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image laptop hardrive to external drive as full backup?


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#1 modernape

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 04:41 AM

I've had conflicting advice about this - I want to image my laptop harddrive completely to another laptop drive, in an external USB enclosure. My idea is, that if my current harddrive fails, I can just swap it for the imaged backup and carry on as if nothing has happened, without the need to do a recovery install of vista. Would this work?

Current hardware is a Western Digital 250GB 5400rpm in a HP pavilion 2500

Thanks for any advice

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 09:53 AM

Well...you could accomplish the same thing by cloning the entire partition to another drive.

But...the image would require restoration, while a cloning of the partition would not require such. I use Drive Image 2002 to backup (make my disk images) and it also has the capability of cloning partitions to another drive. So does Partition Magic and other programs.

I say that...with the assumption that the partition is not gigantic...my boot partitions are 20-30GB, no matter what size the drive is.

Louis

#3 modernape

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 12:29 PM

From everything else I've been reading, cloning and disk imaging seem to be the same thing? A PC World employee told me I'd need one disk to hold the backup image, and ANOTHER one to restore that image on to! That can't be right surely - i need two new hard drives to make myself a recovery solution?!

#4 hamluis

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Posted 07 October 2008 - 01:21 PM

Cloning is not the same thing as disk imaging.

You can only clone a partition or a drive...the result will be an exact copy of that partition/drive and it's contents, good or bad. All system files, all data, whatever the content is.

Disk-imaging achieves the same effect...but it creates any number of files...and it is not bootable.

It seems that I'm repeating myself.

In any case...the technique for restoring a disk image...varies.

Some images can be restored to a partition/hard drive...from CD.

Some can be restored from floppies.

Probably all can be restored from a different system or partition.

There's a ton of info on these concepts on the Web...you don't have to pay attention to anything that any one person says, the info is there for all to see.

Louis

#5 HitSquad

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Posted 09 October 2008 - 07:39 AM

I'm getting ready to try this (for fun) to do exactly what you want to do.
It's "supposed" to work with usb external drives and make them bootable as well.
The free version does not do incrementals however. I'll let you you know how it goes in a few days. Can't get around to it until sometime this weekend. :thumbsup:

#6 HitSquad

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Posted 14 October 2008 - 07:54 AM

Just an update.
Appears to be working as advertised. :thumbsup:
Took an old 80gb IDE drive, stuck it in an external usb encloser.
Reformatted it from FAT (had Win98 on it) to NTFS.
Ran the clone operation first, then under "cool tools" made bootable and copied Volume ID (required for programs that put licensing info there). Pulled the drive out of the encloser, stuck it in the same desktop as master. Booted right up.
Everything seems to be intact but only time will tell. :huh:
It also cloned very fast. Not bad for freebie.




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