To restore an entire system, two steps are required. First, a bootable USB flash drive has to be created (rescue system). This will allow you to boot your PC when it can no longer boot from your hard disk. You can then restore the disk image.
There's also the option to create a bootable CD / DVD instead. Since working with flash drives is easier, we'll focus on that here.
The second step involves backing up your entire drives to an external storage medium. We'll show you how to create the rescue system and back up your system drive ("C") in this article.
1. Rescue System
Launch the program and select "Rescue System".
2. Select rescue medium
Next, select "USB Stick" since this is what this article will focus on.
3. Preparation process / Windows Deployment Kit installation
Rescue System requires Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) to be installed on your PC. If it already present, you can skip this step and move to step 4.
Note: In any case, the USB drive will be formatted erasing all existing files.
Click "Yes" to confirm your selection.
If you see this dialog, ADK has to be installed first. Click "OK" to proceed.
Click "Yes" to allow the installation to continue.
You can now specify the location for the ADK. We recommend using the default settings. The ADK will occupy approximately 3.4 GB on your drive. Click "Next" to proceed.
Microsoft would like to know what you intend to use ADK for. We've pre-selected "No" to prevent this information from being sent to them. Click "Next" to proceed to the next step.
Finally, you'll have to accept the ADK's EULA. Click "Accept" to continue.
ADK bundles multiple features. We've pre-selected the ones you need. Click "Install" to continue.
Once the installation is complete, click "Close" to close the dialog.
4. USB rescue stick complete
The program will confirm the rescue medium has been created. Make sure to keep the stick safe as it'll allow you to boot your system in the event that Windows can no longer boot from your hard disk.
5. Create drive backup
It's time to create a new backup plan.
6. Select storage type
For this example, I'll use "Local drive or network drive", since I'll back up the data to an external USB hard disk (point 1). Click "Next" to proceed (point 2).
7. Select backup drive
Now, select the drive that will hold the backup data. "E" is the aforementioned USB hard disk (point 1). Click "Next" to proceed (point 2).
8. Specify backup name
Input a name for the new backup plan. I'll go with "SystemBackup - 2018" (point 1). Click "Next" to proceed (point 2).
9. A shortcut to backup plans
While creating the rescue system, there is a shortcut to the rescue plan available. Simply select "None of the above" (1) followed by "Next" (2).
10. Backup entire drives
Select "Entire drives" (point 1) and click "Next" (point 2).
11. Select source drives
We've pre-selected "C" (point 1) and the hidden system partition for you. Simply click "Next" to proceed (point 2).
12. Password protection
In this example, password protection will not be used (point 1). Click "Next" to proceed (point 2).
13. Compression settings
To limit the amount of disk space required, we've pre-selected "Compress backups" (point 1). Click "Next" to proceed (point 2).
14. Versioning settings
This program page allows you to specify how long backups will be kept (point 1). You can also select how file changes will be handled by the program. Incremental (point 2) means future backups based on the same plan will only include files that have changed since the last backup was created resulting in consecutively smaller backup files. Note that to restore the data at a later time, all backup files will be required.
Click "Next" to proceed (point 3).
15. Backup schedule
This example only requires a single backup so I've selected "No Automatic Backups" (point 1). If you would like the program to auto-update your backups at regular intervals, you can select one of the other available options. Then, click "Next" (point 2).
16. Missed backups
If you've opted for interval-based updates, you can now specify how the program will behave in the event that your PC was off during a scheduled backup. We've pre-selected "Make a backup at the next opportunity" for you (point 1). Click "Next" to proceed (point 2).
17. Power settings
If desired, your PC can be sent into sleep mode to conserve energy once a backup process is complete. Click "Next" to proceed.
18. Automatic verification
The default setting has your archives verified automatically. Please keep this setting and click "Next" to proceed (1).
19. Backup reports
The program creates reports for all backup processes. Use the spinner control to set the number of reports you wish to keep. Then, click "Next".
20. Backup report emails
Check this option if you wish to receive reports via email (point 1). Note that an Ashampoo account is required for that. Click "Next" to proceed (point 2).
Finally, you'll see a summary of your settings. Click "Back" to make modifications or "Next" to finish the backup plan.
22. Allow changes
Click "Yes" to allow the program to store the new plan.
23. Start backup
Ensure the target USB hard disk is still connected and click "Start Backup Now" to begin the backup process.
24. Your data is secure
You'll be notified once the backup process is complete.