When you reimage a hard disk, you restore the entire disk from a disk image file. Since this restore process involves erasing all the current data on the hard disk, it is typically used a last resort system recovery option.
When it comes to reimage computer, it wipes the hard drive completely and reinstalls an operating system on the computer.
Reimaging is used if there’s an issue with booting, if there’s a window’s system file error, if trying to repair windows does not work, or if there’s an irreparable virus. Other errors might exist due to circumstances.
Back up Your Hard Drive Data before Reimaging Computer
In Windows 10/8/7, there is an embedded backup tool which enables you to create an image for the current OS, choose system disk to back up and make a file backup. But sometimes, Windows backup issues often occur, for example, Windows backup stuck at 99%, no enough space to create a system image, etc. Thus, here we strongly suggest backing up the entire system disk data with the professional backup program.
MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition, a completely free backup software, will be your good assistant. It is compatible with Windows operating systems including Windows 10/8/8.1/7, and you are able to back up Windows OS, partition and the entire hard drive into an image. Most importantly, it allows you to clone a hard drive for disk backup. If your computer can boot, free download this backup software, install it on your computer right now and start a disk backup before you reimage computer.
Create an Image for Windows 10/8/7
Step 1: Choose local backup.
Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition you have installed on your computer, then you need to choose one computer to manage.
Here, the Free Edition of this free backup software only allows you to create a local backup by clicking the first Connect button. In order to back up a computer by remote control, you need to use the Beta Edition.
Step 2: Enter Home interface.
MiniTool ShadowMaker will enter the Home page where a prompt message is offered. If you are a new user, please click SET UP BACKUP button to start data protection now.
Step 3: Choose backup source and storage path.
In the Backup interface, you are required to choose backup source and image storage location.
- Here you know MiniTool ShadowMaker backs up system partitions by default. If you want to reimage computer, we suggest choosing all the partitions on the disk containing Windows operating system to back up to avoid data loss and software reinstallation. Just select system disk from the following combo box, and check all the partitions, as shown below.
- In This Computer window, all partitions detected by Windows are listed. In order to restore lost data after reimaging your computer, we highly recommend you to save the disk image to an external hard drive or USB flash drive.
Step 4: Start backup.
Go back to the Backup page where you see two features including Schedule and Scheme which are useful for daily backup. Here, your intention is to back up disk data before you start to reimage your computer in Windows 10/7/8, thus, some advanced settings are unnecessary.
Just directly click Back up Now button and then the backup operation can be viewed in Manage page.
Sometimes you want to reimage computer for Windows 10/8/7 after the PC gets damaged or corrupted, in this case, you need to boot your PC from a USB or disc and then back up disk. MiniTool ShadowMaker offers you a feature called Media Builder, enabling you to create a bootable USB flash drive or CD/DVD disc which contains MiniTool ShadowMaker Bootable Edition.
Clone a Hard Drive for Windows 10/8/7 before Computer Reimaging
MiniTool ShadowMaker has a reliable feature which is Clone Disk, allowing you to clone a system disk or data disk to another hard drive for disk backup. If Windows is still bootable, its Free Edition is helpful for disk cloning. If OS corruption happens, just get its Bootable Edition from the Free Edition to clone a disk in WinPE.
Step 1: After launching MiniTool ShdowMaker, please go to Tools interface and then choose Clone Disk.
Step 2: Choose the system disk as the source disk and an external hard drive as the target disk. Then a warning pops out after clicking OK. Please ensure no important files are saved on the target disk and hit Yes button.
Step 3: Wait patiently. After the operation is completed, shut down your computer and remove the target disk.
In addition to MiniTool ShadowMaker, the professional PC cloning software – MiniTool Partition Wizard is also helpful to clone disk to another hard drive for disk backup with its Migrate OS to SSD/HD or Copy Disk feature. While the system is unbootable, get Bootable Edition from its Professional Edition and perform a disk cloning.