What is a Reimage?

A reimage is the process of installing a new operating system on a machine. This process includes wiping, or clearing, the hard drive entirely, and installing a fresh operating system. When the reimage is complete, it is almost like getting a brand new machine!

When to Reimage

Reimaging is usually recommended only in cases where the operating system on a computer becomes too old, corrupted, or infested with viruses, such that it can only be fixed via a reimage.

Please contact the Service Desk before requesting a reimage. The Service Desk may be able to provide an alternate solution to the issue which would not involve the risks associated with reimaging the computer.

Prepare to Reimage

Data Backup

Reimaging your computer is a PERMANENT process!

Once the computer has been reimaged, the data that was previously on the hard drive will no longer be recoverable. This includes all:

  • Documents
  • Photos
  • Specialty Software or Applications (programs not provided by IT)
  • Music
  • Email Archives (.pst files)

Any of this data must be backed up before the computer is reimaged. IT recommends moving these files to your OneDrive. 

If the computer does not boot properly and you cannot back up your files, let the Service Desk know what files and folders need to be backed up as a part of the reimaging request and we will provide our best efforts to recover them from the hard drive.


After all of the data has been backed up, please compile a list of all the applications that you use so that ITS can ensure that the programs are installed or available for install for you. 

Network Shares

IT recommends documenting all network shares you currently have mapped on your machine. Once the reimage is complete, you can follow instructions to map the network drives back onto your device.

Resource Mailboxes

IT recommends documenting any Resource Mailboxes or Calendars you have added in your Outlook Client. Those can be re-added once the reimage has completed.

Export Browser Favorites

Export your browser favorites to add them into your browser after the reimage.