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Windows 7: Cloning or Imaging?

20 Jan 2012   #1

W7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 
Cloning or Imaging?

When would one choose to clone a drive for backup, rather than an image?

I have always done images which have always been perfect on restorations.


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20 Jan 2012   #2

 

When you want to back up non OS data
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20 Jan 2012   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit OS
 
 

I think cloning is the preferred option if you were going to
to move your system to new hardware.
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20 Jan 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pscowboy View Post
When would one choose to clone a drive for backup, rather than an image?

I have always done images which have always been perfect on restorations.
Cloning is normally not used for backup.

Cloning does not make a file that can later be restored. Instead, it transfers a working system from one hard drive to another in real time.

The most common use for cloning would be to move to a larger hard drive after you have run out of space on a smaller one---when the system on the smaller hard drive is still working well.

Imaging, on the other hand, is most often used to recover from a disaster of some type, using a previously saved image file that represents one or more partitions. Imaging can be used in some situations where cloning could also be used--such as moving to a new larger drive.
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20 Jan 2012   #5
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pscowboy View Post
When would one choose to clone a drive for backup, rather than an image?

I have always done images which have always been perfect on restorations.
Virtually never. Can be a "simple" way of making a physical HDD copy but this can be done with images. Certainly useful for forensic work.
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21 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit OS
 
 

Just an additional note - the cloning option in the latest versions
of VM Ware (Virtual Box) comes in quite handy for fast implementation
of a system installation to other hardware should the currently
running system become unusable.

That is where you will see the value in cloning either by way of
Virtual Box clone options or for example with a proprietry third
party software such as Acronis True Image
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22 Jan 2012   #7

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

I used to be a OS cloner but have seen the light and am now an imager.

Cloning can be useful if you are replacing a HDD or SSD with a new one, but imaging works just as well. Cloning can be quicker for this.

Cloning can retain your restore points for an OS clone. You loose restore points with imaging.
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24 Jan 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

The two are not the same process. I'll explain:

Cloning is the process of taking the data from one drive and copying it to another drive, such as when you upgrade form a small SSD to a larger one.

Imaging is the process of taking the data on the drive and creating an actual file that can be stored to use later down the road, or used multiple times, such as when rolling out new company computers.

So, if you create a file, you are imaging. If you go from drive to drive, you are cloning.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2012   #9

ultimate 64 sp1
 
 

another difference is that images are usually compressed, so they take up less storage space, but take longer to build and unpack.
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 Cloning or Imaging?




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