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What is Difference Between Disk Image and Disk Clone?

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#1 Torvald


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Posted 28 August 2015 - 01:29 PM

I have several family computers running Windows 7 that I am considering updating to Windows 10.


However, just to be safe, i would like to have a very reliable way to go back to the previous Windows 7 setups if the Windows 10 update crashes anything and the rollback feature doesn't work properly.


I've heard about possibly making a hard drive image or a clone using Macrium Reflect Free, but don't know much about that process.  Some of the computers have a second harddrive, if that helps any, plus I also have an external USB 2.0 Western Digital 500GB harddrive.


For example, what is the difference between making a harddrive image and cloning a harddrive?  Or is there any real difference?


Also, do I need to make some sort of bootable USB drive as part of imaging/cloning, or is that needed only for copying to a completely empty, reformatted drive, like if I were to install an SSD to replace my system harddrive?


Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.

Edited by hamluis, 28 August 2015 - 01:40 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to Internal Hardware - Hamluis.

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#2 Aura


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Posted 28 August 2015 - 01:32 PM

Hi again Torvald :)

There's an article on PC World that sums pretty much the differences between cloning and imaging, you should give it a read.


There's another article here that you could read if you want.


To sum it up, when you clone a hard drive on another one, you can swap the original with the copy and it'll be back up and running in no time. If you image a drive, you need to boot from the Imaging software and restore that image on the drive before being able to use it. So to answer your question, when you image a drive you need a bootable media to restore the image, yes.

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#3 RVAH-12


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Posted 29 August 2015 - 12:20 AM

Macrium Reflect from Paramount Software, U.K. @www.macrium .com has a nice free version that will performs images of your hard drive.  A purchased version will do a clone.  I like it a lot, relatively simple to use and put together well.  I also have Win 7 (Pro) but was never able to make an image with my USB2 to a 64 GB stick with the circa 2009 BIOS that I have.  I can't set it to boot from USB, but with Macrium Reflect it lets me make a CD/DVD Rescue Disk that boots my machine an starts Reflect so that I CAN use a USB stick to load an image from.  As for you question lol, I believe that a clone made on removable medium is a plug and play routine that does not require a Rescue Disk to get windows going ... its all right there.  Just make sure that your machine will try to boot from you rescue/image drive FIRST before your main drive.  Good luck on the backups (smart idea), but best of luck with Win 10.  I cringe just thinking about it.

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#4 brian2009


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Posted 29 August 2015 - 12:13 PM

An alternate free choice to clone or image is Aomei Backupper which I have used. It's very easy to use. Youtube has tutorial vids.




It might not have all the features of other programs but it's certainly got enough for typical uses.


I use Standard Edition 2.5. There is a newer version (3.1) but I tend to stick with versions that work. Newer versions often offer less functions.

Edited by brian2009, 29 August 2015 - 01:02 PM.

#5 czarboom


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Posted 29 August 2015 - 10:20 PM

A great tool also is Clonezilla, but it can be a pain to use if your not use to Linux type commands.  But I got a guide I made just for those who need help,

if the below dont help you, but they should


Videos for help by Josh Dew user name wwjoshdew

Video for installing Clonezilla can be found on youtube.com at http://youtu.be/LS6VhLDw-io?t=1s .

Links to USB tool and Clonezilla download at:

USB Installer: http://goo.gl/I4nFP

Clonezilla: http://goo.gl/U2nfW

For Video on Disabling Secure Boot in Windows 7 & 8:

Disable Secure Boot: http://goo.gl/wjtJI9


Good Luck,


"Never Stop Asking Questions, Question Your Environment, Question Your Government, above all Question Yourself.  We all lose when you Stop asking Why?

#6 Gorbulan


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Posted 31 August 2015 - 02:11 PM


+1 for Clonezilla. I use it all the time at work, it has only failed me once, but that may have been the weird partitions I was trying to image.


I personally don't mind the text based interface, I don't see how it can be too intimidating. It gives you choices, it is not like it forces you to type everything.

Edited by hamluis, 01 September 2015 - 11:34 AM.

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