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A disk image is a file
by Al Zan on 11/15/10

A disk image is a file. This file is generated by disk image software and contains the data that represents a hard drive. This disk image can be used to completely replicate the hard drive used as a source onto any other hard disk, assuming it has sufficient capacity to store the data contained on the original drive. The goal of creating a disk image could be one of a couple things. A disk image is popularly taken to replicate a disk to provide an exact copy of the installed operating system on other computers of like hardware. This allows an IT department to set up a computer as a perfect example of how they want the configuration, including all software that is common to all users in their system. Updates can be installed to be sure the disk image contains the latest patches. The disk image will then be used to save time by duplicating this perfect setup to all computers being distributed.

A disk image can also be used to upgrade a hard drive to one with greater capacity than the original. If a user requires more space, instead of having to give up their current build, a disk image can be created to offload their software, then that image can be pushed down to the new, larger capacity drive. A disk image can also be taken as a form of backup for a disk to keep a copy of all files on the drive safely in a remote location. These images are created using disk image software, which can come in the form of a simple, standalone program that is launched from a bootable disk or flash drive. It can also be run from a server that is capable of creating and pushing images from a central console. There are several brands and versions of software that can create disk images. A quick browse around the web can provide insight into the features and specifications of each version.

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