Clone vs Image

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by cmcgaugh, Jun 3, 2007.

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  1. cmcgaugh

    cmcgaugh Registered Member

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    Would appreciate clarification on clones vs images:

    I just bought a 320gb external hd.

    Can I partition it and put a clone on one partition and an image backup on another?

    I'm just not sure what is the best option or when to use it
    ....a clone or image. I want to be able to recover files & not have to reload and reconfigure all my apps if I have to put everything back on a new computer.

    The FAQ says,

    "The "Backup" wizard of Acronis True Image 10 Home creates an image file for backup and disaster recovery purposes, while the "Disk Clone" tool simply copies/moves the entire contents of one hard disk drive to another."

    It seems that for disaster purposes the clone would be better.....then add the
    newer files created during incremental backups (?)

    I had a relatively new laptop crash a few months ago, and had to get a new one
    while the 1st one was in the shop.....My new one is now my main machine, and
    if possible, I'd like to put a clone of it on the repaired machine as a spare.

    The new one uses Vista, and the old one has XP, but if necessary, I'd put Vista on it to make them compatible.

    Then, I'd synchronize them.

    Can I partition a drive with TI?

    Thanks,
    Cal :)
     
  2. rodnh

    rodnh Registered Member

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    Hi cmcqaugh,

    It's important to get the terminology correct. It is not necessarily the same as used elsewhere and it has also changed over time. That makes it understandably confusing.

    As far as TI is concerned, clone means strictly a disk-to-disk operation. Whatever is on the target disk gets completely wiped out in the process and the clone becomes an exact duplicate of the entire source disk. There is no such thing as a partition clone here. Nor is there any file involved. The source disk can be physically replaced with the clone, the clone will boot and you would not know the difference between the clone and the source.

    Image (now "backup") means a disk-to-file or a partition-to-file operation. That is only half of the required procedure. The other half is restore (now "recover") which is either a file-to-disk or a file-to-partition operation. The image (or "backup") file has to be stored somewhere accessable by TI and processed at a later time in order to obtain a usable product. The process can be used on entire disks or on individual partitions of disks, as desired.

    Rod
     
  3. cmcgaugh

    cmcgaugh Registered Member

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    Thanks, Rod.

    It sounds like the least painful method would be to put a clone on
    a new 2.5in hd and save it in case the primary hd is shot.

    Then create an image on the 320gb external drive and do incremental backups so the data is current as possible. Does that sound like a good plan?

    Also, if I put the clone on an external drive, is there a way to transfer it
    back to the computer or is it just a standalone?

    If the clone is connected when I start my computer, will the computer see it as a dual boot situation, and I just pick the drive?

    BTW, I have Disk Director 10, so I'll partition the external drive with it.
    I thought maybe TI had a way to partition or resize partitions.

    Cal
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    cmcgaugh,

    People new to image backup software are keen on cloning. It's really not a good idea for backups. I agree with the following quote from Dan Goodell as to why a clone backup shouldn't be used.

     
  5. Snooker

    Snooker Registered Member

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    Hi ... Just curious , What would be the case if your main drive MBR got infected with a virus or whatever ? Correct me if I am wrong but a image back up wouldn't help , Is that correct ? But if you had a clone image onto another drive without it (MBR ) being infected , You could just reclone the infected drive clean again , Correct ?
     
  6. cmcgaugh

    cmcgaugh Registered Member

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    Ok, ok, ok, you convinced me. :D

    I also found some great info on when or whether to use the ASZ & the
    ASRM https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=136184

    XPilot puts the ASZ on an external drive.....I have a laptop, so I don't think that
    would help me....there seems to be so many combinations of how to do it.

    Maybe there should be (or is?) a diagram or outline of the various ways to
    use TI, depending on whether you have a pc, laptop, external drive, etc.

    When I open the TI interface, there are too many options, and it appears that
    creating the ASZ & turning on the ASRM are what you should do, but they aren't necessary if you use an external drive. It's also not clear when you create a Backup Location vs the ASZ. It could be made a lot easier, IMHO,
    but I think it's a great app regardless.

    I'm sure it will get easier as I use TI....there's always a learning curve.

    I'm probably just going to make the images on my new large hd. I created the
    bootable disk. I'll also make a clone just to be safe. I don't ever want to
    have to go what I've gone through the past few months! Life is too short!

    Thanks for all the great advice! Great forum!

    Cal :thumb: :D
     
  7. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Snooker,

    That's a good point. If you create a backup image or clone your HD after the computer is infected then both backups are infected. But with images you can keep multiple generations.

    So with images you are more likely to have a way out as you should have older generations.
     
  8. K0LO

    K0LO Registered Member

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    Snooker:

    The MBR is backed up also when you create an image of a drive. During a restore operation you are given the choice to restore it or not. You could choose to restore only the MBR to fix the problem that you are concerned about.
     
  9. Snooker

    Snooker Registered Member

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    Thanks, Good to know
     
  10. cmcgaugh

    cmcgaugh Registered Member

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    How about this twist?

    I had initially created a clone....then I just (since my last post) created an
    image.....in the clone! Could it be the best of both?

    At about 11min to go, it gave me an error that it couldn't complete it, but when I closed the error box, it kept going to completion.

    I checked the clone and found the backup folder I had created, and it
    contained 34.7gb

    It may not be kosher, but if it flys, why not? :D

    ps- should I create an ASZ or just put the backups in a folder (see below)
    http://www.calmardesign.com/acronis/clone.gif
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2007
  11. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello cmcgaugh,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Please notice that rodnh, Brian K and k0lo are correct. There are two approaches available:

    Clone Disk - migrates/copies the entire contents of one disk drive to another;

    Backup - creates a special archive file for backup and disaster recovery purposes;

    Please take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between Clone Disk and Backup approaches in more detail.

    Actually, Clone Disk approach is usually used to upgrade the hard drive (e.g. install a larger disk), while Backup approach is basically dedicated for the complete data backup and disaster recovery purposes. Since you are interested in backing up your hard drive for the disaster recovery purposes, we would recommend you to follow Backup approach.

    Moreover, there are several advantages of creating an image over the disk cloning procedure such as: you can create an image without rebooting your PC, image creation can be scheduled for the particular point in time, Acronis True Image allows you to create incremental and differential images, image archive contains only the actual data and so it has a smaller size, images are ordinary files and so they can be stored on any type of the supported media, etc. However, the final choice is always up to your needs.

    You can find more information on how to use Acronis True Image in the respective User's Guide.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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