On Windows 10, a full backup is essential to any recovery plan in case of hardware or system failure, viruses, or any other type of malware.
You can use third-party solutions (such as Macrium Reflect) or the system image backup tool. However, Windows 10 also has another tool known as “wbAdmin,” a command tool to backup and restore your entire computer using Command Prompt.
In this guide, you will learn the steps to create a full backup of your computer using wbAdmin with Command Prompt on Windows 10.
- Create full backup using wbAdmin on Windows 10
- Restore computer from backup on Windows 10
Create full backup using wbAdmin on Windows 10
To use wbAdmin with Command Prompt to create a full backup on Windows 10, connect a USB drive with enough space, and then use these steps:
Open Start on Windows 10.
Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
Type the following command to create a backup using wbAdmin and press Enter:
wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C: -allCritical -quiet
In the above command, make sure to
-backupTargetflag with the drive letter for the storage you want to use for the backup.
(Optional) Type the following command to create a full backup that includes all the drives connected to your device, and press Enter:
wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:E: -include:C:,E:,F: -allCritical -quiet
In the command, replace the drive letters on option
-include:C:,D:,F:with the letters that reflect the hard drives on your computer.
(Optional) Type the following command to create a backup of your device to a shared network folder and press Enter:
wbAdmin start backup -backupTarget:\sharedFolderfolderName -user:username -password:userPassword -include:C: -allCritical -quiet
In the command, replace the network path, username, and password with your information.
Once you complete the steps, the command will create a backup of Windows 10, settings, apps, and files on the external storage. The time to complete the process will vary depending on the data and other variables. The wbAdmin tool will save the image backup inside the WindowsImageBackup folder in the target drive.
wbAdmin backup commands explained
Let’s step back and look at the command you’re using. The
wbAdmin start backup command starts a one-time backup on your computer. The
-backupTarget:D: option tells wbAdmin where you want to save the image backup. In this case, we configured the command to save everything on the drive with the letter “D,” which may be different on your computer.
-include:C: tells the utility to make an image backup of the primary partition that stores the operating system, settings, apps, and your files.
Then there’s the
-allCritical option that includes all the values inside the hard drive, and the
-quiet switch runs the entire backup without prompting the users for extra input.
Restore computer from backup on Windows 10
To restore a backup created with the wbAdmin command tool, use these steps:
Click on Update & Security.
Click on Recovery.
Under the “Advanced startup” section, click the Restart now button.
Quick tip: If your device isn’t working correctly, you can use these steps to access Advanced startup settings on Windows 10.
Click on Troubleshoot.
Click on Advanced options.
Click on System Image Recovery.
Select your account from the list after reboot.
Type your account password.
Click the Continue button.
The latest system image backup will select automatically for recovery, but you can also use the Select a system image option to specify another backup.
Click the Next button.
Click the Next button again.
Click the Finish button.
After you complete the steps, the wizard will apply the full backup on the computer, restoring the operating system, settings, apps, and files.
While it’s still possible to create a full backup on Windows 10, Microsoft is moving away from backup tools in favor of other solutions. For example, OneDrive to protect your files, and recovery options like “Reset this PC,” “Fresh start,” or complete reinstallation to fix problems.