Cloning a partition?

  m800afc 08:01 08 Apr 2009

Windows XP Pro SP3 ASRock 775VM800
Regular forum members will be aware that I frequently suffer from niggling little problems. I am concerned that these problems may be the fore-runner of a major crash. To that end I am considering cloning my system, C, drive.

My C drive is a 73.9Gb partition of a physical drive. The remainder of the drive, 290Gb, is my data partition showing as drive D. I have an external 74.5Gb, drive M. All drives are NTFS IDE.
Is it possible to clone C, and only C, to M? I have available Acronis True Image 10 Home and Easeus Partition Master 3.5 Pro. Neither of the manuals specifically say I can clone a partition to an external USB drive, so I want to make sure by asking here. If the two applications are not suitable for the job in hand, are there any free applications that will do the job.

After cloning the drive, and (hopefully not) suffering a crash, is it simply a case of swapping C for M, in the computer case?

Lastly, am I going about this the right way? Is cloning the best way of preparing for a disaster, if not what is the optimal way?

  m800afc 08:13 08 Apr 2009

I have just found that Paragon Drive Backup 9 Personal is available for free download.
click here
Does anyone have experience of this applicatio? Is it capable of doing the job I wish to do?

  Batch 08:47 08 Apr 2009

I'm not sure whether you could actually use the Disk Clone option to clone just a single partition.

But in any event, you caould just make a backup type image of your C: drive (e.g. to somewhere on the D: drive) and then just restore it to the external drive. Job done.

Following on from the above, cloning is more normally done of the whole physical disk (e.g. C: D: and any other partitions you may have) to another physical disk.

Personally I have image backups of my system partition (e.g. of C:) and will just restore them to (a partition on) another disk if and when the need arises.

  john bunyan 08:48 08 Apr 2009

I have same basic set up as you on main drive. I use Acronis True image 11 (now a 2009 version is available). I have a built in but removable caddy SATA second HD. On this I clone both partitions after a virus check and defrag of the primary drive. Then if the main drive fails, the second drive can become the master by using the CD.However I also have a USB HD. Here I do a differential back up image of each partition. Then the latest image can be restored to the appropriate partition of the main drive, losing only what was done in the time between back ups. Acronis lets you clone either or both partitions

  john bunyan 12:09 08 Apr 2009

It may be a bit tight, but you could, I think, clone just the C drive using Acronis to the external drive. However with the price of a new, say 500 gig ,drive at about £65, I would buy one and clone the C as above on the existing spare , but do an Acronis differential back up image of C and D onto the new external HD, using the rest for copies of data etc.

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