System Backup vs. Disk Backup

This is a newbie question, and I have been googling around for a while and found several other discussions on this question - however I am still confused, so I thought I'd ask it myself.

I recently installed AOMEI Backupper Standard and would like to back up my whole computer. I am presented with several options, but the ones I think are relevant are "System Backup" and "Disk Backup". I am confused as to the difference, even after reading the online support pages and several other discussions online.

This is what I want to do: I have a Synology NAS, and I would like to back up my entire laptop to it, including:
- The operating system
- All installed programs as well as their configuration settings
- All files (documents, movies, music, games, photos, etc.)
Essentially, I would like to restore my laptop to exactly the state it is in now in the event that something bad happens. (Or, to be more specific - if something bad happens to my laptop, I would like to restore the same OR a new computer to exactly the same state my current computer is in, depending on whether my current laptop is still functional or I need an entirely new one).

To do this, do I want "System Backup" or "Disk Backup"? Disk Backup seems to include everything that System Backup does, but potentially more - IF I had other partitions on my disk (which I don't think I do? I'm guessing other partitions would only exist if I intentionally partitioned my hard drive for some reason). It seems like doing a Disk Backup is probably the safest way to go, but am I missing anything that a System Backup would do that a Disk Backup doesn't? Or vice-versa? If there are no additional partitions, are they essentially the same thing?

If someone could give me a very dumbed down explanation of the difference between the two, and which one I want for my use case, that would be extremely helpful!


  • The system backup is all pretty much automatic.  Basically Aomei Backupper identifies all of the partitions that are required to make up the bootable system.  For example: a UEFI system will have a small EFI system partition with no drive letter, a large boot partition containing the operating system, program files, and data files (normally labeled as drive C), and a system recovery partition that has no drive letter.  If you selected the system backup all of these partitions would automatically be selected in the backup.  With the Disk Backup option nothing is automatic so you would have to manually select each of these partitions to be included in the backup.  In addition, if you had previously created or split the disk into multiple partitions (one for your system and say one for your data) the partition established for your data would not be included with the system backup.  With the Disk Backup you have the flexibility to include it in the backup image file that the software creates.  Both of these options will create a bootable system when the backup is restored to the existing disc, or in the event of catastrophic failure, or a replacement disc. 

    The Aomei Backupper Standard version of the software should easily do what you are wanting to do and either option should create a viable backup image on the destination of your choice.  I am using the Aomei Backupper Pro with lifetime updates because that version of the software contains additional options and provides me with more flexibility over the standard version.  

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