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How to Create an Image of Your PC Before Upgrading to Windows 10

Discussion in 'Windows 10 forum' started by ireland, Aug 6, 2015.

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  1. ireland

    ireland Active member

    Nov 28, 2002
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    How to Create an Image of Your PC Before Upgrading to Windows 10

    Windows 10 is the biggest and most aggressive Windows rollout to date. Before you take the plunge you need to image your hard drive so, should you wish to return to the familiarity of Windows 7 or Windows 8 you can do so with the click of a button.

    Note: This tutorial details how to create a bit-for-bit backup (a disk image) of your current Windows system disk so that you can later restore your computer using that image. If that’s not what you’re looking for and you’d like to actually copy your disk bit-for-bit over to a brand new hard disk (a disk clone) we’d encourage you to check out our detailed tutorial on the matter: How to Upgrade Your Existing Hard Drive in Under an Hour.

    Why Do I Want To Do This?

    There’s nothing worse than making a major change to your PC and then finding out that change breaks your workflow (like an old app you rely on doesn’t work anymore) or it outright breaks your PC because the leap to a new operating system leaves your hardware in need of new (and as-of-yet unreleased) drivers.

    Over the years we’ve covered plenty of ways to use the tools built into Windows to perform snapshots, create backups, and otherwise help you to restore your computer to a prior state if your hardware upgrades or such go awry. When it comes to a change as big as jumping from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to the barely charted waters of Windows 10, however, you don’t want to rely on snapshots and rollback features to help you return to the safety of a prior version of Windows. You want the clear and precise ability to wipe the entire drive clean and restore it, bit for bit, to the exact state it was in before you even started the upgrade process.

    In order to do that we need to image the drive. We want a perfect pre-upgrade copy we can call upon to restore the system. This drive image will remain clean and unchanged independently of anything we do to the computer during the upgrade process and thereafter so even if we format the drives, even if we use Windows 10 for six months and decide we really don’t like it, we can turn right back around and use the image we’ve created to turn back the clock and restore our computer to the exact state it was in before the upgrade.

    We can’t emphasize enough how important this step is. We’ll complete it using free tools, it doesn’t cost anything (unless you need to purchase an extra drive to store the image on), and it hardly takes any time (especially when you compare it to the hassle of reinstalling your old version of Windows and reconfiguring everything).

    What Do I Need?

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2015
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