How to make an EXACT clone of a current HDD?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by lrat, Apr 22, 2009.

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  1. lrat

    lrat Registered Member

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    Hi,
    Pardon me if this question sounds silly, however, I am very confused with all likewise terms: Cloning, image, copy, back-up, etc.
    What I want to do is simple:
    After recovering of a severe HDD crash I have installed my pc to the point where I'm happy with it. I spent three days installing Vista, updates, programs, data, etc.
    In my opinion the best way to protect my work is to make an exact clone of my pc as is and store it in a remote location. What I mean by clone is simple: If my computer gets stolen I can put my "cloned" disc in any computer and my computer will be able to boot and will have all programs up and running as they are now.
    Currently I have Acronis True Image 2009 (Paid for, not a trial) and my HDD is a WD 1TB Green with two partitions (C = 50 GB and D=831 GB the other 50 GB is allocated as a recovery partition for Acronis, Acronis Secure Zone). Can I just buy another WD 1 TB and make it an exact clone of my current system (No compression but an exact copy)?
    I read that when you use Clone in Acronis TI2009 in Automatic settings the unused space will be made unallocated? Is that correct? Why is that? How can I avoid this?
    What are the steps to follow to make an EXACT clone without compression or any partition changes?
    My apoligies for this confusing message but even in the manual it doesn't explain it too well. It doesn't even say to use an exact same size HDD to make a clone.
    Thanks for your help.
    Luke
     
  2. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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  3. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    GroverH's guide will get you straightened out on the terminology and what you have to do. However, if the disk is setup for your current PC and you put it in a different one, it will not just boot up and run. Windows will want to find and load the proper device drivers for the new PC and Windows activation (and any apps that use similar activation) will choke as well. It is possible to make it work but it won't be plug-and-run swap.
     
  4. Joeythedude

    Joeythedude Registered Member

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    If you boot our PC with the ATI boot disk there is a option called "CLONE" there which is what you are looking for.

    Its worth reading the links above for other ways to do it, though, as there is a risk that your original drive may be corrupted by this option.
     
  5. lrat

    lrat Registered Member

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    I purchased Acronis True Image as to me it's very important to be prepared for the worst case scenario. I expected the cloning process to be simple and bullet proof. However, after reading all this I feel very uncomfortable about trying this out. I already had my share of serious crashes (Caused by iTunes, a HDD died on me, virusses, etc) and I just want to be prepared.
    I made a bootable CD, I have allocated space for Acronis Startup Recovery manager and made a full system back up on my back-up server. I feel well prepared at the moment but all of this means a complete re-install of Vista and apps.
    Somebody suggested to make a Acronis boot disc and a disc image. According to the message it would then be a simple case of installing a new HDD, boot up from the Acronis disc and then re-install the image. According to the lister it's a much safer solution then making a clone. Is that correct?
    Thank you very much for your previous replies; Much appreciated. However I feel even more confused now. I just want to work out a simple, solid, easy process to protect my data and OS. I was hoping Acronis TI2009 would have been ideal for this.
    What are your strategies to protect your system?
    Best regards,
    Luke
     
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    lrat,

    For backup purposes you should use images. Clones are for upgrading to a larger HD and many people even prefer using images for that procedure. So read Grover's guides, create images from Windows and restore images using the TI boot CD. You should never need to reinstall your OS.
     
  7. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Hi Luke,

    You are getting some confusing repsonses because of what you asked.

    1. A cloned hard drive could be inserted in your current machine and it would boot and run.

    2. A backup image could be restored to your current hard drive or a new one in your current machine, and the system would boot and run.

    I think it's much smarter to make regular images and store them on a large external hard drive or an networked hard drive rather than to have only one clone drive. It's easier to make backups, and having several, you are safer.

    3. A cloned hard drive inserted in a different computer probably won't boot because it has the wrong drivers for the different computer's hardware. There's really no easy solution for this.

    4. A backup image restored to a different computer probably won't boot for the same reasons. Different drivers are needed. However, it is possible to mount the image and extract all the data files from the image with a different computer. This only requires installing True Image on the different computer. Because it's easy to get the data out of the image, it's a better backup to have if the original computer is stolen.

    I hope that helps pull together all the information you have been getting here.
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello lrat,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis True Image

    Here is Acronis KB article describing “Difference between Creating an Image with Acronis True Image and Using the Embedded Disk Clone Tool”, use the following link

    Best regards,
    --
    Dmitry Nikolaev
     
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