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What is Disk Imaging

Updated by Daisy on May 26, 2021
Written by Daisy

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 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 system's 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 - malicious virus attacks which may erase systems or data, software or hardware glitches that may require formatting or wiping the hard disk, and 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, 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 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 that 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.

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Updated by Daisy

Daisy is the Senior editor of the writing team for EaseUS. She has been working in EaseUS for over ten years, starting from a technical writer to a team leader of the content group. As a professional author for over 10 years, she writes a lot to help people overcome their tech troubles.

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  • Taking everything into consideration, we can say that EaseUS Todo Backup Home can offer you a little extra sense of security with a set of advanced tools. The interface provides quick adaptation, every process guiding you all the way through so you don't get stuck or further damage your system rather than keeping it safe.

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  • EaseUS Todo Backup Free lets you create backups of your important files or your entire computer through its streamlined interface. Just choose the backup type you'd like to get started, and let the program do the reset.

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