How do I image a hard drive?
You may ask how to image a hard drive.You will first need to get software that images a hard drive.Once you have found the right software use their instructions to receive the best results.
When you `image' a drive you are taking an exact copy of the drive as it is at that point in time.You get an exact copy unless it is corrupted and then you get nothing.It is an all or nothing situation.
You may think this is a good solution to back up your information.However, if you use your computer often, which most people do, you will lose all of the data that you created or changed since the last time you took an image.Hence, many find the image tactic not a practical solution to back up their data.
However, there are several advantages to the image tactic of backing up a hard drive.It is very simple in concept and is not very time consuming once the program has been set up correctly.You take an image of the drive instead of trying to back up specific pieces of data.You may also create the same drive multiple times if you need to set up multiple computers.
Selecting the right Imaging Software can be a little more complicated.Disk imaging software should be reliable, versatile and easy to understand, or you won't bother using it. The following features should be considered:
- Feature Set
- Ease of use
- Backup / Restore Process
- Help / Support
Disk imaging software tools should include more than the ability to just make copies.The software should also allow you to manage the drives by formatting, deleting, or creating a boot drive.
Ease of use
A lot of imaging software is built for corporations with an IT Department.This means it can be very technical and not very user friendly for the home user.Make sure you find a program that is easy to use and intuitive in design.The program should be self-explanatory so that even the home user or computer novice can install the program and create a disk image.If it is not easy, then you won't use it and you won't have the backup image when it is needed.
Backup / Restore Process
Making the actual image should be simple.You should be able to choose the details of your image easily also.Additionally, the image should restore to the computer just as easily and run just like the original drive without any problems.Also, consider how fast the process is and how much disk space the image is going to consume.
Help / Support
Some companies are good at supporting their consumers and some are not.You should read a few reviews so that you know if you can rely on the company to support you when you need them.Usually when you are accessing your back up data, it is important and that is not the time you want to find out that you can't get the help you need.
The most popular use of imaging is for large corporations that support numerous machines that need to be built frequently and identically.The IT Department can build one computer to the exact specifications needed and then take an image of the hard drive.They can now make you and all of the other employees exact copies of the drive needed to do your work.When working with large numbers of computers, it would surprise you how many times a drive crashes or needs to be rebuilt.The imaging software quickly becomes a great asset.