How to Create a Hard Drive Image

By Larry Amon

Imaging a hard drive is a straight forward process but it does take some time and planning. To image a hard drive is like taking a snapshot of the drive so that, at any later point, you can take that snapshot and put it back onto you hard drive or another drive and have it look and work just like your drive did at the moment you took the snapshot. Imaging has its drawbacks as a backup strategy, but is a great idea if you want to make many computers use the image you create.

Things You'll Need

  • Disk imaging software

Step 1

Make the computer exactly the way you want it. Any changes you make after imaging will not be incorporated in the image. However, any mistakes will not be able to be removed from the image either. It's often best to make an image after everything has been installed and the computer hasn't been used much. You may want to rebuild your system and then image it right away.

Step 2

Purchase or download disk imaging software. Ghost has traditionally been the best-selling imaging software, but there are several software packets to choose from. The program may have to be installed directly on the computer or it may run directly from booting or both.

Step 3

Start the process by opening the software and choosing a destination for the image. You can either choose a non-system drive or CD or DVD. Reboot the computer according to the directions.

Step 4

Let the image processing software run without doing anything else to the computer.When the image processing is done, you will reboot the computer and your image will be complete.

References & Resources