OT: Hard Disk Cloning

dlion wrote on 12/13/2010, 8:49 PM
so i went to install v10, only to find that my old 80gb sys drive had 6 gigs available. my bad. so i got a new 320gb drive.

i've been using acronis true image home for backup. it has a "clone disk" feature. i temporarily substituted the new drive for my audio drive and ran the clone thing. took about 15 minutes. then i swapped the new drive for the old boot drive, replaced the audio drive and started up, fingers crossed, cell phone ready to call tech support. not necessary. to my amazement, the new 320gb sys drive booted normally - all my stuff was there!!!



ushere wrote on 12/13/2010, 11:10 PM
isn't it nice when things go according to plan ;-))
PeterDuke wrote on 12/14/2010, 12:18 AM
I recently used Acronis to clone a disk image before reformatting and reinstalling Windows etc. to fix a few problems that I couldn't fix any other way. (5 years old computer and no pristine image available.)

After the clean install I tried to copy the My Documents, Favorites and email folders from the image to the clean system, but it was going to take forever! (Well, many hours.)

I ended up finding an old workable disk, doing a restore image to it, and then copying the folders from there. Much quicker.

Moral. If doing a clean reinstall, copy the image so that you can go back if you need but also make normal copies of all the data files and folders you think you might need as well.

I find SuperCopier is invaluable for raw file copying because of the options it gives you and it doesn't just give up when it finds a small problem like Windows copy does.

As much as practicable, I like to put data on a separate disk/partition to make the backup image file of the system and applications smaller. I then back up the data separately. Unfortunately many app. designers think you only have one huge disk and mix data up all over the place, many folders deep in "hidden" folders. (I un-hide everything.)
Chienworks wrote on 12/14/2010, 4:38 AM
I also avoid My Documents like the plague. Anything that can possibly be stored anywhere else is expunged from there. At the moment, the only data i have in there that i'd ever need to copy are my email folders because the email program i use refuses to let me specify an alternate location.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 12/14/2010, 5:35 AM

"I also avoid My Documents like the plague."


Isn't 500GB of data/files still 500GB of data/files no matter where it's stored?

Chienworks wrote on 12/14/2010, 7:15 AM
Windows loves to "manage" the My Documents directory. There are lots of system files stored there too and Windows locks some branches because of it.

Try the simple experiment of making a quick backup of your files by simply dragging My Documents to an external/removable drive and it fails, because you're trying to access locked system folders. Problem is, i have no intention of accessing locked system folders, i simply want to copy ... my documents. So you have to navigate down inside a needlessly complex folder structure and selectively choose some things and risk missing others.

I create a folder named c:\mydocs and put everything in folders there. Neat, simple, functional, understandable, copyable, usable.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 12/14/2010, 7:38 AM

That makes sense. Thanks for the explanation!

baysidebas wrote on 12/14/2010, 8:09 AM
Unlike the bad old days, when you had to shell out hard money for Ghost, today things are much better. I've used Seagate's Disc Wizard (free) many times, and have had a 100% success rate. It just works.

Also, it's a good idea to not keep any data files on the system drive. That way you can easily back up as well as easily upgrade your OS, or even have different OSs on their own drives while maintaining access to your data files.
JHendrix wrote on 12/14/2010, 10:03 AM
on a macpro i have used winclone with good success

but Seagate's Disc Wizard looks promising...i'll have to chk it out.

Im assuming firewire could also be used http://support.seagate.com/kbimg/flash/laptop/laptop.html
john_dennis wrote on 12/14/2010, 2:23 PM
@ Chienworks

It is possible to move the "My Documents" folder to a different drive than the C:\ drive.

In Windows 7, from the Start Menu Right click on Documents and change the location in the Properties.

In Windows XP, right-click on the "My Documents" link on the Desktop. On the Properties panel, you are given the option to Move. It is, no doubt, best to do this before you applications are installed and registry entries are made pointing to the default location.

I also avoid it for most applications but there are a few that I allow to write to the My Documents folder on D:\.
Chienworks wrote on 12/14/2010, 4:28 PM
Johh, i don't care in the slightest where the folder is. What i don't want to do is use it, at all, for any of my own data. Let Windows keep it as it's own personal playground, whether it's on C:\, D:\, X:\ or ]: (yes, that is a valid drive letter). I don't want Windows mixing up system-level stuff with the folder where i keep my documents, period.

On a related *sigh* ... have you noticed how often Vegas 10 reverts it's file dialog windows back to My Documents? Ugh. Why can't they at least just let it stay in the same directory i last accessed?
john_dennis wrote on 12/14/2010, 4:39 PM
"have you noticed how often Vegas 10 reverts it's file dialog windows back to My Documents?"

Yes, I have.
cbrillow wrote on 12/14/2010, 7:06 PM
I've also used Seagate's Disk Wizard to create image copies of system drives, and periodically update them so that I have a handy, fairly-recent fallback in case of drive failure. I've also used it to move the system drive to a larger disc, as one of the previous posters mentioned.

Besides being very easy to use and reliable -- it's free!
Steve Mann wrote on 12/14/2010, 9:20 PM
"Windows loves to "manage" the My Documents directory. There are lots of system files stored there too and Windows locks some branches because of it."

Can you be specific? There aren't any system files in the windows-managed "my documents" folder.
PeterDuke wrote on 12/14/2010, 10:36 PM
Rather than My Documents, it is the Documents and Settings folder, which includes the My Documents for each user, plus heaps of other stuff including favorites, cookies and application specific data. Dig down in the hidden Application Data folder and the Local Settings folder.