How to schedule a Windows 8.1 System Image backup (step-by-step)

Sheduling a Windows 8.1 System Image Backup

Although, Microsoft brought back the System Image Backup tool in Windows 8.1, many users are finding out that a critical option has been removed, that is the ability schedule daily, weekly, or any other specific time to run an automated full backup of Windows 8.1.

What now? Well you shouldn’t worry, it’s still possible to run the System Image Backup tool in Windows 8.1 automatically, but it involves using Windows PowerShell to create a task in the Task Scheduler which will run at a time you specify. Follow the instructions below to learn more:

Instructions

1 Decide whether you want to run a daily or weekly backup of Windows 8.1. Also make sure you understand that every new backup will overwrite the previous one. So, if the backup fails, you won’t have a recovery copy to fall back to.

2 Connect an external drive with enough free space. This will depend on how much data you have in your hard drive(s).

3 Launch PowerShell as administrator (this is really important because this operation needs the highest administrative privilege as possible).

Quick Tip: Go to the Start screen do a search for PowerShell, from the result right-click Windows PowerShell, and select Run as administrator.

4 Type the following command to create a daily full Windows 8.1 backup and press Enter:

Syntax:

SCHTASKS /Create /SC DAILY /TN <TaskName> /RL HIGHEST /ST <Time24HrsFormat> /TR “wbAdmin Start Backup -backupTarget:<TargetDrive>: -include:<WindowsDrive>: -allCritical -quiet”

Example:

SCHTASKS /Create /SC DAILY /TN DailyFullBackup /RL HIGHEST /ST 14:06 /TR “wbAdmin Start Backup -backupTarget:F: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet”

Or type the following command to create a full backup of Windows 8.1 weekly and press Enter:

Syntax:

SCHTASKS /Create /SC WEEKLY /D <DayOfWeek> /TN <TaskName> /RL HIGHEST /ST <Time24HrsFormat> /TR “wbAdmin Start Backup -backupTarget:<TargetDrive>: -include:<WindowsDrive>: -allCritical -quiet”

Example:

SCHTASKS /Create /SC WEEKLY /D MON /TN WeeklyFullBackup /RL HIGHEST /ST 13:00 /TR “wbAdmin Start Backup -backupTarget:F: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet”

Finally, if you want to double-check whether or not the task has been fully created. Go to the Start screen, do a search for Task Scheduler, expand the Task Scheduler Library, and on the list from the right, you should be able to see the task. This is also a good place to visit and troubleshoot the task if it isn’t running correctly.

Was this helpful? Support the long hours of work.
Avatar for Mauro Huculak

Technology writer at Pureinfotech.com and WindowsCentral.com. Recognized as a Microsoft MVP, tech enthusiast and enjoys writing about Microsoft, Google, and Apple. Got a hat tip? Send him an email with your rants, rumors, tattles.

Microsoft MVP Email @pureinfotech