How to Perform Offline System Restore When Computer is Unbootable?

Posted by @Cody

July 3, 2015

When your Windows 10/8.1/8/7 computer system fail to boot, how to do offline system restore under Windows PE bootable environment?

About Offline System Restore

Offline system restore means to bring your computer back to normal state (including system files, installed programs, Windows Registry, and other settings) where you made the system backup when your computer is unbootable.

As everybody knows, there are many reasons behind system failures, such as installing new software, Windows updates and hotfixes onto your computer. System restore allows you to easily recover your system back to the state before the system error. However, it is possible that the error has caused enormous damages and your computer is unbootable. Therefore, how can you be 100% sure the safety of your data if you can not restore unbootable system? AOMEI Backupper Standard, free backup software, is able to perform system restore offline in two different ways.

Offline System Restore via Bootable Media

Before you can recover not working Windows system, make sure that you have created a bootable media and a system backup image with Backupper. All versions of AOMEI Backupper do include this utility. If you have stored the system backup image on an external hard drive, you might need to add additional drivers to the bootable media.

The steps to perform system restore via bootable meida:

1. Change the boot order in BIOS to set your bootable media (CD, DVD or USB stick) as the first boot device. After saving the changes, the AOMEI Backupper will start automatically.

2. Select “Restore” tab, and click “Path” to browse a path to select the system image file to restore. Click “Next” to proceed.

Browse Path

3. In the pop-up window, click “Yes” to confirm the system restore. Then, select a backup point if you have done incremental backup and differential backup, and then click “Next”. If you want to restore system image to other location, please check the corresponding box. Note that the drive letters may change in Windows PE environment.

Select Bakup.gif

4. Choose a partition to restore, and click “Next”.

Select Destination

5. In the next screen, you will be given the operation summary. If all is well set, click “Start Restore” to start the operation. Now, the system restore is in process.

Operation Summary

After the system restore is done, you can close the software to reboot your computer. You need to either reset the boot order in BIOS or eject the bootable CD to boot your restored system.

Offline System Restore via PXE

AOMEI PXE boot tool allows you to boot many computers within LAN from micro-system without needing bootable CD or bootable USB flash drive, which is also a feature available for all versions of AOMEI Backupper. The Standard (freeware) version only support booting 3 client computers. To get unlimited client computers supported, you can upgrade to the Professional version.

To start AOMEI PXE:

1. Install AOMEI Backupper in a PC within LAN that can boot normally, and launch it. Select “AOMEI PXE Boot Tool” under “Utilities” tab.

Select PXE

2. Select Windows PE system or Linux system, and click “Start Service”. The third option, Boot from custom image file, means to boot from Windows PE micro system created by a third party tool. We are here to do system restore, so you better choose one of the first two. Then AOMEI PXE Boot Tool will initiate the service to wait for the target computer(s).

Select Micro System

3. Start the computer which is unbootable, and set the PXE option as the first boot device. Then You computer will boot to the micro system you have chosen, AOMEI Windows PE system or Linux PE system. If you select Linux PE, you will be given only two functions, Restore and Clone as the screenshot below. Now you can recover system backup follow the steps as offline restore via bootable media..

Linux PE

Besides offline system restore, AOMEI Backupper Standard also supports dissimilar hardware restore, which means you can use these methods to restore system to any bootable or unbootable computer with different hardware.