Best Bootable Cloning/Migration Software (HDD/SSD to SSD)?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by ZzBloopzZ, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. ZzBloopzZ

    ZzBloopzZ Registered Member

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    Howdy!

    I will soon be helping friends/family whom are upgrading to SSD's. Some are going from a LARGER HDD to a SMALLER SSD. While others are going from a smaller SSD to a larger SSD. They are on Windows 7/8/8.1.

    What is the BEST (IE: Most Reliable) cloning software for this? I prefer something that I can boot via USB Flash Drive/Disc as I do not like installing unnecessary software on the OS. I do use Parted Magic for manual file back ups/recovery and partitioning, but have never tried the cloning feature. Parted Magic uses CloneZilla for the cloning. I also see that Macrium Free can do this when you create a bootable PE disc. Would the PE disc typically fit on a 700MB CD-R on WIndows 7/8 OS or should I order DVD-R's just in case? I prefer something free or under $25. I don't care for speed just reliability that the clone is truly 1:1.

    Appreciate any feedback! Once again, reliability is my #1 concern not speed.

    Thank You!
     
  2. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    Macrium Reflect Free will do all you need just fine. And it's reliable.
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    ZzBloopzZ,

    If you are new to imaging I'd avoid Cloning (Copying) as there are a few subtle things that can bring you unstuck. Create an Entire Drive image and restore the Entire Drive image to the new drive. For the restore, the new HD/SSD should already be installed in the computer and the old HD MUST have been removed from the computer.
     
  4. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    The Macrium FREE Windows pre-Installation Environment (WinPE Recovery Media) runs less than 300mB and should be able to fit on a CD rather than a DVD. It can both CLONE and Image the source system. I've never cloned, only restored an image to the new device.

    The PE can be built based on Win7, Win8 or Win10... Win10 contains the most feature rich driver set and probably would be most successful matching up with system hardware. The PE OS does not have to be the same as the OS being cloned/imaged.

    During image restoration, options are offered to shrink the size of the partition(s), leave it as original or increase it... I don't know whether cloning offers those options.

    Macrium Reflect has been the most reliable imaging software I've ever used...
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2016
  5. ZzBloopzZ

    ZzBloopzZ Registered Member

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    Macrium it is. I will install it on my Windows 8.1 machine here at home and build a PE CD disc from it. I will do the suggested back up and restore option.

    I ended up reading forums on CloneZilla and saw lots of bugs/issues so rather avoid it and Parted Magic all together for cloning needs.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  6. ZzBloopzZ

    ZzBloopzZ Registered Member

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    Hey Brian! First of all, thanks for your response. I have done cloned many times before but several years ago, never had an issue. Out of curiosity, what are the subtle issues with cloning vs restoring from an image?
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    ZzBloopzZ,

    These may or may not apply depending on the hardware and software. You are more likely to make mistakes when both drives are connected.

    Cloning with the old HD in the computer and the new HD externally.
    Not disconnecting the old HD prior to the first boot from the new HD.
    With partition clones, (not entire drives) letting the target partition be seen by the old OS prior to the clone.
     
  8. roger_m

    roger_m Registered Member

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    @Brian K Running EaseUS Disk Copy from a bootable flash drive has always worked fine for me when cloning drives. I always have the orginal drive in the PC and new drive connected externally when cloning drives.

    Unfortunately it does not support resizing partitions, so you can't clone to a smaller drive, but it works fine when cloning to a drive that is the same size or bigger. You can even get it to ignore read errors, so you can clone a damaged drive.
     
  9. ssbtech

    ssbtech Registered Member

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    Does Macrium Free ensure the partitions are correctly aligned for the SSD when cloning from an HDD?
     
  10. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    From VISTA on, MicroSloth built systems (HDD or SSD-based) were aligned on 1mB partitions. If you happen to have some old XP aligned partition, Reflect, during the restore (look for "Restored partition properties" option once you tell it what partition to restore where) you will find an "Alignment" drop down to select the "Vista/7/SSD" alignment option if needed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
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