MiniTool ShadowMaker User Manual


MiniTool ShadowMaker not only offers backup solution, but also provides some useful features to cater to different user needs.

Media Builder

Overview of MiniTool Media Builder

MiniTool Media Builder offers a perfect solution to create bootable media based on WinPE, which provides better compatibility with your computer's hardware. With MiniTool Media Builder, it is possible to restore operating system to the previous state even when your computer fails to boot.

How to Create WinPE Based Bootable Media

Before you do:
Prepare a recordable CD/DVD disc and insert it into your CD/DVD driver. Or you can prepare a USB flash drive and then connect it to your PC.


MiniTool Media Builder will format the CD/DVD/USB flash drive while building MiniTool bootable media. Please make sure that the media can be formatted.

Step 1. Select Media Builder from Tools to get the main interface.

media builder

Step 2. Select WinPE-based media with MiniTool plug-in to continue.

winpe based media


By clicking Options, you can add more drivers to the bootable media.

add driver

Step 3. You will see 3 options here: make an ISO file, create a bootable USB flash disk, or build a bootable CD/DVD disc.

choose media destination

To make an .iso file, please select ISO File and then choose where to save the .iso file. MiniTool Media Builder will finish building the .iso file quickly.

extract iso file

To create a bootable USB flash drive, please select USB Flash Disk option and select the correct USB flash drive if there are many. Then click Yes to confirm that you want to create the bootable media.

confirm usb formatting

Please wait until MiniTool Media Builder finishes building the USB bootable disk. Finally, click Finish after successful burning.

build bootable usb disk

To build a bootable CD/DVD disc, please select CD/DVD Writer and then click Yes to confirm that you want the burning.

confirm cd burning

Please wait until MiniTool Media Builder finishes building the CD/DVD bootable disc. Finally, click Finish after successful burning.

build bootable cd


Based on different operating systems and network environment, the time for bootable media creation varies. Please be patient when MiniTool Media Builder is still processing.

How to Boot from the WinPE Based Bootable Media

Step 1. Connect the burned MiniTool bootable media to your PC, and then start your computer.

Step 2. Wait for the message telling you how to enter BIOS appears and do as it prompts. Note that different computers may show different messages or require users to press different keys to access BIOS. If you miss the message, just restart your computer and try again.

Step 3. If you are trying to boot from the USB flash disk, set USB as the 1st Boot Device and save configuration changes.

boot from USB

If you are trying to boot from the CD/DVD disc, set CDROM as the 1st Boot Device and save configuration changes.

boot from CD

Step 4. Then you will see the following interface where you can select MiniTool Boot Disk [EMS Enabled] to load the bootable media.

select-minitool boot disk

Step 5. After selecting whether to change screen resolution, and whether to load MiniTool Software, you have finally come to the main interface of MiniTool ShadowMaker Bootable.

select screen resolution

confirm luanching program

minitool shadowmaker bootable

Add Boot Menu

Overview of Add Boot Menu

Normally, it is required to burn an .iso file to an USB flash drive or CD/DVD disk to create a bootable media. However, MiniTool ShadowMaker puts forward an easier way to achieve this aim. By simply adding MiniTool ShadowMaker to the boot menu, you can enter the MiniTool Recovery Environment which will start Windows PE and allow full system restore without a bootable media.

How to Add Boot Menu

Step 1. Enter Add Boot Menu under Tools.

add boot menu

Step 2. Select Add Boot Menu and confirm the operation.

select add

confirm add

Step 3. Wait for the operation to complete.

add successfully


When MiniTool Recovery Environment is added to Windows start-up menu, you can choose to enter Windows OS or choose to enter MiniTool Recovery Environment.

minitool recovery environment

How to Delete Boot Menu

If you no longer need MiniTool Recovery Environment, you can delete the boot menu.

Step 1. Enter Add Boot Menu under Tools.

add boot menu

Step 2. Select Delete Boot Menu and confirm the operation.

select delete

confirm deletion

The deletion will be finished quickly.

delete successfully


Overview of Mount

Mount enables to load images as virtual drives so that you can access them as if they were physical drives. Once an image is mounted, a new disk appears in Windows Explorer.

How to Mount an Image

Step 1. Enter Mount under Tools, and then select a backup task from the list window.


Step 2. Select a backup task from the list and then click Next to continue.

select backup task

Step 3. Select a backup version and hit Next to go on.

select backup version

Step 4. Choose a partition to be mounted and click Finish.

select partition

Step 5. MiniTool ShadowMaker will ask you whether you want to mount the drive image, click Yes to confirm.

confirm mounting

Immediately the mounting operating is finished. Now you can see the new mounted partition under Windows Explorer.

finish mounting


Overview of Dismount

It is suggested that when all necessary operations are finished, you can dismount the virtual disk since maintaining it there takes considerable system resources, and you may carry out some operations on the wrong partition.

How to Dismount an Image

Step 1. Enter Dismount under Tools.


Step 2. Check the volume you want to dismount and click Dismount button.

check volume

dismount successfully

Clone Disk

Overview of Clone Disk

Clone is another useful feature of MiniTool ShadowMaker, which is significant for hard drive upgrading. A big difference between disk clone and disk image is that when you clone a disk, you can directly use it after the operation, while you will have to restore a disk image before you can use it directly.

How to Clone Disk

Step 1. Go to Clone Disk under Tools.

clone disk

Step 2. Choose which disk to clone and where to store the copy.

main interface

source disk

target disk

Step 3. Confirm that you want to start the task and wait for the process to finish.

confirm cloning

clone finished

Message you should pay attention to:

When disk cloning is finished successfully, you will see the following message:

shut downl

This means both the source disk and the target disk has the same signature, thus one disk is marked as offline by Windows. If you are not intending to disconnect either of them, you can make the offline drive online at Windows Disk Management.


  • For FAT32 and NTFS file systems, only the used sector will be cloned. For bitlocked and other file system, sector-by-sector clone is carried out.
  • By ticking "Shut down the computer when the operation is completed", you can take either the source disk or the target disk out of computer after the cloning.

MiniTool PXE Boot

What Is MiniTool PXE Boot?

PXE is short for Preboot Execute Environment. MiniTool PXE Boot is designed to boot many computers from micro system in network. To put it simple, you can use MiniTool PXE Boot to make other client PCs boot from the same network. After booting, all client PCs are able to back up, restore or clone with tools offered in Windows PE micro system. In a word, MiniTool PXE Boot offers the best way to maintain multiple computers in LAN.

How to Use MiniTool PXE Boot?

Step 1. Select PXE under Tools on host computer.


Step 2. Click Start button to begin the PXE service.

start pxe service


MiniTool PXE Boot tool will configure related DHCP values automatically. However, before you click Start, you can change the values by entering Settings.

change value

Step 3. In a few minutes, MiniTool PXE Boot will start the service to connect client PCs.

preparing winpe

When you see the information "Connected to the server", you can set the client PCs to boot from network in BIOS. When all client PCs are booting from PXE network, maintaining hard drives on many clients will be easier.

connect to server

Step 4. When you have finished all tasks on all client PCs, you can stop PXE service on the host computer.

stop pxe


Overview of Browse

Browse is designed to help you view backup image files in tree structure and export the one you need. This feature is helpful when you only need to restore a part of the files in an image. For example: you have backed up the film partition, but only one film is deleted by mistake. In this case, you don't need to restore all films. By exporting the lost film, you can easily and quickly finish the restoration.

How to Browse an Image File

Step 1. Enter Browse under Tools.


Step 2. Select a backup task and continue.

select backup task

Step 3. Select a backup version and click Next to go on.

select backup version

Step 4. Unfold the hard drive and you can browse its content. If you need to restore some of the files, check them and select Export to save.

browse and restore


Overview of Verify

Verify offers the feature of checking whether the backup image file is integrated. This feature is also listed under Backup Options. You can tick Verify Backup after Creation to carry out automatic check, or you can manually check the image file here.

How to Verify Backup Image

Step 1. Enter Verify under Tools.


Step 2. Select a backup task from the list window. Then, click Next to go on.

select backup task

Step 3. Select a backup version and click Next.

select backup version

Step 4. MiniTool ShadowMaker will start verifying. Also, you can check Shut down the computer when the operation is completed.


Command Shell

Overview of Command Shell

Command Shell is designed for advanced users and only appears under Windows PE. By selecting Command Shell, you will see Windows built-in cmd.exe which will perform whatever task or function it's designed to perform in Windows.

How to Access Command Shell

Step 1. Under Tools, select Command Shell.

command shell

Step 2. Immediately Windows built-in cmd.exe appears. Now input the commands you want it to carry out.


Universal Restore

Overview of Universal Restore

Restoring system to original hardware or identical hardware is easy. However, if you try to restore system to dissimilar hardware, the restored system is likely to fail to boot. This is because the new hardware is incompatible with the critical drivers included in the system.

MiniTool Universal Restore technology enables you to restore your system to any available machine. If you are trying to restore system to a computer with dissimilar processor, motherboard, or chipset, MiniTool Universal Restore is useful. This utility will find and install necessities for devices that are critical for the current operating system to start up.


To access Universal Restore, ensure that you have the bootable edition of MiniTool ShadowMaker created by MiniTool Media Builder.

How to Carry out Universal Restore

Step 1. Enter WinPE created by MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Step 2. Under Tools, select Universal Restore.

universal restore

Step 3. MiniTool Universal Restore will automatically detect and list the operating systems installed on the hard drive for you to choose.

detect system

Step 4. Select the operating system to be restored and press Restore button. When the process is finished, you can exit WinPE and boot Windows on dissimilar hardware successfully.

select system


restoring finished


Before you click Restore, you can also click Add Driver Folder to add some driver folders.

add driver folder