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  1. #1
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    Comparing clone software: Macrium Select and True Image 2015

    In addition to backing up critical data anytime any added or changed, I clone my hard drive at least once a month. This has proved a great comfort, after having my C: drive crash and die and later getting a root level malware that I couldn't cure. In both cases, just putting in the clone saved the day.

    When I recently got a new desktop with 8.1, I found that my Acronis True Image Home 2011 wouldn't install. So I downloaded Macrium Select Free and tried it out. Having been used to True Image, I was amazed that I could actually use my machine while the clone was being made, because True Image dropped to a DOS-like state and for about an hour and a half, was not usable.

    When I tried Macrium, it wouldn't clone all five partitions on the 1 TB drive that came with the computer. The 'one button recovery' partition was excluded, telling me there wasn't enough room on the 640 GB destination drive. But that didn't make sense, since the C: drive (the OS) had less than 120 GB of data; the other four small partitions totaled less than 150 GB. So it should have shrunk the main OS partition to fit.

    Macrium Reflect did make a clone, minus that 'one button' partition. Testing it, it booted and performed OK.

    But I wasn't satisfied with an incomplete clone, so I upgraded my TIH2011 to True Image 2015 and with it cloned the drive again. This time to a 320GB drive. The computer was not available for other operations while cloning.

    The clone was complete, with all five partitions. It shrunk some, left others intact, and the clone booted and ran fine.

    When I booted the origin drive with the True Image clone connected, there was no problem and the file explorer showed both drives. But when I booted the origin C: with the Macrium clone connected, Windows went into repair mode. When I disconnected the clone, it booted normally.

    Here's the layout, graphically showing the state of the original drive and the two different clones:

    compare.PNG

    Both True Image and Macrium come with Windows Universal Boot software (PE) that allows using the clone on different hardware, although getting all the drivers can be a challenge.

    Macrium offers no support for the free version. A forum is available, but you can't post to it unless you pay.
    Acronis provides support, both chat and email help (from India), even for the 30 day free trial, but the trial version does not support clone operations.
    Last edited by joro; 2015-06-29 at 04:39. Reason: Replace jpg image with png.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Joro,

    A clone is just that an Exact copy of the disk. You MUST clone to a disk of the same size as the one you are cloning. It may work if you try to clone to a larger disk.

    [OPINION]
    Personally, I prefer Imaging to Cloning. It takes less drive space as I can fit several Images, think generations, on a single USB HDD. Whereas, you could only have ONE clone on the same drive. If you clone a drive with a virus you're toast unless you have another HDD with an older version sans virus. That can get expensive. I have a 1Tb WD Passport that has 4 images on it and 459Gb still free and a 3Tb WD My Book with 34 Images and 1.4Tb still free. If I was cloning that would only be 2 generations for one machine. I've got multiple generations of 4 machines on 2 drives with space to spare. I rest my case.
    [/OPINION]

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

    PowerShell & VBA Rule!

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  3. #3
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    Your case is rested, Retired Geek, but it but it isn't fully awake.

    I, too, am a retired geek. I retired 28 years ago, but I'm still a geek.

    I've been cloning hard drives for nearly 20 years and I've been cloning to smaller drives since Acronis released that feature about five years ago. One can clone to a smaller drive, as long as it's large enough to hold all the data on the origin drive.

    As in the graph I posted, the 1 TB drive was cloned to a 320 GB drive. (I know that in the strictest sense, the word clone means exact copy, but for digital purposes, as long as the clone acts exactly as it's origin, it's what most of us call a clone.

    I feel secure knowing I can boot from the clone as if it were the original (even though there may be less free space on the clone).

    Thank you for taking the time to share your opinion. As to preferences, clone or image; chacun à son goût.

  4. #4
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    I use TI and regularly image my disk / partitions. I have never had to wait for my machine to create the images, it just happens in the background.
    I have a tested TI boot CD to allow recovery of the images from my external hard disk.

    p.s. your attachment is bad, please attach it as a PNG.

    cheers, Paul

  5. #5
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    Thanks, Paul. I followed your suggestion and replaced the image as a png.

  6. #6
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    That's really hard to read!

    The 5th partition is NTFS so it should copy. Did you perform a Disk Backup or Clone?

    cheers, Paul

  7. #7
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    It was a clone with Macrium. When I checked all five partitions it said I didn't have enough space to clone on the 640 GB drive. Then I unchecked the 5th partition and it cloned. In TI2015 it just cloned all five and automatically adjusted sizes, mostly of the large OS partition, to fit on the 320 GB drive.

    Sorry about the graphic. I used Macrium's graphic layout of the partitions and, admittedly, it isn't a clear as I would have preferred.

  8. #8
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    Try a disk backup / image instead. Then restore to a test disk and attempt to boot.

    cheers, Paul

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