Friday, January 8, 2010

1/4 Image your system with free Macrium

Imaging is the process of backing up the whole system drive(s) to an external disk another internal disk or another disk partition. That is the OS partition and also possibly the Recovery partition or a seperate data partition. It is different from Backups in the sense that it does not only save the data files, but also all the system settings, installed programs and actually everything that is on the partition. It should be done periodically (e.g., once a week). In case of problems with the system (e.g. a virus infection or the replacement of the hard disk) it enables you to recover the system from the image – the last one or any earlier one if available. The system will then be in exactly the state it was when the image was taken.
For that you also need a recovery CD which can be burnt from the imaging program. This CD boots from the optical drive (because your system is inoperable or non-existent in case of a disk replacement). For that you need to change the boot sequence in the BIOS to allow booting from the optical drive in lieu of the operating system disk partition.

The following are the settings you need to do when using free Macrium for imaging. You can download free macrium from here.

For the instructions how to setup Macrium and how to operate it, download this Zip folder. It contains the guidance as a PDF document or a PowerPoint presentation.

I have also made a 30 minute video that describes the whole imaging cycle including the recovery. You can watch the video on this site.

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