Should you image a computer?
With the improvement of the technology and manufacturing, the hard drives are increasingly reliable than what they were many years ago. However, since there are many reasons that can cause data loss, such as Windows update error, unstable drivers, malware, and virus attack, it is really essential to know how to image a computer. If your hard drive crashes by any of the reasons, an image backup of your computer can help you to restore system and all your stuff back. Additionally, creating an image of a computer is relatively simple. You can use Windows built-in backup and restore tool or third party backup software.
Image a computer hard drive with Windows Backup and Restore
You can create image backup with Backup and Restore in Windows 10/7 or with System Image Backup in Windows 8. Here will use Windows 7 as an example:
1. Type “backup and restore” in the search box and click on the Backup and Restore icon. Or you can find the backup tool in Control Panel\System and Security\Backup and Restore.
2. Click on the Create a system image option.
3. In the pop out window, choose where to store the backup image, and click on Next.
4. Then, check all the hard drives and partitions you want to backup and click Next.
5. Confirm and save the backup settings.
In order to restore the backup when your computer is failed to boot, you can create a System Repair disc. You will be given this option to create system repair disc when the backup finishes.
How to create computer image with freeware
Besides Windows backup tool, you can also use free backup software to image laptop computer or desktop computer. AOMEI Backupper Standard is a powerful backup and recovery software that is totally free to use. Compared to Windows Backup and Restore, AOMEI Backupper has made it easier and flexible to create an image backup.
To backup full computer hard drive:
1. Download and run this free backup tool.
2. Click “Backup” and select “Disk Backup”. if you only want to include Windows system, you can choose System Backup instead.
3. Click “Step 1” to select the source disk that you want to include in the backup. if your computer has more than one hard drive, you can select them all at the same time.
4. Click “Step 2” to select the destination disk where you want to save the image backup. you can select local hard drive, external hard drive, a partition, or a shared folder over NAS network.
5. Click “Start Backup” to run the backup.
If you want backup your computer automatically, you can click “Schedule” to configure before you click the Start Backup option. AOMEI Backupper supports differential backup and incremental backup, which is the default setting when performing a scheduled backup. After knowing how to image a computer, you may also consider cloning your computer hard drive, which is another function of this freeware.