Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length

 
Advanced search

1092893 Posts in 72336 Topics- by 19432 Members - Latest Member: joshealejo
Jump to:  
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Down
Print
Author Topic: Cloning a whole hard drive?  (Read 1178 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Graham Martin
Purveyor of 'HOT' Jazz

*
Offline Offline

Location: Redland Bay, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
Joined: Nov 5, 2000
Posts: 11539
"Dixieland/Mainstream/Big Band"


View Profile
« on: Oct 23, 2017, 07:23PM »

Due to some past and recent experiences with a computer hard drive crashing, I have become interested in the process of cloning your whole hard drive and using that for restoring all your programs and files onto new computer or hard drive.

It was suggested on another forum that the best solution is Acronis. I have looked at the video on this and the reloading process seems a bit complicated, although perhaps not as complicated as reinstalling all your programs one by one. Yeah, RIGHT.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feWeSGLl1uM

I am wondering if there are any other programs to for this process, or if it is possible to clone a hard drive using just the back up facilities offered for Microsoft for Windows10?

I am also wondering if members on this forum are in the habit of saving their whole hard disk information so that they can clone it onto a new computer or hard drive?
Logged

Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."
Andrew Meronek

*
Offline Offline

Location: Livonia, MI
Joined: Sep 30, 2001
Posts: 6979
"Justly Intoned"


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: Oct 23, 2017, 07:44PM »

I don't bother to clone my entire hard drive because most of the stuff isn't important for me to preserve. I do use some external storage to back stuff up, both via things like R/W CDs/DVDs, thumb drives, and internet storage like Dropbox for certain directories containing important stuff like old Sibelius scores. I haven't dealt with Acronis, but in general it's important to make sure your backup is not electrically connected to your main computer, so a power surge or home fire doesn't kill both at once. Internet sources for data storage are ideal for that.

Meaning, at the least put them on separate circuit breakers and separate battery power supplies.
Logged

"All musicians are subconsciously mathematicians."

- Thelonious Monk
DaveBb
*
Offline Offline

Location: New Zealand
Joined: Jun 1, 2010
Posts: 490

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: Oct 23, 2017, 07:48PM »

Hi Graham
I use a "WD My Passport" portable hard drive to keep a backup for my whole hard drive. It uses the WD proprietary software and doesn't require a power supply.

https://www.jbhifi.com.au/computers-tablets/all-computers--tablets/wd/wd-my-passport-1tb-portable-hard-drive-usb-3-0-orange/332928/

After it is initially set up (which must be quite straightforward as I don't remember much about doing it), whenever you connect it to your PC (by USB) it updates the backup copy automatically in the background. If your PC is always set up you can leave it connected.
It contains a copy of my entire windows setup as well as all my content.
There are probably cheaper ways to achieve the same thing but I think it's worth the money for the convenience of not having to do anything other than plug it in. WD also offer space in the cloud to store another backup if you want.
In the event of a catastrophic hard drive failure, I imagine it would be fairly straightforward to copy everything down from the WD to a new drive (haven't had to do it yet).

Good luck
Dave


Logged
DaveBb
*
Offline Offline

Location: New Zealand
Joined: Jun 1, 2010
Posts: 490

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: Oct 23, 2017, 08:35PM »

Also...
You don't actually need to keep a backup of Windows and other Microsoft apps as a hedge for hard drive failure.
If you get a new hard drive, the best thing to do is to download the Windows ISO file from Microsoft (onto a USB stick for free) and install Windows onto the empty hard drive using that.
The Microsoft security key (which authenticates your software license) is linked to the motherboard - not the hard drive, so if you install a fresh copy of windows onto a new hard drive but have the same motherboard the Windows license will come up as authentic. The same applies to Microsoft office.

You would only need your backup for your content files.
Logged
Graham Martin
Purveyor of 'HOT' Jazz

*
Offline Offline

Location: Redland Bay, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
Joined: Nov 5, 2000
Posts: 11539
"Dixieland/Mainstream/Big Band"


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: Oct 23, 2017, 11:02PM »

I stress that I want to make a clone(exact copy) of my hard drive. I'm not just talking about the data files, but all the programs and everything else needed to boot and run my operating system.

This is due to my desire to survive intact from a hard drive crash so I can get back to work quickly and not have to reinstall the operating system and all the programs. As recently happened and I am still missing half of the software programs I had before the crash.
Logged

Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."
Muffinman

*
Offline Offline

Location: Sydney, Australia.
Joined: Aug 4, 2008
Posts: 120

View Profile WWW
« Reply #5 on: Oct 23, 2017, 11:52PM »

I use software called "ChronoSync'. http://econtechnologies.com

Unfortunately for you it's Mac only, but I've just found this software that claims to be as good for Windows.

https://www.backup-utility.com/articles/chronosync-for-windows-3889.html

ChronoSync not only backs up all your files, you can also create a 'bootable back up' of your main drive. In the event that your main drive fails, you can simply boot up using your spare and it's all there ready to go. I'm sure this other product does the same.



Logged
Matt K

*
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: May 6, 2010
Posts: 7256

View Profile
« Reply #6 on: Oct 24, 2017, 02:41AM »

In my experience its not worth the effort. Getting it to boot is difficult afterwards too because Windows recognizes its a different piece of hardware as do all of the various proprietary programs you have.  Linux machines make this process much easier if only for the licensing issues. Sibelius and Finale are both REALLY bad about this.  I've witnessed both of them think that having the hard drive defragmented was me trying to subvert the licensing process.

Any more, the hard drive isn't even all that likely to crash. Especially SSDs which have no moving parts.  If you are still on an HDD, switch it out for an SSD and use the HDD or get an external HDD to keep all your installers in one place.   Its a heck of a lot easier to install Windows 10 from scratch and reinstall everything if you have a documented procedure than it is to try to quickly try to get any of these cloning softwares to work.  Because then you've invested time in both getting the clone to work and then when it doesn't, either paying someone to get it to work or then going through the reinstall process.

If you really do want that though, your best options are Clonezilla or ArchLinux.  You have to run them 'live', while the hard drive is unmounted. It isn't for the feint of heart but I've never found any of the cloning solutions that allow Windows to be booted to be particularly useful.  You can find more information on arch linux here and clonezilla here

Just make sure that if you go this route that you clone all of the partitions including the MBR. If you don't get that, your backup won't get you anywhere. Also make sure that your partitions are IDENTICAL in size. You can't resize (well, easily at least) a Windows partition. YOu're stuck with the size you give it!! And make sure you have your Windows license too! Although Windows technically only has one restriction on the unlicensed version: You can't change the background image of your desktop.  Otherwise Windows 10 is essentially free to use...

You can also install programs to a separate hard drive. This won't work for some proprietary software. But it will work for things like Sibelius sounds, which are basically glorified (well, not really even glorified) archive files.  All you have to do to get those up and running again is point them to the right location and they'll start reading.

If you really want to be able to get up and running quickly, you'll want an SSD that is large or a separate HDD. Put Google Drive on it (unfortunately, the other cloud services wont' necessarily work for it; Google has the largest file size allowance of infinity, provided you have enough storage space left). Then put all of your installers in a folder in the Google drive.  Then if somethign happens, install Windows (which anymore takes <20 minutes on a fast hard drive). Install Google Drive. Come back when its finished downloading everything and then run through your installers.
Logged

What's in a name? that which we call a tenor-bass posaune
By any other name would smell as sweet;
JESimmons
*
Offline Offline

Location: St. Simons Island, Georgia
Joined: Feb 12, 2013
Posts: 143

View Profile WWW
« Reply #7 on: Oct 24, 2017, 03:14AM »

I used Acronis. It was not as hard as it would appear. There are step by step instructions online and following them was relatively easy. I used it to move up to a larger C drive.  Acronis also includes backup software, so you can do that too if you have other drives. Acronis is a well tested program. If cost is a factor, sign up for their email newsletters. They have sales every few weeks.
Logged

Olds O-21
1955 Conn 6h
1967 Conn 88h
1974 Holton TR-180
Edwards B454
Peter Eiden
*
Offline Offline

Location: White Plains, NY
Joined: Feb 1, 2002
Posts: 267

View Profile
« Reply #8 on: Oct 24, 2017, 05:44AM »

I used Acronis. It was not as hard as it would appear. There are step by step instructions online and following them was relatively easy. I used it to move up to a larger C drive.  Acronis also includes backup software, so you can do that too if you have other drives. Acronis is a well tested program. If cost is a factor, sign up for their email newsletters. They have sales every few weeks.

Many years ago, I upgraded my hard drive to a much larger one.  The new drive came with software that allowed me to clone my old drive to my larger one.  I then switched positions (setting the new drive = boot, and old drive = slave).  It worked great, but I did have to run chkdsk /F on the old drive a few times to correct errors before the clone would run cleanly.

Logged
BGuttman
Mad Chemist

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Londonderry, NH, USA
Joined: Dec 12, 2000
Posts: 51529
"Almost Professional"


View Profile
« Reply #9 on: Oct 24, 2017, 07:10AM »

Years ago I used Norton Ghost on a Windows XP system.  Worked fine.  We had a hard drive failure where the old drive was working VERY slowly.  It took a WEEK to clone the drive to a new one.  But the new one worked great "out of the box".

I don't know if Norton still markets Ghost.  It was part of System Utilities 2003 (or something like that).  Mever tried to use Ghost on a newer system, though.
Logged

Bruce Guttman
Solo Trombone, Hollis Town Band
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orch. President 2017-2018
JohnL
Edge Monster

*
Offline Offline

Location: Anaheim, CA, USA
Joined: Aug 1, 2004
Posts: 7262

View Profile WWW
« Reply #10 on: Oct 24, 2017, 07:37AM »

I do a lot of imaging and cloning, though not for backup purposes. Clonezilla is my tool of choice.
Logged

Question change.
Embrace progress.
Take the time to learn the difference.
OldBrass
*
Offline Offline

Location: Southern California
Joined: Apr 19, 2010
Posts: 38

View Profile
« Reply #11 on: Oct 24, 2017, 08:22AM »

I have used EZ Gig by Apricorn to clone my hard drive when installing a new hard drive. It creates an exact bootable copy on your new hard drive.
Logged
Whitbey
*
Offline Offline

Location: Rochester MI USA
Joined: Apr 14, 2000
Posts: 968

View Profile WWW
« Reply #12 on: Oct 24, 2017, 01:25PM »

I use EaseUS Todo Backup. Used it for years. I buy a matching hard drive and a USB drive box. Over the last 10 years I have had 6 major system failures. Switch out the drive and boot up. Perfect every time. Then you take the bad drive with the USB to copy files since the last clone and then clone to the failed drive so that it is a working drive. This saves all your software installs and even where icons are on your desktop.
I have several other backup too. But the clone is the best one.
 
Logged

See my profile for my horns. To long to put on each post.
BGuttman
Mad Chemist

*
*
Offline Offline

Location: Londonderry, NH, USA
Joined: Dec 12, 2000
Posts: 51529
"Almost Professional"


View Profile
« Reply #13 on: Oct 24, 2017, 01:48PM »

I like the clone backup system more than any other.  Back in the Bad Old Days I had a nice tape drive that could back up a hard disk and I could rebuild the disk from the tape backup.  Back then a 1 Gig tape was big enough.  Nowadays I have trouble finding a tape in any cartridge or cassette format that is larger than 14 Gig and most of my drives are 5 times or more larger.
Logged

Bruce Guttman
Solo Trombone, Hollis Town Band
Merrimack Valley Philharmonic Orch. President 2017-2018
Graham Martin
Purveyor of 'HOT' Jazz

*
Offline Offline

Location: Redland Bay, Queensland, AUSTRALIA
Joined: Nov 5, 2000
Posts: 11539
"Dixieland/Mainstream/Big Band"


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: Oct 24, 2017, 09:32PM »

Thank you everyone. Good!

There are quite a few ideas and choices there for me to ponder over.
Logged

Grah

"May God bless and keep you always
May your wishes all come true
May you always do for others
And let others do for you
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung
May you stay......forever young."
SilverBone
Put the Cool in "Coulisse!"

*
Offline Offline

Location: Portland, OR
Joined: Sep 16, 2006
Posts: 3848

View Profile
« Reply #15 on: Oct 25, 2017, 03:07AM »

I used to use Norton Ghost too.  Symantec discontinued it years ago, and if you have an old copy it won't support the latest disk formats, so don't use it.

For those considering Acronis, see:

https://www.wilderssecurity.com/threads/beware-of-acronis-leftovers-issues.316447/

I have an excellent solution in a product called ShadowProtect (from StorageCraft).  Unfortunately, it's not free or even cheap.  But it is worth the cost.  Extremely fast.  I have imaged and restored my boot drive successfully with it.  Excellent automation features.  It does a very good job with incremental images, which improves its speed.

It even has a feature called "hardware independent restore."  This allows one to restore a working Windows environment to a different machine with different hardware.  I believe it works by ferreting out and removing all special drivers, leaving the system running the default Windows drivers (allowing you to re-install new drivers).

It has never glitched, which Ghost did with regularity.

Although it costs, the savings in time is well worth it to me. 

Logged

-Howard

The nastiest fellow I've known
Smashed his trombone and ruined its tone.
There's a simple excuse
For his slush pump abuse:
He was born to be bad to the bone.
M.R.Tenor

*
Offline Offline

Location: Northeast Ohio
Joined: May 21, 2011
Posts: 91

View Profile
« Reply #16 on: Oct 26, 2017, 11:57AM »

EDIT: Last paragraph seems to be specifically what the OP is looking for.

I keep important files and projects backed up with Windows' built in File History. As soon as the external drive is plugged in and detected, it copies the directories from the system that you want backed up automatically. Bonus points if you use whole drive encryption on this so it's password protected if you lose it or someone comes in and grabs it.

Keep a list in a text file (on that drive or on internet storage mentioned below) of what programs you use and their license keys/account information that you need to keep if you were transferring to a new system. Bonus points if this file is password protected as well for obvious reasons.

A more efficient method is if you have a majority of things backed up in the cloud.

Google Photos, a password manager, a Dropbox, and a Google Drive account that you know how to access can keep things in a safe place on someone else's storage in case you have a home fire, flood, or other disaster. This is good for the kind of stuff that you may need to be able to view on more than one system or don't want to lose. This will also make upgrading to a new system a lot less of a hassle, as you don't have to transfer all of this stuff over or worry about where it goes or how many places it's in. Granted, your data is in another companies hands but that's the whole point. It's out of your hands, so you don't have to be responsible for it.

I've used Easeus Todo in the past for changing out system drives in the same hardware, and even the free version works great, but I don't recommend this approach if you're changing systems, as different hardware needs different drivers loaded and different software installed, and if you're going to be using the new system differently you won't need some of the programs that you had before anyways. It's safer and easier to reinstall Windows and your hardware drivers fresh if anything's changed as there won't be any conflicts or extra instability or additional things running in the background.

I also keep a backup of my system drive that was saved with the built in Create a System Image tool as my "just in case". I'd use it like a restore point for all my programs and settings if something bad happened or there was an update that broke things, though I haven't needed it yet.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/17127/windows-back-up-restore
On Windows 10 it's in the left side of the Backup and Restore (Windows 7) menu in control panel.
Logged
jedrph
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Aug 29, 2004
Posts: 139

View Profile
« Reply #17 on: Dec 23, 2017, 02:25PM »

I use driveimagexml. The only issue, is you need another computer to plug the corrupted disk in to restore the image to the drive. Works very well though. I usually will make an image after I've loaded and tested all software so I have an original start point to go back to. https://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm
Logged
MikeBMiller
Best trombone player on my street.
*
Offline Offline

Location:
Joined: Sep 18, 2009
Posts: 1161

View Profile
« Reply #18 on: Jan 05, 2018, 07:23AM »

Acronis is fairly inexpensive and easy to use. I do this for a living and that is what I have on my home PC.
Logged
BillO
A trombone is not measured by it's name.

*
Offline Offline

Location: Ontario Canada
Joined: Jun 24, 2015
Posts: 3427

View Profile
« Reply #19 on: Jan 06, 2018, 05:23PM »

Grah,  cloning only works well if you run the cloned drive on the same machine it was cloned from.  If you clone your current drive and then try fo bring that clone up on a new machine you are in for a world of pain at best.  In the cloned image will be drivers for all the old hardware (MB,  video, sound, USB controller, bus controller north bridge, south bridge, etc...) that are highly unlikely to be the same as on the new machine.  If the image even boots, it is unlikely you will be able to do anything.  As well, software licenses/licensing will render most of your more important applications useless.

Net result is that cloning will only work to replace your current drive, but not your current machine.
Logged

Never look at the conductor. You just encourage them.

Have you noticed, some folk never stick around to help tidy up after practice?
Pages: [1] 2  All   Go Up
Print
Jump to: