Why don't more people image ther OS hard drive

So many many problems could be resolved if people only backed up there system with an image. I use to be what I called the reformat queen until I descovered hard drive imaging. I have now gone 5 years without reformating. Anytime something goes wrong which seems to be often I just reinstall my current image and all is well. My favorite software for this is Acronis True Image but there are others. Please please do yourself a favor and invest in software of this type.


I went through several versions of Drive Image for a long time. :slight_smile:

These days I don’t mind reformatting and a nice fresh install, though you’re right, imaging software makes the whole process quicker.

I don’t think I’ve reinstalled since getting this HDD 7 months ago, it’s amazing something software-wise hasn’t gone belly up by now!

The image of your original install will obsolete if you’ve changed any hardware in the mean time and a current image will still have so much crap on it you’ll want to start fresh. I never use images and disable system restore right away - “all or nothing” for me :bigsmile:

If it works for you, go for it! :slight_smile:

How I keep an image just like a fresh install is when I accumulate several programs I want to install permanately I install the image which is always kept like a clean install then reimage. This way it is always a clean install image. I never play around with an OS for any lenght of time and then create an image. I go back to the last clean image made install my new programs then image again… Hope this makes since. The idea is an image is only as good as what your imaging.

I kinda like doing a fresh install - makes me feel like I’m actually doing something :bigsmile:…I haven’t had the time recently to clear all the muck out and start fresh, though.

Ditto on System Restore, BTW :wink:

That’s a good way to go, waycoolgal. As long as you don’t install new hardware in your system, keep an image of the OS and drivers install. As far as programs, your preferences may shift and new versions appear, so it may or may not be what you need. It’s such an ambiguous thing, supposed to be foolproof for the unexperienced, but you still need to know what you’re doing…

Vista calling??? :bigsmile: It’s good enough to surf the Internet (and CDF of course) as you can see - but you may need to call on your experience to get some drivers installed.

A good practice IMO and actually that is what I’m currently doing. I have lots of softwares (40-50) to install after reformating and it took 3-4 days to do it and set them up to my taste.

But the problem is you need to constantly update your image (install the old image and reimage) otherwise it would not be a clean image. Many softwares update regularly. :wink:

for me i keep system restore on. If i install some new hardware or screw up something with my settings then its the restore option. Sive i built my comp on the 25th of may, ive done one reformat.

I thought an image of just the OS as I have if I was to redo windows it would be like making a new OS without the activation. Am I wrong?

Your not wrong. Solves that problem dosent it.

I had to elaborate further on another board so I am pasting it here also.

Acronis True image guide.

First step is to put your OS on its own partition or hard drive to keep

the size manageable.

Install Acronis and create the boot cd.

Boot with the cd and follow the instructions. Very easy to follow.

You can put your image on a hard drive or onto cdrs and dvdrs.

When your image is needed boot again from the boot cd and follow the

simple instructions.

If you like that clean install feeling which I do I handle my images in

just that way.


I reformat and install my OS. I then put on all my trusted programs

which I know do not mess with my system. At that point I put an image

on my hard drive. I then go get the ms updates. I create another image

on my hard drive. I also write that image to cdrs. I figure at that

point it is set up the way I like it. I don’t delete those other images

off my hard drive until I have reinstalled that last image so I know

all is well with it. At this time play all you want with your pc. When

the time comes that you have some programs that you want to add to your

image collection go back to your last image created and put it back on.
then install your new programs and image again. I bet in five years I

have used my images 50 or more times. I play around with alot of

programs and it never fails that something goes wrong.

Also after I got my dvd writer I thought that would make it easier but I found an image on dvdr was not as reliable. Don’t knoiw why and didn’t fight it long. I just went back to cdrs.

In response to the post about system restore. If you are relying on system restore to save you at all times you have a rude awakening coming. I can’t count the times that system restore failed me. If this has not happened to you yet then you are very very lucky.

One more thing

If you like clean installs that is great. It is usually done at a time that you are in the mood to take your pc play in that direction. Let me tell you though on those days you reboot and all of a sudden something went wrong and last good configuration is laughing at you then you will be glad that you have those images.

I found that it is easier to just backup the files on HDD. My operating systems (XP + 98SE) and installed software fit on a single DVD. This kind of backup enables me to restore individual programs even on a system which has a different motherboard.

The only hdd-specific files I know are bootsect.dos and installations of few software which have serials based on a ‘system id’.

The Drive Image thing sounds like a good idea if you need to re-install often.

I personally don’t bother. I’ve been running NT (a.k.a Win2k, a.k.a XP) for ten years and I only needed to re-install three times. Those times were due to hard drive failures and if I hadn’t run the drives too hot I may never have had to re-install.

My re-installs are easy because I have everything on hard drives that I need to re-install. I never install anything from CD, I always copy the CD to the hard drive first. I have 45 GB of copies of CDs.

I run a hard drive diagnostic every week or two and I’ve always been warned of an impending drive failure while the drive was still readable. I could clone it then if I wanted but after a few years it’s probably a good idea to just re-install.

I always replace a bad drive with a bigger one so it’s probably a good thing they die occasionally or I’d still be using 20GB drives :bigsmile: