When I first began my career in the technology field, computer manufacturers would always send you set of recovery discs in the event that something drastic happened to your system and you needed to set things back to factory condition or far worse, change your hard drive. As years went by, they began placing this "system restore" on a separate partition of the hard drive and with a few commands, you could reset your computer back to factory condition. This was pretty convenient and they would still include the recovery discs so you had them. A little while later, the discs were no longer included but, if disaster struck, you could buy a set for $25 or $35.
There is your quick history lesson.
Recently, I had several clients who had hard drives that failed. This left them in that critical stage of "what do I do now". The good news is that all of the clients issues were worked out in a speedy and satisfactory manner but I want to discuss the importance of the recovery discs. Almost every computer will ship with an annoying blurb that returns now and again reminding you to create your recovery media. This is something that everyone should do. It is very convenient to have that recovery partition on your hard drive, but what will you do if your hard drive fails? You need the recovery discs. After the hard drive fails is not a good time to find this out. I recently learned that some manufacturers only maintain recovery libraries for their computers for a limited amount of time. That means after a few years, you may not be able to obtain the recovery media from your manufacturer.
It is a simple process and worth the time spent doing this when you first setup a new computer. It is even more valuable now if you have had a computer for some time. Create the discs. Get yourself a couple of DVD writable discs and locate the "Backup and Recovery" section on your computer and start the process. The process will walk you through every step telling you what to do and when to do it. Once you are done, you will now be equipped with the recovery tools needed in the event of an UN-recoverable hard drive disaster. While you're at it, make sure that you are regularly backing up your important data (documents, pictures, etc.).
Now, let's get started on that recovery, shall we?
NOTE - There are other good options for making an exact image of your drive that I will discuss in a future article.