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Windows 7: Cloning a Hard Drive Questions


15 Jul 2010   #1

Windows 7
 
 
Cloning a Hard Drive Questions

Hey guys, I have a 160 GB Samsung external HDD that I sent into RMA, and I was thinking when I got it back I'd replace it with my notebook's 80 GB Seagate HDD.

My question is, can I simply use the enclosure (which connects via USB) and some cloning software (such as Seagate's DiscWizard software) to transfer over all the data (files, applications, OS, etc.) to the external HDD and then simply put the external inside the laptop, and use the old HDD as an external?

Is this possible, and if there are any better options (such as better cloning programs), please let me know.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jul 2010   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Is this what you mean:

You get the 160 back from RMA and put it back in the enclosure.

You then clone directly from the 80 notebook internal to the 160 as it sits in the enclosure.

And then remove the 80 from the notebook and replace it with the 160 from the enclosure.

And then put the 80 into the enclosure.

If that's what you mean, the only hangup I can think of is that maybe you can't clone to an external drive. That's quite possible. You can image to one of course, but cloning is a different operation.

Worst case scenario--you try it and fail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2010   #3

Windows 7
 
 

Yes that is exactly what I am wanting to do, and what's the difference between imaging and cloning?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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15 Jul 2010   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Hope you caught my edit.

I originally thought it would probably work, no problem.


Then I realized that you would be cloning to an external--that may be a non-starter.

Cloning is a direct realtime transfer of an OS from drive A to drive B, with no intervening image.

In imaging, you make an image file of drive A and save it on drive B, and then restore the image file on B to some other drive.

Cloning is normally used when people want to move to a larger hard drive, just as you are talking about.

But, I usually think of it as a desktop PC with 2 internal drives---no external USB stuff. The cloning program may balk when it sees that you want to clone to USB??
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2010   #5

Windows 7
 
 

Really? The instructional video on the Seagate website shows using a USB with an enclosure.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2010   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Then go for it. As I said, I wasn't sure if the app would balk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

I think you would need a go between drive for storage and restoration of a drive image. You could Seagate's version of Acronis if they have their own version of that program available to create the image and later try restoring it to the replacement 160gb.

A better alternative however would be creating the set of recovery disks for the factory preinstall of Windows and simply seeing a clean install using them on the 160 once installed. You can then restore any backup you make with the Windows Easy Transfer tool on the fresh install on a fresh new drive.

The 80gb like any other drive shouldn't be a problem in an external enclosure. I keep a fan cooled external enclosure here that will take both ide and sata drives for file recovery or simply wiping clean when going to refurbish an old case. Actually running a quick temp install of the 32bit 7 on one now for a few days.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Jul 2010   #8

Windows 7
 
 

What's with all this imaging talk?

What's so bad about cloning?!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, XP Mode, W8.1 Preview VM - 7 Pro x64 second remote tower
 
 

Direct cloning from an 80gb to a lager 160gb can easily run into problems especially when you are attempting all that with an OEM preinstall. With a working image tucked away however you can wait to restore that when and if you decide to create a set of recovery disks from the hidden recovery partition on the 80gb.

Once a fresh copy of Windows is on the 160gb you can try restoring the image to see if that will work out. Cloning drives is generally seen as having the best results between two identical drives on systems running completely identical hardwares. You see that more often for commercial interests who have their own volume licenses at play there.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Jul 2010   #10

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Direct cloning from an 80gb to a lager 160gb can easily run into problems especially when you are attempting all that with an OEM preinstall.
The 80 GB is using an upgraded version of Windows 7, it originally came with Windows Vista. And what problems can be ran into?

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
With a working image tucked away however you can wait to restore that when and if you decide to create a set of recovery disks from the hidden recovery partition on the 80gb.
What I don't get about this whole process is I have the 160 GB installed in the laptop, how I am I supposed to access the 80 GB to create recovery discs? Isn't it only going to be seen as a USB device when in the enclosure?

And by the way, the recovery partition is not hidden at all, I have a separate D drive in My Computer that takes up about 10 GB, and I'm sure it has the Vista recovery drives.


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Night Hawk View Post
Once a fresh copy of Windows is on the 160gb you can try restoring the image to see if that will work out. Cloning drives is generally seen as having the best results between two identical drives on systems running completely identical hardwares. You see that more often for commercial interests who have their own volume licenses at play there.
So, what I am understanding from this is: with the 80 GB hard drive still installed in my laptop I will make an image of it on the 160 GB (using the enclosure and some sort of software, you recommended Acronis, of which I hope the free trial works), then I will switch out the hard drives at this point there will be no OS on the 160 GB, but an image file. What exactly do I do from here?

Install Windows 7 from the disc I have using the boot from CD option in the BIOS?
Let the laptop boot from the hard drive and recover the image by itself?
Or something else?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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