laptop clone over USB

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by brandonx49, Mar 23, 2005.

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  1. brandonx49

    brandonx49 Registered Member

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    Hello - My plan is to connect my clients laptop to another laptop hard drive via a USB enclosure that has no power supply (USB powered) plan is to create an exact clone of the hard drive on a regular basis as a disaster recovery approach. If the hard drive were to fail one would just swap the dead with the clone and voila! no down time.

    A) can one do this?
    B) Are the USB powered enclosures okay for a this approach?

    Thanks in advance,
    Brandon
     
  2. iflyprivate

    iflyprivate Registered Member

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    You can put a notebook hard drive mechanism in a USB 2.0 enclosure and clone the laptop hard drive with TrueImage 8.

    Be sure to use an ac adaptor for the USB enclosure because no laptop will be able to supply sufficient USB power to run an external hard drive.
     
  3. brandonx49

    brandonx49 Registered Member

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    Thanks for your input.. Not very easy to find a vendor who sells a 2.5 enclosure with a powersupply. New idea is to get a 3.5 enclosure with mounting kit for a 2.5 drive. Not as space saving but it should get the job done.

    Thoughts anyone?
    B
     
  4. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    While I agree that it would be nice to get one with an external power supply capability, I respectfully disagree that the laptop can't power the external drive (presuming the drive is a typical 2.5 inch laptop drive).

    I have two external USB2 enclosures with 2.5" 80 GB drives. One of them is powered solely by the single USB cable. The other has TWO USB cables, one of which is data/power and the other is power only. The power only cable can be replaced with an external AC adaptor.

    Both drives work fine powered by my IBM T42p laptop, either when the the laptop is plugged in or running from battery power.

    Your mileage may vary; not all laptops do a good job of powering USB devices. My point is that it works fine for me.

    In my experience, if the active partition on the laptop is NTFS, if you clone the partition while in Windows 2k/XP, the cloned partition then mounts with a drive letter. So, your C: partition may wind up as D:, E:, or some other letter. NTFS remembers drive letters and swapping this drive in as the primary may result in a problem where the system boots but then goes through an automatic logoff after logging on, since the cloned partition remembers that it is some letter other than C:. This is documented elsewhere on this forum and others. Removing the drive letter before disconnecting the drive prevents this problem.
    Marc
     
  5. iflyprivate

    iflyprivate Registered Member

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    I have to disagree with most of what you just posted. My experience proves that if you try to suck 1+ amps from a single USB 2.0 port you are definitely overloading it. I believe they are spec'd to supply around 1/2 amp each. When I try to power my external 2.5" Hitachi 80GB hard drive from a single USB 2.0 port, the entire bus shuts down. The solution is to use an adaptor cable which can draw power from a second USB port or better, using an external ac adaptor for all the power.

    The CompUSA 2.5" USB 2.0 enclosure kit ($19.95) has both a data cable and a power cable which can draw from a second USB port or a PS2 port. I purchased an external 5 volt @ 5 amp ac adaptor for my rig ($9.95) so as to avoid clogging an extra USB port for power.

    As for your theory about changing drive letters, you are correct that TrueImage assigns its own scheme of drive letters BUT in the dozens of times I have cloned internal laptop hard drives to external hard drives and then swapped them out, I have never had a conflict with drive letters or had to change them manually. The C partition is always the C partition. Of course, my cloning activities have been limited to cloning new hard drives with a C partition and two hidden diagnostic and restore partitions.

    TrueImage 8 has worked effortlessly and perfectly for me when booting from the CD and cloning as brandonx49 originally stated he wanted to do.
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis True Image (http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/trueimage/).

    I will not give any advice concerning USB enclosures and can only recommend that you contact your laptop manufacturer on this issue. As for Acronis True Image, it is able to clone the internal drive to the external USB one. It doesn't matter in which way the drive is plugged (USB, FireWire, etc.) providing you can use the plugged drive under Windows.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  7. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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  8. Marc_G

    Marc_G Registered Member

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    Hi folks-

    To followup on the USB power / 2.5" enclosure issue, I just ran a test where I booted the recovery CD and used that environment to make an image onto my single-cable USB2 enclosure with a 2.5" 80 GB drive. Image was created and verified without problems.

    All of this while the laptop was running on battery power. Look Ma, no AC.

    The computer is a T42p from IBM.

    I agree that having a separate power supply is the prefered situation, but it is not always required. Definitely the idea of getting a 3.5" enclosure with a 2.5" adaptor is a great idea, because when not being used to clone a 2.5" drive, it could hold an ultra-inexpensive high capacity 3.5" drive. Cost per GB is much lower on those. Hmmm. Maybe I need to get a 3.5" enclosure... ;)

    Marc
     
  9. brandonx49

    brandonx49 Registered Member

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    Thanks for everyone's responses. The peeps at Acronis finally got back to me with the same question. Here is the answer:

    Thanks again,
    Brandon

    Hello,

    Thank you for your interest in Acronis products (http://www.acronis.com/homecomputing/products/).

    If your external hard drive works without a power supply then Acronis True Image will clone it without any problems.

    Thank you.
    --
    Sincerely yours,
    Ivan Belinsky
     
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