Acronis Clone tool

  Kingfisher 18:27 05 Nov 2009

Good evening all, can anyone advise me if can clone my existing internal hard drive to my external hard drive, so in the event of my internal hard drive totally failing I could fit a new internal hard drive and reinstall cloned copy to it. I am familiar with normal back up and restore, but am somewhat confused with cloning. The reason I asked is I have a dell Pc but not a full copy of xp, only recovery disk

Os winxp sp3
Many thanks

  Technotiger 18:33 05 Nov 2009

No, not exactly - Cloning is a tool to allow changing your main hard drive to a larger hard drive, without loss of any software OS or personal settings etc, essentially within the same PC and therefore with the same original hardware, the settings for which are all re-created within the Clone.

  Technotiger 18:36 05 Nov 2009

So, yes, you can Clone to an external hard drive, but then THAT hard drive would be the one to replace the old hard drive.

  Kingfisher 18:43 05 Nov 2009

Thanks for that Technotiger, so if my existing hard drive fails and I were to fit a new one and was able to reinstall os using the Dell recovery disk, could I then use just one of my Acronis backups on my ext hard drive to restore os and applications

  Technotiger 18:53 05 Nov 2009

I am not familiar with Dell's recovery disks, though of course I know of them, but what you propose will not work, simply because the back-up was created from a different hard drive/hardware setup. This is why the Clone tool was provided by Acronis.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:57 05 Nov 2009

I normally just do a system backup (weekly).

Had a big problem with Norton beta testing recently and just restored the backup to return my system to the condition prior to the problem.

  Kingfisher 19:11 05 Nov 2009

Thanks again to Technotiger and FruitBat /\0/\ for your comments, so it seems that if the hard disk fails then I have to start from scratch and reinstall os and programs, but am I right in assuming that I could recover my data from an Acronis my data back

  Technotiger 19:59 05 Nov 2009

Yes, you could recover your Data from a backup.

To be honest, I have not actually had to change to a new hard drive as a result of an old one failing, but I have Cloned to a new hard drive from a smaller old hard drive, for the purpose of upgrading to a larger drive.

So what you said in your above post at 18.43, 'might' work. I have looked through the printed Acronis Manual but could find no mention of rescuing OS/data from a *failed* hard drive. Only appears to mention backups to the same hard drive, or Cloning to a different hard drive, as I have said above.

It may just be 'their' wording in the manual, or just me getting old!

  DieSse 20:19 05 Nov 2009

If you make an Image of your whole drive, using Acronis, onto an external hard drive - you can restore that image to a replacement hard drive on the same system.

You need to make a rescue CD with Acronis, which starts your system with the new blank hard drive in - then transfers the whole contents from the image (on the external drive) and gives you a fully restored system.

Remember your Image is only as up to date as the last time you made it - so keep it up to date - and maybe do simple backup copies of your data in between.

A full Image contains absolutely everything to get a new hard drive working again.

If you change to a new complete system, then restoring any backup type is more complex, as the changed hardware will affect the windows setup - a simple hard drive replacement does not have this issue.

  gazzaho 20:37 05 Nov 2009

I've never had a drive fail myself but I have had Vista screw up to a point of being unrecoverable after a crash. If you have the retail genuine disk version of Acronis you would insert it into the drive and boot from it to get to the backup recovery program. If you download it from the Internet there is an option to create a boot CD in order to do the same thing and again boot to the Acronis program, this bypasses Windows.

From the program you can recover your system to the state it was in when you created the full disk image, before a system damaging crash or before a program installation damaged Windows. This of course all depends on you having the full disk image on another drive rather than the drive your system is booting from, another internal drive for example or an external one.

Cloning a disk is only really useful if you are transferring your system from a smaller hard drive to a larger one, it makes a complete duplicate of your boot disk to another disk.

Doing a full disk image backup is a lot better than cloning for day to day use as it can compress your boot disk data down to a far smaller size. you can have 2 or 3 versions of your system in backup form stored on a hard drive at one time depending on the size of the disk used for backup purposes. I have a Virgin disk image of Windows 7, just after it was installed as a backup, a disk image of Windows 7 created just after all my software was installed and another that I use for everyday backups. That way I can go back to the start of windows 7 without having to reinstall it all over again.

  Input Overload 21:01 05 Nov 2009

As with DieSse, you don't even need to format the new drive, just restore the image to it.

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