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Windows 7: System Image - Hard Drive Clone


17 Apr 2012   #11

win7 home premium-64bit-SP1-IE10
 
 

Morph1
Please read about the differences between cloning and imaging in the following site

Cloning or Imaging a HDD

Regards


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Apr 2012   #12
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Andy, No problem with identical drives - even from different makes as long as they are Sata. Even SSDs would qualify. But I warn you - the Windows7 imaging/restore can play all kind of acts on you. You would be a lot better off and a lot safer with free Macrium.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2012   #13
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Morph1 View Post
In the mean time I wanted to ask you guys if I had the exact identical drives in size would the system disk image app.
thats included into the windows 7 disk make a complete usable image / clone of my primary drive booting windows 7 and all my installed software including all my e-mails and files?? does the type of hard drive play a role ? what if the Primary drive was a WD drive and my target drive was Seagate Drive both 500 gigs would that matter ??


Andy
If the drive is the same size or larger the Windows imaging will work fine transferring to a new HDD. I've done it a number of times.
There is no fundamental problem in going from one make to another BUT one manufacturer's 500GB may not have exactly (down to the byte) as anothers. If the target manufacturers drive is a number of bytes less, then Windows will not reimage. I also think free Macrium would have issues. You need check for any slight size difference.

The term "cloning" is often used loosely. Strictly it is a bit for bit (or sector by sector if you like), disk to disk transfer. Imaging is a more sophisticated, faster and more flexible approach to achieve essentially the same thing. Imaging transfer uses intermediate image files which may have some compression as well. Unused space and the likes of pagefile is not transferred - there is no point!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Apr 2012   #14
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote:
Unused space and the likes of pagefile is not transferred - there is no point!
Michael, This may lead to misunderstandings.

The unused spaces like the pagefile will reappear in the restored image. But for the image itself, they are being compressed. During restore, they are being decompressed.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2012   #15
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
Quote:
Unused space and the likes of pagefile is not transferred - there is no point!
Michael, This may lead to misunderstandings.

The unused spaces like the pagefile will reappear in the restored image. But for the image itself, they are being compressed. During restore, they are being decompressed.
Yes that's right. Sorry if my wording could cause confusion. I meant the contents of the pagefile would not be imaged and transferred. You'll still get an allocated pagefile.sys at the size it was at the time of imaging.
To add - I have hibernation disabled on my SSD so when I reimage I don't get a hyberfile.sys created.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2012   #16

Windows 7 pro 64 bit
 
 

thank you folks for all the help,
I will test the suggested solutions within this coming weekend...,
Just a few extra questions...

Now currently I installed fresh copy of windows 7 on that 250 gig drive...,
Now my size of all data on that drive is around 130 gigs, I got a spare 160 gig drive
and new 500 gig drive...,

Can I make the image copy onto the 160 gig drive and then do an image recovery on the new 500 gig drive, I am wondering about the unused sectors 500 gig partition oppose to the 250 gig drive partition...., what will happen with the unused space since the MBR will be cloned of a 250 gig drive... will I have an extra partition on the 500 gig target drive ? will I be able to merge the partition as one ??

and finally what would be the right method to create the image copy recovery,
the way I understand it this way :

1. Remove the volumes and Format both the 160 gig and 500 gig target drive..
2. Make an Image disk onto the 160 gig drive.
3. Do I make the 500 gig volume as active partition adding a drive letter ? or remove
the volume and let windows handle the format while imaging....
4. Disconnect my primary drive
5. Boot from dvdrom with windows 7 recovery mode
6. Enter recovery mode and select 160 gig image source drive
7. Image the drive onto the 500 gig drive.
8. Restart the comp, boot to bios assign the 500 gig drive as the primary drive
9. Boot of that drive to windows
10. Hopefully running imaged windows 7 copy of my new drive with all my programs

Is that the correct process??

thanks again,

Andy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Apr 2012   #17

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

I think your plan is OK. I'm not sure about your step 3---you may not have to mark the 500 gig drive as active--Windows may do what needs to be done.

Storing the image file on the 160 gb drive is fine.

After the restore completes, if you happen to still have unallocated space or incorrectly sized partitions on the 500 GB drive, you can certainly make the necessary corrections with Windows Disk Management or with a tool such as Partition Wizard if necessary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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