How to Undo a disk cloning?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by MATYRAM, Jun 1, 2006.

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    MATYRAM Registered Member

    I have a WD 120HD drive in an external enclosure attached to my computer. As soon I got my new True Image Home 9, I proceed to clone the entire drive C into the external drive. When finished I realized that the process erased all those files I had in it; big disaster! As a result of it, I couldn't access any more to those important files.

    In order to fix this problem, I used System Restore without positive results. Also, I searched for any topic related to Undoing a Disk Cloning. But, unfortunately I didn't find anything.

    I sound stupid, but I don't know what to do. There is anyone can help me with How to Undo a Disk Cloning? I wonder if is possible to recover my data.
  2. mark3

    mark3 Registered Member

    I would suggest that you repost in a new post of your own. You will get more responses that are relevant to your problem.

    To answer your question, if System Restore was not able to revert you back then I think that all your information has been overwritten. You could try data recovery programs but I doubt that they will be able to recover your data.

    Free one here:-

    Commercial ones here:-
  3. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

    Do I understand this correctly? You cloned the C to the USB and the C was erased?
    Why can’t you just clone back?
    If “the process erased all those files I had in it” refers to the USB drive, then I can’t help. You may be SOL.
  4. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

    When you cloned the external drive to be an image of your c drive, then you will have over-written all your data files. This is what happens when you make an image of any drive using image software... this is what it is designed to do.

    Therefore... you will not be able to recover your data from the external drive... it is now an exact copy... a clone... of your c drive.

    I image drives almost every day in my job and it is an amazingly efficient way of making an exact copy of the original. This can be for either making drives suitable for fitting into computers that require all the software to be exactly the same... as used in many company computers... this is my main reason for doing this, or for making a back-up of a drive so that you always have a working system drive ready to go if your main one fails or for having your data kept safely on another drive kept out of use from the working computer. This can then be an easy way to always have data files safely kept intact.

    It would appear that you have had to learn a very valuable lesson in what not to do when using image software.

    There are companies that are able to recover data files from non-working drives but this can be a very expensive process and I'm really not sure if it is possible with a cloned drive that has now had all its sectors re-written magnetically. The original magnetic information may still be embedded below the now over-written top magnetic information... but the average user would not have the means to get at this magnetic structure. I'm sure there are ways to do it... the government agencies are sure to have the equipment to do so and is why data on drives has to be over-written many times to make it non-recoverable... but this is a whole new ball game than normal users have the ability to do.

    Most of the home data recovery software available is intended to recover files that have been previously deleted... and therefore simply had that part of the drive marked for writing again. As long as those sectors have not then been written with fresh data then they are very easily restored to perfect condition... this is because they never actually went away... deleted files are always still on the drive... magnetically speaking.

    But you have over-written yours during the image process, so I don't think home recovery software will help. Having said that... it would not do any harm to try one of the free programs that can do this... but I would not hold out too much hope in the case of a cloned drive.

    A hard lesson, and another reason to always have a completely secure and remote back-up off the computer system... either an imaged drive or cd rom containing important data. One mistake made with a connected drive as in your case and all your data is gone. I feel for you in your situation and hope you manage to recover from what has happened... maybe you have a drive somewhere that you have forgotten about with some of your data intact.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2006
  5. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

    Although the data that was on the external drive may be gone, a company such as Drive Savers, 400 Bel Marin Keys Blvd, Novato, CA 94949 - (415) 883-4232, could tell you more. They have an excellent reputation for recovering information.

    I'm really sorry for your loss. It's proof that having more than one backup is a good idea. I wish you had another backup of the data that was on the external drive so that your loss would be much less.

    For the future, cloning makes the target drive an exact copy of the the source drive. All the partitions of that drive are created on the target drive and anything on the target drive is lost.

    Imaging creates an image of the source drive (one or more partitions) as an ordinary file on the target drive. You can normally save several image of a drive (or of just one partition) on the target drive since only the used sectors are included in the image and compression reduces the size.

    If you find a way to recover your data, please let all of us here know.
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Hello MATYRAM,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Could you please describe your actions taken before the problem appears step-by-step?

    Please clarify where you stored your files which were lost?

    What operating system do you use?

    What version and build number of Acronis True Image do you have? You can find this information in the Main menu->Help->About.

    Thank you.
    Tatyana Tsyngaeva

    MATYRAM Registered Member

    Thanks everyone for your replies. Since I'm not a geek wiz, I want to apologize for my--slow--understanding of the most terms and tasks. I bet there is a lot of people like me that the only thing--we--know about cars is just how to drive them.

    Thank you "Mark3" for the tips and for understand very well my inquiry. I'll take a look of those links and I'll let you know my results.

    I have to say thanks to "Detox" to monitoring and replying to my inquiry and to allocate them on their own place. Unintentionally, I created two posts of the same topic. Sorry.

    To "TheWeaz", what I meant was that I cloned my computer's drive (C) to my external hard drive (D). Doing that, I replaced accidentally my personal files for a cloned image of my drive C.

    To Zarzenz, many thanks for your valuable information. I think this is the kind of response appeals to me. The detailed explanations are in plain English and MUST be read for all those have not idea what may happen to them if they don't take a moment a look this section before cloning their systems. Muchas gracias man!

    To jmk94903 (John), thanks for your condolences. I'm going to get in touch with these local guys [Drive Savers, 400 Bel Marin Keys Blvd, Novato, CA 94949 - 415-883-4232]. If I get lucky to recover my files, for sure I'll share it with all of you.

    Finally, to Tatyana;

    Sorry, with all these scary and disappointed moments of losing my files, I forgot exactly what steps I did wrong or right.

    In an portable external hard drive.

    Windows XP Pro.

    Version 9.0
  8. zarzenz

    zarzenz Registered Member

    Hi Matyram,

    Thank you for your comments and I'm glad my post helped you to understand a little more of the reasons leading up to your difficulty with all of this.

    The thing to remember is... we all make various mistakes in our life experiences... this is what being human is all about. We learn by way of these experiences which is the best way to do things. Sometimes the mistake can be undone, and sometimes it can't. The important thing is to start each day fresh and try not to worry too much if a mistake can't be corrected.

    I wish you good luck with trying those recovery experts... they will be able to advise you with their expert knowledge what you can now do.
  9. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Hello MATYRAM,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    I'm afraid that we are not able to help you to restore your files on the external hard drives. We recommend you to visit the nearest service center in order to restore them.

    We are really sorry for the inconvenience.

    Thank you.
    Tatyana Tsyngaeva
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