Disk cloning vs. disk image

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by MissaHappy, Dec 8, 2005.

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  1. MissaHappy

    MissaHappy Registered Member

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    Switzerland
    Hi.
    I'm looking for a basic complete and total backup strategy: till now I believed the best solution for a total backup was to clone the disk (approx. 80 GB data) onto an dedicated 250GB USB disk, but I'm not sure anymore: could the image disk be a better solution?

    ...I'm not sure to understand the technical difference between disk cloning and disk image, I must say :oops: . Aren't the two "bit-by-bit replications"?

    My concern is not just a theoretical one: my PC (XP Pro) starts displaying nasty "IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL" type-of blue-screens, so I'd like to look for quality backups in addition to just unplugging new hardware and de-installing new soft...

    A last thing: I have ATI 9

    Any hint, anybody ?

    Many thanks.

    MissaHappy :D
     
  2. noonie

    noonie Registered Member

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    For your setup you probably want to image the complete drive. This involves acouple extra steps, but you can use the external for additional data.
    As far as a backup stratagy, I wouldn't rely on a clone or an image as a total backup. In addition, I would drag and drop just all the data to a spot on your external hdrive. This can be kept there in another folder in addition to the backup images from Ti. To make it simpler you can redirect all you data saves to one large folder or partition to ease the copy proceedure.

    As far as your blue screens, they will have to be sorted out first of course. Update all your hardware divers including controllers. Test your memory with memtest.
    Then if necessary, move you expansion cards to different slots. It can be tedious to track down. Usually divers and irq assignment (change slots) are the culprits.

    With a stable system, as you thought, then you can do your imaging before a software install, and reimage to a stable system, if not satisfied. Much better than a uninstall, although an uninstall and system restore can work well sometimes.
     
  3. MissaHappy

    MissaHappy Registered Member

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    Hi Noonie. Thanks for your help.

    a) So you would prefer an image rather than a complete clone. Am I correct?

    b) Drag and drop all data: In fact, that's what I have already, through a synchronisation tool of the "WMatch" or "Beyond Compare" type, using another USB HD.
    The real reason I'm using AT is that I'm getting banana reinstalling the OS and all programs each time (I already had a bad case with my laptop recently...), so I needed a clone/image solution. Actually I would have cloned the specific partition dedicated to the OS and programs if I had created one ...but I didn't.

    c) Hardware checks. The situation seems to have improved quite a bit in the meantime: I un-installed some programs and unplugged some USB connections, and nothing happened since. Memtest is a good idea. Tnx.

    d) Blue screens: could it be a rootkit?

    Thanks again.
    MH:D
     
  4. noonie

    noonie Registered Member

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    a-I prefer images, but you can clone only a complete drive to another complete drive and xpsp2 can only handle 1 active bootable hdrive in a system at 1 time so if you clone you must remove 1 of them before it reboots. Hdrives are cheap so if you have a spare do it that way.

    b- you can only clone a complete drive and if you want ti to make an image that is bootable you must image the complete drive, but you can restore an image to just a partition. I keep images of
    1-a basic xp installation tweaked with no problems.
    2-1 plus my necessary progs
    3-1+2+temporary progs
    4-1+2+3+before I try new software.
    Covered at all stages.
    You may want to try using mobile racks for your drives rather than usb. Usb can be less reliable and is a lot slower.

    c-You may want to try one last fresh install with all updates etc and no bluescreens to establish a good first image. Sometimes this is faster and easier than finding a problem, if it is not hardware.

    d-Rootkits have been around a long time, but Sony has recently given awareness. Read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rootkit to get a better understanding and as I mentioned it is easier to fresh install.
     
  5. MissaHappy

    MissaHappy Registered Member

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    Whaw! Many thanks Noonie.
    b) 1-2-3-4 above are the "luxury solution" indeed, offering the most flexibility. Did you create a distinct partition for OS and programs only? I guess you did, as the opposite would imply that you image the whole disk each time you implement y new program...

    c) No blue screen for a while. Actually, I believe it was my cats' fault;) They are used to rushing into my office and run under my desktop and unplugging some wires and connectors. After one of their visits, I had to disable USB devices in "Hardware" that had lost their driver. This may explain that, as we say in French.

    Cheers. Thanks again.
    MH:D
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    25,885
    Hello MissaHappy,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    Besides the above posted advices, I would also like to suggest you to take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between the Backup and Clone Disk 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, I would recommend you to follow Backup approach.

    You can find more information on how to use Acronis True Image 9.0 in the respective User's Guide.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2005
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