Possible to keep clone of C: on a second/active hard drive?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by rodrigt, Jan 4, 2008.

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  1. rodrigt

    rodrigt Registered Member

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    Acronis’ Live Chat Line claims it is not possible “because having two bootable hard drives on the same machine would cause a conflict”; further, that I would need to unplug this second drive from the machine – yuck. With due respect, I believe this is incorrect because my second drive is not listed in my BIOS boot sequence of where to sequentially look for an OS.

    I’m interested in this as a learning exercise, as I am also learning how to deal with hardware inside the machine; it would give me great peace of mind to know that if my C drive crashes… that I truly have another drive ready and able. (Yes, I know that an image of C on a backup drive could be restored via a bootable CD onto a new drive in the C location – I’ve already prepared for that. As I said, for me this is a learning exercise.)

    I would like to do a dry run placing a clone of C: on my second hard drive (plenty of capacity) and then swap the second drive to function as C: (swap master/slave jumpers, etc). In either case (clone or image, per the above), my preference for this type of system backup would be a once-in-a-blue-moon event (after important software changes, when the machine is working OK, etc) because I regularly back up my data by other means.

    Comments anyone? – Thanks!
     
  2. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    If you have any data you wish to keep on the second drive or if you have other partitions on C drive which you do not want copied Cloning is not the process to use. This is because cloning is a whole hard drive operation and is not partition based. Imaging on the other hand can deal with individual partitions.

    I share your dislike of opening a PC and playing around with screws and connectors. There is another way which involves the one-off fitting of a removable drive rack in a spare front facing 5.25 inch drive bay. Now this would be connected in place of the current C drive which in turn is mounted in one of a pair of drive caddies. The second caddy would hold a second drive.
    Now swapping over main C drives and regularly updating them becomes a very simple restore operation from a whole disk image with no risk at all to system or data.

    Xpilot
     
  3. Oldjim

    Oldjim Registered Member

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    I always keep the second boot drive in the PC and have never had a problem.
    I just instruct the bios which disk to boot from
     
  4. rodrigt

    rodrigt Registered Member

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    Xpilot wrote:
    > If you have any data you wish to keep on the second drive… Cloning is not the process to use.
    -- Ooops, from this I learn that my ‘great idea’ was a pipe dream – thanks, I’ll stick with disk Imaging.

    Xpilot wrote:
    > There is another way which involves the one-off fitting of a removable drive rack in a spare front facing 5.25 inch drive bay. Now this would be connected in place of the current C drive which in turn is mounted in one of a pair of drive caddies. The second caddy would hold a second drive. Now swapping over main C drives and regularly updating them becomes a very simple restore operation from a whole disk image with no risk at all to system or data.
    -- Wow. I got the big picture, however as I am just now learning to get inside the computer case I have a lot to learn… from the outside of my PC’s case the only front-facing 5.25” slots are presently occupied by my C: and D: drives, does that mean I’m out of luck?

    Thanks and I sure would appreciate any further guidance you could provide.
     
  5. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

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    No, you're not out of luck, if those two 5.25 slots have blank cover plates over them - with the drives behind them, as Xpilot says, you can put those two drives in caddies in the same position they're in now and you're good to go.
     
  6. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    It is important to check the depth available behind the computer's fascia. I have fitted one internal rack in my PC. Only one bay had sufficient depth. I store all backup images on a fixed internal drive and swap the restored main drives in and out. To give extra security I use a rotation of three main drives.
    The really non-standard thing I do is to swap main drives over and run a restore from a backup image as a matter of routine rather than wait for a disaster event.

    Working this way makes validations redundant. All images are of the whole main drive and they run automatically. The only manual task is to swap over drives and run a restore. When I choose to refresh a main hard drive the total time the computer is off line is less than 15 minutes. Restores from one internal drive to another are much faster than using external drives.

    Incidentally the drive images and the trio of main drives are the sum total of my backups. With two ready to go extra hard drives and a stock of proven images, which can be explored and copied from, I am sufficiently covered not to take any further precautions.

    Xpilot
     
  7. seekforever

    seekforever Registered Member

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    There can be an issue when cloning drives that causes a conflict because there are indeed 2 identical drives in the system until the first sucessful boot of the system after cloning; this causes Windows to get confused. It is recommended that the original drive usually is disabled/removed. However, after the first sucessful boot the drives can co-exist.

    My other personal point is - why worry about having a bootable drive ready to go unless you are running a time-critical business? HD failures, while they do happen, should be such a rare occurence that this isn't worth worrying about if your imaging works as it should.
     
  8. Xpilot

    Xpilot Registered Member

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    Seekforever,

    In your last sentence you have used a very small but very important word...IF.

    The way I backup has removed all the ifs and buts, at least to my satisfaction :) .

    Xpilot
     
  9. rodrigt

    rodrigt Registered Member

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    Thanks guys!

    As a newbie to True Image, from this dialog I realized that I was being too shortsighted in what I was trying to do.

    Instead, I’ve just ordered s new hard drive… will install it as the new C drive with a restored image of the old C drive… and keep the old C drive in safe storage, because I know it works. (As a home user, for me this is enough and I can periodically repeat the process… after major software upgrades, when the computer is working ok, etc.)

    Q- Between restoring an image or the cloning method, which is better for my need?
    From what I’ve read so far, restored imaging would seem be better because I could choose from several images on a separate drive. Am I on the right path? Thanks.
     
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