Exact Duplicate Of Drive

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by EASTER.2010, Feb 7, 2007.

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  1. EASTER.2010

    EASTER.2010 Guest

    Does anyone have some good suggestion for a program that can duplicate exactly to a tee your hard drive with all programs & settings just as they would be as if in an immediate snapshot?

    This is the one area of computing that escapes my full knowledge.

    I read all over the place about imaging programs and cloning ones but prefer to hear from some experiences you have had personally with such an app and which one is best for such a task.

    My intention is to duplicate sector for sector and byte for byte a present system in order to transfer it (programs and all) onto another new hard drive (partition) in the event of either a hard drive or O/S failure to boot.

    All suggestions are appreciated. I give up long ago trying to use a Norton Ghost or True Image because you can read even today where they suffer from conflicts, corruptions, and other time consuming frustrations i would rather do without.
     
  2. Notok

    Notok Registered Member

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    I've never had a problem using True Image's disk clone feature. When doing such a thing I usually use the boot disk to do so. I've also not had any problems with True Image on any of the systems I've run it on, and with all the crap I run that's saying something.

    If you go to the support forum for just about any program you'll see lots of problems and frustrations. People don't usually go to support forums to say that "everything's OK".
     
  3. Alphalutra1

    Alphalutra1 Registered Member

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    Basically, I do what I said in this post, but ignore the part about resizing the partitions. All the back up stuff if there.

    It works perfectly fine, then you just restore the MBR, partition table, and the image you made, boot into windows, it runs chkdsk automiatically, then you are good to go.

    Cheers,

    Alphalutra1
     
  4. EASTER.2010

    EASTER.2010 Guest

    I completely understand the meaning of creating an image "FILE" and restoring the same "BUT", my intention is to transfer a working system, intact completely onto another hard drive and then being able to boot that drive as if it was the same drive from which was duplicated from.

    This is of enormous importance because i do not trust microsoft code after a period of time, because after so many programs have passed thru it, call it system code depreciation or whatever, you know the feeling; that just when you have everything working like you ever wanted it too with all the decorations and conveniences set up perfectedly thats taken months or sometimes years to perfect, when you least expect it Windows can go belly up on you in a fraction of a second making null any and everything you have worked hard to fashion with it.

    Simply want to do a parallel where you can copy EVERYTHING as-is to other hard drive partition and then forget it untill an emergency and not have to resort to UBC4WIN, recovery console or some other magnificient and magical helpmate that takes a rocket scientist with a 200 year life span to figure out a resolution. Oh yeah, you betcha i'm a skeptic when it comes to that.

    Any ideas?
     
  5. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Easter: these will all do the job. You may have these checked already.

    Free version with basic tools
    HdClone: http://www.miray.de/products/sat.hdclone.html
    The paid versions of this utility are good too.

    Free:
    Terabyte Copy/Wipe: http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/copywipe.html
    ( I dont think this is actively supported any more as most of the functions and more are in BING except the delete) See the user manual for issues with HD in use and copy inconsistencies, advice is to use CopyWipe for DOS. Use the boot disc.
    Also supports "resizing" of copy to fit new space. Worked for me.

    CasperXP also good.
    http://www.fssdev.com/products/casperxp/
    Good support.

    .. for starters..:)

    Alpha's post is cool. :thumb:
     
  6. EASTER.2010

    EASTER.2010 Guest

    Longboard Thank You Much and i am downloading the first in that list as i post this tonight. It looks promising, as does others and thats where we run into dilemas right? That is which one does all that we ask of it. If speed is an issue then maybe another brand is preferable for that user, it's of no consequence if a clone transfer takes an hour or a few hours for me, only that the duplicate is firmly intact enough that no program/system files or settings corruption can occur.

    And also that the transfer is complete enough to boot. I know we cannot always rely on XP bootloader to function as desired but no matter, i can use my PARAGON Hard Disk Manager to install it's bootloader. So long as it can identify an operating system (FAT/NTFS), it can load that baby up to run.

    Again thanks. EASTER
     
  7. pugmug

    pugmug Registered Member

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    I agree with Longboard. If you are using Windows XP home or pro and want a exact backup hard drive that you can just go into bios and set your second backup h/d to boot first then Casper XP 3.0 is it.You are up and running in about 3 min. tops with zero errors or problems even if the first h/d is fried.I gave away paid copies of Acronis TI and Ghost and only trust Casper after having used it for years.I do not work for any of these companys just telling what works fast,easy and correct every time. Have a good day and here is a different link to to what you are asking for in a program. http://www.fssdev.com/
     
  8. EASTER.2010

    EASTER.2010 Guest

    I can't thank you enough pugmug for your comments.

    Like you i tried Ghost and TI and i would better have used WinZip to copy my files and settings over to another drive since they are the absolute pits of disappointing expectations. I completely give up on them and not to look back ever again, thats how much wasted time, money, and effort they so graciously provided this former customer. Dumper bait only IMO.

    I will look into your Casper suggestion before going the HdClone route first.

    And XP Pro is my system of choice. LoL
     
  9. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

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    strange Ghost failed you, wonder what version it was
    (gather its become bloatware after it started being run from inside the OS)

    Sysmantec Ghost (the enterprise version) offers considerable control
    http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/ghost.nsf/pfdocs/1998082612540625

    but you might also consider G4U as another opensource clone utility that will also cast
    shortcut to local cloning
    gotta love nix simplicity :p

    in the event it fails to detect any exotic drives \ arrays there is always Knoppix w\ G4L
    http://bhavesh.freeshell.org/cloninghd.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2007
  10. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    yes it is quite odd that ghost failed most people say how reliable norton ghost is
    what version did you use?
    and did you do it in windows or from boot cd?
    lodore
     
  11. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

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    IVe had Norton Ghost fail from inside the OS because Ive filed up the space in the MBR it need to run on the reboot with too many primary partitions + preboot consoles (O&O) and preboot defrag (O&O)

    but it always ran from floppy, unless you want to do something fancy these days (like cast over a network, complex function like in that link above or serious resizing), there are plenty of basic clone tools many from HDD manufacturer's themselves or on the UBCD
     
  12. herbalist

    herbalist Guest

    On my PC, I've been using Acronis on a CD. While I haven't had any problems with it, I could use a portable one for making backups on my clients PCs. Open Source would definitely be preferable. If I read it right, Sysrescue Live CD looks like it could fill my needs. I need to be able to repartition existing drives, both FAT and NTFS, then make a full copy of the existing OS on the new partition, including the MBR. My clients PCs range from 98 to XP, most with everything on one partition. Is GParted able to resize the existing partition on an XP box, leaving the OS still functioning normally, and make a separate partition to store a system backup in?
    Rick
     
  13. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

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    Hi EASTER.2010,

    Acronis's restore failed miserably for me, they did not answer calls for help at the forum, & were not helpful using email support.

    This very long thread should answer many questions for you:

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=139716

    As for myself I'll wait for version 3 from Storagecraft, then dump Acronis10

    Take Care
    Rico
     
  14. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    I'll mention a program that costs about $30, but might be worth it, considering all the things it does. It is Vicom's Partition Commander. As you might guess, it's main claim to fame is partitioning, but it will copy a drive just as you say, sector by sector. It warns that this take significantly longer than just laying down the files in order, and I believe them (having some experiences with low level formatting (okay, medium low) it could be a really long time)

    I think if you already know every other subject about computers you may as well go whole hog with this one. :)

    Incidentally PC runs completely outside of windows. it is a boot disk that installs some kind of mini Linux shell but has sort of an easy to use interface.

    I don't think I agree with the set your second drive to boot first. Why not put the copied drive in the first position. Maybe I am misinterpreting this whole scenario. I am thinking a backup drive that is not going to be used except to replace a failed drive. Just curious.


    -HandsOff
     
  15. trickyricky

    trickyricky Registered Member

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    I had to rescue a system yesterday which had a HDD which was about to die, giving loads of write errors in the event log. The HDD was a 80Gb ATA one and I was replacing it with a 160Gb ATA one.

    I tried loads of different methods, including DriveImage XML, HDClone, PCI CopyMaxx, Digital Dolly and many others, and the one I settled for was Acronis TI 7.0 Free. It did the copy without incident in about 6 hours and when I switched the boot drive and fired it up, Windows XP Pro started up fine with no warnings and with all data and settings perfectly preserved. It was totally painless, just as it should have been and just how I imagined was impossible. I'm really impressed with it.
     
  16. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    When you switched the drives you mean replacing it, correct? I'm still curious about the bios comment earlier. I swap drives with impunity with my computer and never even look at the bios. The hard drive priority is generally left to "cable select" (the particular connector on the hard drive cable - end connector (black) being primary, and middle (grey) being secondary, or if necessary, the dip switches on the hard drives themselves can override cable select.

    The reason I am pursuing this is this could either clear up a misunderstanding of mine, or make the job of copying the drive easier.

    6 hours is a long time! The other point I was trying to make is Partition Commander lets you copy drives either way: Exactly copying or just filling the drive. I don't know of any advantage to the exact copying. It just takes a few minutes to copy the drive the quick way. What does exact copying give you, other than a new drive "Pre-Fragmented"?

    BTW, again, is this being done as a back up method or as a replacement method. Just curious.


    -HandsOff

    -HandsOff
     
  17. trickyricky

    trickyricky Registered Member

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    I was replacing a faulty C: drive containing Windows XP and all the data on it with a new drive which was "blank". The C: drive was set to Cable Select, so I made sure the new drive was also CS and plugged it in to the spare connector. I then fired up the PC from a boot CD which enabled me to partition and format the new drive - set it to be a bootable primary partition and set it to NTFS ready for the copy. Then I booted into Windows from the old C: drive and the BIOS/Windows auto-detected the new drive as F:. I installed Acronis TI 7 on the C: drive, then started it up to do a disk-to-disk copy. Once finished, I removed the old C: drive and fitted the new drive into the bay and changed it to the C: cable connector. When I fired up the PC, it was as if nothing had changed and it booted into XP with the user's usual desktop, icons, programs and everything completely intact.

    I haven't done this exact procedure before myself, so I can't comment on the duration, but 6 hours for an exact copy which works flawlessly is a good deal considering the alternative of starting from scratch with installing Windows onto the new drive, then all the applications and then all the data and then all the settings and then... That can take DAYS.

    With an exact copy, you do NOT end up with a defragmented drive. If the original drive was fragmented, the new one will be fragmented exactly the same, as the copy is carried out sector by sector, which is why it takes such a long time. In fact, in this case the original drive WAS extremely fragmented so the first thing I did after cloning the drive was to defrag the new drive.

    What you get from an exact copy is a disk which is seen by the PC as identical to the original, except that it hopefully isn't ready to fail imminently. Copying it the quick way will give you a disk with the same files on as the source, but it won't work the same way and many things will be "broken" such as, I would guess, Windows Activation and so on.
     
  18. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

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    ouch

    one
    IDE (PATA/ ATA/ ATAPI) is sequential, first one then the other device has to talk on a given channel
    so had the other drive been on the other channel it likely would have completed in half the time (or at least substantially less)

    two
    an OS in isolation with its "data" forwarded to a dedicated partition (profiles, temp directories, some shell objects like My documents ect) weighs in at about 6GB including a very healthy load of installed applications and some extra space. Reimaging or cloning a partition that size is more like 10 minutes ;)
    (varies with areal density of the platters and the STR of the locations on the platters)

    imagine the value then ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2007
  19. trickyricky

    trickyricky Registered Member

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    I know, but there were already two CD/DVD drives on the other channel and I wanted the minimum of hassle. I needed the PC to be running by the following day, and as it was early evening, I had loads of time. It was actually finished and ready to give back by 11pm the same day. However, patience for fiddling about with the PC hardware is always in very short supply ;)

    Well, the 80Gb source drive had about 60Gb of data on it, most of it emails in Outlook and Outlook Express and many video and media files used in the owner's business. So using your figures, 100 minutes would have probably been average-ish. Regardless, it worked perfectly, I was happy and the owner was happy, so what else could I have wished for? Apart from a lottery win, ... ;)
     
  20. Ice_Czar

    Ice_Czar Registered Member

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    and it not like it was doing anything "overnight" ;)

    whenever possible I try to separate the data from the OS as part of the security strategy and back them up separately, mainly it just gives them that 10 > 15 minute recovery window for a functional OS, but like you said if you need to restore a lot of data its going to take awhile. And in that scenario it would have been two backups that needed to be restored.
     
  21. EASTER.2010

    EASTER.2010 Guest

    Hi Rico

    I sympathize with you on Acronis problems but if the above holds true maybe an older version is better, i dunno.
    All i know is it's been a very long time as in years since i even attempted a full back-up and that being done to a pile of cd-rw's i think.

    I have a new Seagate 160 Gb i am interested in partitioning into a pie of 3 in the form of 80/50/30 if all goes well. I would trust Paragon to divide up the platter but the hard drive also comes fresh with a disc that claims to do that and it is the manufacturer's make.

    At any rate once that's broken up i intend to set a cloned (exact duplicate) of my present working XP system/programs/settings onto one of it's partitions and that's where it gets a little dicey with me.

    Question is can the free TI 7.0 perform that task? Including as herbalist said the MBR and all or am i better off going one of those other routes.

    Looks like an experiment i'm going to take on regardless of the outcome but i do appreciate all the opinions and experiences posted so far. Makes it no less painful but helps takes some of the anxiety from getting started doing it anyway.
     
  22. HandsOff

    HandsOff Registered Member

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    Hey-

    I'm just going to state a couple things I believe make sense, but will gladly defer to one who is more knowledgeable. Don't hesitate to correct me, because I do perform a lot of these steps every once in a while but it is the sort of thing where I could be overlooking something. I do not have all of the requirements that you might have. In short, I'm guessing!

    1- I still don't think you want to copy the drive sector by sector. I still think you are thwarting a great chance to have a freshly formatted drive be filled by one that is probably very messed up. You can format the drive, afterward, but it is not even close to the same thing. I think Partition Commander could do that task in a few minutes, ten? I'm not sure, but it wasn't long. I started to do the exact copy one time but when I was ready to work on it the next day, it was still writing to the drive. I would guess the bad drive would be much more likely to fail completely during a marathon session like that. [you are not reinstalling xp --- i don't think there is an activation issue - it's already activated, I've never had a problem

    2- I've used maxtor's utility to copy the drives. It works fine for the drive copying.

    3- The last thing you want to do...I think it's very easy and straight forward. With maxtor I had to go to the site and down load some utilities. The only hassle is that the disk utilities prompts all are sound like they are preparing you to install a new o/s, but if you don't let them talk you into it, there is not problem.

    4- What you probably want to do is to have ONLY the new drive connected for the drive formatting. You'd be amazed how easy it is to format the wrong one! (does that make sense? you are booting to the utility that loads from a cd, so there is no need for the original hard drive to be connected at the same time).

    I still use a drive image backup (to an external Firewire drive). IMHO I think you at least have to have an installable copy of the o/s on a CD. If you have that and a good image you are in great shape.


    -HandsOff
     
  23. Longboard

    Longboard Registered Member

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    Hey Easter

    What did you go for?
    How did it go.?

    Always keen to hear what works.
     
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