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Windows 7: Which is Best Image or Clone

28 Nov 2011   #1
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 
Which is Best Image or Clone

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?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Nov 2011   #2
seekermeister

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

Maybe this will be of some help:

Cloning or Imaging a HDD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #3
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I think there is a bit of semantic debate around the two words.
For me:
1) Cloning = a true sector by sector or bit image copy from one physical device to another. You can use it when you have the final physical disk available that you want to make the bit copy to.
2) Imaging = stores intermediate files (vhd, mrimg ...) on another HDD keeping that HDDs file system in tact. The images can also be compressed saving space. You can delete the images and reuse the space. Also have multiple images for different configurations.
Or, when you are ready, transfer the images to a new physical HDD.

So to answer your question. If you want simplicity and are ready to to go now - cloning may be the option.
Otherwise go for imaging. Personally I'd use this even if I was ready to go with a new HDD in my hand.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Nov 2011   #4
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

I would image all partitions. Then you can restore them individually on an as needed basis. Usually you only restore the C: partition because the 100MB active partion and the recovery partition never change.

In the event of a failure of the HDD or if you decide to upgrade your HDD to a larger model, you can still restore all partitions into predifined partitions - predefine e.g. with Partition Wizard bootable CD (last entry on this webpage).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #5
seekermeister

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

One thing that throws me, is that True Image has the option to create a sector by sector image included in a regular backup image, yet has a cloning function apart from that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #6
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Macrium V5 also has a cloning option. It is possible that it is using imaging as an intermediate step?? But you do need and get a bootable physical 2nd HDD.
I now consider "cloning" is an umbrella term for the immediate creation of a bootable copied HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #7
pparks1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I usually think of a "clone" as when i have the ability to have both the original HDD and a second HDD and I want to move one to the other. I think of an "image" more as a backup where I work with 1 hard drive and simply put it back to the way it was.

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.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #8
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
I usually think of a "clone" as when i have the ability to have both the original HDD and a second HDD and I want to move one to the other. I think of an "image" more as a backup where I work with 1 hard drive and simply put it back to the way it was.

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.
That is what I thought, but wanted a confirmation
My appreciaton extends to all, who have taken the time to answer. Rep to all.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #9
seekermeister

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

This topic caught my eye, because I'm soon going to have to reorganize my drives and partitions, because I've about run out of space on one of my video archive drives. The drive that I intend to use for it is the one that is currently being used for the OS, and some other types of archive volumes, which means that at least the OS volume needs to be moved to another drive that I have in mind.

In the past, I would have simply used a backup image to restore everything on that drive, while all other drives are disconnected, so that no boot menu would be created (I use the BIOS boot menu instead). However when doing so, I have found that there is some minor differences in the restored volume that I would prefer to eliminate. If I understand correctly, cloning should do exactly that.

The confusing part for me is that I only want to clone a partition, not the entire drive...can that be done?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Nov 2011   #10
Wishmaster

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Cloning I believe is an entire drive type operation.
So a partition Image may be the best way to go, if your only wanting to keep that partiiton.


Overall, I too prefer the Partion or Full disk Image method over cloning.

For 1 reason, its faster.
And secondly, I find it much easier and simpler moving a system Image to a dis-similar drive. (either smaller or larger)


In regards to sector-by-sector, I never use that option myself.
But according to Acronis:
Quote:
What is a sector-by-sector backup (raw image)?

The sector-by-sector backup allows you to create an image of all sectors of the selected partition. This image will contain not only sectors with data but also sectors that are free. As a result, this image will be equal in size to the disk being imaged
Source: FAQ: What is a sector-by-sector backup (raw image)?



Which is odd, because I have found restoring a image with Acronis to a smaller or larger drive, forces it into sector-by-sector restore -- with resize options, even though the original image was not created with the sector-by-sector option.
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 Which is Best Image or Clone




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