View Full Version : Cloning HDD.

09-10-2011, 11:07 AM
If I were to clone a HHD, what happens to the original data on the cloned disk?

09-10-2011, 11:13 AM
Nothing happens to it - cloning just copies the data; it doesn't change it in any way.

09-10-2011, 11:44 AM
Just make sure you clone it the right direction :D

Meaning you are actually making a clone of the current HDD to the one you want to either overwrite (if it has data on it) or a new HDD, doing it the wrong direction can be a real bummer as it will wipe all your data.

09-10-2011, 12:29 PM
any content on the target disk before cloning will be lost

09-10-2011, 04:07 PM
What I really wanted to know is, what does the cloning do, ie it takes all the data and places it onto another HDD and the HDD that originally contained the data then becomes empty OR is there some vestige of the data left behind?

09-10-2011, 04:18 PM
Nothing changes on the original disk. Cloning just copies everything to the new disk. In other words you end up with two identical disks.

09-10-2011, 04:25 PM
Depends what method of clone you use a bit, though.

Something like Norton Ghost can intelligently copy the files separately, which will result in the same files on the clone but the actual physical bit locations on the disk will be different. This saves time as it will not copy free space etc.

You can also copy in a 1:1 mode where every sector is cloned exactly, including free space - which will take more time. Ghost supports this mode (and may still do) or you can use something like the Linux command 'dd'

1:1 copy is useful as you don't need to be able to read the filesystem.

09-10-2011, 04:26 PM
That's what a cloned disk is. It leaves the data unchanged on the original and makes an exact copy.

09-10-2011, 04:29 PM
I would normally use Acronis. So the disk I clone from would still be there and I could detach it from the system (ie pull the power plug). If anything goes wrong with the cloned HDD, could I just power the disconnected HDD and power up again?

09-10-2011, 06:16 PM
If the clone is for a backup, leaving it connected is actually quite pointless, as if something happened to the PC theres a good chance if the cloned drive is still attached that would be taken out as well Eg: power surge blows the PC.

As long as the clone has worked OK, it would be a simple case of connect it back up in stead of the current drive and away it goes from the time it was cloned.

09-10-2011, 06:20 PM
Thanks for that. I believe I now understand.

10-10-2011, 07:17 AM
Think of it like this. If you photocopy a piece of paper, does Mr Magic Fairy Man come and burn the original?

10-10-2011, 07:26 AM
Just be glad that Microsoft doesn't get to charge you again for your duplicate copy of Windows, and the RIAA don't get to charge you again for cloning your music and video files.

You can bet they've considered it.