Tech Tips

End-of-year Tech Tips: Image Your Computer

This week, I’m providing tips for how to prepare for the New Year–that pesky end-of-year technology maintenance. Sure, you should do it once a month if you’re active on your computer, but AT LEAST do it yearly.

Like today.

Tech Tips for Writers is an occasional post over on my Writer Blog, WordDreams, on overcoming Tech Dread. I cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment. I’ll cover your tech dread in a future Tip.

Q: I hate reformatting my computer. I lose all the extras I’ve added (like Jing, cookies, Printkey 2000) I forget which software I have (sure, I remember MS Office, but what about Google Earth? Celestia?) And then there are all the personalizations I’ve put on that get lost with the reformat. Is there any way to make that process easier?

A: Glad you asked. Yes–create an image. This is a picture of what your hard drive looks like, including all the programs and extras, that is saved in a secure back-up area. When you reformat, all you have to do is copy the image back to the computer. Mine is on a terabyte external drive. Even if my two internal drives explode, I’m good.

Here’s what you do:

  • Click the start button.
  • Go to Control Panel
  • Select ‘Backup and Restore’
  • On the left sidebar, you’ll see an option for ‘create a system image’. Select that.
  • Follow directions (it’ll ask which drive to use for the image–stuff like that)

From there, you’ll select a drive with sufficient space and start. Be forewarned: If you have a lot of data, it takes a while. You can work on your computer while it’s backing up; it’ll just be slower.

A note: This is the same location you’ll go to restore from back-up if you have a problem.

More end-of-year tips:

Tech Tip: Back up Your Blog for the Holiday!

19 Holiday Websites For Your Students

End-of-Year Tech Tips: Back Up Your Computer (see 12/16/13 if no link)



Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, a columnist for Examiner.com, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.

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3 thoughts on “End-of-year Tech Tips: Image Your Computer

  1. So re- imaging will make your computer run better? If you just put everything back on how does it make it better? (not sure how to ask what I’m wanting to know, can you tell?)

    • Well, it makes it run better only if it stopped running. You keep the image for that horrid day when your hard drive crashes. Then, buy a new one and use the stored image (which, hopefully, was on a separate drive).

  2. Pingback: OTR Links 12/18/2013 | doug --- off the record

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