Last time I'll ask - image or clone?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Jeff_H, Dec 12, 2005.

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  1. Jeff_H

    Jeff_H Registered Member

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    Guys,

    Up until now I've been doing a TI8 clone of my SATA HD to an external USB2.0 (PATA internal interface) HD. Because I switched from PATA to SATA I wanted a SATA (internal interface) to USB2.0 external unit. That way (at least that was the thinking when I bought the drive and external case) I could easily swap out my HD w/ the drive from the external case, should something go wrong w/ my internal HD.

    That said, if my goal is to have a SATA drive in the external enclosure w/ which I can simply swap w/ the internal HD should something happen to it, is my best course of action w/ TI8 to image or clone my internal drive to the external unit?

    TIA,

    Jeff
     
  2. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    AFAIK, an image will not make your backup drive bootable. While a full drive image will contain the MBR to create a bootable disk, you still need to go through a restore process.
    A clone should be swappable.
     
  3. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  4. Jeff_H

    Jeff_H Registered Member

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    The Weaz & Brian K, thanks for the replies. Oh it were so simple that a clone would simply let you swap drives in the event of a drive failures. But, it's probably simplistic to assume that one could take a cloned drive and drop it in for a failed main drive.

    So, it looks like imaging is the way to go. That necessitates getting another drive to replace the one that "goes south," but at today's drive prices that's a small price to pay, compared to losing your system and having rebuild (what can be rebuilt) and scrounge for backed up data files.

    Jeff
     
  5. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    Clone if you just want a standby/drop-in drive in case of failure. Nothing is easier or faster than a drop-in ready clone.

    But, you have to keep your clone off-line and you'll want to re-clone it occasionally to keep it reasonably current.

    On the other hand, creating an image and storing it on an external drive is much more efficient because you can use the external drive even while the image is stored on it and images are small. However, you must have an Acronis Recovery CD ready to boot from if the internal drive dies so you can restore the stored image to the new replacement internal drive.
     
  6. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    "But, it's probably simplistic to assume that one could take a cloned drive and drop it in for a failed main drive"

    Only one way to find out - why not try it?
    I assumed that's why one would clone a drive in the first place - to simply swap.
     
  7. bobdat

    bobdat Registered Member

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    Actually, cloning is very handy when moving from a small drive to a new larger drive because you can scale up your partitions during the cloning process. Restoring images is size-for-size (unless you use a workaround).
     
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    It will work. It just doesn't make sense to use this as a backup technique when imaging has so many advantages.
     
  9. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    In response to what Bobdat said about keeping the clone offline –
    Yeah, systems don’t like having 2 bootable drives. However, I was able to attach an external drive enclosure with a bootable Windows partition by setting the drive jumper to Slave.
    See https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=103435
     
  10. TheWeaz

    TheWeaz Registered Member

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    Right. But isn’t that essentially the same as swapping one drive for another, just like in the case of a failure?
     
  11. Jeff_H

    Jeff_H Registered Member

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    FWIW I was doing a cloning routine, to an external USB 2.0 unit, with a PATA drive enclosed. My main goal here is to have the "peace of mind" that should something happen to my main HD I could take the cloned drive in the external USB 2.0 case and "drop it in" as a replacement, not having any down time.

    I do a files backup to DVD+RW, and that seems to work well. So, what I want to get from TI8 is that drop-in replacment, should something happen to my internal HD.

    That's whats behind me getting a new SATA HD to put in an external case. I had to do a bit more "shopping" as external cases w/ internal SATA and external USB are not as common as those w/ internal IDE and external USB. I ended up getting a Venus external case for Newegg. I set it up with the identical SATA drive as I have as my running drive (Samsung 160GB), and did my first image today. Verify said it was good.

    Now I'm thinking I'll revert back to cloning the drive, in the hopes that it will act as a drop-in replacment, should that need ever occur.

    Jeff
     
  12. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Jeff_H,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    In addition to the above posted advices, I would also recommend you to take a look at this FAQ article explaining the difference between the Clone Disk and Backup approaches in more detail.

    Actually, 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, I would recommend you to follow Backup approach.

    Please also note that there are several advantages of creating an image over the disk cloning procedure, such as: image creation process can be scheduled, you can create an image "online" which means without rebooting your PC, Acronis True Image allows you to create an incremental images which contain only the data changes made since the last full or incremental image has been created, etc.

    You can also find more information on how to use Acronis True Image in the respective User's Guide.

    If you have any further questions please feel free to ask.

    Thank you.
    --
    Alexey Popov
     
  13. Jeff_H

    Jeff_H Registered Member

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    Alexey, thanks for the reply, and the clarification. I did an image yesterday to my new SATA/USB2.0 external unit, and it went w/o a hitch. Did a verify and it checked out fine.

    I'll just have to change my thought process re imaging vs. cloning.

    Jeff
     
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