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Windows 7: System Image same as Cloned drive?

29 Sep 2012   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64
System Image same as Cloned drive?

So I have a system image from Windows Backup and Restore. Is it the same thing as a Cloned drive? If not, what differences are there?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Sep 2012   #2

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

If you restored your image to say a brand new HDD of the same or greater size you would end up with a fully functional system (OS, programs, data etc) just like if you cloned. Cloning is just a bit by bit/ sector by sector copy. Cloning would copy everything which you don't really need like pagefile contents etc.

Using imaging you need no preparation of the new HDD just physically connect it (by itself) and run the image restore process. Dead easy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Sep 2012   #3
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit

Other differences ...

System images are typically compressed to save space. So, if you have a 70GB partition, with not much in it, the image itself might only take up 30GB or less. A cloned drive is an exact copy of the drive -- so it requires the same space as the drive.

Image backups in Win7 typically only back up the "boot" partition and the OS partition. If you have other partitions on the drive (e.g., a shared data partition), that would not automatically be included in the backup. With a drive clone, you get ALL the partitions on the drive -- since it is a complete copy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Sep 2012   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by dougb73 View Post
So I have a system image from Windows Backup and Restore. Is it the same thing as a Cloned drive? If not, what differences are there?
Images are a backup---a way of recovering a system from a disaster. They can also be used to simply move to another hard drive when there has been no disaster. Images are stored on another drive for later use (restoration)

Clones are not a backup. A clone is a transfer of the system to another drive when all is going well---typically to move to a new hard drive. Clones are not something you go to in a disaster. Clones are used in real-time, with nothing stored in anticipation of later use.

If all is going well, no disasters, and you simply want to move to another drive, either imaging or cloning may work----or fail. Most here use images for that purpose---or a clean install.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 System Image same as Cloned drive?

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