What software to use for cloning a HDD 100%?

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by frank7, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. frank7

    frank7 Registered Member

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    Due to imminent HDD failure "Caution Reallocated Sectors" and the raw value constantly increasing in Crystal Disk Info I am trying to get about 4TB from one HDD to a brand spanking new one. (Is Crystal Disk Info a reliable tool for HDD health diagnosis at all??)

    Did make a task with Cobian Backup to "copy" the files and folders from one HDD to the new one. Though there were some errors, either due to the HDD going to sleep mode (what it said but how??) or something else...

    So then I have read up on the differences between imaging and cloning and I think for this use case cloning is just what I am looking for.

    I would try out Clonezilla, what comes to mind first.

    Is this solid software, can I rely on it or are there free alternatives that would be better to use for this amount of data.

    The HDD is filled to the brim, with a couple GB of free space left.

    Thank you for your kind advice.
     
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    frank7,

    Is this 4 TB HD a data HD? I assume it doesn't contain an OS.

    I note you own Macrium.
     
  3. frank7

    frank7 Registered Member

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    Yes a data HDD, with no OS on it.

    Yes, Macrium Reflect Free.

    Did have a go with Clonezilla, got both HDDs in this docking station. The HDDs are both Hitachi Deskstar 7K4000 H3IK40003272SE. Clonezilla said it was gonna take about 30 hours. Since I am using the PC for work I am doing for another client I will have to do this later this week.

    Would Macrium Reflect Free do the cloning faster?

    (I strongly assume the cloning won't clone the Raw Reallocated Sectors, right? Would not make sense to me to clone the faults of one HDD to a new one, just really verifying this.)

    So yeah, open to suggestions.
     
  4. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    If the SECTORs you're referring to are the RAW unallocated (not sure what reallocated means) ones... who cares, there not in use by the file system anyway... the data contained in them mean nothing to the Windows system (except maybe for LBA0) and any errors associated with them are caused by the disk being cloned not by the new disk.
     
  5. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    HDClone Free
     
  6. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    If it is a data drive surely it would be better to just copy to a new hard drive with a file manager?
    what am i missing here?
     
  7. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Not necessarily better but fine. If files are heavily fragmented, a sector clone/copy would be faster I guess.
     
  8. frank7

    frank7 Registered Member

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    Copy did fail for some reason, think one drive went to sleep mode while copying, not sure. Did try to with Cobain Backup and created a simple task. Never did defragment the HDD. Guess in that case cloning would be easiest and once the data is safe I can defragment, right?
     
  9. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    If you want to try a file by file copy, try this excellent freeware : FastCopy. In mode no interrupt. Also try to check the power settings of your PC so that it's doesn't go to sleep while copying. And if you want to clone in sector mode, try HDClone free from Miray Software for instance.
     
  10. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    Any better than Teracopy?

    I personally use directory opus filemanager but it is not free
     
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    I use Robocopy (a Windows file) but the above apps look interesting.

    Let's say the new HD contains a single, empty, NTFS partition with the drive letter N:

    Let's say the old HD has a D: drive partition.

    Disable Sleep.

    Do the copy in batches of say 100 GB initially. Increase the batch size if there are no problems.

    On the old HD create a new folder called ONE. Move around 100 GB of files/folders into ONE. Don't create a folder on N: drive. From an Admin Command Prompt....

    robocopy D:\ONE N:\ *.* /mir /copyall /dcopy:t /r:0 /log:c:\rclog.txt /v /xj /tee

    You can continue to use your computer while this is copying.

    When finished copying, on the old HD create a new folder called TWO and Move around 100 GB of files/folders into TWO. Don't create a folder on N: drive. From an Admin Command Prompt....

    robocopy D:\TWO N:\ *.* /mir /copyall /dcopy:t /r:0 /log:c:\rclog.txt /v /xj /tee

    etc.
     
  12. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    FastCopy exists in portable mode and has a profile features for repetitive tasks. The author is Japanese, the English translation is sometimes tricky but it does its job and very well.
     
  13. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    If the drive is failing is better to clone it (sector based backup). It stresses less the disk since there is less moving of the heads. During a sector based copy the heads move/read in sequential mode will in file based copy they move/read in random mode depending on the files position and their fragmentation.

    Panagiotis
     
  14. oliverjia

    oliverjia Registered Member

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    What's wrong with the good old Windows Explorer?
    For all my data (non-OS) backup, I used simple copy and paste in Windows Explorer in years and everything worked well.
     
  15. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    Speed but mainly retry, no interrupt and verify options.
     
  16. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    Yes agree with Merle with that.

    DOpus and teracopy allow skip and retry while Explorer just quits :(
     
  17. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    Good point.
    I had not thought of the failing hard drive file fragmentation.
     
  18. trott3r

    trott3r Registered Member

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    I will have to have a look at fastcopy since the Dopus version i have doesnt work on vista and above.
     
  19. frank7

    frank7 Registered Member

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    Some great recommendations here, thank you heaps for the input. The Robocopy looks intriguing, if not for this then for regular backups of huge chunks of data. I will go through the various mentions and report back to what I used in the end. Really thanks for all the help and software mentioned, I trust you guys!! I think it will be cloning in the end instead of copy because of the sector by sector approach mentioned and due to this less disk stressing.

    It was Crystal Disk Info giving me this result. It said "Caution" and "Reallocated Sectors Count". See for yourself. The "Raw Values" column is what I was referring to. Read somewhere else that as soon as this starts happening it is a good idea to start backing up the data (though this is just the first result that comes up for this sort of error, no clue how good that place or its members are, don't want to judge, just saying where I got the info from..). Since I once lost 2TB due to this or the dreaded "crackling sound" I learned it the hard way, lol.

    How good is this Crystal Disk Info any ways? Others worth mentioning here? Am I too cautious (the pun) and the info presented can be observed often? Perhaps not, there is another HGST drive I have been having for years, the HGST Deskstar 7K2000, at least 5 or more with no errors so far with about 20 or 30 grand hours use, can look it up if you folks like to know exactly, and there Crystal Disk Info says drive is Good. So figured why deal with a fairly new drive that is still under warranty when I know it can be different.

    By the way this little chart really helped me to continue to have confidence in HGST. The folks from backblaze should know what they talk about I reckon, at least this is what they deal with on a daily basis.

    https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-iXhU8z9nmfA/VRh0qOyCR9I/AAAAAAAACDE/oAWQk7N4iZ4/s0/Reallocated Sectors Count.png

    Any other values worth mentioning of worth looking at here that might not be good? Again, thank you all for the help, I will report back soon.
     
  20. pandlouk

    pandlouk Registered Member

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    @frank7 definitily clone it.
    I had to replace a disk last month. It started with spinup time values that started to drop every day for 2-3 weeks, so I had a feeling that was failing. After it was cloned and replaced I run a zero out test and then it gave me a reallocation sector of (1 sector only); on the second zero out test and afterwards it simply refuses to write at the last 20% of the disk surface.

    Panagiotis
     
  21. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    Roadkil's Unstoppable Copier is another option to consider perhaps for file by file copy.
     
  22. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    MerleOne,

    Thanks for mentioning this app.

    I did some tests on a data partition containing 309 GB of files/folders.

    Created an image of the partition with IFW, took 64 minutes.

    FastCopy backup took 117 minutes.

    Robocopy backup took 132 minutes.

    Second Copy 8.1 backup took 135 minutes.


    I like FastCopy. I'm sorting out the command line now.
     
  23. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    You're welcome. You mention the command line ? I just use the GUI...
     
  24. MerleOne

    MerleOne Registered Member

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    BTW, an advantage of file copy over sector copy, is that one know which files may be damaged, if the sector copy says there are some damaged sectors, it's difficult to know which files are involved.
     
  25. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

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    Yes, the GUI is great but I want to learn how to create batch files so they can be scheduled. Or can you do that from the GUI?
     
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