Q&A The Best Disk Imaging Software

Which (If any) Disk Imaging Software do you use?

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Level 12
Jun 24, 2016
5 Best Disk Imaging Software:
SOURCE: cloudwards.net/best disk imaging software (ARTICLE DATE: 19th Aug 2016)

1. Acronis True Image

2. Paragon Hard Disk Manager
3. PowerISO
4. Macrium Reflect
5. O&O DiskImage

Difference Between Image and Normal Backup:
A normal file backup is taken by copy/pasting or moving files to a different storage device. Only the actual files are copied, while additional data that is used to locate these files (like file allocation tables and master boot records) are not copied to the external drive.
Also, a directly copy-pasted normal file backup cannot be booted.
On the other hand, a disk image backup stores all the necessary drive settings and information, which allows users to boot their systems through this type of backup.

Difference Between Cloning and Imaging
Many people get confused between cloning and imaging, after all, both processes backup data from computers and restore files when required.
  • Disk Image
Disk images are used to back up a healthy computer, and the image backup can be restored if your PC fails.
Ideally, disk images take a full image backup of a system, and this backup can then be saved in a separate location.
After the full image backup, incremental backups of a system can be taken during regular intervals.
Here one major advantage of saving full image backups to a different location.

    • Disk Clone
Disk cloning creates an exact copy of your drive on another drive. The main requirement for cloning is two physical drives, or the main drive and an external USB drive.
Cloning can be used to upgrade a hard drive, or to save a failing drive by creating a clone of it.

[To read the full article/reviews please visit the link at the top of the page]


Most reliable is Windows itself or Macrium Reflect.

That being said, if you search the forums enough you will no doubt find some users that have horrible stories about both Windows and Macrium.

Imaging is always a dicey affair; image restoration will fail you when you need it the most. However, Windows and Macrium - like I said - have proven over time to be the most reliable.

I have found that going through the trouble of uninstalling all my apps prior to restoring the image hedges my bet that the restoration will proceed without a hitch.

Yes, it is a lot of extra work -- but I'd rather have a hitch-free restore than have to start from scratch - starting from scratch which requires 20 to 50 X the amount of time...


Level 7
May 22, 2016
Macrium Reflect for me .
I used to use Aomei and EaseUS as well , but they're not in the list.

I think of backups like motorcycle helmets .... you always want to use a good one , but hope
that you never find out about the quality the hard way :)


Level 37
Feb 4, 2016
I'm using HDDs (external and internal) from Wastern Digital. WD is offering for their customers the free software
"Acronis True image Western Digital edition". I'm using this software already since some years on all my machines to
make system images every month. This special edition is not able to make "incremental" images and also (i guess) some
other functions are not avaiable in this special WD edition. But the software is running fine and i had no problems at all .....so far.....


Level 5
Jan 10, 2015
I use Redo Backup for Imaging.The thing has not failed me since I found it 4 years ago....

I've been creating images with Macrium Reflect as well....(First recommendation ever by donetao) but I haven't had the chance(or the emergency) to use them.

Willing to try more to have more options in a case.Now....I need a bigger external drive(3TB are not enough!:eek:)

Evjl's Rain

Level 46
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Apr 18, 2016
I use Norton ghost for many many years but I switched to Macrium for a while. For my usage, they perform the same. I don't need extra features of Macrium. I just need to backup an image when I feel my system is the fastest and most stable after that never touch the program again until I have some unrepairable problems

EaseUS: I tried their partition manager as someone told me to do so. I used it to extend Drive C because the default space from Sony was not enough. However, after the process was 100% complete and it automatically rebooted, it completely messed up my gf's laptop and made it unbootable + all files in all drives were inaccessible & unrecoverable, I'm sure I did the right thing. I saw some people had the same issue on EaseUS support forum. I had to re-format everything and reinstall the entire laptop, all files were deleted even recovery drive and you know what happened. ok EaseUS, you failed me


Level 12
Aug 31, 2016
I currently use drivesnapshot, either live or cold from a WinPE usb stick. How they fit so much magic in a file less than 400KB I really don't know. The author is a genius.

Also use is at work to image servers and workstations; it has never let me down. A rock solid and portable app. Everything else is just bloatware ;)


Level 2
Jun 14, 2011
I use a number of imaging programs.

Primary is Terabyte Unlimited's Image For Windows -- reliable and solid in the extreme -- but not user friendly enough for "non-geeks." I use this to make the "milestone" system images I do ~ every 2 - 3 months (Also comes with Image For Linux, Image For DOS, and BootIt Bare Metal)

Secondarly is Drive Snapshot -- also reliable and solid in the extreme -- and it's portable! Very simple to use with lifetime updates. I use to reguarly take system images, e.g., before & after doing MS Updates, installing a trial program, installing low-level drivers (like a printer). Take several images a month and periodically delete old images.

In addtion, I have a couple of programs that I no longer use... but still have some system images made by them on-hand.

ShadowProtect Desktop 5 -- end-user edition of StorageCraft's enterprise-grade imaging program. Love it... except that all but early versions of v.5, the Rescue Media requires that ShadowProtect be already installed and activated. Sure thing guys... I love all those needless, extra processes running constantly... Oh... and got love their picky, picky activation software with a hardware footprint.

Acronis TrueImage 2012 Home. Used to use Acronis for many years. Started with TrueImage 10 and dutifully upgraded each year. BUT as time passed, TI became more and more bloated... and it became less and less reliable. Eventually, I started skipping a version because the bugs in each version tended to get fully fixed in only the last update for that version. Finally got sick of it all and got truly solid imagers.

HOWEVER, when the time comes to recommend an imaging program to friends and family, I suggest Macrium Reflect Free because:
  1. there's a free version (no incrementals, no Delta Restore)
  2. easy for novices to use
  3. they make it easy and dead simple to create their WinPE Rescue Media (a big issue for most end-users)
P.S. it's a really good idea to use 2 imaging programs for system images... not putting all your eggs in one basket... just in case... system images + data backups are your insurance policies against catastrophe.


I used Paragon Image Backup for Windows 8 for years. But this version no longer works on Windows 10 and then I opted for Macrium Reflect free, fast, stable and with an excellent backup engine.
Better to remember to save your system images on an external support because of a possible access by ransomware.


Level 12
Aug 31, 2016
I used Paragon Image Backup for Windows 8 for years. But this version no longer works on Windows 10 and then I opted for Macrium Reflect free, fast, stable and with an excellent backup engine.
Better to remember to save your system images on an external support because of a possible access by ransomware.

That's one thing I like about DriveSnapshot, it's compatible with every Windows OS from NT4 to Windows 10.

Not that long ago, I had to P2V a friends NT4 Server, but the hardware it was running on was so unstable that installing software/drivers and rebooting the server were too risky. This was no problem for DS, just copied it onto a floppy disk and ran it from there. No impact to the server, no reboot required.
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