The built-in back-up utility in Windows is soon to be forsaken. In previous articles, we covered how to use the free version of EaseUS Todo to make a system image backup and emergency disk.
Now it’s time to use that emergency disk. Let’s restore a backup image to our machine.
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What an image restore means
It’s important to realize exactly what restoring an image actually means: it replaces everything on the disk with the contents of the image.
Backing Up In Windows 10
This article is excerpted from Backing Up In Windows 10, available now. Top-to-bottom, end-to-end, Backing Up In Windows 10 will walk you through all the steps you need to keep your data safe, using Windows 10's built-in tools, as well as a free alternative.
If you took an image backup on Monday, and it’s now 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 backup. Everything that happened on Tuesday and Wednesday would be lost.
If “what happened” was a malware infection, then that’s conceivably exactly what we want. On the other hand, if you did important work on Tuesday and Wednesday you don’t want to lose, you’ll want to save that work somehow: you could copy the new files elsewhere, or create a new image backup prior to restoring the old one.
Of course, if “what happened” was a hard drive failure and replacement, you may not have a choice. You’ll simply restore the most recent image you have.
I’ll call it “Step Zero” — prior to performing the restore, if you can, save any data that hasn’t been backed up.
Step one: boot from the emergency disk
Unfortunately, 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 emergency disk (CD/DVD or USB) you created earlier.
In some cases, it’s a simple choice made at boot time.
In other cases, most notably newer machines with UEFI and Secure Boot, the process is more complex.
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.
This will open a file-selection dialog box.
Navigate to the drive and folder which contains your image backup by clicking on the appropriate triangles to the left of each listed item. In the example above, I’ve navigated through:
- Computer – to open the devices available on my computer
- BackupDrive (D:) – to open my external drive, which contains the backup image I want
- Disk 0 – to open the folder containing that image
The file “Disk_0_20170810_full_v1.pbd” is the image file I want to restore. Yours will be named differently, and there may be multiple files. Unless you know otherwise, you generally want the most recent backup image.
It’s worth noting that the drive letters you see may be different than what you normally see in Windows. In my case, my external drive is normally drive “E:”, but when booting from the emergency disk, it appears as drive “D:”. This is normal. You’ll need to look at the drive’s name (“BackupDrive”, in my case), and its contents to confirm you’re looking at the correct drive.
Once you’ve selected the appropriate image file to restore, click OK.
Next, you’ll be shown a dialog displaying the disks and partitions contained within the image you’ve selected.
This allows you to choose to restore the entire disk image — by checking the box next to “Hard disk 0”, in my example — or unchecking that box and selecting individual partitions within the image instead.
Most commonly, you’ll restore the entire hard disk (in the case of a hard disk replacement due to failure, for example), so we’ll check the Hard disk box.
Select the destination
You’ll then be taken to a dialog which displays the drives and partitions to which you might restore your image.
All the hard disks known to your machine will be displayed, possibly including your external drive.
Check the box next to the drive you’re restoring to. In our example, that’s the first drive listed — Hard disk 0. Once again, note that drive letters may be different than what you normally see when running Windows.
Click Next. You’ll be presented with a summary of what’s about to happen.
Remember I said the restore would overwrite everything currently on your hard drive? EaseUS reminds you before continuing.
The restore begins.
How long the restore takes depends, like the backup, 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.
Click on Finish, and 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 specifically will depend 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.
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20 comments on “Restoring an Image Using EaseUS Todo”
I think it’s worth mentioning that in Step #1 of this article, the user needs to boot from the emergency disk – EVEN IF your PC has absolutely no problem booting. This was a point of confusion for me as I had been using Acronis TrueImage to create image backups before switching to Macrium Reflect. With Acronis, I never had to use an emergency/rescue/repair disk to restore an image backup, which is much simpler because you don’t have to mess with the boot order in the BIOS and you don’t have to deal with another disk. So when Leo instructed the readers to first boot from an emergency disk in his Macrium book (and in this article for EaseUS Todo), I mistakenly thought that instruction applied to only those users whose PC will not boot. That mistake led to an “Unable to lock drive” error that prevented me from restoring an image backup with Macrium. Fortunately, after some research, I figured out my mistake and even found a way to restore an image backup without using an emergency disk in Macrium.
I think what you experienced is due to something specific to your system. It’s possible that whatever caused you to need to restore also caused the restore from the current Windows session to fail. I’ve restored from backups while logged into Windows running from my C: drive. Normally, if you can run your backup program within Windows, you can restore from it. If it fails, then you would need to boot from the rescue media.
The article states “Unless you know otherwise, you generally want the most recent backup image”. If you do know otherwise, for example, your computer got a virus yesterday before it was backed up, the date of the backup is included in the backup’s file name. So choose the backup file with the day before yesterday’s date. Just keep in mind, if you have your backups scheduled to run after midnight, the day before yesterday’s backup will have yesterday’s date.
The concern I have is how can I be relatively certain as to when I actually became infected with a virus. If my anti-malware scan on Day 5 was clean, but my scan on Day 7 showed an infection, how certain can I be that the infection didn’t occur BEFORE Day 5? Are the effects of an infection usually immediate? To be on the safe side, I usually pick an image backup that was created at least several weeks before the possible infection. (My data files are backed up again before I restore the image backup.)
If you restore and find out that your computer is still infected, you can go back another day or two when you discover it. On the other hand, going back more days than necessary isn’t bad either as you can still get more recent data from the infected image as the malware wouldn’t generally harm the user data.
I’ve been playing around with EaseUS ToDo Backup Free this morning. I would love to be able to have the ability to put all-I-need onto one USB drive. a.k.a. – a bootable USB that includes any restore program AND the Image(s).
I tried making an EaseUS ToDo Emergency Disk and then just copying the previously made Image to that USB, but It said there wasn’t enough space on the huge USB drive that ToDo formatted?!?!?!
Why dedicate 2 of my 32G USB sticks (1=Emergency Disk & 2=the Image) when 1 USB stick has more than enough space?!?!?!?
Does such a beast exist?
I’m not aware of a way to do what you’re looking for. I agree it would be nice, but. (OK, you MIGHT be able to: make the emergency disk, use a partition manager to expand the partition to take up the entire drive, and then have room. But that seems like a lot of extra effort when thumbdrives are cheap and easy to come by.)
A USB flash drive large enough to hold a system image backup plus the PE operating system would probably cost more than a flash drive and an external HDD combined. Additionally, flash memory is less reliable than an HDD and high a higher chance of damaged sectors.
If this “Booting from the emergency disk automatically runs EaseUS Todo.” is still true (in ver. 12.0), you may want to mention the future advantages of creating such a recovery DVD (or CD?) in the Backup article (https://askleo.com/creating-backup-image-using-easeus-todo-free/).
Here’s a link to that article
Leo doesn’t consider making a rescue disc a high priority as it can be done on a different computer even after your hard drive has failed.
after pressing Proceed you state:
“Remember I said the restore would overwrite everything currently on your hard drive?”
Just to be sure this really means “partition” not hard drive, correct ?
That depends on how you backed up. If you performed a partition backup, it would restore only that partition. If you backed up the entire physical drive, the backup method we recommend, it would overwrite the entire drive.
That depends on what you’re restoring. If you’re restoring only a partition, then only a partition. If you’re restoring the entire hard drive, then the entire hard drive is overwritten. As Mark points out this is sometimes a characteristic of what you backed up in the first place, but it can also be a choice you make at restore time.
I am using EaseUS Todo Backup 2022. I made a full image backup on July 1st. Every day since then I have made an incremental backup. Now I have a problem restoring my SSD. I want to recover using the full image from July 1st and include all incrementals up to and including July 25th. I can find no way of doing that. When I select the incremental for July 25th, it recovers but won’t boot because of missing boot image from the full backup. When I recover selecting the July 1st full backup my computer will boot up fine but it’s missing all the incrementals. How can I restore everything up to and including July 25th incremental?
Easus should restore everything necessary that it has if you select “restore the 25th”. Meaning it should apply the full, and all the intervening incrementals.
Missing boot image makes me wonder if you actually backed up the entire disk (all partitions), or just the C: partition?
One time I had a backup of my C: drive and I neglected some of the other system partitions. To get it working, I installed Windows from the installation disc. I then ran the recovery for the c: drive and my system worked perfectly. After that, I always specified “Create an image of the partition(s) required to backup and restore Windows”.
I don’t even do that. I backup the entire disk — all partitions. There’s really no reason not to.
Based on your suggestions I always backup the entire disk (all partitions). I have been following your advice for years about backing up the entire disk. As you suggested I do a full backup at the beginning of each month and incremental every day after the first. I have spent last night and all day today trying in vain to restore my new Windows 11 pro desktop. It was running great. I got confused trying to install perl (no problem here) and SpaceVim IDE. I finally decided to reload with my easeus todo backups. It’s been downhill ever since. I think I’ll try Mark’s suggestion.
SOLVED: Well partially. I could not restore using the latest (July 25th) incremental, so I started trying to restore with each incremental going backward until I reached July 14th. Using that incremental I was able to restore everything, and my Windows 11 Pro functioned normally once again. It took a long time trying each incremental, but I was happy to have my computer back. After successfully using my computer for a day or so I decided to do a “Check Image” using the July 25th incremental. The check image took 24 hours to complete and then it reported that I had a good image (no errors found). Now I am wondering if I can trust Easeus ToDo backups in the future. Your thoughts would be appreciated. As of today my Windows 11 Pro is still functioning wonderfully.
I did a backup that covered two physical drives. When I restored using the image, C: drive restored perfectly (on the first physical drive); the second image finished loading and then asked if it should be bootable. This is where the problems started. I said “No” because I didn’t want to boot from the second physical hard drive. When I rebooted the computer, I had “No bootable media”. Everything gone. This is confusing. Can you shed some light on what’s happening here?