The primary benefit to creating a System Image is that it acts as a stop-loss with regards to your data. Regardless of what happens to your data, you can always restore your computer to that point in time that corresponds to that of the System Image.
The drawbacks to creating a system image include the time it takes to create the system image. Your computer is for all intensive purposes, out of commission for the duration of the system image creation process. A second drawback is that the System Image is literally out of date when it completes. If one relies solely on a system image for data protection purposes, it is a guarantee that one will lose data. A week is a lifetime with regards to computer data.
Without a doubt though, the stop-loss benefit is well worth the time it takes to create the system image. Plus, you can combine the system image with an incremental backup strategy such that you have a pretty good protection plan which will guard against major loss. To perform a system image, please refer to the following.
|1.||Right click the mouse on the Windows Start Menu button and select Control Panel from the popup menu.|
|2.||On the Control Panel screen, click on the Backup And Restore (Windows 7) icon.
|3.||On the Backup and Restore Your Backup screen, click on the Create A System Image link. It is located to the left of the screen.
|4.||On the Where Do You Want To Save Your Files screen, select Hard Disk (Assuming you've attached an external drive). Click Next.
|5.||On the Which Drives Do You Want To Include In The Backup screen, check off the drives of which you wish to take an image. Click Next.
|6.||On the Confirm Your Backup screen, ensure everything is correct and then click Start Backup.
The backup process will begin. It will take a long time (hours) so ....
|7.||On completion of the backup, label and store the backup drive in a safe place away from heat, water, etc.|
Restoring A System Image
Restoring a system image is done by booting the computer from a recovery drive and selecting the System Image Recovery option while in the recovery mode. To restore a system image, please do the following.
|1.||Boot the Computer using the recovery drive.|
|2.||When asked to select the keyboard, select US.|
|3.||On the Choose an Option screen, click on Troubleshoot|
|4.||On the Troubleshoot screen, click on Advanced Options.|
|5.||On the Advanced Options screen, click on System Image Recovery.|
|6.||On the System Image Recovery screen, click Windows 10.
The system will then begin and scan the computer for an existence of a system image. If it finds one, you'll be given the option to select it, etc. Once that is done and all prompts have been accepted, Start the Restore.
|7.||Upon completion, remove the recovery drive and reboot. Your PC will be brought back to the exact state it was in when the system image was created.|
System Images Are Expensive
Maintaining a system image is an expensive process. A two terabyte drive along with a drive enclosure that houses the hard drive can run well over $130.00. That is alot of money just to have it sit on a shelf. However, if you are a knowlege worker, it is best to make the capital investment. After all, how valuable is the work product stored on your computer.