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cloning software


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#1 Old_Feller

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 02:25 AM

I am wondering if there is software that will clone my hd, or even just the entire C:\ drive - giving me an end product that will boot and install, just like the windows install CD does?

 

I want to install Windows and get all updates and drivers done and load a few other software products that I use AND whatever else that makes windows mine. Then I would like to clone this and be able to install it all ready to use, next time something goes awry.  (Rather than having to install Windows and then go through all the tedium and time it takes to make it ready)  :busy:

 

So I would like it to boot and install my updated, shined & polished Windows, complete with anything I've installed, added, changed, etc.  Is that possible?

 

Software?  What's out there?  Freeware?  Purchase any better?

 

 

Edit -- Maybe that's not exactly what I mean. I'm new at all this and struggling to understand how stuff works. I just need it to boot and give me the option to select which partition to install on and maybe give me the option to format, then install.... All the other stuff that is standard for a normal install, like asking which language, I suppose would not be required as those choices are already made.


Edited by hamluis, 01 June 2017 - 11:05 AM.
Moved from All Other Apps to Backup/Imaging - Hamluis.


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#2 SleepyDude

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 03:57 AM

Hi,

 

What you need to do is after everything installed and setup like you want create a full backup image (not clone) using a program for example the free Macrium Reflect https://www.macrium.com/reflectfree this isn't an install DVD its a backup that you can restore if something goes wrong.

 

The image includes everything that is on the HDD, Windows, Programs, Settings, Documents, etc. there is no need to format and install Windows only restore using the image.

 

Macrium Reflect allow you to create a Rescue Disk on DVD or flash drive that can be used to boot the computer and restore the backup image in cases when Windows is so damaged that it doesn't work.

 

For safety is recommended to store the backup image(s) on a External HDD, NAS, etc.

 

There are several guides available about using the software here


Edited by SleepyDude, 29 May 2017 - 03:58 AM.

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#3 Old_Feller

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 05:51 AM

Yes, that sounds like exactly what I had in mind. Thank you.

 

Are flash drives not considered safe for long term storage?



#4 SleepyDude

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 06:02 AM

Are flash drives not considered safe for long term storage?

 

I personally don't trust them for long term specially if you use them on move.

 

If you want use flash drives for full backup images take note that the files created are usually very big you will need a 32GB flash or bigger.


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#5 Old_Feller

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 10:56 AM

Okay thanks.



#6 GoofProg

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Posted 29 May 2017 - 11:40 AM

Or you can go the old linux route and boot to a live linux system and use the dd tool.  It copies sector by sector.



#7 Old_Feller

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 07:53 PM

GoofProg - I'm learning. Installing "duel boot" with zorin is what prompted me to want something like macrium reflect, because I had foolishly started by creating a partition for zorin to live on. But zorin creates it's own space, so working with nothing but xp I attempted to get rid of the partition (after installing zorin). I'm not even quite sure how, but in doing that I wound up in some sort of DOS-looking hell. That's where it would boot to and so I was stuck. The system was asking for some kind of emergency commands to get  me around the boot problem but I didn't understand any of that stuff. So I reformatted the disk and started over by reinstalling xp. 

 

Soon I will get back around to zorin and I want to check puppy out as well. And maybe some other linux stuff. This is all fascinating and my biggest reason for still hanging onto xp is because I have it and I'm not afraid to screw it up; plus, it'll make an acceptable os for a guest room, until I learn to do something better. I imagine I'll look back on all this and feel foolish, when I learn how good the linux systems are. I hear they are less prone to security issues as well.



#8 britechguy

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 08:08 PM

Old_Feller:  Back to your original question.  Yes, there are a number of disc cloning programs.

 

The last one I used was Miray HD Clone, and that was at least 10 years ago, more like 15.  I had a failing disc drive that I wanted to clone on to another before it actually did fail, which is what I did.  The replacement was larger than the original, so I created a partition for a new logical drive on it after the cloning had been completed and the new drive was successful in firing up the system the failing one had been removed from.

 

There are others, and you can do a straight clone from one drive to another of the same size.


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#9 Old_Feller

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 09:03 PM

It was the Rescue Disk that actually met my needs, which I suppose is a clone with a program that will install a copy of the clone onto the HDD. Originally I had in  mind that I would have this ready copy of xp, which has been reduced to "abandoned ware" as I understand - and I would be able to put it onto other computers if I wanted.

 

But even xp still must be activated and registered to a single MB. Is that right? It's no big deal, the more I think about linux, the more excited I am getting about becoming familiar with it. It sounds like freedom to me.

 

Brain - I've read where some people are recommending using clone programs, like Macrium Reflect, as their backup system. I take it you do not see a reason for doing that? It must be fairly time consuming.

 

Dell used to have a hidden partition that would have some kind of rescue/reset/restore program. Would it work to use Macrium to build my own restore tool?



#10 britechguy

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Posted 30 May 2017 - 09:26 PM

Old_Feller,

 

           While a cloned disc can serve as a sort of system image backup, they're really not used that way as a general rule.

 

           There are lots of utilities, Macrium Reflect being one of those (and I happen to use it, but there are others), that are designed specifically to take system images on to external drives that can also have other things put on to them, which you cannot do with a disk cloning program as part of a clone process (and few are inclined to do afterward if the intended use for the clone is an emergency backup).  Macrium Reflect does not clone, but takes a system image that can be stored alongside lots of other material on the same storage medium.   The term "clone" came directly from the biological terminology, which means to make an exact duplicate, but nothing more.


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#11 SleepyDude

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 03:14 AM

...Macrium Reflect does not clone, but takes a system image that can be stored alongside lots of other material on the same storage medium.  

 

http://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW/Cloning+a+disk


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#12 britechguy

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Posted 31 May 2017 - 09:44 AM

 

...Macrium Reflect does not clone, but takes a system image that can be stored alongside lots of other material on the same storage medium.  

 

http://knowledgebase.macrium.com/display/KNOW/Cloning+a+disk

 

 

OK, then:  Macrium is not *typically* used to clone a disk and its normal system image backup process does not clone a disk.


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#13 smax013

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 08:50 AM

         While a cloned disc can serve as a sort of system image backup, they're really not used that way as a general rule.


Maybe then I am an exception to the general rule.

I regularly use a clone as my first line backup method (I typically do additional backups). I like it because cloning my boot drive to identical drive is the fastest way for me to get backup and running if something happens to that boot drive. For my desktop, it is just the amount of time it takes me to pull the old drive and install the new drive and I am backup up and running. I might need to install the minor Windows updates (although my typical pattern is to update/redo the clone before many Windows updates but definitely before any major upgrade of Windows or adding a major new app). I do a similar process for my Mac laptop, although since the drive is less user upgradable (it actually is upgradable/replaceable now for my model, but it was not when I first got it), I just rely on the ability to boot the Mac from the external clone drive.

Point is that I can be back up and running in a matter of minutes if I need/want. If I just used an image, then I first need to install the new blank drive, then boot from the bootable image software disc, and then restore the image. That typically takes much longer than just swapping in the clone drive (on my Windows desktops) or booting from a external clone drive (on my Macs).

Now, I do also do an initial setup image these days and also do some updated images when I do software/OS updates or new application installs. For my new tower build, I made an image of the setup after I got Windows 10 installed and fully updated and installed some of the major applications (i.e. my antivirus, Office, etc). This allows me to effectively "reinstall" Windows without having to, you know, go through the actual reinstall process.

#14 RolandJS

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 11:13 AM

Old_Feller, I +1 using usb external hard-drives for cloning or full image storage instead of using usb sticks  :)

I've been using usb platter-driven hard-drives for several years, never regretted that.


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#15 britechguy

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Posted 06 June 2017 - 12:12 PM

 

         While a cloned disc can serve as a sort of system image backup, they're really not used that way as a general rule.


Maybe then I am an exception to the general rule.

 

 

I'd say you are.

 

The average user does not even take backups (and, yes, I am willing to make this assertion after many years of anecdotal observation that indicates a clear trend), let alone own spare drives whose only purpose is to serve as a clone of an existing system.

 

Your method is the ultimate in recovery speed, that's for sure.  If you've got a machine where access to the hard drive is easy, and on most laptops it's a cinch, you have a plug-n-play recovery done in a matter of minutes.

 

Since I have had only one time where I had to recover a full system that I owned since the mid-1980s the cost-benefit analysis for me does not fall in favor of having spare HDDs (or SSDs, possibly) sitting around strictly as system image clone drives.

 

That's why I'm also agnostic, if it will fit, on whether one takes backups on to external platter disc drives (which I do) or USB media, since some are more than large enough in capacity to handle the job.  I take backups frequently enough that the probability of my having a failed backup media, regardless of the media, at the same time I would have a primary drive failure, is extraordinarily small.  If something were so critical that this risk was not acceptable then I'd be doing two backups on separate media.  Of course, for my home systems, everything's at home, so nothing would prevent loss in the event of a major disaster that wiped out my home.  Of course, I doubt my computer system would be my primary (or even secondary or tertiary . . .) worry were something that awful to occur.


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     In a modern society where everyone thinks their opinion deserves to be heard nothing annoys me more than individuals who mistake their personal preferences for fact.

         ~ Commenter TheCruyffGurn on the The Guardian website, 8/13/2014

 

              

 





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