Since Windows regularly creates system restore points, it overwrites old ones when the allotted space for system restore is full. What I'm trying to do is make a system restore point of my PC's current state and make sure that it won't be overwritten by Windows.

I know that I could make a system image but I have ruled that option out because it will also overwrite my personal files (documents, music, etc.).

If this is not possible to do, does anyone know of another way to restore my system without affecting personal files? Besides manually copying system folders, that is.

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    you can use the system image as you already suggested and always put your personal files on another partition which will not be affected by image restoration – Scorpion99 Dec 31 '14 at 21:28
  • Only two options i could consider. 1. Increase the allotted space for System Restore under "System Protection" > Configure, where by to certain limit the space can be increased and you have much more restore points then the default. Else, 2. System Image backup is the other option provided by Microsoft. – vembutech Dec 31 '14 at 21:31
  • Thanks, I've considered these options although I'd rather not choose them if there is a better alternative. – Jorge Luque Dec 31 '14 at 21:39
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    It's a bit hacky but you can try this: smallbusiness.chron.com/copy-system-restore-points-45595.html – MonkeyZeus Dec 31 '14 at 21:58
  • overwriting your personal files shouldnt be an issue if you back them up regularly... – Keltari Dec 31 '14 at 21:58

Since Windows 8 you can create a Refresh Image with Recimg.exe which does what you want with those 2 commands:

mkdir C:\RefreshImage

recimg -CreateImage C:\RefreshImage

You now have a "restore point" which never goes away and where you can restore to, but in opposite to the original Refresh command in Windows 8, you don't loose any desktop applications.

  • Nice. Can you move it off-line, that is burn it or archive it and use it later somehow? Move it to a different disk? How do you delete it if you need to free up some space? Is it included and appreciated by disk management software dealing with NTFS? Qs abound. – arch-abit Jan 1 '15 at 12:11
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    This is not a syspreped image, it can be only used on the current Windows/hardware. – magicandre1981 Jan 1 '15 at 18:40
  • I think I found a software that lets you manage these images created by recimg. Here is the link – Jorge Luque Jan 2 '15 at 18:43

Since you need to be able to perform a bare metal restore of your Windows installation, permanently saving restore points is a very bad idea. Permanently saving a restore point is challenging enough, but restoring it to a foreign Windows installation is bound to introduce ghosts in the machine.

You're much better off making a complete system image. To deal with the fact it would contain old (previously deleted) user data, you could maintain separate backups of your user data and then a recovery scenario would look like this:

  1. Restore complete system backup
  2. Create a temporary admin account on the computer
  3. Use the temporary admin account to delete your "old" user profile
  4. Restore your separate user data backup

If your user data backup wouldn't restore your data if your user profile doesn't exist, an alternate restore scenario would be:

  1. Restore complete system backup
  2. Logon your user account and delete all data you know to be protected by your user data backup
  3. Restore your user data backup
  • Thanks for the alternative method, do you know if full system images can be used on other PCs? or only on the PC for which it was created? – Jorge Luque Jan 2 '15 at 18:50
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    It's usually possible to restore a system image to different hardware, but if you're counting on being able to do so, the only correct way to know is to test your disaster recovery scenario. Typical issues include the disk layout being different on the target machine (it must be identical to the source), problems with storage drivers not being correct, etc. Testing is the only sure way to go. – Twisty Impersonator Jan 2 '15 at 19:34

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