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Windows 7: clone a hard drive to an external drive? or maybe a second pc

09 Jul 2014   #1
vaklrider7

windows7 64 bit
 
 
clone a hard drive to an external drive? or maybe a second pc

What I am attempting to do is clean up my wife's Toshiba L555 laptop. the problem is she can not be without it because of her work requirements. (her life is on that drive) so can I clone the toshiba drive onto another drive that she can work on till I get her laptop cleaned up? I am even willing to give up my computer for a day or two if I need to clone onto it so she can keep working. and how do I go about it. (obviously I am less than an "expert" I know just enough to hurt myself)


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09 Jul 2014   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

I don't think Windows is going to boot from an external drive.

What do you mean by "clean up"? Reinstall Windows?

Even if you "clone" (a loosely used word) her installation to some other location, such as to your PC, you'd have issues because your PC hardware differs from her laptop hardware.

Does she ever sleep? Do it then.

Does she ever have a day off? Do it then.

Is her laptop Windows installation backed up?

Is her laptop data backed up?

Regardless---"cloning" is an imperfect procedure. You'd be nuts to assume it will work if "her life is on that drive" and "she cannot be without it". Cloning is an unnecessary complication to what I assume you want to do----correct some errors/issues on her laptop. I'd find a way to work around her schedule.

What happens if her hard drive fails at sundown today? What's your plan?
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09 Jul 2014   #3
strollin

W10 Pro desktop, W10 laptop, W10 laptop, W10 Pro tablet (all 64-bit)
 
 

As ignatzatsonic said, it depends on what you mean by cleanup. Booting the cloned drive would be problematic but you could attach the cloned drive to your PC as an external drive (not boot from it) which would allow you to move or delete or whatever the various data files on her machine. However, you would not be able to un-install programs or change system files.

Another issue you might encounter is accounting for any changes she makes to the machine between the time you cloned the drive and your clean up.

It would be best to do your cleanup at sometime when she is NOT using her laptop.
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09 Jul 2014   #4
vaklrider7

windows7 64 bit
 
 

My wife is extremely nervous about "repairs" She took her laptop into "black and white" squad and they ended up wiping the drive and doing a clean install, it took her over 3 months to recreate all her lost contacts.(thought that would have been job one at the box store-doing a back up) any way , her laptop has become slow, the cd/dvd drive will not read photo cd. (she is a Realtor) We went to M-soft and downloaded Mr. fix it, it agrees there is a problem but it can't seem to fix it. The drive works fine if you load movies, or data cd , just will not recognize photos,(say's the disc is empty ) What I was hoping to do is put the window 7 disc back in and run a repair. but after our last fiasco I'm a little gun shy.
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09 Jul 2014   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

You shouldn't attempt a repair or anything else unless her data and contacts, etc are backed up---particularly since the fiasco with the "black and white squad". You've given no indication that they are.

You may or may not be able to improve things within an hour with tools such as CCleaner, Malwarebytes, and a good virus scan, but we have no idea if any of that has already been done. That would be short of a clean install or repair installation.

A repair install of course won't help with hardware issues, if you have any.
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09 Jul 2014   #6
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

X2 on making and maintaining backups.
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09 Jul 2014   #7
vaklrider7

windows7 64 bit
 
 

We have webroot anti virus on the laptop and ccleaner both. and have run cleaner several times in the last week
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10 Jul 2014   #8
mitchell65

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

I'll jump in here and suggest that unless you back up all the data and contacts then it would be dangerous if you carried out any sort of "Fixing". Do that back up to an external drive then put it on a cloud backup just to be doubly sure!
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10 Jul 2014   #9
vaklrider7

windows7 64 bit
 
 

ok we have a rocketfish external drive that is SUPPOSE to be backing it up every night. as I said earlier, I know just enough to cause serious injury! so how to I check the backup drive to make sure ALL her data has truly been stored? ( sorry for all you more experienced type to have to bear this) at 61 I'm doing good to remember how to turn the darn thing on
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10 Jul 2014   #10
mitchell65

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

At 61 you are still a slip of a boy. What do you mean it is SUPPOSE to back up? Rocketfish is just an enclosure for an internal hard drive. Did someone else set up a schedule of the daily back ups? Whatever, if the data and contacts are that important it's not a bad idea to back up twice. Do you need help in performing an actual backup? If so first go disk management, expand the window to full screen and post a screenshot here on the Forum. Here's how:
Screenshots and Files - Upload and Post in Seven Forums
Use the Snipping Tool Option, here's how:
How to Use the Snipping Tool in Vista
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 clone a hard drive to an external drive? or maybe a second pc




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