system vs. disk backup

I know this has been discussed many times before, but I STILL can't figure out whether I should be using a disk or system backup on a regular basis. I want to be able to restore the entire system along with applications, files and settings, should anything go drastically wrong. I also want to be able to restore individual files if need be. Do I need to do both kinds?


  • If you want to backup all data-->Disk Backup.

    If you want to backup only system-->System Backup.

    If you only have a C: drive on your disk, there is no difference.

  • Thanks, but I'm still confused. You said if I want data, then I need a disk backup. A system backup doesn't include data?

    I don't know what you mean when you say "If you only have a C: drive on your disk". Are you talking about only having one partition on the disk?

  • edited December 2017

    Maxine, System backup means all the partitions needed to boot and run the OS. So including the whole C: drive with everything in it.

    Some people place their documents, music and images etc on a D: or E: disk. That is pure data. An OS will boot without your documents, music and photos. So D: or E:  etc. is not part of a System backup. It is however part of a Disk Backup. That one includes all partitions.


            *: 882 mb

            *:Image 10.04 gb

            *DELLSUPPORT 1.08gb

    partitions are not user data. I guess they are no part of the OS. I also guess they are not necessary per se.

    These 3 partitions are only included in the Disk Backup not in the System backup.  As I suggested in another topic, you can try a System backup/restore on the old SSD and see if that boots. Then you can decide if you can live without these 3 partitions.

    B.t.w.: If you would ever decide on reinstalling Windows 10 from scratch, using a downloadable DVD/USB (iso) from the Microsoft website, then these 3 partitions wouldn't exist either.

  • Thanks, Johnnyboy! Great, clear explanation. Is there any down side to using only a disk backup?

  • Is there any down side to using only a disk backup?

    Only that the backup is a little bit bigger.

  • Oh! In that case, I'll stick with disk backup from now on. Thanks again.

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