A system image is totally a backup of everything on your computer hard drive. Thus many users are curious about whether they could directly treat a system image as a normal data backup. This article will probe into this issue in depth.
Without any doubts, in order to safeguard our data against corruption or loss, we have to make consistent and up-to-date data backups which will help a lot in data recovery. For instance, if we’ve backed up our Outlook files that contain precious data, even though Outlook data gets corrupt for some reasons, we still can easily get back damaged Outlook PST data from backed up files.
Since that computer data is stored in the computer hard drive, some users think that if they have a compete image of the PC drive, they’ve gotten hold of a backup. But actually there are still several subtle distinctions between them. Here we will delve into them deeply.
System Image vs Normal Data Backup
Outwardly, a system image is only a single file. But this file is containing everything on a hard drive. In brief, it is a copy of a hard drive exactly. It will commonly include all the system settings, programs as well as other common files which are installed or stored on the source hard drive. Thus, when your hard drive or computer goes on strike for some unknown reasons, if you have a system image file, you can use it to restore all the contents of the malfunctioning computer. Generally, the image size will be the same as the storage space used on the drive.
Unlike a single image file, normal backup commonly includes a certain amount of files. Moreover, in the backup process, you can select what to back up and what not to. In general, most users will only back up the critical data, not including the system settings or programs. Also, when restoring data from normal backup, you can choose what to restore and what not to.
System Image Shouldn’t Be Used as Normal Data Backup
Based on foresaid, it’s apparent that you cannot treat a system image as a normal data backup. In conclusion, there are 3 common reasons.
- Firstly, a system image is pretty large as it is making a copy of the entire hard drive. Therefore, it will take a long time to finish creating the image.
- Secondly, a system image will back up everything on the drive, thus it usually include many files you don’t need or care about, like system files, program files and other useless files. In other words, you cannot control what files to be backed up and what not to.
- Thirdly, in the recovery process, a system image only supports you to restore all the files, regardless of whether they are useful or not. Thereby, this course will also take a lot of time. As it will restore the system files, your current PC system may malfunction due to the incompatible system files.
Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including repair corrupted SQL Server db and outlook repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com