How to Make a Disk Image With XP

Written by ivan radford
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How to Make a Disk Image With XP
A disk image saved to an external hard drive can safeguard against data loss. (external hardrive image by Photoeyes from

Losing data can cause a lot of stress. You can avoid such a problem by making a disk image with Windows XP. A disk image is a software copy of your hard drive, which can then be accessed later for recovery. There is a range of third-party disk imaging software available for purchase, but XP has a free built-in wizard to back up your hard drive as a disk image.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • External storage media

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  1. 1

    Connect your external storage media to your computer. An external hard drive is best to accommodate the complete contents of your computer's hard drive.

  2. 2

    Click on "Start," "Programs," "Accessories," "System Tools" and then "Backup." This opens the XP Backup Wizard. If the "Backup" option is not displayed under "System Tools," insert your Windows XP CD to install it (see References).

  3. 3

    Click "Next" to use the simple wizard, or select "Advanced Mode" if you want the option to schedule a regular automatic backup.

  4. 4

    Choose "Back Up Files And Settings" and click "Next." Select "All Information On This Computer" to create a full disk image. Click "Next."

  5. 5

    Choose where to save your disk image from the drop-down list. Type a name for your disk image. Click "Next."

  6. 6

    Check your settings and click "Finish" to create the disk image.

Tips and warnings

  • The "Backup" option is not automatically included in the standard Windows XP Home Edition installation and will need to be installed manually.
  • Ensure there is enough available space to store your disk image before creating it.
  • Store your disk image on a separate hard drive to the one being copied. This will help prevent data loss should your main hard drive become damaged.

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