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Windows 7: HDD clone

17 Sep 2014   #41

Windows 7(64) Home Premium

I'm getting there. So, you need two new drives. One for the image file and another for restoring that image to. Sorry for being so thick between the ears. It's a totally new process for me. I can talk about post processing photographs and how to do it all day but some things take a bit to sink in.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2014   #42

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

You don't necessarily need any new drives.

You need at least 1, preferably 2 working drives. Whether new or old.

You could store the image file of C on another partition on the drive containing C. And later restore to the same C if that drive still works.

It's better than nothing but not recommended. Why? Because if the drive containing C fails outright, you would lose all partitions on it--including the separate partition containing the image file. If C just becomes corrupted but the drive is still usable, you could still restore the image file to C.

The much preferred method is to store the image file on a separate drive entirely. If the drive containing C then fails completely, you can still restore to a new drive by accessing the image file stored on the separate drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2014   #43

Windows 7(64) Home Premium

I've only experienced one drive failure back around 2006. It was a Seagate Barracuda drive in an XP machine. I kept hearing a strange noise, sort of a grating sound and decided I needed to do something pretty quick. Back then I had a setup that would clone the entire drive and did exactly that, took the potentially bad drive out and replaced it with the new cloned one. It worked great.

I hope I don't have to try out this system we've been discussing. However, these drives could last two weeks or five years. It's a crap shoot if you don't back up.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Sep 2014   #44

Windows 7(64) Home Premium

I got the docking station from NewEgg today and in the process of setting it up, formatting, etc. It's been fifteen minutes now and we're still only up to 5% on the formatting. This may take a while. I'm glad it's just a 500G drive I can imagine how long it would take for a 2TB drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2014   #45
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8

I never make a full format - only fast format. And that takes seconds, on any size disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2014   #46

Windows 7(64) Home Premium

Under "Format Partition" Format this Volume...was checked as was "Perform a quick format". This is USB 2.0, of course.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2014   #47

Windows 7 ultimate 64-bit

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ColColt View Post
That is a nice one but it really is overkill for your needs.
I'm known for doing that. I'm certainly open to suggestions, however.

Cloning isn't a backup.
That's where I've always been confused. I thought cloning process was to make a duplicate of your OS HDD in the even of failure. I had a setup years ago that did just that-clone my HDD on my old XP machiine. It didn't do an incremental backup, just cloned the drive. I'd do it periodically to keep abreast of changes. It would over write what was there before however. Not a good set up but kept me from having a useless machine in the eve of HDD failure.
For ordinary purposes, your first choice would be fine rather than the overkill one. You might step up to USB 3 and pay maybe $30 or so. You don't need that "hard drive duplication" function.

You could use cloning as you did it, but there are shortcomings:

That drive that you cloned to is not otherwise being used--until and unless you have a failure. Imaging avoids that. You can continue to use the drive containing the image file for ordinary purposes. The image file is just a file---like a JPEG or TIFF. It's different only in content and in that it needs to be "restored".

Did you test the clone to make sure it works?

Anecdotally, I'm not sure cloning is as reliable.

If your C drive has 50 GB occupied, you can make an image of it in maybe 10 minutes once a week or once a month and store that image just like any other file. The image file might take up 25 GB. Restore it when needed. Maybe keep the most recent 2 or 3 images. Restoration typically takes under a half hour.

One last word about docks: they aren't overly sturdy. Be prepared to replace them. Mine has lasted 3 years, but I take it out of the closet only every 2 or 3 months, so it's not powered on much. I'd say you should get an external drive for data backup.
I agree here. You might be better off getting something like a 1 or 2TB Western digital my book external usb drive. I have a 1tb my book drive that I use to constantly back up my whole system because it automatically backs up any files and or folders it senses have had changes to. And the my book drives are not overly expensive right now either. They have come down quite a bit over the past several years.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2014   #48

Windows 7(64) Home Premium

I had a My Book once with an older XP machine and it slowed the computer down worse than Norton Internet Security. I sold it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2014   #49

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

A couple of backup HDDs won't set you back much.
You are far better off with your docking station. I have a number of My Book Essentials bought before I realized their problems:
1) unreliable micro USB 3/2 connector
2) hardware data encryption

If the connector or USB to sata interface card fails (as they do) you cannot simply remove the sata drive to recover your data because it has been encrypted. I think WD's Elements range is the only one that doesn't use hardware encryption. Even then for the 2.5" drives they now don't use an internally sata connected drive.

When it comes to the sata drive for your docking station I think WD is fine. For backup purposes I find the WD Green 2TB good value for backup at ~$80. A couple of these for your images and data/photos is all you need.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Sep 2014   #50

Windows 7(64) Home Premium

It's rather odd in Device Manager the drive doesn't show up as a WD drive like the one for my digital photos. It shows as an "ASMT 2105 USB Devise".
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 HDD clone

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