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  1. #1
    Photographic enthusiast Misty's Avatar
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    Default Clone my Windows Operating System, Programs, etc

    On my desktop, I have an SSD for Windows, programs etc and a separate hard drive for data. By a peculiar set of circumstances, partly connected with covid, I also have a second SSD which has an operating system on it (not in use of course). Both the SSD's are 465 GB, not much of the capacity used.

    My current plan is to format this second SSD. Then using Macrium Reflect 8 free, to clone the main SSD - C Drive onto it. I note 1101's comment about not using a 5 year old drive. This one would be only 1-2 years old.

    What do you think of this plan please? Are there any risks? Would I be better to use one of my existing external hard drives to clone onto? Would I be better making an image? I have been reading lots and lots of information on the web, but it all seems pretty involved.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member piroska's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clone my Windows Operating System, Programs, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Misty View Post
    My current plan is to format this second SSD. Then using Macrium Reflect 8 free, to clone the main SSD - C Drive onto it. I note 1101's comment about not using a 5 year old drive. .

    Hah, 2 of my hard drives are 11 years old.
    They're fine. They are backup only drives so not used much.

    So long as they test OK....and always have a COPY of the backup file on another drive.

    I have one backup drive internal (not mounted, used when I update only) and 2 others that are separate, I have a double docking station for those. And my backups are on ALL of them.

    Drives die, no matter how old, so have 2 copies minimum. Other than that go for it.
    Ex-pctek

  3. #3
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clone my Windows Operating System, Programs, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by piroska View Post

    So long as they test OK....
    .......means nothing really .
    Ive seen plenty of failing drives test OK .
    Ive also seen a backup drive unreadable when needed for recovery. Thats rare , but backup is meant to be foolproof .
    Thats why 2 backups are allways better .

    so Ideally , use new Drives for backups. If you can afford $100 for a new backup drive , thats a good spend .
    Not as critical if you have more than 1 backup drive .

    Also depends on how valuable you data is. For many its just old photos .
    Loosing all my data would be like a good , long overdue clear out of old crap .

  4. #4
    Photographic enthusiast Misty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clone my Windows Operating System, Programs, etc

    Many thanks for the feedback piroska and 1101, gives me more confidence. Also, here is an image of Macrium's arrangement of my drives. I have put an arrow from the main SSD to the SSD that the clone would be routed to. I presume that the small (partitions?) that each have are there by necessity?

    I did flirt with the idea of backing up my pics to the secondary SSD, but gave away that idea because my 36,000 pics take up 673 GB of data.
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    Last edited by Misty; 26-04-2022 at 02:36 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: Clone my Windows Operating System, Programs, etc

    Yes, the smaller partitions NEED to be there.

  6. #6
    Photographic enthusiast Misty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clone my Windows Operating System, Programs, etc

    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan View Post
    Yes, the smaller partitions NEED to be there.
    I don't doubt you at all, Bryan, but just so I hopefully understand, doesn't Macrium Reflect, and other similar software, take the partitions away during the process of creating a clone?
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  7. #7
    amateur expert dugimodo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clone my Windows Operating System, Programs, etc

    Having a clone is a good backup but can cause issues if you leave them both connected and enabled due to them both being bootable and identifying the same. At least that used to be the case, haven't actually tried it in years.

    To test the clone you need to disconnect the main drive otherwise there's no way to be sure which one you booted off or if the clone is actually bootable and working. I've even had it in the past where windows would start booting initially from one drive up until a certain point, then finish booting of another making it seem like the first drive was working when it wasn't. The only real advantage of cloning over an image is the ability to swap the drive and immediately boot so if you want that option then go for it.

    If you clone the drive you get everything, if you clone the partitions you only get the ones you specify. Cloning just one partition will most likely leave you with an unbootable drive and you would be just as well off with an image.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member piroska's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clone my Windows Operating System, Programs, etc

    dugimodo: Having a clone is a good backup but can cause issues if you leave them both connected and enabled

    True. Which is why I said more than one drive and not in use.

    1101: .......means nothing really . Ive seen plenty of failing drives test OK .

    Also true, although HOW you test them matters, I've seen plenty pass with various test methods and fail when you use Linux. Still, even Linux isn't 100% guarantee. But rather than panic over a drive that may pass, just use MORE THAN ONE drive to backup.

    They won't all fail at the same time.
    Ex-pctek

  9. #9
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clone my Windows Operating System, Programs, etc

    Personally with Macrium I prefer to Image than Clone. Had a few times when Cloning something go wrong and waste all the time when it doesn't work. Also while cloning may be OK for a instant bootable system, it still takes a whole drive if using as a backup option, where as Imaging you can have as many as you want on a drive only limited to the drives capacity.

    Regarding actually booting, you can boot an image into a full Working OS by ticking install viBoot when installing Macrium, then as long as Hyper-V is enabled you can boot right into the image. Home edition doesn't come with Hyper-V only Pro and above, but you can install Hyper-V into Home and it works fine

    One good thing about Macrium as well, there's a setting that you can tell it to ignore bad sectors on a drive when creating Images, don't know if that also applies to Cloning, as I don't Clone.
    Last edited by wainuitech; 27-04-2022 at 10:46 AM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member paulw's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clone my Windows Operating System, Programs, etc

    I use Acronis and image my Win 10 and 11 drives once a week and keep a second copy on a external USB drive. . I've had to restore the Winn 11 partition twice since it was installed (Outlook issues)
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