The first step on the road to recovery.
In a prior article, we created a system image backup using the free version of EaseUS Todo. That’s by far the most important first step.
Now it’s time to prepare for the day when we might need to restore that image.
It’s time to create what EaseUS calls an emergency disk.
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EaseUS Todo emergency disk
An emergency disk is used to restore a backup image to your system. You can create it beforehand or when needed. Run EaseUS Todo, click on the Tools menu, and click on Create Emergency Disk. Choose from creating an ISO file, a USB stick, or a CD/DVD. Make sure to test your ability to reboot from the emergency disk you create.
When and why you need an Emergency Disk
There are two common scenarios that require an emergency disk.
- The first is the most obvious: your hard disk fails, and you need to restore your backup to a replacement hard disk. Since that replacement drive is empty, you don’t have EaseUS Todo installed to process the recovery. In fact, your machine won’t even boot because Windows isn’t on that empty hard drive!
- The second scenario is malware. You want to restore your system to an image backup taken before the malware’s arrival. You can’t boot into Windows, since you can’t restore it to its prior state while it’s running; you can’t overwrite a file while it’s being used.
In both cases, as well as a few others, the solution is to boot from something else.
That “something else” is the EaseUS Todo emergency disk. When you boot from it, it automatically runs a copy of EaseUS Todo you use to locate your backup image and restore that image to the computer’s hard drive.
You can create the emergency disk at the time you need it, but only if you have a separate working system on which to do that. More commonly, you’ll want to create the disk before you need it, while your system is working normally. I’ll expand on this below.
Creating an Emergency Disk
Run EaseUS Todo. Click on Tools on the far right and then Create Emergency Disk in the resulting drop-down menu.
You’ll then be shown a dialog box containing several choices.
Boot disk location determines what media your disk will be created on.
- ISO: the first icon with the text “ISO” on it. If your machine can boot from CD or DVD but doesn’t have the ability to actually burn a CD or DVD, you can create an ISO file, and then take it to another machine to actually create the media.
- USB: the second icon that kind of looks like a USB mini-thumb drive. If you have a USB thumb drive you can dedicate to this purpose (whatever is currently on it will be completely erased), and you can configure your machine to boot from USB, this is probably the most convenient option.
- CD/DVD: the third icon that looks somewhat like optical media. Use this if your machine is capable of burning a CD or DVD and you can configure your machine to boot from CD.
Once you’ve made a selection appropriate to your situation, click on Create.
After a short time, the process completes, and the emergency disk is ready.
When to create your emergency disk
There are two schools of thought as to when to create your emergency disk.
Create it before you need it
This is important if you have no other computer available from which to make the emergency disk in an emergency. You’ll need to have it ready to go so you can simply boot from it and deal with the crisis.
Technically, you should only need to create the emergency disk once. However, there are strong arguments for creating a new one each time EaseUS Todo is updated. I recommend doing so at least for major version updates to ensure compatibility with the backup software and address any issues updated in the emergency disk itself.
Create it when you need it
This works if you have another working machine from which to create the emergency disk. The emergency disk does not need to be created on the same machine you’ve been backing up or on the machine to which you plan to restore — any Windows PC will do.
If you plan to create it when needed, I recommend that you download the latest version of EaseUS Todo Free first. That will ensure you get the latest version of the emergency disk.
My recommendation is that you create an emergency disk now and test that you can boot from it. Save it somewhere. When the time comes, you have the option of using that, or, if you can, downloading the latest version to burn a new, more up-to-date emergency disk.
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