Create exact image of Windows partition with Robocopy

Creating images of a directory or partition means an exact duplication sector by sector. So, when you restore it reflects the same structure which you had at the time of creating the image. It will create an exact copy or image or Windows partition which later can be used to recover the Windows 10 OS.

Windows comes with an inbuilt utility called Robocopy or Robust File Copy. It is a command-line directory replication command, which can copy files & directory trees in Windows 10. It can mirror a complete directory tree (partition) which you can to create a stable image of your Windows Drive (like backup software or even doing a partition repair ) and save the time which you spend reinstalling everything.

Create an exact image of Windows partition with Robocopy

Open the Command Prompt and type in Robocopy and it outputs the below help on how to use it.


ROBOCOPY     ::     Robust File Copy for Windows


Simple Usage :: ROBOCOPY source destination /MIR

source :: Source Directory (drive:path or serversharepath).

destination :: Destination Dir  (drive:path or serversharepath).

/MIR :: Mirror a complete directory tree.


To create a backup of your Primary Drive use this command:  ROBOCOPY C:\ <externalstorage>  /MIR

While you can create a copy in another Windows 10 partition, for this, we will always suggest you use an external hard drive or USB. IN case you face Hard drive failure or corruption, the backup will be of no use.

You can run this utility while you are logged in to Windows for any drive, but if you are making an image of your primary partition or Windows installation drive, there is a different method. We would suggest you boot into Advanced Recovery Mode, and then from the Command Prompt, execute the command.

RoboCopy Error or Exit Codes:

0No files were copied. No failure was encountered. No files were mismatched. The files already exist in the destination directory; therefore, the copy operation was skipped.
1All files were copied successfully.
2There are some additional files in the destination directory that are not present in the source directory. No files were copied.
3Some files were copied. Additional files were present. No failure was encountered.
5Some files were copied. Some files were mismatched. No failure was encountered.
6Additional files and incompatible files exist. No files were copied, and no faults were encountered. It means that the files already exist in the destination directory.
7Data were copied, a file mismatch was present, and additional files were current.
8Several files did not copy.

There are a lot of options available with Robocopy command. Complete details are here.

Download Robocopy GUI

If you do not want to use Robocopy from the command line, then we suggest using the GUI version which you can download from here. The interface allows you to select a set of arguments you want to use, source, destination and then perform the copy job.

create image Windows partition

Robocopy is a powerful tool. The best part is that it can keep the NTFS attributes and properties intact during the copy process. That is something not followed by every copy program. We hope the tutorial was easy to follow.

Leave a Reply