By Ivy / Last update December 13, 2021

What is Disk Image?

A disk image is one or more computer files containing the exact copy created by sector-by-sector way of the source storage device (hard disk, floppy disk, optical disk, or USB flash drive), including all the contents, file system, boot file and partition table structure information. Typically, the disk image file extension is .ISO, .DMG(apple disk image), .VHD, .IMG, .TOAST. Besides, the .WIM disk image is a file-based format. How to create a disk image for free?

When Should You Create a Disk Image?

First of all, you should be aware of these situations that may lead to terrible errors, like may meet the computer boot failure or lost your business, or personal data on the hard disk, and you should be create disk image immediately to restore data if something happened:

  • There are some bad sectors on disks. Run chkdsk to fix logical bad sectors or recover all information for physical disk errors, and Windows will no longer use them. Then backup the hard disk.

  • Abnormal noise from the computer. it could be a hardware problem or others issues.

  • Cyber attack or Virus affected. If your computer attack by malware or Virus, your data may be deleted maliciously or encrypted. You have to paid for decryption like Wannacry virus.

  • The hard drive is not recognized by BIOS sometimes.

How to Create a Disk Image in Windows 7/8/10?

To prevent your hard disk drive from the data loss due to unpredictable error, it’s highly recommended to create disk image for Windows 10, 8, 7 hard drive. There are two ways to create disk image:

Create Disk Image with Windows Backup and Restore

It’s easy to create hard disk image via Windows Backup and Restore, here it is:

1. Click Set up backup or Change Settings to create a new disk backup task.

Set Up Backup

2. Select where you want to save your backup, and click Next.

Select Backup Destination

3. Tick Let me choose option and click Next.

Let Me Choose

4. Choose the hard disk that you want to backup, and click Next.

Create Disk Image

☞Check Include a system image of the drive: EFI System Partition, (C:), Recovery option to create a system image backup for restoring Windows 7/8/10 in time if needed.
☞If there are multiple partitions on the disk, you have to select them all to create a disk image.

5. Review your backup settings, and click Save settings and run backup.

Review Backup Settings

Easier Way to Create Disk Image in Windows 10

Now we are going to show you the second way to create disk image for SD card, USB flash drive, external hard drive, CD/DVD, local disk, etc. AOMEI Backupper Standard is popular all over the world due to the professional backup strategy, and offers you the free way to create a disk image easily in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, 10.

Besides, you could create a system image to restore the whole Windows operating system in time if system crashes. Even clone entire hard disk to another HDD/SSD without reinstalling everything. First of all, please download AOMEI Backupper Standard to have a try.

Download Freeware

Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP

Secure Download

The detailed steps to create disk image in Windows 10 are listed below:

1. Perform AOMEI Backupper Standard, choose Backup -> Disk Backup on the main window.

Disk Backup

2. Tap +Add Disk, select the Windows 10 disk that you would like to backup, click Add.

Add Disk

Select Disk

Tip: You could rename the Task Name to distinguish from other backups if required.

3. Click folder icon or triangle icon to select an external hard drive, or network drive to save the Windows 10 disk image file.

Select Backup Destination

4. Press the Start Backup button to create disk image safely.

Start Backup

☞Tick Schedule to run this backup once or on a scheduled basis, daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers, USB plug-in, real-time sync. The last three features only available in premium versions, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional, and other advanced editions.
☞Click Options to modify the disk image, like split, compress, comment, set backup mode, enable email notification to get noticed after the backup finished.

After the disk backup finished, you will get an image file, suffix with .adi, on your destination location. If you want to restore the data from the image file someday, you could perform selective files restore, or restore the entire hard drive. Or you just want to transfer data from one computer to another, try the Disk Clone to transfer everything including Windows operating system. Besides, the system clone (premium feature) will only clone your Windows 10/8/7 to HDD/SSD without reinstallation.

In the End

Creating disk image in Windows 10/8/7 is easy for both Windows Backup and Restore and AOMEI Backupper Standard. However, to meet the different demands to backup, AOMEI Backupper is your best choice. More backup solutions and more advanced features are provided. For server users, you could try AOMEI Backupper Server to solve your problem.