PC/Mac tip: Making a hard disk image
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  1. #1

    Default PC/Mac tip: Making a hard disk image

    hey all

    Came up on another thread and thought I'd post it here as a tip for everyone just in case anyone wasn't aware of it.

    And the tip is........Make an image of your hard disk and keep it with you

    What this means is using a program such as Norton Ghost (or mac equivalent) you can take a copy of your whole hard drive, bit for bit, and store it separately on a CD or other hard drive. Then if you have any problems, hard disk crashes or things aren't working correctly you can just copy the image back onto your drive rather than having to go through the process of reinstalling the OS from scratch and then installing programs and then fixing all your settings and stuff.

    Turns a job which is normally a couple of hours into 10 mins and your back up and running

    Its also good to do anyway every 6 months or so, year tops, to keep your system nice and fresh as no matter what system your using over time bumf fills up in the OS that gradually slows it down, and this allows you to go back to a fresh, clean and fast computer.

    the steps would be, quickly:

    1. If your music is on the internal hard drive, make a partition of about 20GB for your OS, system and program files (or a bit more if you have lots of other software on your computer and its not just for DJing). Then make a second partition that uses the remaining space on your hard disk and use this second one to keep your music files on. This just means the image can be kept to just the system and applications and nice and small (and you should have your music backed up somewhere else anyway! )

    2. Install a fresh copy of your OS, and the applications you need, so that your image will be nice and clean, and spend the time getting all the settings correct an organizing everything so its ready to go.

    3. Once your happy that its all set up the way you like then create your back up image and store it either on an external drive or on DVD's.

    4. The program will also usually have a facility to create a boot disk, and its a good idea to do this now as well so you're all ready.

    thats it

    Now if you ever cant boot, the hard drive dies or you have any other problems, you just boot from the boot disk and then copy over the image you've created and in 10 or 15 mins your back up and running with all your settings and everything all in place and sorted.


  2. #2
    Tech Guru
    Join Date
    Feb 2009


    well on OSX the natural way is to just use timemachine. however contrary to a "proper" image, restoring a machine from timemachine tages aaaaaggggggeeeeessss. but its still very convenient.
    Traktor Pro 2.5.0, Mixxx 1.9.1, Massive, Ableton Live 8
    MBP 15" 8GB RAM OS 10.7.4, Audio Kontrol 1, Audio 2 DJ, Sennheiser HD-25 II
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    ifnotwhynot.me | soundcloud.com | fairtilizer.com | digitaldj planet | digitaldj music

  3. #3



    I've only just got my MBP a month or two ago and am usually on PC's so am still learning my way around things like time machine.

    It would defo work well for this, but from my understanding of it it was more for connecting a LARGE hard drive to your computer and it would make regular system back ups of all of the data but also day to day or hour to hour back ups of small changes you made so that you could return back to any point in time.

    While i'm sure that this is really useful for loads of things, the advantage of a disk image is you can keep it with you on a couple of DVD's in your laptop bag. Even half way through a gig if you have a drastic system crash you can stick a CD or record on the decks, boot the laptop from the boot disk and then copy back over the 'good' system image you have stored. It simply goes as quick as your DVD drive can read the disk and then write the contents onto the hard drive, and so in what 3 maybe 4 songs on the CD player your laptop can be back up with a fresh just out the box install with all your settings, midi maps and other stuff all back in place and ready to go


  4. #4
    Tech Mentor janzak's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Stockholm, Sweden


    Yeah, ghosting is a GREAT way of keeping your systems clean
    I used to link music in my signature but nowadays I don't.

  5. #5
    Tech Mentor kidfromkibbly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Dublin, Ireland


    Been meaning to do this for a while now! I did a fresh install only 3 months ago and unfortunately I've already got enough stuff on my laptop now that I don't want to have to do another install before making a ghost.

    Obviously, I will just bite the bullet soon. But I just wanted to give out! Ha!
    17" MacBook Pro, 2.66 GHz i7, 4GB RAM; Vestax VCI-100, NI Audio Kontrol 1/ MBox Mini, M-Audio Oxygen 8, Beyerdynamic DT-150 cans; Pro Tools LE 8, Ableton Live 8, Logic Studio 9, Traktor Pro

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