Windows 7 Forums
Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.



Windows 7: Best free cloning software to protect against disaster

03 Feb 2013   #1

Windows 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
Best free cloning software to protect against disaster

I have owned Acronis for years but with every update it gets less reliable.

I just installed Macrium free edition and went to clone my primary drive (C, OS,) and it warned that the target drive would lose all data on it. Is that really necessary? Wipe the drive before copying over to it.
I dont mean to trash Macrium it seems like a great piece of free software but erasing all the data from my target drive wont work for me.

I need a program that will produce an exact copy that I can access if disaster should strike, I dont need incremental or differential backups, I dont need individual folder backups, I dont need anything but a dependable program that will clone my complete drive. I like that Acronis will do this with an existing drive without disturbing the data on the drive and I also like that I dont need rescue media with it, on startup I just press an F key and it automatically boots into the program. Its just become unreliable.

Is there a better alternative?
I'd even pay for this peace of mind.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

03 Feb 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro 64-bit
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Feb 2013   #3

Windows 8.1 Pro w/Media Center 64bit, Windows 7 HP 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rocks911 View Post
I have owned Acronis for years but with every update it gets less reliable.

I just installed Macrium free edition and went to clone my primary drive (C, OS,) and it warned that the target drive would lose all data on it. Is that really necessary? Wipe the drive before copying over to it.
I dont mean to trash Macrium it seems like a great piece of free software but erasing all the data from my target drive wont work for me.
That is what "cloning" does. In Macrium you want to "image" your drive and save the image to be used later to restore your system. You can do the whole drive or individual partitions.

Jim
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


03 Feb 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by marsmimar View Post
Couple of alternatives that may be suitable:

Paragon Drive Copy - Professional Hard Disk Copy, Disk Cloning and System Migration - deploy new hard drive easily! (free version also available but unknown if it supports cloning)
Paragon free version:
Solved How to Migrate OS to new Hard disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2013   #5
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rocks911 View Post
Is there a better alternative?
I'd even pay for this peace of mind.
It's hard to beat your initial choice of free Macrium Reflect. You can also use Windows inbuilt imaging as an additional safeguard if you wish.
You may be giving "cloning" too much credit.

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. Cloning requires the physical disc to copy to now and that is why Macrium gave the message it did.
Using imaging you need no preparation for even a new HDD if your current one dies, just physically connect it (by itself) and run the image restore process. If your current HDD just screws up then do an image restore back to it.
Typically you'd store multiple images on an external HDD representing snapshots of your HDD say a week ago, a month ago etc. Then pick the one you want.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2013   #6

Windows 7 Professional x64 Linux Mint 16
 
 

My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rocks911 View Post
I have owned Acronis for years but with every update it gets less reliable.
Agreed. Do you happen to have 2010 still? If so, go back to it. Its rock solid and reliable.

If you want to get away from Acronis all together then as mentioned, Macrium is a fine product.
Ive also used the free version of Paragon and it worked well too.

being used to ATI, both of these will seem to have limited functionality compared to ATI, but they are free and have all the basics that most will need.
And they do offer paid versions with more features as well should you decide you need/want them.

Id either stick with ATI 2010, or go to Macrium. Ive had lots of issues with newer Acronis products myself sadly
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2013   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

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

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rocks911 View Post
I have owned Acronis for years but with every update it gets less reliable.

I just installed Macrium free edition and went to clone my primary drive (C, OS,) and it warned that the target drive would lose all data on it. Is that really necessary? Wipe the drive before copying over to it.
I dont mean to trash Macrium it seems like a great piece of free software but erasing all the data from my target drive wont work for me.

I need a program that will produce an exact copy that I can access if disaster should strike, I dont need incremental or differential backups, I dont need individual folder backups, I dont need anything but a dependable program that will clone my complete drive. I like that Acronis will do this with an existing drive without disturbing the data on the drive and I also like that I dont need rescue media with it, on startup I just press an F key and it automatically boots into the program. Its just become unreliable.

Is there a better alternative?
I'd even pay for this peace of mind.
Use macrium reflect free option image.
Or use macrium reflect option clone. Wiping destination disk isn't neccesary at all!! just create enough free space by shrinking partitions already on destination disk.

Use image for backups!!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2013   #9
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

As I said before I'd steer away from cloning unless you want to make a new HDD now. Imaging isn't just "a backup". It is a special form of backup which allows you to fully recover your system to the existing HDD or a new one. This is a more efficient and flexible approach to save you from disaster.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2013   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

you don't want to CLONE your hard drive...you want to take an IMAGE of your hard drive.

Cloning means 1 hard drive directly to another hard drive.
Image means backup 1 hard drive to an image file stored on another hard drive.

You typically clone when say you move from an 80GB SSD to a 240GB SSD. By cloning it's a 1 pass process. You "Can" accomplish the same task by imaging, it's just 2 steps (1st step is take the image, 2nd step is restore the image).

Hope that helps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Best free cloning software to protect against disaster





Thread Tools



Similar help and support threads for2: Best free cloning software to protect against disaster
Thread Forum
Software to protect Windows 7 System Security
Need free app to protect my Startup. System Security
Solved Need Free Software to Password Protect USB Flash Drives Software
software can do this:=>about copy protect Software
Cloning software Backup and Restore
Download Free Encryption Tool Conceal to Protect....... Security News
protect your pc for free! System Security

Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:54 AM.
Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App
  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33