Full PC Backup or Full Computer Backup

Full PC backup of full computer backup typically involves backing up entire images of the computers hard drives rather than individual files and folders. The drive image is like a snapshot of the drive. It may be stored compressed or uncompressed.

With other file backups, only the user’s document, pictures, videos and music files can be restored while the operating system, programs etc need to be reinstalled from is source download or disc media.

With the full PC backup however, you can restore the hard drives to its exact state when the backup was done. Hence, not only can the documents, pictures, videos and audio files be restored but the operating system, hardware drivers, system files, registry, programs, emails etc. In other words, a full PC backup can restore a crashed computer to its exact state at the time the backup was made.

Full PC backups are sometimes called “Drive Image Backups”

Examples Full PC Backup

There are several vendors that offer full PC backup and restore software. These softwares have to be installed on the computer being backed up.

Typically one of the first things you need to do before you start the backup is to create a bootable rescue disk or DVD.  When a computer has crashed but still has a workable hard disk, this rescue disk will be used to boot up the computer with minimum features to start the restore of the hard disk.  Once the restore is complete, the computer can then boot up on its own primary hard disk again and would have all its files, programs, database settings etc just as it was at the time of the backup.


  • A crashed computer can be restored in minutes with all programs databases emails etc intact. No need to install the operating system, programs and perform settings etc.
  • Ideal backup solution for a hard drive failure.


  • May not be able to restore on a completely new computer with a different motherboard, CPU, Display adapters, sound card etc.
  • Any problems that were present on the computer (like viruses, or mis-configured drivers, unused programs etc) at the time of the backup may still be present after a full restore.