What is Disk Imaging

Daisy updated on Sep 23, 2019 to Backup and Recovery | How-to Articles

Disk imaging refers to copying the contents of a data storage device or medium, and transferring this to another, similar medium or device. In its original context, disk imaging implies the creation of an exact duplicate of a computer's hard disk drive - including its programs, setup and data then storing this in a special, compressed file format.

Disk imaging aims to provide the user with an exact replica of a computer's systems and data - needed in case of a catastrophic disk crash where the user needs to recover systems or data (e.g. in the event of a virus attack or accident), to 'clone' a systems set-up for installation in another computer or to move these to another hard drive.

The Uses of Disk Imaging

The primary use of disk imaging software is to provide quick and easy back-ups of computer software and data stored on hard disks. While most people think of backing up data, disk imaging programs back up not only data but also the computer's systems and configuration.

In effect, a disk imaging program captures an 'image' of an active computer system - its structure, registry programs, 'tweaks', software, etc. This is especially useful in case of problems encountered during the life of the system - deliberate virus attacks which may erase systems or data, software or hardware glitches which may require formatting or erasure of the hard disk, installation of beta (test) software that may conflict with a computer system, catastrophic incidents like man-made disasters or accidents (e.g. fire, floods, and the like).

In other words, a disk image means having an updated 'rescue disk' that one uses to easily reinstall the system to what it was at the time of 'duplication,' without having to go through the involved process of installing software and resetting or tweaking settings once again to the desired configuration.

A second application for disk imaging software is for systems administrators who oversee multiple computers with similar configurations. Rather than spending time in transferring and configuring systems on different computers, a disk imaging software makes the task easy and quick - duplicate the systems on one machine and install the 'disk image' on another computer.

Disk Image Software

The most popular disk imaging software is Symantec Ghost. The initial versions of Ghost were used to duplicate or clone entire disks (without regard to whether the disk was half-empty or not), but later versions were configured to provide the user with a choice of copying entire disks or individual partitions. Ghost also provides for multiple means of duplicating systems or data; one can copy these to a second disk on the same machine; duplicate these to another computer linked via network or parallel cable; or to copy the image to a network or tape drive.

A corporate edition of Ghost allows for multicasting, or the simultaneous transfer of images from one computer to several ones - an approach which reduces the stress on a computer network that has to transfer large files (usually several hundred megabytes or more).

Best Disk Image Software - EaseUS Todo Backup

EaseUS Todo Backup is a reliable disk image software. It is the safe backup & recovery software offering backup, disk clone and disaster recovery solution, supporting one-click system, files and applications backup.

free Clonezilla alternative - EaseUS Todo Backup

 
 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why choose EaseUS Todo Backup?

"The easiest way to protect your data and system files."techradar

"EaseUS Todo Backup Free is one of the most popular free data backup applications available. This software offers a myriad of features and is extremely user-friendly. It provides a full system backup, meaning you can back up your entire operating system."TopTenReviews

"EaseUS ToDo Backup Home is a great backup program, well suited to the home and SMB space."PCWorld

What is the difference between Clone and Backup? In what cases should I use Clone?

Clone will copy one disk to another or one partition to another (unallocated space is also supported). Usually, this option is used to upgrade the current disk by creating an identical copy. Backup will generate a .PBD image file containing the selected files or system that can be restored from the .PBD image if needed.

What is the difference between System Backup and Disk Backup?

System Backup will auto-select the system boot related partition(s) as the backup source to make sure the system image can be restored properly. Disk/Partition Backup will allow you to manually select a whole disk or speficy a certain partition as the backup source. You will get the same backup result as System Backup if you manually select the system and boot partitions with the Disk/Partition Backup option.

As a computer newbie, what features should I use to protect my computer?

You can use System Backup to back up the system and boot partitions, use Disk/Partition backup to back up the data partition and add plans to run an automatic backup. If you use the computer frequently or have software that may cause boot failure of the computer, we would suggest you back up the computer every 1 to 2 days. For other situations, you can backup the computer once a week. In addition, you can schedule File Backup to back up the files which are changed frequently.

What kind of storage service should I use to save my backup images?

EaseUS Todo Backup can save backup images to internal disks, external disks, network drives, or free cloud(Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive) and CD/DVD. It is suggested to save the images to the internal/external/network drives to save time as those kinds of disks have a better read-write speed. It is suggested NOT to save the image on the source disk, because once the disk is damaged, all the files on the disk will become unavailable and you will be unable to restore the image.

As a company network administrator, what features should I use to protect our internal computers?

It is recommended that you use the SQL Backup feature to back up your company's SQL server and Exchange Backup feature to back up the Exchange server. In addition, you can execute System Backup to back up the system and boot partitions on every computer and set a plan to execute the backup once a day or twice a week to ensure that the computer can be restored timely when it has boot issues. File Backup feature can be used to back up important user data. If there are a large quantity of computers, you can purchase EaseUS Backup Center to manage the backups on the client computers centrally.

About EaseUS Todo Backup

Be it a file, system, partition, or disk, EaseUS Todo Backup will help you back up or clone the item and provide you with multiple backup plans.