Cloning or Back-Up Images to an External HD

  freaky 13:07 02 Jul 2005

I have a Maxtor One-Touch External HD. I use Acronis True Image to make back-up images of my drive(C) to the EHD.

I am now wondering if it would be simpler all round to just periodically Clone instead of backup. By doing this, in the event of Drive(C) failing, it would just be a matter of Cloning from the EHD to a new Hard Drive.

Am I being over simplistic ??

  pj123 14:44 02 Jul 2005

I am running Win 98SE and I use xcopy to clone my hard disk to another hard disk. It isn't an external hard disk though. I have an 80gb hard drive which is installed as the Slave and when cloned it is taken out of the computer and stored. To do this with Win XP you can download xxcopy for free from click here

I don't know whether it will work with an external hard disk though.

  dan11 15:07 02 Jul 2005

Cloning your "C" drive to the EHD is a good idea, so long as your bios has the facility to boot from usb.

If you clone the "C" drive, you will wipe everything off the EHD, as acronis will duplicate everything on your "C" drive. It will treat the EHD as a new disk and will copy your partitions ( if you have any ) pro rata.

So in simple terms say if your "C drive is 25gig in total and partitioned 10gig-10gig-5gig.

and your EHD is say 250gig

it will create partitions of 100gig-100gig-50gig

If you have no partitions on the "C" drive, then for the above example the C" would sill be 25gig and the EHD would be one partition of 250gig.

So if your IDE hard drive was to fail, you would just change the boot order in the bios. Connect the usb hard drive up and boot to windows.

When you have cloned the "C" drive to the EHD, you can still use the EHD to store data.

As I have said, that is if you have the function to boot of the EHD.

  freaky 15:13 02 Jul 2005

Thanks for that pj123, there is no problem cloning with Acronis True Image so there would be no point in downloading xxcopy....thanks anyway.

The point of my post is for members opinions on the relative merits of backups V cloning.

  freaky 15:22 02 Jul 2005

Thanks for the info'. I have cloned my 'C' to the EHD in the past, and as you say you can still store backups provided there is enough room.

What I am really trying to do (see me reply to pj123 above), is sound out members opinions as to the relative merits of backup V cloning.

  pj123 15:38 02 Jul 2005

I have used Acronis to back up my hard drive and I have also used Nero Back It Up to DVD.

The problem is, if I have to do a reformat and installation how do I do a Restore (either from the Acronis CD or the Nero DVD) if anything goes wrong. With the system I use now all I have to do is to install my cloned hard drive as the master and reboot.

  freaky 16:10 02 Jul 2005

I tend to agree with pj123 on this, if you do a clone of drive 'C' to another HD that is internal/external then it is relatively simple to use either to restore your system. In my opinion cloning is better than backing-up....the only problem is time, a clone takes a lot longer!

  DieSse 22:37 02 Jul 2005

I'm with you crx1600 - I used to clone - but upgrading my main drive meant also having to upgrade the clone drive too.

Now I also have a dual-boot XP and Xandros system - which clonong wouldn't handle - but True Image does it like a breeze, and onto a smaller drive too.

  DieSse 22:41 02 Jul 2005

For what you do now, re-installing from an image is every bit as simple as re-cloning.

Also you should be saving masses on time by simply updating the image regularly, and only doing a complete re-image at infrequent intervals.

Make sure you make the emergency boot CD - just in case!!

  DieSse 22:46 02 Jul 2005

One further advantage - cloning (as with full imaging) takes a substantial time - thus the temptation will be not to do it every day.

Imaging can be easily and very swiftly updated as often as you wish (at least every day please!) - and thus is less likely to be skipped.

So you're much more likely on average to have a backup pretty much right up to date.

  freaky 19:22 04 Jul 2005

I have used Acronis to make backups of Drive(C), but I might be doing something incorrectly!!

I thought that each new backup would overwrite the previous backups.....instead it creates further backup folders. With the result that I have about 6 separate folders of backups on the EHD. Is this correct??

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