It is much harder to generalize about Windows 8 backups than about earlier versions.
Factors that may determine success or failure include whether you are working with a GPT disk or an MBR disk, whether login is local or online, and whether the manufacturer included a recovery image and tools on the hard drive.
Recently, with no recovery media provided by the manufacturer, I used the included tools to copy the original drive to another, then put the original drive on the shelf as the only sure way to be able to bring a laptop back to life in the event of major trouble.
Windows 8 running on a GPT drive is particularly fussy as to what must be on the drive and how partitions can be restored.
So far, the tools I have found to work include: Windows Home Server v.1 with a local login, Clonezilla (difficult but powerful), Macrium Reflect 5.1, and the built-in system image restore. Each has its advantages and limitations. Win8's system image is perhaps the easiest, but it only preserves drive C:. If you have data partitions, you'll need to supplement the image with a Win7 file backup (via Control Panel) or one of the other tools.
Especially important with Windows 8 on a GPT drive, test the restore procedure to be sure it will work and that you know what to do.
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