Explain Difference Between Cloning Hard Drive & Backing Up

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by TerryWood, Jul 31, 2009.

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  1. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi All

    Can someone explain the difference between cloning a hard drive and backing it up?

    The reason I ask this is because another thread is concerned with Easeus Todo Backup which has an included cloning component.

    I use Shadowprotect which as far as I am aware does not offer cloning.

    Easeus seem to suggest that Cloning is for when you want to replace an older hard drive with a newer hard drive?

    If this is true how would I do this with ShadowProtect?

    Thanks for your help

    Terry
     
  2. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    ShadowProtect desn't have a cloning feature, but it isn't necessary. What you should do is explained in the user manual (chapter 8 ). This is how I would do it...

    - Create a backup image of the partition. (I save my images on an external hard drive, but you could also save on a second internal HD.)

    - Replace the drive

    - Boot from the SP cd

    - Restore the image you created to the new drive

    Cloning is a feature in other imaging programs such as Acronis - it is a method to directly copy contents of one drive to another. Some people use it, some don't, but it is not essential in this case - you'll do fine just restoring the image to the new drive.
     
  3. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    btw it will take double the time to image and then restore to a new drive.
     
  4. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    True, but you're not counting the time you'll spend trying to get a different product (to remain unnamed) to work properly. :cautious: SP always works.
     
  5. TerryWood

    TerryWood Registered Member

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    Hi All

    Thank you for your replies most helpful.

    One final point, if you don,t need to use Cloning as in Shadow Protect why do others offer it alongside Imaging as in Easeus and Acronis

    Thank you again

    Terry
     
  6. LenC

    LenC Registered Member

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    SP approach is (in my opinion) to offer a basic, no-frills product that is stable, fast and ALWAYS works.

    Acronis seems to load up every new version with additional features of questionable value that don't always work. For example, who thought up that try & decide thing?

    I'm not familiar with Easeus.
     
  7. gud4u

    gud4u Registered Member

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    I do both.

    I keep frequent backups of my OS and Data partitions to a backup capsule (Paragon terminology for a dedicated backup partition) on the same 250GB drive. This is quick and convenient, each backup taking 5 and 3 minutes respectively. Restoring takes about the same time for each.

    But if that single drive failed, I'd lose everything.

    Monthly, I sector-by-sector clone the main drive to another 250GB drive in a removable drive cage. The cloned drive is insurance against failure of the main drive - direct exact duplicate plug-in replacement - but cloning of the entire drive takes much longer, about an hour and a half for my 250GB drive.

    'Backups' are not exact clones. For example, if you 'backup' your OS partition the page file is usually omitted by the backup program.

    Sector-by-sector 'Clones' include everything. No omissions.
     
  8. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Cloning a hard drive means getting an exact sector image copy on another disk of same or larger size than that being cloned.

    Backing up can mean different things, but mostly can be differential backups of what changed since last full backup, so in general is usually not the same as cloning an entire disk unless that is the standard method/software used to do the backup.

    -- Tom
     
  9. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    so does image for windows which also has cloning (ps the product not to be named didnt work for me eiether)
     
  10. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    ShadowProtect used to have partition cloning. It was present in ver 3.2 and worked well. I've no idea why it was removed.
     
  11. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Wanted add my 10c.

    Cloning and backup are essentially the same thing provided that you select complete sector-by-sector option while making the backup. Otherwise, your backup will only backup data, not free space. Cloning, on the other hand, backs up everything, data as well as free space. The cloned hard disk/partition is an exact duplicate of the original.

    Using "backup procedure" job is done in two steps. backup and restore. It takes twice as long.

    Cloning can do the job in one step, taking half the time.
     
  12. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Apologies in advance but I'm a bit confused. Why would one want to image free space, paging files, and the like? If you simply did a regular image, that kind of stuff would be recreated anyway, right? I use SPD and have my paging file on another drive so I've never run into these issues.

    With SPD and ~16GB worth of data, an image (older machine, too) takes ~12 minutes and then a restore can be accomplished in a fraction of that time. If I were using different imaging s/w and did a clone, as a result of imaging **everything**, would that not take considerably longer?
     
  13. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

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    Free space on a drive is not exactly free space. When you delete something, only its reference is deleted from the MFT, the actual content is still sitting on the hard drive untouched but marked as free space. Cloning is a process to get an exact duplicate of your current hard drive/partition. So suppose after cloning your current drive, you remembered that you had accidentally deleted some important document, you can perform simple undelete recovery operation on the new cloned drive.

    If you just backup data using backup operation you do not have this option anymore. Cloning is normally used when upgrading to a new hard drive. The new hard drive then becomes an exact duplicate of the old one.
     
  14. prius04

    prius04 Registered Member

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    Okay, thanks! Perhaps the reason I was confused is because my habits might be somewhat different than others. For example, when I delete some important doc(s), and I have done so of course, I want it/them *gone*....forever...totally unrecoverable. If I think there is even the slightest chance I'll ever need a particular doc again, I'll back up the file to a flash drive or SD card before *erasing* it from my HDD.

    I believe I could do just that with SPD by selecting the option to include free space. I have upgraded to new HDDs on several machines, have never used the 'include free space' option, yet I wind up with an exact dupe *except* for the free space from the old HDD. It works perfectly and is really fast. I suppose if I used some kind of "rollback" software, including free space with SPD or cloning with another product would have some utility, in my case at least.
     
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