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Imaging Your Hard Drive

As backup disks get larger and less expensive, it becomes more and more reasonable to image your hard drive. There are two reasons why this is useful:
  • If your hard drive fails
  • If Windows fails
If you have a hard drive image on an external drive (and an emergency boot disk), then you can recover the entire setup on a new drive.

Hard drives are very reliable, so a more likely scenario is that Windows goes crazy, or you get infected or for some reason your system just stops working right. If you had an image from a few weeks ago, you could return the entire computer to the way it looked then.

For those reasons, I recommend making an image every month and keeping the last two. These can be put on a network drive or an external USB drive.

What Imaging is not good for:

  • Images will not let you move your current system to a new computer.
  • Images are a poor way to backup your files. For file backup, you should use a file backup system.

I recommend both Macrium Reflect and Easus Todo Backup. Macrium is much easier to use, but Easus is much more powerful.

Date: April 2012

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