What is Disk Imaging or Disk Cloning

Disk imaging, sometimes also loosely termed as Disk Cloning, is the process of copying the contents of one computer hard disk to another disk or to an “image” file. Often, the contents of the first disk are written to an image file as an intermediate step, and the second disk is loaded with the contents of the image. This procedure is also useful when moving to a larger capacity disk or to restore the disk to a previous state.

When You May Require A Disk Imaging Software

There are a lot of situations, in which you may have to resort to use a Disk Imaging Software For instance,

Reboot and Restore: A technique in which the disk of a computer is automatically wiped and restored from a “clean”, master image, which should be in full working order and should have been swept for viruses. This is used by some cybercafes and some training and educational institutes, and helps ensure that even if a user does misconfigure something, downloads inappropriate content or programs, or infects a computer with a virus, the computer will be restored to a clean, working state.

Installing a New Computer: Provisioning with a standard set of software so that a new user is ready to go straight away with a complete application suite and does not have to waste time installing individual applications. This is often done by original equipment manufacturers and larger companies.

Hard drive upgrade: An individual user may use disk copying (cloning) to upgrade to a new, usually larger, hard disk.

Full system backup: A user may create a comprehensive backup of their operating system and installed software.

System recovery: An OEM can provide media that can restore a computer to its original factory software configuration

With so much uses, You definitely would like to ask, is there any good free disk imaging software available? Macrium Reflect is a good choice, if you are looking for a decent software to clone your disk. Although the standard editions of Macrium Reflect are paid software, but they have a free edition as well, which you can use for most of the basic tasks required by an average user.

free disk imaging software

Features of Macrium Reflect – A Freeware Disk Cloning Program

  • Create a disk image whilst running Windows using Microsoft Volume Shadow copy Service (VSS).
  • Image to Network, USB, FireWire drives and DVD.
  • Built in scheduler.
  • 32 bit and native 64 bit versions.
  • Industry leading compression levels and speed.
  • Linux based Rescue CD with Network access and full GUI. Only 6.5MB in size!
  • Built in CD/DVD packet writing engine. Supports packet writing to DVD DL media with Windows Vista.
  • HTML log files.

[Download Macrium Reflect]