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Cloning or Imaging? - No Original Disc, Need to Save Software


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#1 UrbanNoir75

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:06 PM

Forgive my noobish grasp of this. I need to backup my system. I don't care about the data files (i already back these up to an external drive), only the installed software. The software on this is worth more than the laptop holding it.

My dilemma is that I don't have any original software disc for the OS. Ultimately, I just want to backup the installed environment as is, so if this computer breaks, I can get a new one and load the working OS and Adobe software from a backup drive without jumping through registration hoops.

So which is more appropriate for me, imaging or cloning?

Appreciate the feedback from anyone who knows.


Edited by UrbanNoir75, 13 August 2014 - 07:07 PM.


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#2 TsVk!

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:29 PM

You could clone the hard drive to an new one... that way you can just cold swap them if anything goes wrong.
 

You can always create a system image also, but this won't necessarily save you if you don't have a running OS. (though you can use a repair disk)

 

I'd say clone, but of course there is the cost involved of buying a new HDD. The money is not lost though and you can store your spare HDD in a cool dry place for use at any time... for this machine or others.

 

TsVk!


Edited by TsVk!, 13 August 2014 - 07:35 PM.


#3 UrbanNoir75

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:50 PM

You could clone the hard drive to an new one... that way you can just cold swap them if anything goes wrong.
 

You can always create a system image also, but this won't necessarily save you if you don't have a running OS. (though you can use a repair disk)

 

I'd say clone, but of course there is the cost involved of buying a new HDD. The money is not lost though and you can store your spare HDD in a cool dry place for use at any time... for this machine or others.

 

TsVk!

Yes, I'd already planned to buy an external SATA drive, and a docking station with a USB cable to my laptop. I could clone to that SATA drive using Macrium, or something. Could I do this instead of replacing the drive in my laptop? (this laptop is too hard to get into)

Thanks again.


Edited by UrbanNoir75, 13 August 2014 - 07:51 PM.


#4 TsVk!

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:53 PM

Absolutely, that is exactly what I do.

 

Only when the drive in the machine actually dies and needs replacing would you need to open it.



#5 UrbanNoir75

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 07:58 PM

Absolutely, that is exactly what I do.

 

Only when the drive in the machine actually dies and needs replacing would you need to open it.

I would just buy a new laptop. I'm talking about if this laptop now ever goes kerplunk, and I need to buy a new one, would I transfer a working OS enviroment with installed software from another drive as a clone, or an image? I don't know which term is appropriate for what I'm trying to do. The point is I don't want to install anything again if my computer explodes.

- UN75

 


Edited by UrbanNoir75, 13 August 2014 - 08:07 PM.


#6 UrbanNoir75

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:07 PM

EDIT: For clarification, I would like to put my installed OS and installed software programs on a backup drive somewhere in a closet (this drive will never be physically installed internally). Then later, I want to be able to bring a new laptop in and put all of that installed evironment onto a new drive inside that laptop using a docking station. I want to be able to do this without any original Windows discs.

- UN75


Edited by UrbanNoir75, 13 August 2014 - 08:09 PM.


#7 TsVk!

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:27 PM

Oh Ok.... you would need to run SysPrep to prepare the disk for installation to a completely different machine. There are limitations also...

 

Please read about this as much as you can, then ask some questions if you are unclear on how to do it.

 

TsVk!



#8 TsVk!

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 08:31 PM

You would have to clone the disk, and then sysprep it... it would be a bit of a juggle moving the disks about, and I'm guessing you would need to physically install the drive also unless you have eSATA.

 

I know of no other way.



#9 UrbanNoir75

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:30 PM

You would have to clone the disk, and then sysprep it... it would be a bit of a juggle moving the disks about, and I'm guessing you would need to physically install the drive also unless you have eSATA.

 

I know of no other way.

So you're saying you can't backup and then move an installed system environment from a backup drive (without orginal Windows disc) into a new computer using a docking station?

- UN75



#10 TsVk!

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:36 PM

That is correct, not just like that... the system specific files would be wrong, just to start with. That is before you even get to Windows authentication.



#11 UrbanNoir75

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 09:55 PM

So my only option is to clone over to the type of drive I would eventually install internally, and use SysPrep on the new computer? Would all of this bother spare my installed Adobe software, and transfer it (installed) to the new machine?

- UN75


Edited by UrbanNoir75, 13 August 2014 - 09:56 PM.


#12 TsVk!

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Posted 13 August 2014 - 10:12 PM

What I would think as the likely process...

  1. Clone the drive to your new drive
  2. Install the new HDD in your laptop
  3. Run Sysprep, make sure you make a manual note of the Windows authorization key.
  4. reinstall your old drive.
  5. Store the new ready drive with the key copy, for use in the future.

There can be complications involving OEM operating systems with laptops also, unless your current installation is a retail version. I can't figure the pitfalls without reading into it and knowing the specific machines that the disk is coming from and going to... Logically though, it would preserve all of your installed programs and non-Windows settings.

 

It may or may not be worth it for you.






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