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Windows 7: Imaging from SSD to Hard Drive?


12 Jan 2012   #1

 
 
Imaging from SSD to Hard Drive?

New member here - hello, everyone.

I've just ordered an SSD for one of the laptops, meaning I'll have a nice 7200 RPM hard drive sitting unused.

My main desktop is a wonderful mini-ITX system with a single M4 SSD. It is currently backed up, along with all the laptops, to an Asus Windows Home Server machine, so I'm fairly confident about my data integrity in case of failure. But realizing that one can never be too safe with the primary desktop, and as the little Antec case has room for a second 2.5 inch drive, it occurs to me that the now-superfluous hard drive could be installed into the desktop and used for periodic (daily?) imaging.

The SSD has the usual mysterious 100 MB recovery partition and a single C: partition for the Windows 7 x64 Ultimate machine.

There's a lot of talk about moving from hard drive to SSD, but going the opposite direction just isn't discussed. Guess this is an odd situation.

So: would I have any alignment issues or other potential snags in imaging my SSD to a hard drive? Would the usual ideally-free software solutions such as Macrium or EaseUs be appropriate for this task?

Advice or real-world experience appreciated.

Art

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

12 Jan 2012   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ArtShapiro View Post
it occurs to me that the now-superfluous hard drive could be installed into the desktop and used for periodic (daily?) imaging.

The SSD has the usual mysterious 100 MB recovery partition and a single C: partition for the Windows 7 x64 Ultimate machine.

So: would I have any alignment issues or other potential snags in imaging my SSD to a hard drive? Would the usual ideally-free software solutions such as Macrium or EaseUs be appropriate for this task?

Advice or real-world experience appreciated.

Art
I don't think you would have any problems. If the SSD is aligned properly, it should be retained in an image restore. Of course, you can always check alignment in Diskpart.

I use both Macrium and EaseUS without problems. Be sure to image both C and that little 100 MB partition.

I'd say daily imaging is excessive, but that's up to you as long as you have the space for it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #3

 
 

Thanks for the reply. In looking at my message, I think "cloning" would have been a better term than 'imaging". If the SSD were to go casters-up, for example, I'd simply want to uncable it and thus boot off the hard drive until I could purchase a replacement SSD.

Does that alter your response?

Art
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


12 Jan 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ArtShapiro View Post
Thanks for the reply. In looking at my message, I think "cloning" would have been a better term than 'imaging". If the SSD were to go casters-up, for example, I'd simply want to uncable it and thus boot off the hard drive until I could purchase a replacement SSD.

Does that alter your response?

Art
Yes, it does.

You can't boot from an image file, so imaging would not be right for your scenario.


I think of cloning as something you would use after buying a larger boot drive, when you simply wanted to transfer an installation from one working drive to a new drive.

You are talking about a fallback drive, ready to go in an emergency. I assume you could clone from drive A to drive B, but I think cloning is a "move" rather than a "copy". I'm not sure--I've never done it. If it is a "move", I'd guess it would leave the source drive either empty or not bootable---the premise would be to then use drive B--the new drive. I think you want to continue using the original drive A, if I understand you.

And doing it daily seems like it would be a major complication.

I think a much better solution would be to use imaging and store the image on an external. If your original C drive dies, you restore the image from the external to a replacement C.

I'm not saying your idea can't work---but I can't offhand recall of anyone on these forums using true cloning in that way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #5

 
 

Thanks again...I appreciate the insight; I guess I was correct in terming this an "odd situation".

I'll informally investigate when the drive becomes free. It's no skin off my back if it runs for 10 or 15 minutes in the middle of the night, and of course there's always the Windows Home Server equivalent of a disk image for total restoration. A redundant fallback methodology can't hurt, and I still might periodically image manually to an external drive.

Art
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Jan 2012   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

!. Of course you can image. I recommend free Macrium.

2. The 100MB system partition you image only once and keep it in a safe place. That contains your bootmgr which never changes unless you venture into double booting.

3. The alignment is not in the image, but in the partition from where is comes and to where it goes back.

4. Imaging C: 2 or 3 times per week should suffice. But if you have a seperate data partiton on e.g. the HDD, that should be imaged too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Imaging from SSD to Hard Drive?




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