For most people the need to restore a complete disk image is pretty rare. Usually this will be necessary only if the bootable internal disk has failed or one is replacing the bootable internal disk with a newer drive. If the main disk is bootable and contains one's screen reading software, Image for Windows can be used to easily restore a partition of the drive and/or the entire drive from an external USB backup.
Below are several suggestions for how one can restore from a backup should the main bootable drive fail or need to be replaced.
This solution is probably the most elegant, but requires a fair amount of time to set up as well as a reasonable amount of computer sophistication on the part of the user.
Vinux is a version of the Linux operating system that has been made to be accessible "out of the box" to the visually impaired. Below is a link to instructions for creating a version of Vinux that can be run from a bootable USB thumb drive and that contains the Image for Linux tools that can be used to restore from a backup.
Creating and using a bootable Vinux USB thumb drive containing the Image for Linux tools
Using this approach one would boot one's PC from the USB thumb drive, and then from within the Vinux OS, run the Image for Linux program to restore a disk image from a previously made Image for Windows backup. Note: The Image for Linux (as well as the Image for DOS) utilities come as part of the Image for Windows tool set.
You can find out more about Vinux and download this free and accessible operating system from:
You can also listen to some previous episodes of Eyes On Success which feature interviews with some of the developers of Vinux. Click on one of the links below to find links to the audio and show notes for those episodes:
Another approach to restoring a complete disk image if the bootable drive on your PC fails is to use another screen reader, such as NVDA or SA2Go, along with a bootable Windows CD. Using this method, one would boot from the Windows restore disk and then use another screen reader to run the Image for Windows utilities that you have previously copied to your backup medium. Note: The first few steps below are prerequisites and must be performed while your computer is still in good shape!
Previous episodes of Eyes On Success featured NVDA and SAToGo. To find links to the audio and show notes for these episodes, click on one of the links below:
Finally, since the need to restore a failed disk or replace a main drive is rare for most users, you can use sighted assistance to perform the restore. This is probably the easiest method, but does require that you can find someone to navigate the computer for or with you.
As before, you'll need to make sure that you've created a Windows Systems Repair disk beforehand from which you can boot the system, and also make sure that the Image for Windows utilities have been copied and/or installed onto your backup medium so that you can use these tools once you've booted from the Windows Systems Repair CD.