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  1. #1
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    Want To Clone Desktop hard Drive

    I just purchased a Seagate ST320005EXA101-RK which is a 2 TB external hard drive.

    I am getting ready to install Windows 7 to a desktop PC that currently has Windows XP on it. As a precaution, I would like to clone the internal hard drive of the PC to the Seagate external hard drive using a program called EaseUS Tobo Backup (or maybe Clonezilla). With the term "cloning" I mean copying all the sectors of my internal hard drive, including the unused sectors and the MBR, to the Seagate external drive. This way, should the installation of Windows 7 fail for some reason, I can restore the internal hard drive using the backup. My internal hard drive is 80 GB, so there should be no problem cloning it to the Seagate external drive.

    What I do not understand is whether I need to partition the Seagate external drive before starting the cloning procedure. It is my understanding that the process of cloning will destroy everything that is on the external hard drive. Through Windows Explorer I can see that there are some files and directories on the Seagate external hard drive. They must have been placed there by the Seagate factory and I think that it would be better not to overwrite that stuff. So I was thinking about creating two partitions on the Seagate external drive: One partition would harbor the files and folders that came with the Seagate drive and a second partition that I would use to do the cloning of my internal hard drive.

    Whad do you guys think?

  2. #2
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    Why don't you just create an image, instead of cloning the disk? An image is simple a file that will have the entire contents of your whole disk, which the backup app you will use can read and restore the whole disk from, in case its needed. The advantage of using an image over a clone is that you can keep as many image files as ou want in a single disk, thus avoiding the need to delete anything the disk may already have. With images, you can have several on your disk, while cloning would only allow you one per partition of your backup disk.
    I image my pcs regularly and have always preferred image files over cloning.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Why don't you just create an image, instead of cloning the disk? An image is simple a file that will have the entire contents of your whole disk, which the backup app you will use can read and restore the whole disk from, in case its needed. The advantage of using an image over a clone is that you can keep as many image files as ou want in a single disk, thus avoiding the need to delete anything the disk may already have. With images, you can have several on your disk, while cloning would only allow you one per partition of your backup disk.
    I image my pcs regularly and have always preferred image files over cloning.
    It is my understanding that imaging (as opposed to cloning) a drive does not also back up the MBR. I could we wrong, though. I any event, I consider backing up the MBR (and everything else) vital when attempting to install an operating system over another one. (Clean Install)

    Questions:
    1) What do you use for imaging your hard drive?
    2) Have you ever restored an image to a hard drive whose MBR is mangled?

  4. #4
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    I use Acronis True Image 2010 (have a 2011 license but that version is rather problematic, so I don't use it). TI images backup the MBR and you can restore it, when restoring from an image. TI 2010 actually allows you explicitly to choose if you want to restore MBR and Track 0.

    I have used Acronis to restore from images both to the same drive or to a whole new drive, without any problems.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I use Acronis 2011 and 2010 both. I have 2 partitions on my HD and choose to Image the entire HD at one time. (see my post #11 here for the reason why) This creates one file that holds everything, C Drive, D Drive, MBR, everything.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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  6. #6
    Bronze Lounger DrWho's Avatar
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    Cool

    With many backup programs there are a number of possible backup types.

    I use Ghost 11.5 for backing up XP, Vista & Win-7.
    I can do a Partition to Image, or
    a Disk to Image, or
    a Disk to Disk (a disk clone)
    Only a Disk to Image or Disk to Disk will copy the MBR, Boot Sector, etc. (everything)

    Image files store on a second drive, just like any other file. As previously said, many images can be stored on just one external drive (or second Internal Drive...much faster than an external drive)
    There is absolutely NO advantage to doing a clone to an external drive, since it can't run from there anyway.
    If you're going to do a clone, then do it to another Internal Drive that can be used to boot up your system if your main drive dies.

    With Ghost 11.5, I can select either NO Compression, FAST (minimal) Compression or HIGH Compression.
    I only use HIGH compression when backing up to DVD's or a small external drive.
    Using HIGH compression to a DVD or an External USB drive, goes really slow, so I don't like that very much.

    Normally I do a Partition to Image Backup, to my internal backup drive with Ghost 11.5 in about ten minutes.
    Then, without ever exiting out of Ghost, I verify the integrity of the backup file. A backup file that cannot pass an integrity check, is like no backup at all.

    Cheers Mates!
    The Doctor
    Experience is truly the best teacher.

    Backup! Backup! Backup! GHOST Rocks!

  7. #7
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    I use Acronis True Image 2010 (have a 2011 license but that version is rather problematic, so I don't use it). TI images backup the MBR and you can restore it, when restoring from an image. TI 2010 actually allows you explicitly to choose if you want to restore MBR and Track 0.

    I have used Acronis to restore from images both to the same drive or to a whole new drive, without any problems.
    I also use Acronis True Image to do this for each new computer I set up. I capture the manufacturer's Windows setup, then save the image file to an external drive. Then I set everything up the way I like.

    Eventually I will give away the computer to family and friends. First I run Darik's Boot and Nuke to cleanse the hard drive of any information. Then I boot my Acronis CD, and restore that original image file. Then I install MSE and download Windows critical updates to bring the system up to date.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  8. #8
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Do you reimage when you make changes? Images can be used to bring a PC back to the original condition, but a recovery partition or recovery disk will do this just as well. The true strength of Images are in restoring your OS when disaster strikes, or when (as is my case) I do something wrong, or "play" too agressively with my OS, or somehow a nasty gets through my security scheme. I keep and recreate new Images when I make changes to my system. This way when I screw something up, I can be back where I was in about 10 minutes.

    Let's say your original Image is 6 months old. How many changes have you made in those 6 months. How many updates, how many new customizations, how many new apps, etc. All those changes would need to be reapplied without an up to date image. Could take hours. With an Up To Date Image, 10 minutes.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
    Win 8 Pro (64 Bit), IE 10 (64 Bit)


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  9. #9
    3 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ted Myers View Post
    Do you reimage when you make changes? Images can be used to bring a PC back to the original condition, but a recovery partition or recovery disk will do this just as well. The true strength of Images are in restoring your OS when disaster strikes, or when (as is my case) I do something wrong, or "play" too agressively with my OS, or somehow a nasty gets through my security scheme. I keep and recreate new Images when I make changes to my system. This way when I screw something up, I can be back where I was in about 10 minutes.

    Let's say your original Image is 6 months old. How many changes have you made in those 6 months. How many updates, how many new customizations, how many new apps, etc. All those changes would need to be reapplied without an up to date image. Could take hours. With an Up To Date Image, 10 minutes.
    I maintain multiple Acronis image files for each computer:
    1. Reinstall Windows and software programs in "original" configuration
    2. Last two quarterly backups
    3. Last month's backup
    4. Last week's backup

    In addition, I keep careful notes of each new program I install, plus updates. I don't try to keep track of stuff like Flash or Java.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

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