Cloning Questions

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by NCguy, May 9, 2009.

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  1. NCguy

    NCguy Registered Member

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    I've got a lot of questions about the hard drive cloning process since I haven't yet used the product and I'm a novice in this area. I'll try not to get to long winded. I just installed the trial product. If I need to activate it to accomplish my goal so be it.

    Here is my goal. I have a vista ultimate machine with a 300gb drive and 3 partitions - the OS and two data partitions. I want to clone the drive, making some adjustment to partition sizes, to a newer 500 gb drive with the same partitions. The new will replace the old, same cable position. I've read the applicable manual pages. It makes it sound like a very straightforward process. But here are my concerns:

    1. I cant afford to have anything changed on the original drive. When I'm done the original needs to be absolutely unaltered including drive letters, active partition, MBR etc. Everything needs to stay exactly the way it was in case the clone doesn't turn out like expected. I can't afford a lot of unplanned downtime and (worst case) a wipe and rebuild would take forever on this one.
    2. So if I want the drive letters to stay constant on the original and clone do I need to do this from the boot CD? The manual didn't mention this as a requirement.
    3. How about the active partition? Will the software actually allow the clone to have an active partition while retaining the active partition status on the original drive as well? I'm assuming I'll need to disconnect the original drive after power off on the first reboot?
    4. Any issues regarding the MBR's, boot loaders, other boot files etc?
    5. Any other considerations?
     
  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    The safest way to achieve your goal is to make an Image, not a Clone, of the entire original drive, and use the bootable Rescue CD to do so. For this you will need somewhere to hold the Image - an external usb drive is best.

    After you make the Image, remove the original drive and replace it with the new drive. Then, again with the Rescue CD, restore the Image to the new drive.

    For further details, look for any message by GroverH and in his signature are links to very good instructions for using True Image.
     
  3. NCguy

    NCguy Registered Member

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    Thanks DNdrty, sounds like I will need to purchase the full product right from the start since I dont think the eval allows the use of the Rescue CD? I'll try to verify before I purchase.
     
  4. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    The trial version of the Rescue CD will let you Restore but not Backup. You have to create a Backup from within Windows.
     
  5. NCguy

    NCguy Registered Member

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    Got it thanks, with your advice and your links I'm getting closer to giving this a go.

    I'm a whole lot more comfortable with the method you suggested and thats going to be the safest way for me to go. But for the record, will the clone disk method generally work without running into the concerns I mentioned at the top? I mean when its not as critical and you can afford some glitches?
     
  6. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    Acronis is so picky with hardware that until you try a clone, you would not know for sure. While I have done clones successfully, I usually make Images because one can keep several Images on one drive, space permitting. With a clone it is one clone per drive no matter how large the drive is.

    Is your Vista 64-bit or 32-bit?
     
  7. NCguy

    NCguy Registered Member

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    My vista is 32 bit.
     
  8. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    You'll be okay then ... some users here have reported issues with the 64 bit.
     
  9. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Here are 3 links which I think you will find helpful.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=241158

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?p=1462347

    Clone or Restore using Resize comparison
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1299861&postcount=9
    ---------------------------------------------------

    You can purchase TI 2009 at a reduced price here.
    www.ugr.com

    If you decide to buy, the already installed TI2009 trial does not have to be un-installed. You can simply input your serial number into the trial version. After the serial input, cease to use the limited options trial CD. Create a new TI Rescue CD to enable all your CD options. Hint: use a Sharpie and write the serial number and the version number plus build number on the new CD (TI2009, build 9709). Permanently retain the CD for possible future need if and when you create new CD's in the future.

    TI enables you to have practice simulations for any of your procedures. Simply proceed through the various options until you reach the screen where you must choose either Proceed or Cancel. Click Cancel when practicing or Click Proceed if you really want TI to perform your option selections.

    Your best chance of success is to perform your procedures when booted from the TI Rescue CD. Also suggest that you place the target in its intended boot position. If you are doing a Partition Restore with Resize, you can put the source original away for safe keeping and restore using your backup archive. If you decide to perform a clone (not recommended), then place the source original in an alternate but accessible location. Your first bootup after restoring or cloning should be with only the new drive attached.

    Line 3 of my signature below illustrates the procedures for prior versions. The basic procedures are the same but 2009 has a few different twists and turns. I think you would still find it helpful if your were to review this guide. Based on your earlier posting, I am assuming that your backup archive includes everything on your hard drive(all partitions--both hidden or diagnostic). Also assuming that your backup archive has been validated using the Rescue CD to be used in the restore function.

    As suggested in my referral links, you should open Windows Disk Management graphical view and confirm that you do not have any non-lettered recovery partitions, etc. If you do, it should be part of your restore operation. Also, confirm the partition sequence. Normally, you would would restore the new partitions in the same sequence as on the old drive. Partition type** would also be retained same as illustrated in the Disk Management graphical view. Usually, your system partition is both Primary & Active. You many need to override some of TI's default choices. Their default choices are not always applicable to your specific needs.

    Once you begin the Restore and reach the "Select the items to restore " screen, checkmark all partitions listed but do NOT check the Track 0/MBR option. It should not be checked If Track 0 is checked, yuou lose your ability to resize.
    Code:
                              Partition 1              Partition 2             Partition 3
    Partition Type**=        Primary+Active             Primary                 Primary
    Free space before=             0                      0                       0
    Partition size=           User choice)            User choice        Whatever is left
    Free space after=            (*1)                   (*2)                    zero
    
    (*1) Free space after should equal the combined partition size intended for the all remaining partitions(D: E:).
    (*2) Free space after should equal the partition size intended size for the next/last remaining partiton (E:)
    
    Note: if any of the partitions being restored are diagnostic or recovery partitions, 
    the original  partition size should be maintained.
    Upon the completion of restoring all your partitions (and prior to first reboot), I would again open the Restore function and restore the Track 0/MBR including checkmarking the Disk signature option . Once this is restored, you should have your identical disk in its new partitions sizes. Whether you have a need to restore these two options is discussed in prior postings. Their restoration will not hurt you and may prevent other problems depending upon which programs you have installed.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  10. NCguy

    NCguy Registered Member

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    GroverH and D&D:

    This is great info and I think it will actually get me through this process. GroverH, D&D had already referred me to the other links that you offered and with this last comprehensive post of yours I think I have it down at this point.

    You guys are awesome for taking the time.

    Many, many thanks :)
     
  11. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    You're more than welcome ... let us know the outcome, good or bad .... hoping for good.
     
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