How to use the safety net of your image backup.
Now it’s time to use that emergency disk; perhaps your hard disk died and you want to restore your backup to a replacement drive, or maybe you’ve run afoul of malware. Let’s restore a backup image to your machine.
Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!
Restoring a backup image using EaseUS Todo
- Boot from an EaseUS Emergency Disk.
- Browse for the backup image you want to restore — typically on an external hard disk.
- Confirm that you want to overwrite everything currently on your hard drive.
What an image restore means
It’s important to realize what restoring an image means: it replaces everything on the disk with the contents of the backup image.
If you took an image backup on Monday and now it’s Wednesday, restoring Monday’s image backup will overwrite everything on the hard disk, and your machine will be as it was at the time of that Monday backup. Everything you did on your computer on Tuesday and Wednesday would be lost.
If you’re restoring because of a malware infection, then that’s exactly what we want: to restore the computer to its state before the malware arrived. On the other hand, if you don’t want to lose important work you did on Tuesday and Wednesday, you need to save that work before the restoration. You could copy the new files elsewhere or create a new image backup.
Of course, if you’re restoring because of a hard drive failure, you may not have a choice. You’ll simply restore the most recent image you have to the replacement drive.
I’ll call it Step Zero: before performing the restore, save any data that hasn’t been backed up if you can.
Step one: boot from the emergency disk
Exactly how to boot from an emergency disk varies from machine to machine. Check the instructions for your specific computer to learn how to boot from the CD/DVD or USB emergency disk you created earlier.
In some cases, it’s a simple choice at boot time.
Locate the image
Booting from the emergency disk automatically runs EaseUS Todo. On its opening screen, click on Browse to Recover to begin the restoration process. (See the image at the top of this page.)
First, you need to indicate where your backup image is stored.
Todo supports several options. In these examples, we’ve been storing our images on external drives, so click on Local Drive. This will open a file-selection dialog.
In the example above, to locate the backup image to restore (a “.pdb” file), I’ve clicked on the “>” to expand each of:
- FauxUSB (E:)
- My Backups
- Disk 0
The filename Disk 0_20231009_Ful_v1.pdb indicates its contents:
- Disk 0 – the primary disk on the machine.
- 20231009 – the date the backup was created.
- Full – This image contains a full (as opposed to incremental) image.
Select the .pdb file and click on OK.
This will open the dialog to select the location you want to restore the image to.
If you have multiple disks, as I do, make sure to select the correct disk. Typically, you’ve backed up the drive containing the C: drive, so restore to the drive showing C:.
Click on Next to begin the restore.
Remember, the restore will overwrite everything currently on your hard drive. EaseUS reminds you of that before continuing.
Click Yes. A summary of what’s about to transpire is displayed.
Click Proceed, and the restore begins.
Like the backup, how long the restore takes depends on how fast your drives are, how fast your computer is, and how much data there is to be restored. Progress will be displayed along the way.
Eventually, it finishes.
Close EaseUS Todo by clicking on the “x” in its upper-right corner.
Your machine will reboot. Take care to remove the emergency disk or to select your computer’s system disk from which to book. Again, how to do this depends on your computer.
When the boot completes, you can breathe a sigh of relief as familiar screens appear.
Remember, however: this is Windows as it was when you took the backup image.
You’ve successfully restored your backup image.
Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.
I'll see you there!