What Does It Mean to Reimage a Hard Drive?

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Image Credit: littlehenrabi/iStock/Getty Images

You may have heard the term "reimage the drive" and didn't quite understand what it meant. Reimaging a drive can be done quite simply and quickly, but it is a very serious and destructive process to any data on the computer. Before a drive is reimaged, you should understand exactly what will happen.

Advertisement

Purpose

Reimaging is done when a computer has too many problems to troubleshoot in a timely manner. Reimaging is done to reset the drive back to the original specifications.

Video of the Day

Process

To reimage a hard drive, an image of the hard drive, that likely has the operating system and all basic programs installed, is copied on to the hard drive. This removes the current data and sets the drive back to a freshly installed state.

Advertisement

Formatting

Reimaging generally means to use a saved image to replace the current OS and all data, but it can loosely be referred to as formatting the drive and starting over.

Ghost

Ghost has been a popular program that many use to make images and reimage hard drives. Ghost can reimage many hard drives at once over a network. Ghost makes one large compressed file image of a hard drive that is selected, and it can be saved indefinitely for later use.

Advertisement

Data Loss

When reimaging a hard drive, everything is lost on the hard drive. All personal data and programs will be gone with nothing saved. Personal data should be backed up before reimaging.

Advertisement