How to Easily Backup Windows 8 to External Hard Drive and Protect Security?

Posted by @Ivy

July 17, 2017

To reduce downtime and avoid data loss caused by system crash or other issues, you can backup Windows 8 to an external hard drive. Here are two ways for you.

Why backup Windows 8 to external hard drive?

Have you ever encountered some unexpected failure like computer breakdown, blue screen or black screen etc in Windows 7/8/8.1/10? If you still not encounter this computer failure, you may think I make a fuss about backing up system image. I have to say you are a lucky man. However, someone may not be so lucky. Due to some computer failures, they cannot boot their computer and find all kinds of ways to recover their systems, photos, video, files etc. In this case, you can install your system again but there is no way to recover your photos, video, files etc. Furthermore, reinstalling computer is really a time-consuming project which will cost you half a day and even more.

To protect the security of our operating system and data, making a system image backup is very important. If you make one backup ahead of time, you will be very calm and can restore your system or personal files to your computer.

Just take action immediately to backup your computer, or you will lose your operating system and data when something bad happens.

Backup Windows 8 with Windows 7 file recovery

Windows built-in tool will always be the first choice of majority people. Let’s see the detail step of it.

Step 1: Type “Recovery” in the Windows 8 start screen, then select “SettIngs” and “Windows 7 File Recovery” subsequently.

Windows 7 File Recovery

Step 2: Enter “Windows 7 File Recovery” control panel and click “Create a system image

Create a System Image in Windows 8

Step 3: Select a location for your system image

Step 4: Confirm your backup settings and click “Start backup” to the pending operations.

Start Backup

This operation comes to an end. You will be asked to create a system repair disc. It mainly uses to recover your computer when your computer crashes. Aside by that, you can choose to create a recovery drive as well. If you made it, you can boot from the recovery drive and navigate to “Troubleshoot”>”Advanced options” > ”System Image Recovery”.

What is the proper storage device for your backup?

When you decide to backup your computer, you may still need to choose a storage device and want to find a proper one. Below are some choices for you.

1. Internal hard drive. If you want to backup the frequently used files or folders etc, you can backup to internal hard drive. Once you lose it, you can restore them in a short time. However, if your hard drive fails or computer crashes, you will lose your files or folders forever. Thus, many users choose to backup to network attached storage (NAS) or external hard drive.

2. Network attached storage (NAS). To ensure the security of your data, backup to NAS drive could be your best choice. Even if your computer is damaged by fire, virus or directly crashes, you still can restore your backup which is saved on NAS. However, Once power loss or machine failure appears, retrieving or recovering files or folders from the system becomes complex. In this case, you need to ask professional data recovery software for help, or you cannot access any NAS device. In order to prevent this situation, many users are willing to backup NAS to external hard drive.

3. External hard drive/USB hard drive. If you want to backup your important files or folders even operating system, you can choose an external hard drive or USB hard drive. It’s more flexible and portable. You can take it everywhere and see your backup whenever you need only if there is a computer. At the same time, you can avoid data loss owing to hard drive failure, computer crashes etc. Unfortunately, here comes another limitation: if your external hard drive is infected by virus or damaged, your data will be in danger.

Choose whatever you like and continue to see below. I will show you how to backup your computer to external hard drive on Windows 8/8.1

How to backup Windows 8 to external hard drive?

As you can see from above, Windows built-in tool can do a remarkable work when we backup our system image. However, there are still some limitations. So many users want to find a greater tool to easily backup system image and protect the security of system and data.

Here’s an easy-to-use software called AOMEI Backupper which can help you backup system image well without costing you a cent. It can support backup windows 7/8/8.1/10 etc to external hard drive. Furthermore, you can enjoy many advanced functions, such as Backup to USB, Backup to Network Drive, Migrate OS to SSD, Clone Dual Boot Hard Drive etc.

Now, coming to our point: how to backup Windows 8 to external hard drive.

Step 1: Plug your external hard drive into your computer and make sure it can be recognized by your computer.

Step 2: Download AOMEI Backupper, install and launch it.

Step 3: Enter the main page of it, click “Backup” > “System Backup” subsequently

Create System Image in Windows 8

Step 4: Find your external hard drive, set it as the destination location of your backup and click “Start Backup” to finish the pending operation.

Start Windows 8 Backup

As you can see from above window, there are three options you can select. You can choose one or more of them according to your needs. If you want to compress your files, you can click “Backup Options” and select “Compression”. If you want to do a schedule backup, you can tick the checkbox before Schedule and select whatever you want among the eight options. And if you want to manage your disk space and make full use of it, you can select “Scheme”. It’s available when you upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Pro.


Now, you are supposed to get why and how to backup windows 8 to external hard drive. Aside by Windows 8, you still can use AOMEI Backupper to backup Windows 7/8.1/10 etc to external hard drive. All the steps are similar to above, just follow it and backup your computer to external hard drive.