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Windows 7: is file copying safe or should I verify?

26 Feb 2017   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
is file copying safe or should I verify?

Hi all,

I've just used some clone software (called Macrium Reflect) to clone my entire windows 7 hard drive onto a new SSD, so that I can swap over to the new faster drive without having to do a re-install.

The new drive is working seamlessly just like the old and every file that I have accessed over the past couple of days is working fine. However it's 700 gigs of data in total and there are thousands of files which I haven't accessed or tested yet, and may not for many weeks/months as I don't use them in my normal day-to-day work.

Can one assume that they all transferred across with full integrity, or should I be worried that I never did any error-checking on them? I should note that no errors were ever reported during the cloning and both the old and new drives never showed any signs of drive failure.

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2017   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit sp1

Any time that I have cloned one disc to another using Macrium Reflect I have never had a problem. Unless you really want to check all those other files, you can probably rely on them having been transferred correctly.

If in the future you find that one of those files is corrupted it may well have been corrupted before the cloning, which is probably something you will never know.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2017   #3

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

If you want to be totally sure, you should use Macrium Reflect to create a disk image of your original OS partition to an external storage and verify the Image - you can then delete the old OS partition for re-use

If you ever have issues in future you can use external image to repair the active OS. Of course the copy image will quickly become out of date as the active OS develops, (Updates, New Software Etc), so it is only useful for a short time
My System SpecsSystem Spec

26 Feb 2017   #4
Layback Bear

Windows 10 Pro. 64/ version 1709 Windows 7 Pro/64

This could also be helpful using Macrium Reflect.

Under "Other Task" "Reflect Default"

is file copying safe or should I verify?-capturereflect-default-check-image.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Feb 2017   #5

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

Thread starter asked a very good question; one that I have no answer for. However, because either a backup HD or a full image can "go bad" -- each of my computers have two dedicated usb 1TB ext HDs, each HD contains at least one if not two full images of both the OS and the Data partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2017   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Thanks for all your help all. yes I think verifying the backup as part of the original backup process is a good idea - problem is that I never saw this feature when cloning in macrium, I am not sure whether it exists for macrium's cloning as well as backup.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2017   #7

Windows 10 Pro x64 x3, Ubuntu

I do not think a verify would be offered for a clone operation for the simple reason that a clone is made for immediate use and the original also remains so in essence you have two copies.

However I, and many others here have seen enough evidence over many years, that a verified backup, made before any major work, is such a help as to be an essential
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Feb 2017   #8
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Macrium Reflect (MR) is not able to verify a clone. However, while not the same as verifying the clone itself, MR can be set to verify the file system of the source drive or partition before cloning to minimize, if not eliminate, the chance for problems (this is done in Other Tasks, Edit Defaults, Cloning, Perform an Intelligent Sector Copy, then put a check on Verify File System). That said, the only time I have ever had a problem with a clone was the clone failed due to the source drive itself being corrupted. Other than the time that happened and when trying to clone an MBR disk to a GPT disk (in short, don't do it; I found that out the hard way recently), I've had no problems with cloning using MR and feel it is reliable.

If you still feel you need verification (nothing wrong with that, btw; over cautiousness is better than being under cautious), you can make an image of the drive you want to clone, then use the image to "restore" the image to the destination drive. The downsides to this method is you would need an intermediary drive to park the image onto when making the image so you can then use it to create the new, duplicate drive. Also, there are more steps involved and it takes longer to create the duplicate drive.

Another method I've found works is to use a folder/file syncing program called FreeFileSync. This program works by comparing a source drive, partition, or folder that you specify to a destination drive, partition, or folder, then copies any new or changed folders and files on the source drive, partition, or folder to the destination drive and deletes from the destination drive any folders or files that have been deleted from the source drive. If you specify the entire source drive and there is nothing on the destination drive, then the entire source drive will be copied over. While I mostly use FreeFileSync for backing up my data drives, I've found it useful for copying data from MBR drives to GPT drives.

There is a "hack" one can do to a .ini file in FreeFileSync to tell it to verify each and every file copied over. FreeFileSync will also tell you if any file ever fails to copy over. The only downside to verifying file copies is it takes twice as long which I don't feel is a problem since, once one starts FreeFileSync doing its thing, one can just walk away and just let it run until finished.

The downside to using FreeFileSync is it cannot be used with System files (OS, programs, and games; for those, imaging or cloning are necessary).

Btw, While imaging or cloning is required to back up System files, I do not recommend imaging or cloning for making and updating data only backups (other than, maybe, cloning for the initial backup). I've found using FreeFileSync to be much faster since fewer write operations are involved (fewer write operations are also advantageous when using SSDs for backup drives)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 is file copying safe or should I verify?

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