Data Backup Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

results »

How to Image Partitions That Are Locked by the OS

Although it sounds quite technical and fancy, a partition or drive image is simply a snapshot of all the data contained therein. Digital images are highly useful in long-term archival and data storage, as it provides you with an identical, time-stamped copy of every single file – including operating system data. However, some operating systems tend to lock certain partitions to prevent access. While this is primarily done to avoid potential hackers and unwanted data loss, it is inconvenient for tech-savvy users who like to customize everything about their OS.

Data Imaging Software

Creating an image of an OS-locked partition isn’t typically possible without the use of third-party software. Thankfully, there are plenty of options – some of which are paid and some that are completely free – on the consumer market.

However, simply using data imaging software isn’t enough. Because the drive or partition is inaccessible, you won’t be able to create an image using normal means. Instead, you’ll have to launch your data imaging software in Startup Mode. This feature isn’t necessarily available in every data imaging application, so it’s important to look for this specific feature when choosing your software.

The actual process of accessing your locked partition and creating the image depends on the exact software you’re using, but most are rather straightforward. Many programs even offer handy wizards that will guide you through the entire task.

{{|AOMEI Backupper}}: This is a free tool that offers many features that are only available in paid versions of other software packages. However, AES encryption is not available with AOMEI Backupper.

{{|Paragon Backup & Recovery}}: With paid and free versions available, Paragon Backup and Recovery is regularly used by consumers and enterprises alike.

{{|Drive Image XML}}: If you prefer managing your data through a command console, Drive Image XML is your best choice. Although it’s reminiscent of the older days in MS-DOS, this program is quite powerful and useful.

Bootable or Live Utility

Your second option for creating an image from an OS-locked partition involves some other kind of bootable or live utility. Instead of starting your computer in the normal fashion, There are many different options to choose from here, too, so feel free to do your own research and pick the one that works best for you.

Rufus: A highly compact and portable application, Rufus lets you create a bootable UBS drive with either Windows or Linux. You can also install other apps, such as the ones mentioned above or below, to gain access to the locked partition.

UNetbootin: This is a free program for Windows, Linux and Mac users alike, but it only creates bootable USB drives for PCs – so most Mac users will still need to look elsewhere for a full solution.

Gaining Access to the Partition Safely and Securely

There is a reason why the operating system locks a partition in the first place. Data stored here is better left untouched by novice users, so it’s really meant as a safeguard against data loss. Needless to say, this is a job that is better suited for the professionals.


No comments yet. Sign in to add the first!