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I want to make an exact copy of my current pc on a laptop & updated daily.


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#1 chrisarnt

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 11:08 AM

Does this make sense?

 

I have a very busy schedule and want to create an exact mirror of my current workstation (ported dell latitude hooked up to dual monitors, keyboards etc... LCD ) so I can just grab and go and work on the fly. 

 

Is there a simple program that I can use to duplicate my entire system onto another computer and then update the duplication? 

 

I haven't bought my second laptop yet, so if I need to buy identical laptops I can, but I'd prefer to step up my CPU and get  one with a number pad.  Currently running an I7 2720qm on a Lattitude E6420  I'm looking to get into an i7-3720qm or better (cache is important).  

I'll be buying from Ebay.  I like the looks of the lattitude 6530 as it has the number pad which I need. 


Edited by hamluis, 15 June 2016 - 01:02 PM.
Moved from System Building to Backup/Imaging - Hamluis.


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#2 RolandJS

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 11:15 AM

Exactly what OS is on this Dell?  OEM?  Microsoft?  While Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect certainly can create full images that can be restored onto another laptop -- there are problems to overcome, beginning with a license brick wall.  Each computer must have its own license.  We haven't even mentioned differences in hardware -- unless you buy an exact duplicate of your present laptop [with perhaps RAM size, HD size, etc., variances]


Edited by RolandJS, 11 June 2016 - 11:16 AM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#3 chrisarnt

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 11:58 AM

The OS is OEM BUILDER PACK. I BOUGHT FROM MICROCENTER. 

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

WIN PRO 7 SP1 X64 EN APK DSP OEI 611 DVD

and 

Office Enterprise 2007 (student version if that matters) bought off ebay. 

 

off the record I've installed this on about 6 computers, with zero problems. 

 

I suppose I could use  Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect and then just update the folders that I commonly use(documents, outlook and another folder), maybe I can set the computer to back up a duplicate of these to drop box that I can then pull on the other computer.  

But what about license brick walls???   

The only software, other than window and office, I use that is license is some appraisal software. 

I'd like to add a 4G card so I am never without connection. 

I'd like to get something with a number pad and a larger keyboard

 

but I am sticking with dell latitude or maybe a precision.  I know I can open up the back of the latitude and access the guts and upgrade or repair without a lot of headache. 

I have carpal tunnel and hand issues.  I have learned to manage them effectively by using a full size keyboard and an oversized mouse like a logitech G600. 

But an hour on a cramped laptop keyboard will leave in me in pain for days. 

 

 

--You stated "unless you buy an exact duplicate of your present laptop [with perhaps RAM size, HD size, etc., variances"

My current comp is a Latitude E6420 its a 14" with 2720qm and an NVIDIA NVS 4200M  and intel HD graphics 3000.

But I suspect that the Latitude e6520 would have the same mobo and specs, just a larger screen and added number pad. 

I sent an email to dell parts people for their opinion on the MOBO. 

If it's the case I can just wait till I find one on ebay with the same vid cards and CPU. 

But what about prescott vs scottsdale version of the CPU (I haven't looked into this on my CPU, so I don't know if it comes into play. )

I can double check this with the service tag. 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, I guess long story short... 

will  Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect allow me to duplicate one laptop to another different with ease? and then I just transfer files? 

I have tons of little tweaks and settings that I would prefer not to have to make on the new system. 


Also,  once you answer will other people chime in?  Or are you my designated guy? 



#4 RolandJS

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 12:45 PM

"...will  Acronis True Image or Macrium Reflect allow me to duplicate one laptop to another different with ease? and then I just transfer files?   I have tons of little tweaks and settings that I would prefer not to have to make on the new system."   Yes, absolutely!  Either via cloning or via full images -- what's on the source will be on the target.

"Also,  once you answer will other people chime in?  Or are you my designated guy?"

No, I'm just a passer-by!  Others can chime anytime!

And, it looks like you will have NO license problems at all; you didn't post that you had a multi-pak license in your starter.   :)


Edited by RolandJS, 11 June 2016 - 12:46 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#5 chrisarnt

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 02:10 PM

"And, it looks like you will have NO license problems at all; you didn't post that you had a multi-pak license in your starter.    :)"

 

I don't get it... is that sarcasm?   



#6 RolandJS

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 03:39 PM

"And, it looks like you will have NO license problems at all; you didn't post that you had a multi-pak license in your starter.    :)"

 

I don't get it... is that sarcasm?   

No, not at all; I could have saved you questions if I had known you had a multi-pack!  I paid separately for each one of my Windows 7 -- I wish I had been like you and purchased a mult-pack   :)


Edited by RolandJS, 11 June 2016 - 04:33 PM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#7 Ridernyc

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 04:12 PM

What purpose would you like to accomplish with this besides sharing files?

 

I fail to see what this rather complicated solution (and I'm reasonably sure impossible) would accomplish that some simple file sharing would not. 



#8 RolandJS

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 04:38 PM

Rider, he has to literally clone or full image the OS on the source HD and restore said OS onto the target HD; absolutely the data folders and files can be dealt with via Sharing/Copying amongst the two computers, the OS cannot likewise be Shared/Copied.


"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#9 Ridernyc

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Posted 11 June 2016 - 04:47 PM

Rider, he has to literally clone or full image the OS on the source HD and restore said OS onto the target HD; absolutely the data folders and files can be dealt with via Sharing/Copying amongst the two computers, the OS cannot likewise be Shared/Copied.

 

Exactly, I'm trying to get at what he is trying to accomplish here, and see if there are less complicated ways of accomplishing what he wants.

 

His question and scenario border on making no sense to me.



#10 smax013

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 05:32 AM

Personally, I would say the easiest thing is just to have one laptop computer that is typically connected to the two monitors, keyboard, mouse, etc that you then disconnect when you need to take it with you. FWIW, this is essentially what I do with my main computer (I do have a smaller, more portable laptop that I could use instead and generally do use for portable use) if I need the power it offers. In my case, it is a little easier as it is a MacBook Pro connected to a Thunderbolt dock and the monitor, keyboard and mouse are all connected to the Thunderbolt dock. Thus, I have basically two connections (power cable and Thunderbolt cable) to disconnect if I need to take the MBP with me. It does look like Dell does offer a dock/port replicator that will work with the Dell Latitude 6530 (http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/productdetail.aspx?c=us&cs=04&l=en&sku=331-6307 ... note this is the newest version...an older version with lower cost that might work as well that you can find on Amazon). Even without a dock/port replicator, I would argue it is much, much, much less of a hassle to disconnect half a dozen cables from the laptop than constantly redoing/updating clones/images.

The next best option would two have two computers with the same software on them and then just sync the data files between the two computers. The easiest option would be to sync the files with something like Dropbox or Box, but it can also done with local sync/backup software. Dropbox or Box (or any number of other options) will be a set and forget as long as you keep the data files stored in the Dropbox/Box folder...and you frequently leave both computers powered up so that any changes can be frequently synced. Even if you use a local program, it can also likely be setup as a "set and forget" as most of those programs can be set to sync files on a schedule. They likely will not be as continually synced when compared to something like Dropbox or Box. Dropbox or Box, etc will sync files in matters of minutes, while those local programs will either only sync manually (i.e. you initiate it) or on a set schedule.

If you want to go with the clone option, then you might run into problems with the OS as noted.

"True"/bulk OEM licenses that come with manufactured computers (such as a Dell) are typically "hardware locked" to either the computer brand and potentially to the computer model. In other words, cloning a setup from say an HP computer to a Dell computer will not work typically. This can sometimes also be true if you want to clone from one brand model to another. This should not be an issue if you have the EXACT same model of the computer...and might not be an issue if you just have the same brand of computer.

If you have a OEM/System builder license, then that license can only be used with the one computer. Generally, Windows Activation will throw a fit if you significantly change the hardware and make you call in to Microsoft to activate Windows again. They may activate it or they may not. If you are using this type of license in your cloning plan, then you will have to potentially call on a regular basis after cloning...and if you are continuously calling in to re-activate Windows, then it is less likely they will keep re-activating it. But then there is the issue of using the license technically on two computers, unless you actually bought two licenses and keep consistently use the same software key for each computer.

If you use a true "retail" license, then you can move from computer to computer, but you likely will still be calling Microsoft to activate all the time.

The other issue is drivers. If the two computers are exactly the same or close enough that they use the same drivers, then this will not be an issue. If the two computers have different drivers, then you will constantly have to be uninstalling drivers and installing the correct ones.

And assuming you can get past the licensing/activation issues and driver issues, you are now talking about regularly/continuously cloning from one computer to another. I am not aware of a Windows cloning program that will update previous clones (it is possible as I know there is a cloning program for the Mac that does, so I have to believe that it is possible to do for Windows and that someone has made such a program, but maybe not...updating images might be possible, but then likely restoring from the image will not be an "update" process), so that means have to do clones/images from scratch each time. Depending on the size of the drive and type of drive, this can be something that can take awhile. And further, you either have to pull the drive from one computer to hook to the other computer as an external drive using an enclosure, drive dock, or universal drive cable and do the direct clone (this means three steps of remove the drive, hook up and clone, and then re-install the drive) OR make an image file to an external drive or network drive and then restore the image to the other computer (two steps). In other words, you are likely looking at a multistep process that probably takes at least 30 minutes (30 minutes is assuming a fast drive and/or not much data on the drive...with USB 2.0 connections for a mechanical hard drive and lots of data, it could potentially be an hour or more) each time you want to "update" the other computer. Personally, I shutter at the thought of having to do that. Way, way, way easier to do one of the previous two options if you ask me.

#11 smax013

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 05:51 AM

And, it looks like you will have NO license problems at all; you didn't post that you had a multi-pak license in your starter.   :)


Not sure where you are getting that. From the description provided, the Windows license appears to be a single OEM/System Builder license. If so, that license is tied to the computer it was installed on. And technically, it is meant for computers being built by a local small computer business for customers. Traditionally, however, self-builders have use them with no adverse effects from Microsoft. The key thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft provides NO support for OEM/System Builder licenses...the OEM/System Builder is supposed to support the Windows install. If you want support from Microsoft, then you need to use a "retail" or "full" license (which also can "legally" be transferred from one computer to another).

As for the Office 2007 license, if it is a Home & Student version, then if I recall correctly, it can be installed on up to 3 computers "legally". Of course, the license specifically states that it cannot be used for "commercial" uses (i.e. by a business or self-employed person), but the original poster did not state what the computers are used for. If this is for a business, then there might never be a problem, but then there could be a problem if Microsoft or The Software Alliance (aka BSA) learns about it (posting on a public forum might make it easy to them to learn about it). As a result, I have always advised any company I worked at to make sure they have proper licenses for everything as it can be EXPENSIVE if the BSA finds that you do not.

#12 RolandJS

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 06:37 AM

smax013, thanks for your gracious and informative post, I learned much from you!  When I saw all caps [...The OS is OEM BUILDER PACK. I BOUGHT FROM MICROCENTER.  PRODUCT DESCRIPTION   WIN PRO 7 SP1 X64 EN APK DSP OEI 611 DVD...], and not knowing what all an OEM Builder Pack consists of, I decided to gracefully bow out of that situation.  I was thinking it was a multi-license pack, until I read the following very informative posts by you -- I did not know what an OEM Builder Pack was.


Edited by RolandJS, 26 June 2016 - 06:38 AM.

"Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee."  -- Ben Franklin revisited.

http://collegecafe.fr.yuku.com/forums/45/Computer-Technologies/

Backup, backup, backup! -- Lady Fitzgerald (w7forums)

Clone or Image often! Backup... -- RockE (WSL)


#13 smax013

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 07:17 AM

smax013, thanks for your gracious and informative post, I learned much from you!  When I saw all caps [...The OS is OEM BUILDER PACK. I BOUGHT FROM MICROCENTER.  PRODUCT DESCRIPTION   WIN PRO 7 SP1 X64 EN APK DSP OEI 611 DVD...], and not knowing what all an OEM Builder Pack consists of, I decided to gracefully bow out of that situation.  I was thinking it was a multi-license pack, until I read the following very informative posts by you -- I did not know what an OEM Builder Pack was.


You used to be able to get multi-paks of OEM/System Builder licenses (i.e. buy in bulk), but they will each have their own Windows software key. A multi-pak was essentially just 5 or 10 individual OEM/System Builder licenses sold in bulk. They don't seem to be available anymore (could not find them on Newegg or Amazon), so it looks like you just have to add a bunch of individual licenses to your cart.

Now, there is a volume licensing option that is available to large computer manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo, HP, etc. They basically operate under nominally the same licensing rules, but I believe there are some slight differences in "implementation".

#14 smax013

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 02:54 PM

In other words, you are likely looking at a multistep process that probably takes at least 30 minutes (30 minutes is assuming a fast drive and/or not much data on the drive...with USB 2.0 connections for a mechanical hard drive and lots of data, it could potentially be an hour or more) each time you want to "update" the other computer. Personally, I shutter at the thought of having to do that. Way, way, way easier to do one of the previous two options if you ask me.


As a follow up to this comment to help add some perspective, I cloned my Windows 7 install on my Windows computer to a new SSD that I got (the existing drive is a SATA3 WD 10000 RPM Raptor) for faster drive access. My Windows 7 install is pretty minimal as I use it really only for using a structural engineering program and playing a game since my main computer is a Mac...and just have not gotten around to "migrating" my main Windows programs from an old Windows XP install/boot on that computer.

The point is that the existing Windows 7 drive had only about 40 to 50 GB of space taken up (just OS and a few programs...I also actually use a separate drive for my data in addition to the multiple boot drives). The new SSD was in a hard drive dock connected to the computer by way of eSATA (so much faster than a USB 2.0 connection). And of course, one drive was an SSD and the other was a 10000 RPM Raptor drive.

I used Acronis' True Image program to clone the Windows 7 install from the old Raptor drive to the new SSD. It took about 10 minutes from boot up using the Acronis bootable optical disc, through the clone process, and then shutdown of the computer.

So, if the original poster is using traditional laptop drives (i.e. either 5400 rpm or maybe 7200 rpm) for both drives and potentially uses a USB 2.0 connection (it looks like the E6420 only has USB 2.0 ports, but the E6530 does have USB 3.0 ports) and has more than 50 GB of data to clone, then it will take more than 10 minutes to complete the clone. Then add in the time it takes to remove a drive from one of the laptops (say 5 to 10 minutes as Dell is usually pretty good a providing easy access to the internal drives on their laptops unlike some companies...cough, cough...Apple), install it in an external enclosure or connect to a drive dock or universal USB drive cable, and then reinstall the drive in the laptop after completing the clone, you are likely easily looking at 30 minutes or more to do the clone process each time you want to "update" the second computer.

My point is that is a lot of time and work for something that can essentially be done by either just using one computer that you disconnect from the external stuff (monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc) or running two computers and just syncing the files. So, personally, I would strongly advise against doing the actual cloning option as I think it would be a real pain.

#15 chrisarnt

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Posted 26 June 2016 - 09:23 PM

OK. I am back and will clarify all. 

 

So, I use dell latitudes and precisions. They are easy to work on and you can do most upgrades without tearing into it too much. 

I used to buy whatever and then in 2010 a  $700 Acer turned into a $700 pile of junk in 3 months. 

Since then I have been buying off lease business class dells. I picked up an inspiron from microcenter at one time and found it to be a piece of junk. 

I try to buy high end, but three or even 4 years old off ebay with the Win 7 64 bit pro version coa. 

From my understanding of the law the license/coa goes with the hardware/laptop. 

Preferably one with a good video card, since I often have a lot of pictures and maps up and I find that my performance suffers. Or suffered on my older E6400 with a T9900. Not here to argue or ask about this kind of stuff stuff. It's just what I do and will continue to do. I want a fast stable system that isn't going to fall apart when I decide to open it up under a car to watch a video on how to fix this or that, or make my office in the middle of a home renovation next to my miter saw. Which is why I bought the ATG. 

 

I started with a D610 I think?? It was a few years ago, which is still functioning, but I gave to a friend.  Then the E6400 ATG then an E6420 with a i7-2720QM

and most recently I acquired an M6600 precision with the i7-2720QM from ebay for a good price. 

I was looking at the E6530 mentioned above and it looks nice but I wanted the dual hard drives so I could have a back up mirrored hard drive in my laptop.

 

I have my E6420 on a docking station, hooked up to two monitors and a full keyboard and a logitech gaming mouse.  I don't game, but I bought it at first in 2012 because of carpal tunnel, since it was large, but I have kept using it because it has a a full number pad on the side that you can program each key with a different macro and it has three different modes.... So, I can program 36 different macros on this mouse. To say the least it saves some time. 

 

I run a samsung SSD in the E6420. I put an OCZ in the E6400, with two internal 32 gb micro sd cards installed on a mini pci half card, this laptop is really just collecting dust now. . and I have just put a crucial SSD in a precision  M6600 and the included 500gb black label western dig 7200rpm,   in the secondary position.  I have yet to mess with the precision that much, but intend to get a second matching SSD and set them up under what ever raid setting duplicates the drives(still have to learn this skill) . With a third drive in the form of an internal SD card on a mini pci card.  This will be set up as my download folder in hopes that this will minimize the risk of infections. 

When my seven year old want to play on my primary laptop I have a secondary SSD that has windows installed on it so that he can paly and download what ever he wants without screwing me up. Since the SSD is so light I don't even screw it it.  I just swap it out like an old school atari cartridge. Of course I turn it off first. 

 

Not having the most powerful computer I have lots of tweaks and firewall exceptions for industry specific applications. 

From the time I get a laptop in the mail to when I faze out my prior laptop is usually a few months because of all the crap I need to tweak.

 

The purpose of having an exact mirror of the docked computer on the mobile one is that I never want any downtime ever. 

I have ADD and I know how to manage it.  

If I have a computer issue I will spend all day working to fix it rather than complete my work. 

If I do that it takes me three to four days to catch up and I could lose an account and income. 

 

So, the point of it all would be to take my mirrored system with me and leave my original docked. 

 

 

 

Does that answer all?

 

So, now I just had an epiphany...  if I bought the exact same spec Dell M6600... Every single thing the same...  down to the ram, display and wifi card, mini-pci half card download file... And then changed the Asset tag to the same on both computers... Could I just swap out drives on the fly have it boot up the other machine without any issues?  

Since the precision is raid capable I could have the stationary one set up with Raid 1  to mirror the drives. 

and then when I swap in the drive to my mobile unit just back up the primary to the secondary in my downtime. With dual SSDs it would be quick.

 I would essentially have three back up copies of my system. 

But then again I don't know if I'm ready to commit to the M6600.  I like the almost full size keyboard and the full number pad, but the thing is monster.  

But then again with the carpal tunnel typing on a regular laptop keyboard for a few hours  gives me sore hands for a week. 

 

Remember, my goal here is zero downtime and zero fiddling time once I do all my initial installs. 






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