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Windows 7: cloning vs imaging?

25 Nov 2012   #1
soulfood

XP windows Professional
 
 
cloning vs imaging?

hi what is the difference between cloning and system imaging? thanks


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Nov 2012   #2
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

Cloning creates an exact copy of a partition onto another one. Imaging creates a file that is a copy of the partition from which you can do a restore.
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25 Nov 2012   #3
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

I think the term cloning is defined in different ways by some. I think most would agree that it is a bit by bit / sector by sector straight copy.
It may be that cloning can be seen as a simpler way to make a duplicate HDD. For me, I see no purpose in it over imaging. Imaging is more flexible and efficient. Every system image you have can be transferred to an existing or new HDD. Imagining stores all the necessary files (virtually everything except the contents of the pagefile and the unused HDD space. It uses an intermediate file format which depends on the imaging software and often can use compression.

For cloning you tie up a complete HDD at least the same size as the HDD you're cloning. With imaging you can multiple images on a single ext HDD.
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26 Nov 2012   #4
Senteaf

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I thought it was the same thing...
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26 Nov 2012   #5
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

It is sometimes thought of that way and in the end the result of an image and a restore is that same as a clone, but as has been mentioned earlier an image is the more flexible, as multiple images can be held and restored either to the original disk or another.
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26 Nov 2012   #6
Senteaf

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Okay.

With a clone I could simply boot into restore mode on a new computer and restore it, right?

Whereas with an Image I would have to install an operating system and then create a partition and then restore an image to a partition right?

I think I got it.
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26 Nov 2012   #7
kado897

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit Service Pack 1
 
 

No. With an image you boot to a recovery disk that you have created beforehand and restore the image either to the original disk or a new one. The restore process will normally recreate any partitions in the image. Cloning is normally used when you want to replace a disk with another. If the disk you cloned from is bootable then the clone will be bootable also if it is marked active. It serves as a replacement for the original.
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26 Nov 2012   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

You can do imaging and restore without ever installing an imaging program. Example: with the WinPE CD of Macrium. You can download the .iso from my skydrive. Burn it to CD and boot with that CD.
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26 Nov 2012   #9
mjf

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Senteaf View Post
Okay.

With a clone I could simply boot into restore mode on a new computer and restore it, right?

Whereas with an Image I would have to install an operating system and then create a partition and then restore an image to a partition right?

I think I got it.
Also No.
You can view it this way
A clone is an exact copy on a physical HDD which is ready to go if you plug it in.

An image can be crudely viewed as a packed "clone" that needs unpacking to an existing or new HDD. So if a gremlin hits your existing HDD (virus, a bad app install etc...) You just restore an image of your choosing. The restore process "unpacks" the image and bingo you are back to exactly when the image was made. You can "unpack" your image to a new HDD if your existing one bites the dust.
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26 Nov 2012   #10
eburnettscd

Window 7 ult x64
 
 

Depends what you care about, and what backup solution you use. I've had headaches over Acronis, Ghost, and Paragon from corrupted image, disk error, new hardware, bad media, etc where nothing beats a good old cloned disk.

Also cloned to bad hardware. So lessons learned always understand, test, and verify your backup process before ever trusting it.

Yet such a waste of space and time. If you have the space, time and resources (meaning extra like disk) go up one and mirror raid. If you are more concerned with the 'state' and rather save space, Windows System Image actually works very well here (much surprise!). Save backup time with reduced backup file sizes.

If you manage a slew of OS Installs and want to back them all up, WSI probably not for you. If you are looking for a simple back to basics good home solution for Windows 7, nothing beats it.
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 cloning vs imaging?




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