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Windows 7: bootable cloning

16 Jun 2012   #1

win 7 64
 
 
bootable cloning

Hello:

I am trying to understand if all backup applications that do cloning means that that a clone of the OS drive will be bootable without using any recovery disks . This means just plug the new cloned drive into the old drive and it should work (in theory). I know they may be some exceptions for laptops. For example, is m a c r i u m cloning bootable?



There is a product c a s p e r that claims to be easier faster , etc, etc, Is this just cloning or are they doing something different.

thank you

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Jun 2012   #2
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Yes a clone will be bootable.
A correctly imaged HDD will also be bootable. If you post a full Disk Management screenshot we can comment on partitions that need to be imaged.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jun 2012   #3

win 7 64
 
 

This is interesting. Now I am more confused. When I look a file structure of a Windows backup system image , it seems that that the "image" needs to be uncompressed or something into another disk. I guess this discussion is in reference to my second question about the product " casper" where the claim is that your destination media of the cloned system disk can be plug back into the system and you boot as if the original disk were there (no recovery CD , etc).

As far as I know, all this image software applications need some kind of recovery disk with their application in order to restore the image.

For me bootable means that the cloned disk can be put in place of the original disk and the system should boot without doing anything. Is this the correct definition of of cloning? I am assuming with an image you can't do this.

If my understanding is true about cloning, I am trying to figure out what is so special about "casper" then.


thank you for your help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Jun 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vlsi99xx View Post

For me bootable means that the cloned disk can be put in place of the original disk and the system should boot without doing anything. Is this the correct definition of of cloning? I am assuming with an image you can't do this.
You are generally correct.

A successful clone is bootable immediately--the system is transferred from hard drive 1 to hard drive 2 in real time.

Imaging produces an image file. That image file is stored on some other partition and is not bootable. If the image file is then "restored" to a hard drive, the hard drive will then be bootable.

Imaging is most often used as a means of system recovery after a major problem, such as corruption, viruses, or drive failure. Cloning is most often used to move a system that is working well from one drive to another---as when upgrading to a larger hard drive.

You sometimes hear the 2 terms used as if they were synonyms, but they are in fact different processes with different results.

Neither is guaranteed to work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #5

win 7 64
 
 

Thanks for the response , now that I am sync with the understanding of cloning, I have more questions:

1- Do programs like Macrium and Paragon or most other that do "cloning" infer a bootbale disk or you still need to use their recovery disk to do something before you replace the failed disk? I am trying to understand that if I buy a program that performs "cloning" means what I understands to be or there are many other definitions.

2- The program casper (which I am thinking about buying) sounds like they just do cloning with supposedly better algorithm (faster, bla bla) or are they doing something different . I did not see the word cloning in their feature set.

thanks again
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

1: I've never done a clone and am not sure if a bootable recovery disk is needed. Probably not? A bootable recovery disk is needed to restore an image. That disk can be a Linux-based disc or a WinPE disk. The WinPE disk is more flexible and more likely to boot without issues, but is a bit more difficult to make. Whichever you use, confirm that it will in fact boot your PC.

2: I'm unfamiliar with Casper, but for all I know they are using the term "cloning" to mean "imaging". You have to confirm that on your own--as I said, the 2 terms are often used interchangeably---incorrectly.

The free version of Macrium Reflect 5.0 appears to offer both cloning and imaging. See pic:


Attached Thumbnails
bootable cloning-untitled-1.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
The free version of Macrium Reflect 5.0 appears to offer both cloning and imaging. See pic:
Yes it does. I have used it for cloning but not on an OS disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by vlsi99xx View Post
2- The program casper (which I am thinking about buying) sounds like they just do cloning with supposedly better algorithm (faster, bla bla) or are they doing something different . I did not see the word cloning in their feature set.
Casper looks to be a high-priced cloning tool for encrypted hard drives.
You may do fine with free software. Not clear what your purpose is.
Here's something that hasn't been mentioned.
When you clone a HD your cloned drive has the same partition size of the partition you cloned. There may be a way around that - don't know. And that's fine if you intend to use it as your new system drive right away.
Otherwise it will sit somewhere unused, because you really don't want to write to it as a "working" drive. If that's okay, then a cloned system drive is fine. Put it in or connect it when you need it.
A system image created with Macrium, Ghost, True Image, etc., can be put in a folder on any drive. It is a simple file, and always smaller than the partition size, and can also be compressed when making it.
To restore the image you need to boot a CD or thumb drive. But you don't necessarily have to connect any hardware to get your system back.
With a cloned drive you don't need a boot CD, but have to connect the drive.
I don't know if you have to boot a CD to clone - never did it.
System imaging is more flexible. Personally, it has always served my needs, and that's why I have no experience cloning.
My main point is that you have to define your purpose before you decide whether to clone or image.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

This is very true. You might also have mentioned that with imaging you can have as many images as your backup disk will hold.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Jun 2012   #10

win 7 64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by kado897 View Post
This is very true. You might also have mentioned that with imaging you can have as many images as your backup disk will hold.

I agree, I think cloning and imaging could be part of your overall backup strategy. You could have a clone of your sys drive and several images versions.

For data, it is more of a grey area as you need a lot space for it and you may also want incremental images copies as well.

Victor: Casper looks to be a high-priced cloning tool for encrypted hard drives.

For $50 is a high price compare to free but it is within the range of most paid products.


thanks for all the feedback
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 bootable cloning




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