Kevscar1 17:32 23 Nov 2008

Just bought 2nd external harddrive. If I clone the C drive to this can I set the computer up so that if the interanl HD fails I can boot from the external.
If so hat is the best cloning software to buy or is there a free one that is good.

  DieSse 17:51 23 Nov 2008

It's not simple to make WinXP boot from an external drive, and requires a fair bit of setting up.

So basically no, you can't clone to an external drive then boot from it. You can clone to an external drive then swap it into your system, then boot from it.

You can easily clone to an internal caddy mounted drive, then boot from that.

Another drawback of cloning, is that to maintain the clone up to date you need to re-clone every time you want to update.

Best way though, IMO is to image to an external drive- then in the event of failure, reload the image back to a new internal drive. Imaging also means you can do Image updates quickly and simply.

Acronis True Image is the outstanding software for doing this.

  Kevscar1 19:22 23 Nov 2008

Is it any easier with Vista 64bit. My problem is I do my paperwork and e-mails for clients on a daily basis so I can't affod to be without the machine.
I have never opened a computer or have any intention of doing so. I can't even put a shelf up.

  VCR97 19:32 23 Nov 2008

XXClone allows you to make the external disc self-bootable. You can also make a quick-boot floppy disc. click here

  DieSse 20:43 23 Nov 2008

No it's not significantly easier with Vista. All you have to do is google around about booting XP or Vista from external drives, and you'll find out how difficult it can be.

The reference to clones being made bootable is whan you are transferring the cloned drive to the tower and making it an internal drive.

To solve you problem (or at least the part you are concerned with here), you could get your system modified to be like mine.

Have two removable caddy drives fitted. Then you can clone (or image) from one to the other. If you cloned you could take out a faulty drive and run from the other one.

Exactly how you would have the drives set up depends whether your drives have IDE or SAT interfaces.

As a step further, if you had a second identical system built, the drives could then be swapped directly into the second system, and still work. This gives you an even better level of fail-safeness.

And you can still remove the "backup" drive from the system for extra safety.

If you're not familiar with caddy drives - they are in two parts - a housing permanently fitted into the system, and a removable drawer with the hard drive in it. I have two housings in my system, and three drives which I can fit. In my case one of the drive trays is a Linux system drive.

  Kevscar1 07:15 24 Nov 2008

Downloaded it but but the boxes for source and target volume are empty nothing whe you clcik on the arrows. disk management button doesn't work and I can't find anything in the help file about it. Any ideas.

Thanks but £1800 for a backup system is a bit more han I wanted to pay.
Should have thought about it and had it built with a second harddrive but even that is no guarantee. Had 2 on the last machine and after 3 months they both failed at the same time.
As I have 2 external drives I don't really want to have to buy anymore so I think I'll just have to keep all the business stuff backed up. If anything goes wrtong my wife will lose her laptop while things are sorted.

  DieSse 10:04 24 Nov 2008

Your external drives - what type are they?

Prebuilt units, or boxes with hard drives fitted by you?

USB or eSATA interface to the computer?

What internal drive types are they? - SATA or PATA?

Your internal drive - what type is it? - PATA or SATA?

If you want to use your wife's laptop with a backup, then you should ensure all the programs you need are installed, and make sure you have a good backup regime for your data. Then you could use it reasonably easily in case or emergency.

  DieSse 10:10 24 Nov 2008

An alternative startegy might be -

Have a single caddy drive fitted to your system, and your current internal drive fitted to it.

Clone (or Image) your system to an external drive.

Have a single new hard drive , the same type as your current internal drive, waiting in the wings.

Then if you internal drive goes, you simply replace it in the caddy with the new one (takes about 5 mins, no case opening) - and re-install the image (or clone).

Cost - caddy and spare drive say £100 max. Acronis TI about £50. Plus someone to fit the caddy to the tower (assuming it's physically possible. Total £200 maximum. And peace of mind.

  DieSse 10:17 24 Nov 2008


Caddy click here

Drive click here

Acronis click here

Total approx £100 plus any fitting of the caddy if you don't feel OK DIY.- so say £150

  Kevscar1 18:24 24 Nov 2008

They are 2 prebuilt Maxtors 500Gb and 250GB. Internal is 750GB SATA As for doing anything myself my wife wouldn't trust me to put up a shelf correctly.
I backup all my business, VATand tax on a weekly basis, now going to put it n both external drives so if the worst happens I only have a max of 4 days to recreate from my paperwork.
Thanks for trying to help

  VCR97 19:40 24 Nov 2008

XXClone on-line manual here.
click here

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