There are times where you want to preserve a computer exactly how it is. A good use for this is to install your OS, then get everything setup and installed just the way you want it. Then you can use a piece of software to create an image of the drive, allowing you to instantly restore it at a moment’s notice. Next time you want to wipe the computer and start clean, you need only restore the image, and you’ll have a pristine computer that’s ready to go. So what software do you use?
Acronis and Norton both make popular programs for cloning and imaging drives, but they cost money. If you’re looking for a free alternative, you might want to take a gander at Clonezilla. With many of the same basic features that the other two companies offer, and a support for a wide variety of file formats, this free software deserves at least a try before you go dropping your money on the competition.