Help & advice needed on making exact copy of hard drive

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by JP1969, Aug 15, 2007.

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  1. JP1969

    JP1969 Registered Member

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    Hi,

    first time poster after advice from people far more knowledgeable than myself.Basically after my girlfriend's hard drive crashed at the weekend & she had no backup made i looked into the options available to me & purchased Acronis True image 10 after all the good reviews.Basically,all i am looking to do is make an exact copy of the internal hard drive in my Dell laptop in the event of it crashing.All i would then need to do is take out the old drive & replace it with a new hard drive.I've purchased a new 120gb internal hard drive which is the same size as the current hard drive & have a usb casing as well.
    Would it be advisable to clone the current hard drive using the new hard drive plugged into the usb port or to make a full backup of the current hard drive onto an external hard drive,replace the internal hard drive with the new drive & restore onto the new hard drive.I'm new to all this so i'm not sure which is the best route to take.

    Thanks in advance for all your help
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    JP1969,

    Which Dell laptop do you own? Some need special procedures to prevent the new HD becoming "smaller". Probably doesn't apply to you as both HDs are the same size.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=167401

    Actually, I wouldn't clone the HD at all. You just need a backup image written to the external HD.
     
  3. JP1969

    JP1969 Registered Member

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    Hi Brian,

    thanks for your reply.I have an Dell XPS & yes, the new interna hard drive is the same size as the one currently in use.So you recommend that my best option is to make a full backup onto an extenal drive,put the new internal hard drive into the laptop & restore onto the new internal hard drive rather than clone it across?

    Thanks for your help
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    JP1969,

    You will likely get differing opinions. I'm definitely against keeping a cloned HD in the drawer in case there is a HD failure in 3 years time. I'd keep your new HD in the external case and use it for backups only. Image your internal HD to the external HD. Daily if you like. That way your backup is current. It's far more likely you will restore this image for OS corruption than for HD failure. So that means restoring the image to the same HD. Not a new HD. Have a look at this post written by Dan Goodell regarding images vs clones. (Reply #7)

    http://radified.com/cgi-bin/YaBB/YaBB.cgi?board=general;action=display;num=1132968474;start=7#7

    If you do have a HD failure in 3 years time you could transfer your backup image to a desktop HD, install your external HD in the laptop and restore from the image in the desktop. Or you could transfer the backup image to another external HD.
     
  5. JP1969

    JP1969 Registered Member

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    Brian,

    thanks for your reply.I think i'll go down the route that you suggest & make a full backup to my external hard drive.Just one last question,in what circumstances would you use the clone feature over the full backup? As i said earlier i'm totally new to all this so it's nice to learn learn a few things along the way from somebody who knows what they are doing
     
  6. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Brian K is right to suggest the image/restore to new drive route. This method is by far the safest for a new user as the original drive is safely outside the computer while the new drive is being written so even if you press some wrong buttons you can always start over.

    The first thing to do is to check the build number of TI that is installed (help About) 4940 or later should be fine.
    Now create a recovery CD with both the full and safe versions on it. Connect and power up the external drive and then boot fron the recovery CD. This is to make sure the your internal and external drives can be seen in the recovery environment. Remove the CD.
    Next reboot and open TI to start the backup wizard. Check all the partition boxes shown for the old drive and hit proceed. My own choice would be not to run the validation as you will be writing to a virgin drive so there is nothing to be lost. On sucessful completion insert the recovery CD close down and remove the old drive.
    Insert the new drive connected exactly as the old one.
    Now reboot from the CD and follow the full version of the recovery wizard. Check all the drive partition boxes including the one for the MBR. Complete the wizard and and shortly you will be able to boot from the new drive. Do not forget to remove the rescue CD!

    You will now have the old drive as a 100% ready to go hard drive. You will also have a proven backup image and you will have proved that TI works on your hardware. To keep your backups up to date you could make more backup images and manage the old ones as you wish.

    Xpilot
     
  7. JP1969

    JP1969 Registered Member

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    Xpilot,

    thanks for the reply.I think i'll go down the route suggested.Am i right in saying that to boot from the recovery cd i have to enter the set up & change the setting to boot from cd drive before i put the new hard drive into the lap top or will it automatically boot up from the restore cd as there is nothing on the new hard drive?
     
  8. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    You need to check the boot order that is set up in the bios. If the CD is not number one give it the necessary promotion and exit saving changes. There should be no need to go back and change these settings again, just remeber to empty the CD drive when it is not required!

    Xpilot
     
  9. JP1969

    JP1969 Registered Member

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    Thanks Xpilot.

    I'll give it a go & let you know if there are any problems.Thanks everyone for your help
     
  10. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello JP1969,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    In addition to what other members said, please take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between Clone Disk and Backup approaches in more detail.

    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 10.0 Home in the respective User's Guide.

    If you have any further questions concerning Acronis software, please feel free to submit a request for technical support or post any of them on this forum. We will certainly try to help you in resolving any issues.

    Thank you.
    --
    Marat Setdikov
     
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