What is a Reimage?

WPI-owned computers are set up using an image, meaning the operating system and all of the necessary software are installed as a package on WPI-owned computers. When clearing all of the data off a WPI-owned machine, IT will often perform a reimage, where the operating system and necessary software for your computer is reinstalled thus completely restoring it to a fresh image.

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.

Data Backup

Reimaging your computer is a PERMANENT process!

IT only performs this for WPI owned Computers. We do NOT assist in reimaging Personal Computers. 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, settings, programs, music, etc. Any of this data must be backed up before the computer is reimaged.

ITS recommends moving these files to your OneDrive. Your OneDrive is cloud-based storage that is not kept locally on your computer, so it would not be affected by the reimaging process. The OneDrive can be found by logging into the WPI Portal. Any files containing sensitive data such as social security numbers, credit card numbers, or confidential information, should instead be stored in your My_Documents storage drive in accordance with the Data Classification Policy. The Storage drive (R:\) can be found on any WPI owned computer by navigating to the My_Documents folder. It can also be accessed from off campus using the VPN.

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.

Software Installation Media

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 prior to returning the computer.

Reimage Request

When you are ready to have your computer reimaged, please contact the ITS Service Desk and provide the following information:

  1. Why does the computer need to be reimaged?
  2. The building and room number of the computer (If the computer is among many other computers, let us know how to distinguish it)
  3. The hostname of the computer
  4. If you were unable to back up your data to your Personal Network Storage, specify files and folders that need to be backed up prior to the reimage
  5. A list of the applications needed

Once the request has been received, an IT staff member will pick up the computer from its location or contact you for further instructions.

NOTE: This process may take a few days to complete. You can borrow a laptop from the ATC to use while your computer is being reimaged.