Drive imaging

How can I partition my hard drive and image it?

Spinning Hard Drive

Episode 1613

Richie from Tulsa, Oklahoma

Richie would like to know how to partition his hard drive. Leo says that TerraByte Drive Image is a good one to use (recommended by Steve Gibson) but image your hard drive first, just in case. Other options include Partition Magic, Acronis, Macruyn Refectm, and EaseUS Partition Master. You can even do it from your command line with DiskPart. 

How can I image my new computer before I get started?

Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

Episode 1443

Charles from Colton, CA

Charles bought a new computer and is trying to back up his operating system before he gets going. Leo says it's a good idea to make an image right at the beginning. He can even do it on a small 8GB USB thumb drive and keep it in his pocket. The laptop will likely have a rescue utility that will enable him to create a restore rescue disc, but he can also use the Windows 10 backup feature. Just press Windows Key and type "Backup" and then go to backup settings. Then click "Backup and Restore (Windows 7)." This is actually an image backup, and it will create a system image.

How can I save the Windows 10 update installer to a thumb drive?

USB Thumb Drive

Episode 1390

Ron from Charlotte, NC

Ron wants to know how he can create an install disk for Windows 10 on a USB thumb drive. Leo says he can use the Windows 10 Media Creation Tool to do it. He should choose the pro option. Ron should remember that Windows 10 is assigned to his computer now, so he will only be able to use it on that particular computer and not another. Windows 10 is linked to his specific rig.

Another option is to create an image of his hard drive. That's like a snapshot of what the hard drive looks like, and then he can restore it immediately and have it just the way he had it.

Why did the computer technician wipe my drive?

Recuva by Piriform

Episode 1355

Gloria from North Hollywood, CA

Gloria took her computer in to be fixed and they wiped her hard drive. Leo says that when working to diagnose a computer's problem, they have to get the computer to a so called "known state," and that usually means wiping the drive and then restoring it to a factory setting. That way they can separate software and hardware issues. So it's important to backup the hard drive, and even create an image that she could restore before sending it in. She could maybe use Piriform's Recuva to get her data back. It's free to try.

Is it better to restore from a backup or a drive image?

Hard drive

Episode 1109

Larry from Mill Valley, CA

Larry's computer started to crash, and he had to do a complete restore. He's wondering if he should do an Acronis True Image restore or just reinstall all the programs. Leo says that there's a difference between a drive image and a restore. A drive image will create an exact snapshot of the computer from that point in time. Restoring that image will wipe out everything in the process and take him back to the moment he made that image. He can do a restore and it'll just restore the computer configuration with software, data and settings from the last time he set a restore point.