Laptop clone to USB drive

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by SeymoreDumore, Dec 26, 2008.

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  1. SeymoreDumore

    SeymoreDumore Registered Member

    Dec 26, 2008
    Hello, first time NG here.
    I'd like to ask a possibly stupid question.
    My daughter's laptop is on the fritz, so gotta send it back to Dell.
    The problem is that Dell, as a standard order of procedure - immediately reformats the HD, regardless of the problem with the system ( in this case touchpad dead)
    Anyway, just purchased a WD usb drive, and made a clone of the drives ( more on that in a moment )
    My question is that can I trust the clone on a USB device? Is there a way to verify re-cloneability short of actually doing it? I think I can verify the booting from the USB device, would that be a sufficient indicator for a successful restore later?
    I'd like to send in the laptop ASAP so it's back before school starts, but do not want to risk loosing the stuff on it as it takes a day and a half to restore.

    Now, just a sidenote of a headbanging experience:
    I have attempted to clone the drives on this miserable thing 4 times. Each and every time the process got to about 80-85%, then the screen went blank, keyboard became non-functional and shortly thereafter the drive activity seized too.
    Rebooted the laptop, went into power mngmt setting in BIOS and made sure everything was disabled and turned on the "Wake on USB" setting.
    Restarted the cloning, same thing happened again, except that the drive activity remained on the USB device permanently.
    In each and every case after the reboot, the USB device showed the first drive partition as a completed clone, but the second ( the boot drive ) was sitting as an unallocated partition, obviously unuseable.
    Few cursewords and headscratches later I thought of checking the power management settings within Vista. One would think that once Acronis takes over this setting is mute, but apparently NOT!!! It was set to hybenate after 1 hour of inactivity. One would also think that USB-function would be considered as activity, but apparently NOT!!!

    Anyway, bottom line is that I have set all power management setting to "never do anything", after which the cloning completed just fine and produced the results as expected.

  2. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

    Mar 28, 2007
    Florida - USA
    You can never be 100% sure the clone is good until you boot from it. You cannot boot Windows from a usb drive unless you jump through a ton of hoops - not for the faint of heart. It's much easier if you can replace the original drive in the laptop with the cloned drive then boot the laptop.

    If the laptop's only problem is the touchpad, have you tried hooking up a ps2 mouse (if there is a ps2 port) or a usb mouse (there's sure to be a usb port)? If you can get a mouse to work, try to copy all the data to the external drive. You can always reinstall the applications - data is much harder to replace.

    Instead of a clone, it is better and safer to use Backup which makes an Image of the source drive. And it is also safer to use the bootable True Image Rescue cd to do the procedure especially if you're just now getting into True Image.
  3. SeymoreDumore

    SeymoreDumore Registered Member

    Dec 26, 2008
    I have never used the backup function, so unfortunately not really up on how the Full backup works.
    I've purchased TI for the exclusive useage of making a complete clone of the drive of any of my machines for the reasons of fast system recovery.
    Loose a drive? Get new one, install in system, boot from clone, reclone drive, restore backup from Net-storage server, back-in-business.
    That's it. Not to take away anything from TI's backup capability, it's just I am quite OK with the current system. It makes backups onto the storage server on demand, and the really nice feature I like is that the backup files are copies of the source file. I have access to the server via Windows or any application, and can restore (more like use) the file from it just as if it was on a local drive.

    To date I've tested and used TI for local drives only. Made the clone, unplugged the original drive, booted from the clone and were back where I've left off in 1 minute. I'm simply hoping that I can do the same with the USB device also.
    The laptop does allow booting from the USB device, so I'll check out how it works. MAybe I'll get the nerve to reclone:ouch: .....but maybe not...:doubt:

    As a sidenote, another reason I'm trying to stay away from the backup mode is that I'd prefer not holding onto and managing rescue diskettes all over the place. The cloning allows me to do that, albeit at the expense of having a second drive.
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