Problems installing system image Windows 10


Thread Starter
May 22, 2020
I have recently had some problems with my Windows 10 laptop where, even though my account was the only account on there and set as administrator, I didn't have full administrator rights. This came to light when I needed to reinstall my security software only to find that I didn't have the permissions to remove programs. Because of not having full admin rights I was unable to open an elevated command prompt to be able to open the hidden built-in admin account. All of this has led me to realise the only way of sorting the issue was a fresh install of Windows 10. I made a system image which I saved to an external HDD using the built-in Windows system image program and made sure I had a recovery usb memory stick. I have managed to do the fresh install but when trying to install the system image I get an error message stating that the parameter is incorrect. Having done a bit more research I've discovered that the windows system image program is a bit rubbish and will probably be phased out. I did find a few different places recommending Macrium Reflect Free as a much better alternative that works without issue, apparently. However, it would seem that to use the program you need to have first used it for making the system image, something that hadn't been mentioned. I now have a clean Windows 10 installation and a system image but no way of recovering it. Can anyone suggest a way for me to recover my system image please as I'm at a loss as to what to do!


Feb 9, 2020
I don't think you want to restore the full image, as that would put you right back to where you were with the admin problem. A system image is an image of all partitions on the hard drive, restoring it would overwrite the new windows installation with the old one.

Unless I'm misunderstanding and you are trying to restore it to another HD/SSD, what you want to do is look for the vhdx files under the Windows Backup folder (ie: WinImageBackup\<Computer Name>\Backup-<date>)

There should be one .vhdx file for each partition of the hard drive. You aren't going to get any useful files from the EFI or Recovery partitions, only the Windows partition, which should have the largest file size.

Use Disk Management to mount that file as a virtual hard disk. (right click on Start menu, select Disk Management, click Action menu, select Attach VHD, select the file). That should mount the file and give it a drive letter. You can then explore it using File Explorer.

Copy the files (docs, pictures, etc - they will be under the \Users\<your username> folder) that you want to the corresponding place in your new windows installation. You will have to reinstall all the programs, as unless they are specifically portable programs, you can't just copy them.

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