Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

This question already has an answer here:

I recently got a new computer. I want to do a backup of everything and save it on an empty disc. So that if in future my computer fails, I can just use this disc and re-install Windows, all my drivers and whatever was on my comp when I first bought it (i.e. back to factory settings).

This computer was actually assembled by my friend's friend and I am not at all IT savvy. This seems like the best way for me to 'reformat' my comp without going through the hassle of finding someone who could reformat for me.

I want to know if this is possible?

Is the solution to this to create a System Image and then saving it on an empty disc?

I am currently using Windows 7.

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by slhck Aug 11 '13 at 18:52

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

up vote 0 down vote accepted

I want to know if this is possible?

Yes, it is possible.

Is the solution to this to create a System Image?

For that you would need to boot at least once, which means your computer is no longer 100% pristine. Thus you want to make your backup before you first boot.

I am currently using Windows 7.

Since we will do this without/before booting the OS does not matter.

Try this instead: Clonezilla. It is free and makes a full backup of everything on your harddisk. Boot it from a liveCD, create the image and store the image on a second disk. Only then boot your 'new' OS for the first time.

ClozeZilla is just one example: There are many programs which can do this. E.g. Northon ghost, Acronis true image, or even a plain linux or BSD installation in combination with dd.

share|improve this answer
Thank you Hennes. I am still a bit confused, if i use Clonezilla (or other similar softwares) to create a system image, when i reformat, i can use this system image, and it would restore my pc back to how it was initially, to the point of when i first created this system image? i.e. new files i downloaded after that, will be gone? Thanks! – Emz Aug 11 '13 at 19:25
Yes. It will record the exact information on the disk. It can also copy it back, producing a 100% identical situation. Most computers come with a factory pre-installed image which asks some basic questions when you boot it the first time (e.g. language to be used, default password, etc etc). If you want it to ask the same questions again if you need to create this image before you first boot it. (Which is also quite handy should you ever sell the PC, or give it to a newphew or an aunt when you get a new PC). – Hennes Aug 11 '13 at 20:31
Note that restoring such an image will produce excact the same situation as when you made the image. Any and all changes made in between will be lost. This includes any information you stored on the harddisk. Any. Make sure you copy all that you want to keep before you restore an image. – Hennes Aug 11 '13 at 20:32

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .