As a business owner, data loss is more than just a nuisance; it can harm your business’s finances and credibility. Some studies have even found that nearly half of all small businesses are forced to close their doors after experiencing a data loss event. With disk imaging, however, you can protect your business from data loss. Disk imaging offers a simple solution for backing up data.

What Is Disk Imaging?

Disk imaging is the process of backing up an entire disk. Hard disk drives (HDDs), solid-state drives (SSDs) and even Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives support disk imaging. With disk imaging, the contents of the respective drive are copied and saved in a separate file.

Disk imaging has been around for many decades. It emerged in the 1960s as an alternative to manual backups. The technology has changed since then, but disk imaging continues to offer a simple and effective way to prevent data loss.

How Disk Imaging Works

You can use disk imaging to back up any storage drive on your computer. It involves copying the entire contents of the drive.

There are different ways to perform disk imaging. Most operating systems (OSs) have a built-in disk imaging tool. Alternatively, you can download and use a third-party disk imaging tool. Using either your OS or a separate tool, you can copy the storage drive. The backup file consisting of the copied data is known as a disk image.

Best Practices for Disk Imaging

If you’re going to leverage disk imaging to protect against data loss, there are a few things you should know. It can be time-consuming, especially for large storage drives. Whether you use your computer’s OS or a separate tool, it may take several hours to complete the disk imaging process.

Some tools will automatically compress disk images. After a tool has copied the contents of your storage drive, for instance, it will compress the newly created file. Compressed files, of course, are smaller than uncompressed files. They won’t take up as much space. As a result, they are easier to transfer and easier to store.

Encryption is another feature of many disk imaging tools. In addition to copying the contents of storage drives, they can encrypt the copied data. The disk images that they create will be encrypted. You don’t have to worry about these disk images falling into the wrong hands. Since they are encrypted, nefarious individuals won’t be able to access them. Encrypted files such as this require an encryption key to decipher.