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  1. #1
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    Cloning from one External Disk to Another External Disk

    For several years I have been using the Western Digital version of Acronis, in order to backup my 64-bit Windows7 sp1 Dell laptop partitions C: and D: (separately) onto a Western Digital "My Passport" external disk.

    I now am setting up a 64-bit Windows7 sp1 Lenovo ThinkPad T530 laptop for my wife. One task was to move a Lenovo Recovery folder --- it restores the Thinkpad back to its original when purchased settings, in case of a major mess --- onto a DVD or an external disk. In my case the Recovery Folder was too big to fit onto even a multi-layer DVD, so I followed Lenovo's instructions and moved the Lenovo Recovery folder's contents onto a WD Passport external disk.

    But I didn't understand that the Lenovo would wipe out everything previously on that Passport external disk. After I moved the Lenovo Recovery folder's onto that Passport, I discovered that it had a new name --- cbd_drive (R: ) --- and its only contents were the former contents of the laptop's Recovery Folder.

    Unfortunately, the Passport external disk that now contains the Lenovo Recovery folder is a one terrabyte disk: 12 GB used for the Recovery folder contents; 919 GB unused. That's a horrible waste of space.

    I have purchased another WD Passport disk of only 500 GB. I would like to move the terrabyte Passport disk's content onto the Passport of only 500 GB, so that I could use the terrabyte Passport disk for routine backups.

    My Acronis (WD Edition) has an option to "Clone Disk Copy partitions from one disk to another." Could I use that option to copy the current contents of the terrabyte Passport onto the 500 GB Passport? Or do both Passports have to be the same size?

    If Cloning can't be done, is there some way to copy (instead of Clone) the terrabyte Passport's current contents onto the 500 GB Passport?

    Earlier today I tried simply copying (without using Acronis) the terrabyte Passport's current contents onto the 500 GB Passport (it had 543 GB of Free Space) into a new folder labeled "cbddrive," but when I did that, I discovered that the size of the terrabyte Passport's current contents were 12GB (12,938,436,608 bytes), while the size of the 500 GB Passport's "cbddrive" folder was only 11.8GB (12,770,670,792 bytes). Apparently the move wasn't complete?
    Of course, perhaps some of the other content of the 500 GB Passport interfered; I hadn't wiped it clean first.
    (I think --- but am not sure --- that Cloning would wipe out everything now on the 500GB Passport, which would consistent with the current content of the terrabyte Passport.)

    Any comments, suggestions, advice, or help would be much appreciated.

    R.N. (Roger) Folsom
    Last edited by RNFolsom; 2014-10-06 at 18:40.

  2. #2
    WS Lounge VIP Calimanco's Avatar
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    If you'd partitioned the original external drive, thus effectively giving you multiple hard drives, you would have avoided the problem of your software reformatting the entire drive. That being said, I would recommend that clones of different machines be kept on separate dedicated hard drives to avoid any problem, error or mechanical failure affecting both. if your cloning software recognises both external hard drives at the same time, which it should, you can clone one to the other.
    Unless cloning to an SSD, I prefer Macrium Reflect to Acronis as being the better program, especially if your using an old version of Acronis.

    http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx

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    Cloning from one External Disk to Another External Disk

    Calimanco:

    Thanks for your response.

    I am sorry that my original post apparently was very confusing. I will try to clarify.

    1) Every computer I have ever had has always had at least two partitions: C: and D:. Dual partitioning has always been the first step when I acquire a new laptop.

    2) My issue concerns two external Western Digital hard disks. Both are dedicated to only one (my wife's Lenovo Thinkpad T530 laptop) of my computers. Other external Western Digital hard disks are dedicated to my own Dell laptop.

    3) My problem is that the Lenovo instructed me to move a folder --- Lenovo_Recovery --- onto an external location. In order for the Lenovo_Recovery folder's content to fit, I chose to use an external Western Digital Passport disk. It had some previous Lenovo computer backups already on it, but there was plenty of room for Lenovo_Recovery, especially because the Passport disk's size was a terrabyte. But because I misunderstood the Lenovo's instructions, I didn't realize that Lenovo_Recovery would wipe out the everything that previously was on the Passport, including material that came with it (such as Acronis).

    4) I suspect that if I had partitioned the terrabyte Passport (which didn't occur to me), the Lenovo_Recovery installation would have wiped out the partitioning. The Lenovo_Recovery contents are not supposed to be altered, and I suspect that includes partitioning. In any case, I wouldn't have been willing to experiment, because Lenovo allows only one try for moving Lenovo_Recovery off of the laptop and onto external hardware.
    Nothing in the Lenovo_Recovery instructions suggested that its external disk be partitioned.

    5) I could have decided to keep the Passport disk with its Lenovo_Recovery, but I decided to buy an additional Western Digital Passport size of only 500GB instead of a terrabyte. A 500GB disk used for Lenovo_Recovery would have a lot of empty space (because everything other than Lenovo_Recovery would have been wiped out), but a lot less empty space than Lenovo_Recovery's current location on my current terrabyte Passport disk.

    But apparently I need to use Cloning (instead of simple copying) to move the Lenovo_Recovery material from its current terrabyte Western Digital Passport disk location to my newly purchased 500GB Western Digital Passport disk.

    You wrote that "if your cloning software recognises both external hard drives at the same time, which it should, you can clone one to the other." That is encouraging. My software (Acronis) does recognize both external hard disks simultaneously.

    What I want to know is whether it is possible to Clone the contents of a terrabyte Passport disk onto a 500GB Passport disk (when nothing has been partitioned).

    Thanks again for your response.

    R.N. (Roger) Folsom

    P.S. Thanks for the link (http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.aspx) to Macrium Reflect. I hadn't heard of it.

  4. #4
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    I use the full version of Acronis and just take a disk image of the machine I want to backup - you can also backup individual partitions. That image is added to my existing backups and can be restored at any time via a bootable CD/DVD/USB. It's possible the WD edition has some features removed.

    cheers, Paul

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    What I want to know is whether it is possible to Clone the contents of a terrabyte Passport disk onto a 500GB Passport disk (when nothing has been partitioned).
    What would be the point of the added complexity involved in using a 3rd party image or cloning application for the simple transferring
    of data from one external drive to another when a simple copy/paste would suffice?

    It seems to me that you are over complicating something that should be simple.

    Hidden partitions can be temporarily un-hidden, (with 3rd party partition software), in order to achieve your objective.

    But...an image of the hidden partition should also be performed and included on the external drive independently of
    the "copied" data as well.

    You'll have the information contained within the hidden partition in a viewable format as well as the ability to restore them to their respective computers in a logical manner.

    4) I suspect that if I had partitioned the terrabyte Passport (which didn't occur to me), the Lenovo_Recovery installation would have wiped out the partitioning. The Lenovo_Recovery contents are not supposed to be altered, and I suspect that includes partitioning. In any case, I wouldn't have been willing to experiment, because Lenovo allows only one try for moving Lenovo_Recovery off of the laptop and onto external hardware.
    Nothing in the Lenovo_Recovery instructions suggested that its external disk be partitioned.
    No need to partition the external drives, just don't mix different backups of computers on the same external drives.
    Temporarily un-hide the Lenovo recovery partition and copy it to the external drive.
    Later on you can look into making a bootable USB or DVD disk based on the installation files contained in the Lenovo recovery partition.


    2) My issue concerns two external Western Digital hard disks. Both are dedicated to only one (my wife's Lenovo Thinkpad T530 laptop) of my computers. Other external Western Digital hard disks are dedicated to my own Dell laptop.
    No need to clone when both an image based restore, and the copied contents of the hidden partition, including the "D partition",
    would be sufficient for both computer to their respective external drives.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2014-10-08 at 04:21.
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    I don't recommend manually copying hidden partition data because the partition information cannot be restored, unless you really know what you are doing. An image backup takes care of it all.

    cheers, Paul

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I recommend doing BOTH so that the OP can have the factory recovery partition made into an independently bootable disk
    of either USB or DVD type, as well as the content of the hidden partition in it's entirety backed up to ext drives.
    For Lenovo: Lenovo Recovery Disk – Guide for Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8

    It's not enough to just have an image of the recovery partition when you can easily have an image, a hard copy, and an independently bootable OEM factory restore OS disk...that does not over burden a limited laptop single disk drive.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2014-10-08 at 04:19.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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    Thanks to everyone for attempting to help.

    But my issue is NOT how to create a backup image from a laptop onto an external Western Digital Passport disk. I have been doing that for many years.

    All I want to know is whether it is possible to Clone the contents of a terrabyte external Western Digital Passport disk onto a 500GB external Western Digital Passport disk, given that the target is smaller than the source and that there is plenty of room on the 500GB external Western Digital Passport disk for my Lenovo_Recovery.

    I tried copying, but I tried copying but the copy was smaller than the source, so I concluded that the copy was somehow flawed. Maybe the problem was that the copy disk's background was different from the source disk's background. The Lenovo_Recovery instructions (to move Lenovo_Recovery out of the laptop and onto an external disk) did say that the external disk would be reformatted (or something similar; the instructions died when the move was complete).

    The rest of this post is tangential background. No need to for anyone to read it.

    The Lenovo_Recovery software is no longer located on my Lenovo Thinkpad T530 (hereafter just Lenovo Thinkpad), because the Lenovo Thinkpad MOVED Lenovo_Recovery onto the external Western Digital Passport disk, removing everything that had been on that disk. But that isn't a major loss, because I can make a backup image of the Lenovo Thinkpad, putting it onto a Western Digital Passport.

    I would NEVER use the Lenovo Thinkpad's Lenovo_Recovery unless I wanted to go back to the ORIGINAL contents that came when it arrived. Lenovo_Recovery can be thought of as a substitute for one or more DVDs that could be used to restore the laptop to its ORIGINAL settings and content. (My Dell laptop came with three DVDs that could do that. I still have them, but I have never needed to use them.)

    When I started this thread, and in my subsequent posts, I provided far too much information. As a result, virtually all of the other posts include information about how to do routine periodic backups. But my opening sentence in this post should convince everyone that I don't need to learn how to do routine backups.

    I have been criticized for not partitioning my external Western Digital Passport disks, but I haven't ever seen a reason for doing that. (Those disks do include folders: One for partition C: images, another for partition D: images.) I don't think that partitioning external Western Digital Passport disks is wrong. I simply haven't seen how I would benefit.

    In conclusion, I say again:
    All I want to know is whether it is possible to Clone the contents of a terrabyte external Western Digital Passport disk onto a 500GB external Western Digital Passport disk, given that the target is smaller than the source.

    R.N. (Roger) Folsom
    Last edited by RNFolsom; 2014-10-08 at 15:13.

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    All I want to know is whether it is possible to Clone the contents of a terrabyte external Western Digital Passport disk onto a 500GB external Western Digital Passport disk, given that the target is smaller than the source.
    Yes it is possible if the data will all fit on the smaller drive.

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to thomasjk For This Useful Post:

    RNFolsom (2014-10-08)

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    thomasjk:

    Thank you!

    R.N. (Roger) Folsom

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    Hopefully your Western Digital version of I will support this. Not all features of TI are implemented in the OEM versions.

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RNFolsom View Post
    ...All I want to know is whether it is possible to Clone the contents of a terrabyte external Western Digital Passport disk onto a 500GB external Western Digital Passport disk, given that the target is smaller than the source.

    ...

    Yes, no problem, but AFAIAC "Clone" is the wrong term. "Clone" would normally mean "make an exact copy", whereas your "Clone" of the Lenovo recovery partition to the 1TB USB HDD apparently (as I understand what you have posted) resulted in the recovery partition taking up the entire 1TB.

    Other posts in this thread have referred to "Acronis" and "EaseUS" disk management programs. I have, several times, helped customers who were having problems using these programs and have formed the opinion that attempting to use Windows-based programs for advanced disk management is error-prone (interference from: security software, buggy drivers & TSRs, malware infections, and built-in Windows security restrictions).

    From about 1998 to 2003 I used PowerQuest's "PartitionMagic", and from about 2003 to 2006 PowerQuest's "DriveImage2005", but gave up on them after repeated failures. After doing considerable Internet research and testing I settled on "BootIt Next Generation" (BootItNG) from Terabyte Unlimited http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/

    BootItNG has since evolved to "BootIt Bare Metal" (BootItBM), with many improvements along the way. It allows me to boot between different OS installations on my HDDs, and also gives me full control over partitioning and imaging. It also allows to create a boot CD with full functionality, which I use regularly when working on customers' HDDs.

    For example: I could connect both your WD USB HDDs to a PC, boot from a BootItBM CD, resize the Lenovo recovery partition on the 1TB WD down to 12GB (or minimum + 10%, whichever seems appropriate), then copy that partition across to the 500GB WD, then hide the recovery partition, then delete/create/resize/hide/format any other partitions on both drives as required.

    Note that it may be *theoretically* possible to do the same using "Acronis" or "EaseUS" et.al. but in my experience such operations are much more reliable when performed outside Windows.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    Coochin:

    You wrote: Yes, no problem, but AFAIAC "Clone" is the wrong term. "Clone" would normally mean "make an exact copy", whereas your "Clone" of the Lenovo recovery partition to the 1TB USB HDD apparently (as I understand what you have posted) resulted in the recovery partition taking up the entire 1TB.

    When moving Lenovo_Recovery from the laptop to an external 1TB Western Digital Passport disk, I was not cloning. I simply connected the external WD Passport disk to the Lenovo Thinkpad laptop, and clicked on the link within the Thinkpad laptop. And it did not "take up" the entire 1TB Passport disk. It simply wiped out everything previously put onto the external 1TB WD Passport disk. So there was a huge amount of empty space.

    The cloning occurred when I copied (aka cloned) the Lenovo_Recovery from the 1TB WD Passport disk to a 500GB WD Passport disk. (The 500GB disk then had much more empty space than the Lenovo_Recovery required, but 500GB is the smallest external WD Passport disk.)
    After I had completed that, I deleted the contents of the 1TB WD Passport disk so that I could use it for routine backup images of the Lenovo Thinkpad T530 partitions C: and of D:. Each of those images went into a separate folder that I had made available on the 1TB disk. Later images of Lenovo Thinkpad T530 partitions C: and D: also get saved into those folders.

    Here's hoping I have clarified what I have done.

    R.N. (Roger) Folsom
    Last edited by RNFolsom; 2014-10-26 at 13:43.

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