Can I clone disk without rebooting?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by zeze, Apr 9, 2006.

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  1. zeze

    zeze Registered Member

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    After my previous thread here in the forum, I decided that disk cloning would be the best way to backup my main disk to the external usb disk. If my main disk fails, I want to have a readily bootable disk, with a mirror image of my main drive, so I think cloning would be the best solution.

    As such, I opened acronis trueimage and started cloning, but I was extremely surprised to see that the cloning process involves rebooting the computer 3 times! Is this absolutely necessary? If I want to make this my regular backup method, having to reboot every time I want to clone the disk will be very unpractical.

    Thanks for your feedback.
     
  2. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    I don't clone so I don't know from experience where all the boots are coming from.

    I don't think cloning is the best approach. Why not make an image of your entire disk by selecting the check box beside Disk 1 not the partitions by themselves. This will ensure the MBR is included in the image.

    You will have an image file on your external drive that can be restored containing all the disk contents. It will be smaller and since it is contained, you can make more than one backup to your drive. If you have a 200GB drive with only 50GB used, a clone will use up all 200GB on your backup drive. A typical image would only use up about 35GB or so.

    Cloning is better suited, IMO, for the immediate installation of a new disk rather than a backup waiting for the day something fails.
     
  3. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    As a test, I recently cloned a drive to an external usb drive using the bootable Rescue TI cd and there was no rebooting involved at all. The only problem, which has existed in the previous three builds, is that there are no progress bars to be seen during the clone process, so you have to rely on the systems hard drive activity light to know that something is happening.

    Does anyone know if that has been fixed in the latest build of ver 9? I'm using build 2302.
     
  4. zeze

    zeze Registered Member

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    But, If I use disck backup instead of cloning, it will create one backup file in the hard drive right? That way, in case my main drive fails, I'll only be able to have my computer up and running again, after I buy a functioning new hard drive to which I can restore the backup right?

    In the case I don't have the money to buy the new hard drive in the next 2-3 months, I can't afford not to have my SO and all files back again in such a long period.

    What do you think?
     
  5. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    Only you can decide which is the best method for you - Cloning or Imaging.
     
  6. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    If your recovery method requires that you remove the drive from the USB device and put it into your PC then you do have a problem.

    In this situation your clone idea might be the way.

    What are the sizes of your USB drive and your PC drive?
     
  7. zeze

    zeze Registered Member

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    My USB Drive is 250gig and the PC is 200gig.


    I've been very confused with this for a long time. I've just read in other topic that I can also do a backup (not a cloning) that also records the MBR of the drive on the backup file, so that I can easily restore that backup to the newly bought hard drive, after the original one fails. I thought that the backup method was used to restore data to the drive that lost its data and still works, and not to a newly bought drive after the original one failed...
     
  8. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    Image backup can record the entire drive so when you Restore this image to another drive on the same system, the system will be as it was before. It does require the extra step, Restore, compared to Cloning.
     
  9. zeze

    zeze Registered Member

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    Sorry, but what extra step does cloning not need?


    Someone said in other thread that cloning makes an EXACT copy of a drive, but backup didn't... Is this true?
     
  10. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    Cloning does not need the Restore step.

    After you do a Clone, you would then take out the cloned drive and install it in place of the original.

    Image backup DOES make an exact copy, but it is in a compressed form (like a zip file) so in order to make it useable on a "new" drive, you have to Restore it to that drive.

    TI also has the feature to backup individual partitions, maybe that is what the person was thinking of who said "backup" did not do an exact copy.
     
  11. zeze

    zeze Registered Member

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    Mmmmm, ok, I think I understood it now. So, by selecting the whole disk to backup, Acronis TrueImage will copy the whole structure including the MBR?

    If yes, than it is as you said: I'll have to choose between:

    - having a backup file, which is compressed and occupies less space on disk, with the disadvantage that I'll have to have a new drive to which I'll restore in case the old one fails, or

    - I can clone my drive to the external disk, and then I'll be able to use it as main disk when my old one fails, before having to spend money on the new drive. After I buy the new internal disk, it will be easy to clone from the external to the new internal.


    Do you think I've summed it up correctly? Do you find any other advantages and disadvantages in the two methods?
     
  12. Chutsman

    Chutsman Registered Member

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    You got it!!! As for advantages and disadvantages .. now we're getting down to the nitty gritty. :D

    I will make a broad sweeping statement base on my own experience and what I've been reading here.

    Cloning seems to be more problematic than Image Backup.

    Whichever method you choose, be sure to give it the acid test. If you go with the Clone, try to boot with it. If you make an Image backup, Restore it to a separate drive and make sure it will boot. And do all this with the bootable Rescue TI cd, since that is what you will have to use in case of a hard drive failure.
     
  13. zeze

    zeze Registered Member

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    Ehehehe, I'm always afraid of the nitty and gritty stuff! I confess I was a bit ingenuous when I thought that the restoring process would never fail, but it seems not...

    Well, I can try the cloning test, but I can't try the backup test since I don't have other disk...
     
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