By Delia / Last update April 23, 2021

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What does it mean to reimage your computer?

To reimage a PC means to delete all the data on the computer hard drive and restore to factory settings. Reimaging is used usually when your operating system (OS) get damaged or corrupted, Windows is unable to load, or you feel it is not running well as it should be. And the word reinstall is often used in place of reimage.

How do I reimage my computer?

To reimage computer, here are 4 common used ways for your reference.

1. Reinstall Windows via installation disc or USB drive. By default, when you buy a computer, an installation disc will come with it. It’s used to repair serious computer issues or install Windows from scratch.

2. Reimage a computer via system image recovery. Using system image recovery to reimage computer refers to use a backup image created by “Backup and Restore” to restore computer to an earlier date. And it can minimize the losses.

3. Restore computer to factory settings using the factory recovery partition. For branded computer, such as, Lenovo, Dell, HP etc, there is a hidden recovery partition that can help you factory reset your computer in trouble. But if you have fresh installed Windows or the partition is damaged or deleted, it will be unavailable.

4. Reimage a PC using “Reset this PC”. This feature is a little like reinstall, but you can choose to keep your personal data.

Backup files before reimaging a computer

As mentioned, reimaging computer will delete all the data on the hard drive, so you may need to back up all the necessary files beforehand. You can choose to backup files using “Backup and Restore” or “File History”. But the built-in tool may not work as usual sometimes.

In view of this, it’s recommended to backup files using freeware AOMEI Backupper Standard with more options.

  • You can continuously protect your data with its schedule backup, such as, daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
  • You are able to create a full backup for all data or an incremental or differential backup for only changed data.
  • You can enjoy other backup options, like “Email Notification”, “Compression”, “Sector by sector backup”, etc.
  • It has a clear interface and user-friendly design that make users can understand the operation easily and quickly.

To backup files with this free backup software, see steps below:

1. Free download this software and run it.

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

2. In the main page, click “Backup” and “File Backup” subsequently. You can also choose System Backup, Disk Backup, or Partition Backup according to what you want to include in the backup.

File Backup

3. In this screen, click “Add File” or “Add Folder” to include items in the backup.

Add Folder

4. Then click where the arrow point and select backup path. You can backup files to external hard drive, NAS network share, or any folder on your computer hard drive.

Select Destination

5. Click “Start Backup” to backup files or folders.

When the backup is complete, you can also create a bootable rescue media using CD or USB drive in order to restore your computer when it is unbootable. If you want to protect unlimited computers within your company, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Technician. With the inbuilt AOMEI Image Deploy tool, you are also allowed todeploy/restore system image file on server-side computer to multiple client-side computers over network.

Reimage computer to repair software issues

Here, I’ll take installation disc as an example and show you how to reimage a computer in Windows 10/8/7, because this method is suitable for most people. Not all users have a system backup, intact factory recovery partition, or use a computer with “Reset this PC” option.

To reimage computer with installation disc, use the following steps:

1. Connect the installation disc and boot from it.

Just restart your computer, press specific key at the initial screen (usually F2 or ESC) to access BIOS, go to the “Boot” tab, use “+” to move the disc to the first option, hit “F10” to save the changes and click “Yes” if you are asked. After that, press a key when you receive a message like “Press any key to boot from CD/DVD”, and your computer will boot from the disc.


2. Select preferences and click “Next”.

3. Click “Install now” and wait until Window Setup load completely.

4. Tick “I accept the license terms” and click “Next”.

5. Select “Custom”.

Custom Install

6. Delete all partitions on the hard drive and reinstall Windows. Select one of the partition on the hard drive you want to re-image and click “Delete”. Then, repeat the steps to delete the reset of partitions one by one. At last, click “Next” and set your personal settings after reinstallation.

Reimage A PC

Note: After deleting all partitions, the hard drive will be shown as unallocated. You can choose to directly install Windows or create partitions before installing Windows.

★ How long does it take to reimage a computer?

Usually, it will take about half an hour to reimage your computer. After that, you will need to install all the software you like to use and restore your files back to your hard drive.

★ How to reimage a PC without reinstalling programs one by one?

Actually, if you create a system backup with AOMEI Backupper, you can restore system and all your installed software back after cleaning up your hard drive using the steps above. Reimaging is sometimes called Windows operating reload or system reinstallation.