What is Computer Imaging: 7 Important Steps You Should Know [Video]

Not every computer user knows what is computer imaging, and this is because while the process is essential, it can be described by several other terms apart from PC imaging.

For instance, many may refer to it as PC formatting, but this does not describe the entire process and hence doesn’t do it enough justice.

Inarguably, computers have become a very intricate part of what makes businesses and companies function today, with no serious modern brand able to achieve much without a couple of these pieces of technology.

But, using several computers is one thing, and using multiple computers that operate under the same privileges is another.

Because we are talking about organizations here, computers used there have to be synced to work using essential functions or cleaned from time to time before they are released,

Computer imaging is used for both old and new computers and allows companies to have a standardized workstation image or format.

Today, we will understand what is computer imaging, how it works, and its benefits to any business and its departments.

What is Computer Imaging?

What is Computer Imaging
What is Computer Imaging

Computer imaging can be defined as replicating both the software and hardware information of a computer and capturing all that data on a hard drive. This is to make it easy to replicate the configuration on another device.

When an individual does it, computer imaging allows you to replicate the information on a computer before thoroughly cleaning it to release it or install a new working configuration.

In this way, computer imaging makes it impossible to lose the information on a computer even if you need to clean it for any reason. And there are multiple reasons why you might want to clean a device; this could be because it got corrupted or set up a different configuration.

On the other hand, businesses and enterprises use computer imaging for a broader purpose. Here, we can define computer imaging as the process of formatting computers to allow them to operate on a similar system with the same security privileges, programs, and even functionality.

For them, it allows all the computers with the company or within different departments to work with the same configurations.

Using the default operating system of a device does not exactly do much for a business, and the only way to get complete control, determine how all the computers in the company work, and synchronize all devices to the same functionality and privileges is to perform computer imaging.

And once the answer to what is computer imaging has been provided, the next question should be how is it done?

Below are seven steps to performing computer imaging from start to finish:

Step 1: Get New Devices

Computer imaging has to be done on new computers. This could be an old computer that has been wiped entirely or a new one you had just recently purchased.

Either way, the devices need to be fresh for the imaging to work without errors. Running computer imaging on a device that has just recently been imaged without first cleaning it can result in mistakes while making it almost impossible to catch and record changes.

Step 2: Know Your End Users

Once you have gotten new devices, the next step is to understand who the end-users are and what purpose the computers will serve, first within the company and second within each department.

Understanding the general uses in the company will help you decide what type of Master imaging to use. Understanding how separate teams and departments will be using the computers will allow you to determine the relevant security privileges, programs, functionalities, and permissions to include the different departments.

For instance, the marketing department will have different needs from the IT team. These various needs must be captured and included in the different Master PC images if you have one.

Step 3: Check Computer Compatibility

Once you have accurately determined who is using what and for what purposes, the next step is to determine what type of configuration mechanisms the computers will be compatible with.

This is very important as we do not want to install programs and configurations that completely obliterate the devices.

Confirm the PC type, Operating System (OS), the hard drive’s capacity, RAM size, Video, and Graphics processing capacities, and see what software they are most compatible with before performing the imaging.

Step 4: Start the Master image.

After you have performed all the necessary checks and balances, the next thing is to create a Master imaging program that will run on all the computers.

You can always delegate this task to IT professionals from an outsourcing firm or use your IT team if you think your company has what it takes to do it.

But, we must mention that the task is not just crucial but can also be gruesome. So you want to use experts who are very vast in computer imaging.

The experts will first determine the best program for your company and then patch the OS to ensure that everything is updated. Next, installation of the suitable applications and programs will begin before the configurations of permissions, functionalities, and privileges are done last.

Step 5: Always Maintain Drivers

Once the installation and other necessary configurations have been done, all the computers will begin to run under the same cloud with slight changes in each team and department.

But the work is not done. You will need to maintain drivers to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Step 6: Optimized the Master image

Even after the imaging has been carried out and the computers are working correctly, you must regularly optimize or audit the Master imaging program. This helps to ensure that all the configurations are current and up to date.

You can schedule to do this auditing once every month for better results. It also ensures that only a minimal number of overall system updates and configuration changes will be necessary for the long run.

Step 7: Always Record Changes

The final step to computer imaging is documenting every change, update, audit, optimization, or process.

Keeping a record of what goes on makes it easier to maintain a computer image while also making it less complicated to fix any issues in the future.

This documentation can also provide a necessary framework for future computer imaging and simplify the entire process for any device that will be purchased later.

What Is The Purpose of Imaging A Computer?

What is Computer Imaging
What is Computer Imaging

Now that we have answered the question of what is computer imaging let us look at what the purpose of imaging a computer is.

Computer imaging is done to clean a computer before it is allocated to a new user or allow a group of computers to function under the same operating system.

You could do computer imaging to capture all the software and data before releasing it to another user, who will then install a new configuration.

A business can perform the same process to provide a standardized workstation in the company and have all the teams and departments have the same privileges, permissions, and functionalities.

Which is Better Cloning vs. Imaging?

What is Computer Imaging
What is Computer Imaging

In trying to understand what is computer imaging, it is also widespread to come across similar concepts that mean the same thing.

For instance, some computer users often come across computer or disk cloning and are advised to do this instead of computer imaging.

Which could lead to the question, which is better between computer cloning and computer imaging?

Computer imaging is often more efficient than similar processes, including computer cloning, even though they both work towards the same objective.

PC imaging is much more flexible, creates a much more compressed version of your data, and can be deployed faster than PC cloning.

Advantages of Imaging

Using a PC imaging program can bring several benefits to an organization. Still, most notably, there are two advantages to running imaging rather than other types of system formatting and configurations.

To Improve Security

Using computers with all the pre-installed software may cause some challenges for a company. For instance, the pre-installed software often comes loaded with several security vulnerabilities and is more accessible for hackers to target and attack.

To best way to prevent this is to perform imaging and change the configurations and software from what the computers came with to something designed by experts.

Additionally, enabling the same functionalities and security privileges for all the computers within a company makes it easier to stay safe. First, the systems are safer and harder to be targeted by hackers. Still, even when one computer is attacked, it is easier to detect the problem and recommend a fix since you control the computing environment.

Reducing IT Cost

Aside from eliminating security challenges, imaging can also help reduce your IT budget drastically. For instance, companies without a standardized workstation usually spend a lot fixing breaches and handling disasters.

However, because you have a working configuration for all your PCs, handling problems becomes more accessible and cheaper.

What Is Imaging Software?

What is Computer Imaging
What is Computer Imaging

A computer imaging software is an essential tool for automating the PC imaging and deployment process.

It is becoming increasingly important as more companies are now using it to simplify these tasks for their IT experts and administrators.

Generally, computer imaging is a tedious and time-consuming process that requires a lot of dedication. This then makes it easily prone to errors and mistakes. But with imaging software, the process can be automated to save both time and energy.

Imaging software also prevents errors or mistakes or reduces these to the minimum at the very least. It makes it much more efficient to capture data from different computers, customize a Master image, and deploy that image to all the systems’ computers.


We have answered the question of what is computer imaging by providing a detailed explanation and describing why it is done.

We have also considered some of its advantages and how imaging software can eliminate most of the stress associated with the process.

If you need to format or configure a computer or a group of computers, it is better to use imaging rather than other processes like cloning. If the task is too much for you and your team to handle, you can always outsource it.



10 Things to Check Before Buying A Refurbished Laptop: An Easy Guide [Video]

The upside to knowing the 10 things to check before buying a refurbished laptop is that it saves you a lot of frustration and headaches.

Refurbished laptops are highly desirable because you can get a healthy functional laptop for about 25% off the original price.

Hence, anyone on a budget can easily afford them. A tight budget can get you a bigger refurbished laptop that has more advanced features than a new one at the same cost.

Additionally, it has become extremely easy to find refurbished devices, including laptops; you may find them online from manufacturers or retailers.

But, as it is with buying a refurbished car, neglecting to carry out proper checks and balances before buying it can do you more harm than good.

For instance, depending on the things you fail to check, you may get a refurbished laptop with terrible battery health or one with broken and non-functional ports.

Neither is good, and in most cases, these issues cannot be fixed or cost too much in cases where they can be fixed.

To prevent you from making this mistake, we have compiled a list of 10 things to check before buying a refurbished laptop.

10 Things to Check Before Buying A Refurbished Laptop

10 Things to Check Before Buying A Refurbished Laptop
10 Things to Check Before Buying A Refurbished Laptop

Check 1: Confirm that there is no physical damage.

You may not correctly judge a book by the covers, but you can correctly guess that a laptop has some issues if it contains physical damage.

Most damage to a laptop’s body occurs when dropped accidentally against a hard surface. If a fall is significant enough to damage the body, there is a chance it may have damaged something on the inside as well.

Aside from that, you don’t want to purchase a laptop that you cannot confidently flaunt because the body is terrible to look at.

So check the casing and screen to ensure there are no scratches or cracks. Then open and close the laptop a few times to ensure the hinges work smoothly.

Next, test the keypad and trackpad to ensure all is in order. While you might not know which key works and which doesn’t or whether or not the trackpad responds until you turn the laptop on, you can still check the health of this two hardware by properly inspecting them at this stage.

Check 2: Give the hard drive a good listen.

Once you are satisfied with what the outside looks like, it is time to check the insides. The first thing to do is to turn the laptop on.

While at it, confirm that the power button works without getting stuck or requiring too much pressure.

As the laptop turns on, carefully listen to the sound the hard drive makes. A good hard drive should turn on without making any unusual sounds.

Hearing a clucking or grinding noise is a sign of a bad hard drive that may need instant replacement. And before you overlook this fact, remember that a 2TB hard drive may cost as low as $80 and as high as $120.

And the last thing you want is to spend extra money fixing a laptop when all you wanted in the first place was to save some money.

Check 3:  Confirm the OS

Unlike used laptops, refurbished laptops often get their OS updated to the latest version before getting shipped out. Hence, you will want to confirm that this is the case with your potential unit.

Once the laptop is fully turned on, confirm that the OS is activated, then ask the seller what OS they have installed and use that information to confirm what is available on the laptop.

Then be sure it is authentic and licensed. This will help you later down the line when your laptop gets exposed to viruses and bugs or even data leakage.

The right OS will help protect you against the above, while the fake ones will allow any malware through.

Check 4: Check for speed and performance.

Speed helps a laptop perform tasks swiftly and quickly, and performance ensures it can handle the tasks without crashing.

Both features depend on the size of the random access memory (RAM); hence you will need first to check to see that your RAM is in great condition and that it is big enough to handle most of the things you will be using on the laptop for.

Some refurbished laptops come with about 2GB RAM, while others may have as high as 4GB. 2GB may suffice for many basic operations, while anything less may be considered a bad investment.

Check 5: Test the CPU and GPU

The CPU and GPU are just as important as the RAM size as they also affect the speed and performance of your refurbished laptop, so you will want to check with those as well.

Start with the CPU by opening the burner and pressing “Start” to see how smoothly that operation runs. If the laptop hangs, flickers briefly, or shuts down completely, then the hardware may be faulty, and the laptop should be left alone.

Next, test the GPU by opening some applications or playing some games. A good GPU will allow those tasks to run smoothly, while a faulty GPU will cause the screen to flicker or become distorted once the operations are initiated.

Some older models of laptops don’t even come with a dedicated GPU, and this in itself should be a red flag if you intend to use that for even basic activities like gaming or creating videos.

Check 6: Check the speakers and camera.

Just because it is a refurbished unit doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy music and videos on your laptop. So you will want to confirm that the speakers are working great.

Start by playing a song and listening to how it sounds. If you hear titers or cracking sounds, it could be an indication that the speakers are ruined.

Then check to see if the laptop has a functional camera application for a webcam. The last thing you need is a refurbished laptop that requires you to purchase extra hardware for the webcam.

Check 7: See if it has dead pixels on the laptop screen

Once you are satisfied with the working conditions of the speakers and cameras, you want to make sure nothing interferes with the screen display.

Dead pixels are these tiny parts of the screen that no longer works. When a laptop has a dead pixel or a few, it will not have a full display on the screen.

To test for this, play a video and make sure every part of the screen is displaying as it should.

Check 8: Test the ports and input units.

Once you are satisfied with the insides of your refurbished laptop, you want to come back to the outside to finish the inspection.

The next checks are the ports. Check the charging port to ensure it is working correctly; otherwise, you will have to spend extra money fixing it later as that is a must-have for any laptop.

Then check to see that all the USB ports are working correctly. You can do this using a clean Flash drive or a USB cord.

Other inputs that need testing include the microphone port, the earpiece jack, and the HDMI port.

Check 9: Check the cooling fan.

Still, lift the laptop to check the cooling fan on the outside. You cannot ignore this area as a faulty cooling fan will cause the laptop to heat up too quickly, crash it, and damage it in no time.

The laptop should not be making too much noise from the cooling fan and should not emit too much heat. A little spinning noise and mild heat are normal, but anything out of the ordinary implies you need to check another laptop.

Check 10: Check the battery.

The battery is most likely the most important part of the 10 things to check before buying a refurbished laptop.

This is because a laptop is only as good as its battery. The healthier the battery and the longer it lasts, the more productive you can be with that gadget.

Bad batteries die too quickly or go off without warning. So first, you need to confirm the battery’s health, and once you see that that it is near 100% (if not 100%), you can check how long it lasts without a charger.

To do this, charge until full, disconnect the charger and allow the laptop to work until the battery runs low.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to go to YouTube, search for a video, and play it on full screen for 5 minutes before checking the battery percentage again.

Regardless of what the battery health reads on the laptop screen, a bad battery would drop by a few percentages within that 5 minutes.

What’s A Refurbished Laptop?

10 Things to Check Before Buying A Refurbished Laptop
10 Things to Check Before Buying A Refurbished Laptop

Now that we know the 10 things to check before buying a refurbished laptop let us understand what a refurbished laptop is.

Most people confuse refurbished laptops for used laptops as the term is often used interchangeably. But these are not the same terms.

A refurbished laptop can be defined as one that has been disassembled, extensively reconditioned, and tested before being pushed back into the market.

They are not “fresh from the manufacturing plants,” but they haven’t been used for extended periods either.

They are computers that have been returned to the retailers or manufacturers by the first owners sometimes after a brief use or no use at all.

The reason for returning them may differ according to the owner, but the most common ones include shipping accidents or failure to meet the buyer’s expectations.

Once returned, the laptops are torn apart by refurbishers, and each part is tested for damages before being coupled together. The faulty parts are then removed, and the OS is updated to the newest versions.

The refurbishers also completely wipe the data if need be before repackaging and sending it to stores and retailers.

Major manufacturers like Dell and HP often back the entire process, and a warranty is usually issued.

Is It A Good Idea To Buy Refurbished Laptops?

10 Things to Check Before Buying A Refurbished Laptop
10 Things to Check Before Buying A Refurbished Laptop

Yes, buying a refurbished laptop is a great idea for two reasons; cost and quality delivery.

Compared to a brand new laptop of the same model, a refurbished laptop is way less and can save you almost 25% off when you buy them.

Therefore a user can get a fantastic offer while on a tight budget. Refurbished laptops allow you to obtain the same device but at a cheaper and more affordable rate.

Secondly, as a matter of principle, refurbished laptops have to pass through intense inspection and testing. Trained factory personnel have to properly inspect and vet a refurbished unit before repackaging and resold.

This translates to better quality and ensures that you do not purchase something less than the optimal unit.

It can be argued that some brand new computers do not enjoy the type of thorough inspections that refurbished units have to pass through.

In addition, a refurbished laptop often comes with updated software and the latest operating system at no extra cost for the buyer.

How Can You Tell If A Laptop Is Refurbished?

10 Things to Check Before Buying A Refurbished Laptop
10 Things to Check Before Buying A Refurbished Laptop

The best way to tell if a laptop is refurbished or not is to confirm the serial number; if it letters and numbers on the left end with an “R,” then that laptop is refurbished, and if it doesn’t, then it is not refurbished.

Serial numbers are usually divided into two parts with a “#” in-between. For instance, CN127BA#CDA could be the serial number of a laptop that hasn’t been refurbished. At the same time, the refurbished one would have the serial number CN127BAR#CDA to indicate to buyers that it has been reworked and repackaged.

Turn the laptop on its back and read the serial number as inscribed at the back or behind the battery compartment to check for this.

Another way of checking for refurbishment involves opening the command prompt and typing c:>wmic bios get the serial number to obtain the BIOS serial number and then comparing that with the serial number you find at the back of the laptop. If the two serial numbers vary, then the laptop has been refurbished.

Some refurbishers may even leave a label at the back of the laptop that reads, “This is a refurbished laptop and contains used parts.”


Cost is on top of the most common reasons most people buy a refurbished laptop. They are cheaper to obtain compared to newer ones.

However, no one wants to buy a used laptop passed off as a refurbished unit, or a hand refurbished laptop as they often bring more pains than gains.

Hence, we have put together the 10 things to check before buying a refurbished laptop to avoid making a bad investment.