windows 8.1 system image restore fail

hi Microsoft forum

Normally I've no problem in create a system backup image and restore it back to formal state.
However, after a while say a few weeks or a few months when I feel like to restore windows again, it fails.

I don't know what happens here, the image restore tool simply says something is wrong during the process. Nevertheless , Windows 8.1 does not fail to boot and work normally, this only happens when I try to restore windows instead of running setup and install all drivers all over again from the install disc. Please help, I hate to see that system restore image that I paid for goes wasted.

my questions are:

1. what kind of information it tries to look for when restoring system image? I'm very sure my image files are well kept safely and separately on two different hard drives each time I backup my system. (To verify that, I run windows setup and install from scratch then restore system image)
2. Is this something to do with the 350MB system reserved partition that is invisible normally? I could assign it to a drive letter I want in disk management but still windows sees it as empty when it's actually used 250MB out of 350MB currently.
3. how do I help myself in this situation in case someone made funny things to my boot partition (system reserved partition) ?


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
1&3, You can NOT restore a windows 8 system from within a windows 8.1 system because that gets disabled as part of the standard upgrade to 8.1... this is by design.
2. That should be ignored... your system NEEDS that drive and it only gets removed if you want to install something like windows 7 or a linux but understand that is not a good idea.

imo the built in windows backup software is bullshit...
For system backups that can be rolled back you need a good image making software that can boot to the images it makes... I use Acronis true image (not free) but others use different free software and for personal use they do the job.


Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
Agree with ussnorway - my time in the business goes back to when operating systems were part of a group of software called system software and backup software part of a group called utility programs. They were (and imho still are) different animals and are at there best when produced as separate entities by those with the different skills and experience required by each. More specifically, in this case, I stick with Microsoft for my operating system and with Macrium who produce and excellent (and free to personal users) product called Macrium Reflect:


Essential Member
Microsoft Community Contributor

You could also try using this free program, EaseUS TODO Backup and Recovery.
It is very easy to use and creates it's own restore DVD in either Linux or Windows PE format (I made both but prefer Linux).

I've made lots of backups using it and it's never failed to work when recovering.

It literally only takes a few clicks to make a complete System Backup Disk.

You just click on make a System Backup and tell it what OS to back up and where to save it.
It does the rest.

Restoring is just as easy.

You can make the backup in Windows but use the disk to recover.


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