Disk Imaging

Disk Imaging refers to, copying the contents of the data storage device like hard disk and storing it on another device. In disk imaging, complete replication of the hard disk i.e., registry programs, software, structure is done. Sector by sector mirroring of the compl ete drive, which includes unused sectors as well, takes place in disk imaging. These images could be stored on any external device as a backup. Disk imaging avoids reinstalling and formatting the system. Two types of disk imaging namely, Sector level imaging and only data imaging. Sector level imaging, wherein every sector is copied as it is i.e., mirroring of every bit and in another case only the data is copied leaving the empty sectors as it is.

The replicated data from the hard disk can be a compressed file format. This replicated data is useful for restoration on system crash. Image backup focuses on disk sectors rather than files. Hence, disk imaging involves duplication of entire disk (every bit). Some applications provide options to mount and explore image backups on a drive and restore individual files or copy, paste earlier data. File formats of disk imaging files is of Open Standards. Creation of disk image is applicable when exact structure is needed.

Uses and advantages

  • To get backup of data, structure, registry programs, software etc stored on hard disk for future use in case of system crash or failure due to virus attacks, human errors, natural disasters etc.,
  • It avoids reinstalling and formatting the system
  • It helps system administrators to replicate or duplicate the systems and store it on one machine. Use this disk image to install on multiple computers
  • It helps in restoring the system back in a good status
  • Any number of images can be created
  • Images are stored as files
  • To switch between technologies, like CD optical drive to hard drive
  • Best way to restore changes back to the way it was

Some of the earlier softwares for disk imaging, supports only to replicate the entire hard disk, lately, and the softwares support to replicate either the entire hard disk or individual partitions. There are several disk imaging applications available in the market. The best among all is Remo hard drive imaging software. Drive Image XML, Acronis True Image Home 2012, Symantec ghost etc., are some other names in the category.

Disk image software should provide the following features:

  • Good feature set to store data and make good disk images
  • Very easily the user should be able to make a disk image, it should provide user friendly interface to create a disk image
  • Bad sector management is necessary, Bad sector areas should be skipped
  • Flexibility to compress raw image on the fly should be provided
  • Option to maintain the image backup and explore the data
  • The product manufacturers should solve queries of users if at all required

Related Information

Hard Drive Imaging Software
Recover the Disk Image files with Remo Recover software. In case of deletion or loss of files from your computer's hard disk, external drive or USB drive.

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