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#371104 - 12/07/2018 22:56 System Drive Cloning
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/07/1999
Posts: 5370
Loc: Ajijic, Mexico
After having to nuke and repave my C: drive (my fault - don't ask!) I would like to set up a system where I could keep a cloned C: copy on an old but serviceable hard drive that I can keep in a drawer somewhere. Should the need arise, I would just pop that clone into an external dock and restore my C: drive.

Or is it that simple? Would I boot from the cloned drive, and then use that drive as my source to clone to the C: drive? My cloned drive's size would be about two and a half times larger than my SSD C: drive, which might be a problem.

What is the best easiest way to go about this? What are the pitfalls to avoid?

"There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch"

#371106 - 13/07/2018 02:53 Re: System Drive Cloning [Re: tanstaafl.]

Registered: 01/03/2002
Posts: 576
Loc: Florida
I use CloneZilla to move to new drives, so you could use it to make a bootable clone of your current drive. I would recommend booting once from the new backup drive just to confirm that it worked correctly as I've seen the clone complete but something went wrong and the clone drive wouldn't boot.

I just restored a backup that was created with the backup tool included with Windows 7 after I installed some updated drives caused Windows BSOD on bootup. The built in backup tool is nice as it allows you to keep multiple backup images, but you can't confirm that the backups will work like you can with using a cloned bootable drive.

#371111 - 13/07/2018 17:05 Re: System Drive Cloning [Re: tanstaafl.]
old hand

Registered: 20/07/1999
Posts: 1091
Loc: UK
I would add to that, once you've checked that the cloned drive works, if you need to restore it for any reason, clone it AGAIN onto a third drive and use that one.

There's nothing worse than having your machine eat itself, thinking "Aha! I have a backup!" then watching THAT one eat itself too...

At that point you generally burn the house down and go do something else smile
Experience is what you get just after it would have helped...

#371113 - 13/07/2018 23:15 Re: System Drive Cloning [Re: tanstaafl.]
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3494
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
If you don't want to bother with making a boot USB or DVD to do Clonezilla, DriveImage XML is also free for private use and can hot image your drive while you are still booted and using it. UI is a bit clunky, but not too difficult.

Our household is exclusively Mac these days, so I use Carbon Copy Cloner, which has the advantage that it can automatically clone the hidden rescue partition that most of the others miss.
~ John