Possible to clone a partition (not whole HD)?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by randym, Feb 9, 2009.

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  1. randym

    randym Registered Member

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    I would like to clone the OS partition on my primary hard drive to my second internal hard drive, and I would like the target partition to be bootable. Is this possible? It seems that the Acornis True Image 11 interface only offers the possibility of cloning an entire hard drive, not just one partition.

    If this is not possible, is there a technical reason why?

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. TerryFox

    TerryFox Registered Member

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    Hi ... My understanding cloning isn't meant for every day use , you can if you like . I mean the cloning purpose was to replace an old dying drive before it does die , this way you could be safe from a failer drive . I think what you should do is a " Back up " image instead of cloning . You can clone if you want but I think backup image is a better way , that's just my 2 cents .
     
  3. randym

    randym Registered Member

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    Thanks for your thoughts. Can you explain why you feel that way?

    As I said in my post, my main purpose is to do precisley what you suggest--have a backup in case my primary hard drive fails. And with the clone, I get the added benefit of being able to immediatly boot to my second drive if my first drive fails. So it seems that cloning has advantages over a backup and no disadvantages.

    Which gets me back to my initial question. is it possible to clone only one partition (as opposed to the entire drive)? If so, how? It appears to me that the interface offered me the possibility of only cloing the entire drive, not the single parition that holds the OS.

    I suspect it is not possible to image only one partition, and that my thinking it might be possible reflects my ignorance of why it is necessary to image the OS rather than simply copy all the files. I have been unable to find a written explnanation of this--I would greatly appreciate a reference if someone knows of one.
     
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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  5. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Make an image backup of "my computer" of your OS partition. Next restore this to your other hard drive.

    That's the same as cloning 1 partition. Since it will be a copy of your OS partition. A backup of a bootable partition will always be bootable when restored.

    Just make sure you disconnect one of the harddrives before you bootup for the first time. Windows doesn't like to bootup with 2 identical C: drives.

    That's how I always do it. It gives you many more options than doing a direct hard drive to hard drive clone. I always recommend that you partition your destination hard drive first it makes everything easier.

    You don't mention if your working with xp or vista. If it's xp, you might have some problems if the source windows xp has ID'ed the other hard drive and has it hardcoded into the registry.
     
  6. randym

    randym Registered Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. I actually did what you suggest last night, but I Acronis did not give me the option to restore the image to the partition I wanted to. Specifically, this is what I did:

    Background: My primary HD has two partitions, OS and Data1. The second internal hard drive has identically sized partitions, OSBKUP and Data2. Initially, the second drive has no data.

    I imaged OS to a file on Data2. Then I elected to restore the backup. But Acronis offered only OS and Data1 has possible places to restore it to. I wanted to restore it to OSBKUP. Does this make any sense?

    One reason I’m considering the clone option is I know cloning works (I’ve used it to upgrade to a larger hard drive in the past), and my one experience trying to use a backup to restore my OS to a partition different than the partition from which the backup was created failed. I explained that failure at this thread https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=232194 . The only feedback I got was to try to restore the image to the same partition the image was taken from. In this particular case, that was an option. But generally the reason I’m doing a backup is to be able to restore the OS if my hard drive fails, in which case restoring the image to its original location is not an option.

    I would greately appreciate thoughts on what went wrong with my backup restore attempt documented at https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=232194

    I'm running VISTA home premium and ATI 11.

    Thanks,
    Randy
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2009
  7. dwalby

    dwalby Registered Member

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    Not sure why Acronis wouldn't have seen the second disk, can't help you with that.

    I've done exactly what you are trying to do when I first bought Acronis, to make sure the recovery process was actually working, so here's how I did it.

    Take disk #1 out of the computer, replace it with disk #2. With only one disk in the system it should be able to find the OS image file, and allow you to restore it to the OSBKUP. Boot from the recovery disk and try again, and make sure to indicate you're restoring the active partition so the flag gets set in the partition table. After doing the restore it should be bootable. The only thing I did differently was my OS image file was on an external HD, but that shouldn't make any difference.

    What you're attempting is pretty basic, you should be able to do it without much trouble.

    Messing with the system partition sizing and changing hard drives does cause some boot issues with Vista that you don't have to worry about with XP. But ATI11 is able to deal with those issues, so Vista shouldn't be a problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2009
  8. clackey

    clackey Registered Member

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    randym:
    You have not provided enough information regarding "partitions". You need to be specific on the second hard drive regarding Primary partition or Extended Partition, else be specific on drive letters. You can't "clone" VISTA on drive C: and restore it to a different letter and expect it to boot. You have to clone (or restore) it to another partition that will be drive C; when you select it to boot.

    Also, how do you plan to select the spare (second) VISTA system? Select it in BIOS or use boot menu? ... or remove the failed drive? ...or what?

    Depending on your intentions, it would be useful to understand how the boot.ini (Windows XP for example) process works. VISTA uses the same process but it is more protected and must be learned separately from XP. It always lives on the first hard drive 1st partition unless there is a "special" partition in front of it (usually a proprietary recovery partition).

    I agree that "backup" is a better way than is cloning. It does require a better understanding of the "dual boot" environment and how to manipulate it, and where that selection process actually lives, and how you intend to use the clone. (Select in BIOS or disconnect the failed drive?)

    Frankly, having lived with dual boot environments since it was available a long time back, I find it useful only for "maintenance" or "repair/recovery" activities. Otherwise it's only "neat" or "slick".

    You might also look at having a hard drive in a Kingwin KF-91 (brand) mobile rack & tray.
     
  9. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello all,

    Thank you for using Acronis True Image

    Code:
    I imaged OS to a file on Data2. Then I elected to restore the backup. But Acronis offered only OS and Data1 has possible places to restore it to. I wanted to restore it to OSBKUP. Does this make any sense?
    randym, I have sent a file to you via PM, please install it and see if the issue remains. If this doesn't help, please download Acronis Report utility available here and run it, create a report. Please compress the Acronis Report output file into an archive (e.g. with WinZip).

    This would provide us with detailed information on the hard disk partition structure.

    Please use our Live Chat service here, we will find the reason.

    Thank you.

    --

    Oleg Lee
     
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