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Focus on Disk Backup and How to Quickly Reimage Computer


Summary: Many system issues happen to your computer, leading to Windows damage or corruption? Decide to reimage computer to restore it to the factory resetting? In this post, we will tell you how to back up your Windows before reimaging your computer as well as some possible ways to quickly reimage PC in Windows 10/7/8.

What Is Reimaging Computer?

When it comes to PC reimaging, some of you may be curious: what is the meaning of reimaging computer? Does reimaging delete data?

Actually, it refers to the process of removing all programs and reinstalling everything on your computer. Namely, it helps to delete all data on the hard drive of your computer and restore the PC to factory setting. Sometimes the word "reinstall" is used in place of "reimage". To reimage computer is very necessary in many cases. For example, the operating system gets damaged or corrupted; your system is plagued with spyware problems; Windows is unable to load; the PC isn't running as well as it should be. By reimaging your computer, all these problems caused by software issues can be repaired.

Tip: When searching the related topic on Google, you will find "reimage VS reformat" is also asked. What's the difference between them? See this forum to learn some information now.

bakcup Attention!
As mentioned above, everything on your hard drive including all personal data and programs will be gone with nothing saved after reimaging. Thus, the most important thing you must do, if possible, is to back up the disk data before you start to reimage computer.

Back up Your Hard Drive Data before Reimaging Computer

In Windows 10/8/7, there is an embedded backup tool which enables you to create an image for the current OS, choose system disk to back up and make a file backup. But sometimes, Windows backup issues often occur, for example, Windows backup stuck at 99%, no enough space to create a system image, etc. Thus, here we strongly suggest backing up the entire system disk data with the professional backup program.

MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition, a completely free backup software, will be your good assistant. It is compatible with Windows operating systems including Windows 10/8/8.1/7, and you are able to back up Windows OS, partition and the entire hard drive into an image. Most importantly, it allows you to clone a hard drive for disk backup. If your computer can boot, free download this backup software, install it on your computer right now and start a disk backup before you reimage computer.

How to back up your computer to avoid data loss? See the details in the following part.

img1 Create an Image for Windows 10/8/7

Step 1: Choose local backup.
Launch MiniTool ShadowMaker Free Edition you have installed on your computer, then you need to choose one computer to manage.

local backup

Here, the Free Edition of this free backup software only allows you to create a local backup by clicking the first Connect button. In order to back up a computer by remote control, you need to use the Beta Edition 3.0.

Step 2: Enter Home interface.
MiniTool ShadowMaker will enter the Home page where a prompt message is offered. If you are a new user, please click SET UP BACKUP button to start data protection now.


Step 3: Choose backup source and storage path.
In the Backup interface, you are required to choose backup source and image storage location.

  • Here you know MiniTool ShadowMaker backs up system partitions by default. If you want to reimage computer, we suggest choosing all the partitions on the disk containing Windows operating system to back up to avoid data loss and software reinstallation. Just select system disk from the following combo box, and check all the partitions, as shown below.

    disk backup

  • Here, in This Computer window, all partitions detected by Windows are listed. In order to restore lost data after reimaging your computer, we highly recommend you to save the disk image to an external hard drive or USB flash drive.

    backup destination

Step 4: Start backup.
Go back to the Backup page where you see two features including Schedule and Scheme which are useful for daily backup. Here, your intention is to back up disk data before you start to reimage your computer in Windows 10/7/8, thus, some advanced settings are unnecessary.

Just directly click Back up Now button and then the backup operation can be viewed in Manage page.

backup now

Sometimes you want to reimage computer for Windows 10/8/7 after the PC gets damaged or corrupted, in this case, you need to boot your PC from a USB or disc and then back up disk. MiniTool ShadowMaker offers you a feature called Media Builder, enabling you to create a bootable USB flash drive or CD/DVD disc which contains MiniTool ShadowMaker Bootable Edition.

Here, you need to use Beta Edition 3.0 to get it since the Bootable Edition you get from Free Edition doesn't allow you to back up in WinPE. Then, boot your damaged PC from the disc and then back up disk as the above steps show.


img2 Clone a Hard Drive for Windows 10/8/7 before Computer Reimaging

MiniTool ShadowMaker has a reliable feature which is Clone Disk, allowing you to clone a system disk or data disk to another hard drive for disk backup. If Windows is still bootable, its Free Edition is helpful for disk cloning. If OS corruption happens, just get its Bootable Edition from the Free Edition to clone a disk in WinPE.

Step 1: After launching MiniTool ShdowMaker, please go to Tools interface and then choose Clone Disk.


Step 2: Choose the system disk as the source disk and an external hard drive as the target disk. Then a warning pops out after clicking OK. Please ensure no important files are saved on the target disk and hit Yes button.


Step 3: Wait patiently. After the operation is completed, shut down your computer and remove the target disk.

clone progress

In addition to MiniTool ShadowMaker, the professional PC cloning software - MiniTool Partition Wizard is also helpful to clone disk to another hard drive for disk backup with its Migrate OS to SSD/HD or Copy Disk feature. While the system is unbootable, get Bootable Edition from its Professional Edition and perform a disk cloning.

copy disk

Hot article: How Can You Migrate Windows 10 to SSD without Reinstalling OS

We have shown you how to back up your computer before reimaging your computer. Now, it is your time to take measures to reimage computer. Well then, how to reimage a computer if you find something wrong with your computer? Read the next part.

How to Reimage Your Computer Windows 7/10

While searching this topic online, you will find there are three aspects. And here, we will show you the detailed ways in different situations.

solution 1 How to Reimage a Computer without Disc

If you don't have any bootable disc, how can you reimage your PC? Two possible ways are provided for you.

img1 Use Recovery Partition

Recovery partition, a special drive on your hard drive, is helpful to reimage your computer to its factory settings when system issues occur. Some computer manufacturers, including Dell, Lenovo, and HP, put a recovery partition on the hard disk of new computers. Besides, if your system disk uses GPT partition style, you will find a snap-in Windows recovery partition in Disk Management.

By pressing a special key combination when the computer starts, you can boot the PC into its recovery environment and use the recovery partition to restore the computer to the state when it was new. Note that the key differs from each computer brand: Dell-F8, Acer- Alt+F10, HP-F11, Asus-F9, Lenovo-F11, Toshiba-0, etc. Just press the key(s) based on your actual situation and follow the wizard to finish Windows recovery.

If you are looking for a visual guide, please watch the following video.

img2 Reset Your PC

What if there is no recovery partition on your computer? In Windows 10/8, Microsoft has offered a feature that allows you to reset your PC so that Windows issues can be solved. How to reimage computer in this way? Take Windows 10 as an example and the guide is here.

① Windows can run normally

1. Click Start button, and choose Settings.

2. Find Update & security to open it.

3. Then, go to Recovery interface where you can see the feature Reset this PC which lets you choose to keep your files or remove them, and then reinstalls Windows. Just click Get Started to begin to reimage Windows 10 computer.

4. Choose an option based on your need from the pop-up small window.

reset this pc

5. A small window will appear, telling you that your apps will be removed. Click Next button.

remove app

6. Finally, hit Reset to start the reimaging operation.

② Windows fails to start up

In most cases, Windows 10/8 will automatically boot into WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment) if Window fails to boot due to system issues. Please reimage your computer by following the guide:

1. Navigate to Choose an option > Troubleshoot > Rest this PC.

2. Choose Keep my files or Remove everything.


3. Choose an account to continue.

4. Enter the password for the selected account.

5. Click the Reset button at last to reimage computer.


solution 2 Reimage from Network

If you don't have a recovery partition, how to reimage your computer in Windows 7? Some of you choose to reimage a computer from the network.

1. In Windows 7, press F8 key during the startup.

2. Click Repair Your Computer.

repair computer

3. In System Recovery Options window, choose System Image Recovery.

4. Check Select a system image.

5. Click Advanced, and click Serch for a system image on the network. Then follow the wizard to do reimage PC repair.

reimage your computer windows 7

solution 3 How to Reimage a Computer from USB Drive

In addition to reimaging computer without disc or from network, you can ask an installation disk for help. Follow the guide below.

1. Download a Windows 7 ISO installation file. (If you use Windows 10/8, download the corresponding ISO file.)
2. Burn the ISO file to a USB flash drive or DVD/DVD so as to create your own installation media.
3. Change the boot order in BIOS to boot your computer from this media you have created.
4. Windows Setup will begin loading. After that, choose the Windows setup options including language, time & currency format and keyboard type. Then, click Next.


5. Click Install now button.
6. Accept the Windows license agreement.
7. Choose one type of installation you want.
8. Decide which hard drive and partition you want to install Windows 7 on.
9. Then, the reimaging process will be started.

For more information, click How to Install Windows 7.

How long does it take to reimage a computer? Perhaps you will ask us. Actually, this operation will cost you 20 minutes to 1 hour. Please wait patiently.

Bottom Line

To sum up, all ways to reimage computer are told to you. Before starting the reimaging, you need to back up your disk data and then take a way to begin the computer reimaging. But from the above part, you know system image is also useful to reimage Windows 7 computer in case of system issues. Thus, it can be seen that how important a backup is. So, back up your computer after purchasing it or set up a backup regularly so that you can use it to restore the system quickly and easily if needed.

If you have any questions when using our software or any suggestions of the way to reimage computer in Windows 10/7/8, please write an email to [email protected] or leave your idea in the comment area.