Windows 10 System Image Restore issue with repair disk


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I have multiple family Windows desktops & laptops. With all systems running Windows 7 I was able to manage my backups via the built in Windows 7 Backup & Restore. I was able to store all system image backups to a single external hard drive and restore if needed. Each backup was stored under the WindowsImageBackup\computername folder of the external drive with unique folder names of the computers being backed up. When I needed to restore a computer from one of the backed up system images I would use the Windows 7 repair disk and I was able to select any of the backups from the list of computers and successfully restore. I could choose any in the long list of backed up images on the external drive.

With that same strategy in mind after upgrading all computers to Windows 10 I started backing up all our Windows 10 systems to a single external hard drive as well. I had no problems in Windows 10 using the built in "Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7)" option to create my system image backups. I can see all the unique computername folders under the WindowsImageBackup folder of the external hard drive while the external drive is connected to any Windows PC. I thought all was well.

My problem came when I lost a hard drive on a laptop. No big deal, I purchased a drive equal to or larger than the hard drive the image backup was generated from which I have done many times in the past for family and friends with 100% success rate and proceeded to remedy my failed laptop. Using the Windows 10 repair disk I was surprised to only see one backup image to choose from. Unfortunately that image was from the last system I backed up which was not this broken laptop. It was the backup with the latest backup date of all the backup images on the external drive. I could not see all other images stored on that drive using the repair disk and therefore could not choose the image I needed. Using a second Windows system I was able to see all the backup files of all the unique computers so the files are indeed still on the drive but the Windows 10 repair disk does not give me the option to choose an image that is not the latest date of the images on the drive. It does give an option to search network drive but I have no backups stored on a network drive.

I found out it's not only my issue. I contacted a friend using the same backup strategy as I do and he was surprised to find the same results as I when he tested his Windows 10 repair disk with his external drive. We even tried renaming or deleting some of the latest backup files in an effort to bring the one we needed to the forefront. All that accomplished was the Windows 10 repair disk not finding any of the remaining backups from the drive. Make a new backup from any system and the Windows 10 repair disk will now recognize that image and only that image.

I'm stumped! It looks like Windows 10 backup and restore is only using the latest date stamp and not allowing a selection of backup images as it did under the Windows 7 backup and restore. I even tried a Windows 7 repair disk to see what results that would bring and it did not recognize any Windows 10 images which I thought may be the case. If this is how it was designed to operate my workaround (other than third party solution) will be to have an individual external hard drive for every system I would like to backup so to guarantee my restore if needed would be available. Anyone else run into this issue and if so did you find a solution?
 
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Try using the Win 10 install media which you can download with the Media Creation Tool.

Were the backups made with the same build version as your repair/install media?

You can copy backups to other locations but if you can't see that backup where it is now, it may not help to move it.
 
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Same results using Win 10 install media.

Repair Install media Version 1607 (OS Build 14393.953) Not sure what version defective laptop had as I never had issues in the past that gave me reason to check build numbers etc. prior to backups.

My next step was to try what you are suggesting by moving the laptop folder set including the MediaID file to a new drive under a newly created "WindowsImageBackup" folder and see the results. With the thought being creating a new "WindowsImageBackup" folder on a new drive will give at least the "WIB" folder todays date & time thereby making it the most recent and the only backup within the "WIB" folder. I was able to move images freely among external drives when managing the Windows 7 backups so hopefully that may help. Thanks!
 
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Moving image to new external drive yields the same results of not recognizing any backups on the external drive.
 

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