Reasons to Image a Computer Hard Drive
Taking an image or clone of a computer hard drive is a relatively easy process when you use the software and technology available to aid you in the imaging process. When you take an image of a hard drive, the image is an exact replica of your computer at the time the image was taken. Of course, you would want to take the image when the computer is healthy and running without any problems. You should take a new image at least once a month to ensure you have a fresh copy at all times. Should you image or clone a hard drive?
In between images, you should be backing up important data daily or at least weekly whether by an incremental or full backup to an external drive or an online backup solution. Too many things can happen to crash a computer and a hard drive imaging solution is the best way to revive a crashed computer unless you have nothing better to do than spend a day reloading your Operating System and all of the applications that were installed.
While it is true that today’s hard drives are much more reliable than they were 25 years ago, they are still one of the weakest components in your system.
If, for some reason, your hard drive has crashed and you did not have an image or a solid backup of your data, there is still hope. Disk Doctors have all the tools you need to recover from a physical or logical hard drive failure.
Be Cautious about Windows Updates and Service Packs
There have been numerous times that just a simple Windows Update has made computers so unstable that a re-image of the hard drive was the only solution to the problems. Not to mention Service Packs. You should never try a Service Pack without doing a full image first. Never trust in the System Restore utility built into Windows. Recently there are a barrage of reports of people that have braved the new Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Windows XP and rendered their computer useless. A fresh image of the hard drive could have solved the problems in literally minutes.
Unstable Device Drivers
Other reasons that imaging your computer could save you a lot of hassle are problems with system device drivers. Drivers can be the worst nightmares to troubleshoot. There have been many times that an updated driver has turned computers into boat anchors. Put a fresh image on and the problem is solved once again. I have had times where putting in a new video driver to solve some video problems made the computer reboot endlessly. Luckily, I had taken an image of the hard drive prior to installing the driver. All I had to do was pop in the Acronis recovery CD and follow the wizard to load the image to the hard drive and all problems were solved. Acronis is a lifesaver!
Trying to update the drivers on your computer is a dangerous task to try anyway. You can avoid any confusion about which drivers to install with the UniBlue DriverScanner. The DriverScanner scans your computer’s drivers and checks them against their complete library of the latest drivers, to give you a full list of all those that need to be upgraded. With one click DriverScanner installs each driver update to your computer. Try DriverScanner to see if you need any drivers updated before you try it on your own. See our Review of DriverScanner.
Upgrading a Hard Drive
Perhaps your hard drive is full and you need a bigger drive. There are two options. Reinstall your operating system and all of the applications or simply image or clone the old drive and put the image on the new one. If the reinstall of an operating system is the solution, plan on hours of time and frustration. If imaging or cloning of the smaller drive and moving that image to the larger drive is the solution, plan on about less than an hour possibly minutes depending on how many gigabytes of data are stored on the hard drive. Hard drive imaging or cloning is the only sensible solution. See how easy it is to upgrade a hard drive using the Acronis True Image cloning process.
There are many other possibilities where you will be glad that you have an image of your healthy hard drive. If you have ever accidentally clicked on something you shouldn't have and unknowingly installed a bunch of adware or spyware, it can take hours to completely remove some of those scummy programs. A quick image of a healthy hard drive takes care of the problem in minutes not hours. There is always the possibility of lightning strikes or power surges wiping out your data you have stored on your computer. A UPS or surge suppressor should protect your computer equipment but what if it fails. Your data will be lost.
There are only two imaging utilities that are reliable enough to keep your computer running smooth through unforeseen events. Probably the best is Acronis True Image but Symantec's Norton Ghost works just as well it is just not as intuitive and easy as Acronis True Image. Here is a review of Acronis True Image in action. Whichever imaging program you choose, you will be thankful that you have an image of your computer if something goes wrong. A hard drive image is the best way to fix the unfixable or upgrade your hard drive.
True Image 2015 has just been released with some exciting new features to keep your data safer than ever. The hard drive backup and imaging program still has all of the useful features as before with some great improvements including virtual hard drive support and the Universal Restore feature which allows you to restore an image to dissimilar hardware or a virtual machine. See our Full Review of True Image. True Image now fully integrates with Windows 8 and includes an online backup solution to keep your files safe, secure and available. The new version has new file synchronization capabilities to sync files with multiple Computers and new network backup with enhanced Network Attached Storage (NAS) support.