounting a "backup" file as virtual disk (most VM porducts can read these, eg vmware, vrtualbox, hyperv, virtual-pc). I did some experiments with this years ago at it looked promising, but I never pursued it. I guess I'll have to resurrect that effort.

I think this is another example of how MS product management has gone overboard on the end-user tablet-oriented functionality at the cost of the enterprise user and manager.

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