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View Full Version : Disk Cloning vs Disk Imaging



bk T
11-08-2014, 12:23 PM
Aren't they doing the same thing?

If I clone disk A to disk B, I'll have a two identical disk contents;

If I create an image of disk A and restore the image to disk B, I'll also have two identical disk contents, right?

What are the differences; pros and cons, if any?

I do notice that cloning takes a much longer time than imaging, though (using Active@).

wainuitech
11-08-2014, 12:35 PM
No they are not the same thing.

Cloning is when you make an identical working copy of the original Disk to another disk, that can then be plugged in and booted from as normal.

Imaging is making a single File (Snapshot) of a Disk, which can be stored on external devices or another Hard Drive. By default you usually cant boot directly from a Image.


Example: At the moment I have Active@ making a image of a persons drive to an external Drive, that Image will then be put back onto another HDD before I wipe the original. The reason I cant do a simple clone is the original install is badly corrupted and wont clone.

pctek
11-08-2014, 02:15 PM
If I clone disk A to disk B, I'll have a two identical disk contents;

If I create an image of disk A and restore the image to disk B, I'll also have two identical disk contents, right?
.

Sort of except the image is kind of like a zip file of the disk.
The clone is as is, a straight duplicate, no compression.

linw
11-08-2014, 04:21 PM
Like WT says, the boot sectors are cloned so the cloned disk boots up. So nice.

bk T
11-08-2014, 04:49 PM
No they are not the same thing.

Imaging is making a single File (Snapshot) of a Disk, which can be stored on external devices or another Hard Drive. By default you usually cant boot directly from a Image.




I do understand that we usually can't boot directly from an Image.

But, if the image is restored to the disk, am I right to say that the destination disk is identical to the cloned disk?

Isn't the final result the same?

wainuitech
11-08-2014, 05:42 PM
I do understand that we usually can't boot directly from an Image.

But, if the image is restored to the disk, am I right to say that the destination disk is identical to the cloned disk?

Isn't the final result the same? You are actually asking two different things.

A image is a single compressed file (usually) and you can store many different Images on the one Location, Eg: on an external HDD or Normal HDD. One of my servers has approx 20+ Images of different setups, for different PC's, theres sure not 20+ cloned partitions or HDD's. ;)

A cloned Drive only has 1 install (unless dual Booting)

The original Question was
Aren't they doing the same thing? No they are not, an Image can be put back onto another HDD as a working OS, where as a cloned drive is only a single copy of the original.


Look at it another way -- if you had a Cloned Drive - Can you boot straight from it -- Yes.

If you had a External HDD with 2 or more Image files, can you boot from that Drive / Images - Generally NO.

What does happen is when a Image is put back, its then a working OS, but before its put back its not, so while the end result is the same, they are not the exact same.

bk T
11-08-2014, 07:59 PM
Thanks.

Agent_24
11-08-2014, 08:54 PM
Aren't they doing the same thing?

If I clone disk A to disk B, I'll have a two identical disk contents;

If I create an image of disk A and restore the image to disk B, I'll also have two identical disk contents, right?

Depends how the image\clone is made.

The 'dd' command in Linux for example can be used to make an exact 1:1 image of an entire drive, or clone a drive to another.

Software like Norton Ghost do not make a 1:1 image\clone by default, they copy the files, not the drive sector-by-sector. This allows the drive\partition to be resized easily. When making an image they (usually optionally) compress them, more like a ZIP archive. However Ghost can also make 1:1 copies if you tell it to (Or at least version 2003 could)

kahawai chaser
11-08-2014, 10:02 PM
So images are basically for backup or for recreating a modified windows image? I recall though I think images could be edited or sort of rebuilt for windows software, sometimes with ISO software. I use to use BartPE builder, which modified windows files which I think created a bootable image. Then used plugins.