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Windows 7: Which is Best Image or Clone

28 Nov 2011   #11

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I think the ability to clone only a partition varies from product to product. O & O Disk Image is supposed to be able to do it, but I'm not sure about Acronis.

What are these "minor differences in the restored volume" to which you refer?

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28 Nov 2011   #12

Windows 7 32 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by richc46 View Post
I have just begun using Macrium Reflect. I notice that there is an option to clone or to image. I have used System Image in the past, to restore to the same hard drive.
In the event that I have a hard drive failure and want to restore my OS to another hard drive, most likely larger than the original, would Image or Clone be the best option?
I don't know exactly what software was used, but on another board a regular poster is a system builder. Periodically he inserts an internal drive in a docking station, and makes a duplicate of his system HD. Since he built the system I assume R&R of the HD is a couple minute operation. If he gets a HD failure, opens the box, R&R drive, close box.. boot.
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28 Nov 2011   #13
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
Both "terms" can be used to accomplish the same task. i don't think that 1 in inherently better than the other across the board.
The purpose of cloning is to make a new HDD and you need a dedicated physical HDD to do it. You wouldn't use it as a substitute for reimaging your existing HDD. You'd need a physical HDD for every "image".

With imaging you can image to a new HDD if you need to or most of the time reimage to you existing installed HDD.
Images can be smaller with compression and can be stored on any general purpose external HDD.
Every image of an OS partition can make a new HDD. That's the way I make new HDDs. The cold standby sitting in my PC disconnected was made this way.

So they are not equally capable and if you want to pick one it would have to be imaging.

Edit: went away when typing. Agreed some products (inc Macrium 5 I think) allow cloning at the partition level. But the above still stands by my thinking.
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28 Nov 2011   #14

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

As I mentioned previously, True Image has a sector-by-sector option when doing a partition image. The resultant file size is considerably larger than when done without using that option. If the trait that defines cloning is it's sector-by-sector handling of data, I'm thinking that doing an image sector-by-sector is equivalent to cloning, except that it uses an image for the purpose, rather than direct transfer of data. Since this is done on a selected partition, rather than the entire drive, I would think that it would be a more perfect copy of the original, than if a regular image were used.

I'm only stating my thoughts, rather than facts, so if I'm wrong, please correct me.
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28 Nov 2011   #15

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seekermeister View Post
Since this is done on a selected partition, rather than the entire drive, I would think that it would be a more perfect copy of the original, than if a regular image were used.
Suppose that is true.

Would it be preferable and why?
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28 Nov 2011   #16

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

I'm not saying that it would necessarily preferable, but it has been too long since the last time that I used an image to recover the OS to be totally clear on the differences. The only thing that sticks in my mind, is that a number of games lost their play history. Obviously, that is minor, but if one piece of data can be lost, others can also. The only cost to doing a sector-by-sector image, rather than a regular one, is the extra time and space it would require. It isn't worth the expenditure to do this on a regular basis, but when one is creating an image with definite plans on using it to restore/move the OS, it seems to make sense to me. Due to it's size, I would be unlikely to store the image after having used it.
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28 Nov 2011   #17
whs

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

seekermeister, if you want to make your life real easy, use this program (works HDD to HDD too) Paragon Paragon Migrate OS to SSD - Overview
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28 Nov 2011   #18
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I reimage quite regularly using Windows most of the time and Macrium some of the time. Macrium compresses ~40% I think. It seems to clean up some temporary junk but never anything of importance. I tend to get confident when things work on a regular basis.
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28 Nov 2011   #19

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

A sector by sector image might include the page file or restore points and can be preferable if you were, for instance, a law enforcement officer interested in data recovery at a forensic level---where you had an interest in deleted files. But I can't recall reading of any reasons it might otherwise be preferable. I don't know why one method or the other would be less likely to lose game history.
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28 Nov 2011   #20

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
seekermeister, if you want to make your life real easy, use this program (works HDD to HDD too) Paragon Paragon Migrate OS to SSD - Overview
Thanks, but I'm fairly happy with True Image. What is there about this program that makes you feel it is easier?
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