• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

Cloning software for Windows 7?


AllanD

TRS Technical Staff
TRS Technical Advisor
Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Messages
7,899
Reaction score
120
Points
63
Age
59
Location
East-Central Pennsylvania
Vehicle Year
1987... sorta
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
'93 4.0
Transmission
Manual
I've previously used Norton's Ghost and Acronis True Image, but I have an issue at the moment...

I have a Notebook computer with Windows7 and I'm trying to migrate to a larger HDD,

And while I've sucessfully used EasyGig2 to copy from the onboard HDD to a USB connected HDD (Eagle tech enclosure with the destination drive installed in it) with Vista, it won't copy Windows 7.

the application crashes, I believe the issue is that small partition Win7 creates at the front of the drive, but....

Acronis and Norton simply don't see the USB drive, and while EZ-GIG does I get to the point where I get a button to re-boot to proceed and it reboots... and the application fails to do anything.

I have a couple systems I need to migrate to larger HDD's and this is seriously tripping me up.

I'm fairly new to win7, so...

AD
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: DE2235E7692E8C: July 5th, 2021

TechmanDan

New Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
31
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Chino Hills, CA
Vehicle Year
2002
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
4.0
Transmission
Automatic
Have you considered burning the data into iso images? You can use a program called imgburn. Use it to take ALL of your data and pack it into an .iso, save the .iso to the new drive, then use the program to unpack it on the new drive.
Alternatively, from my experience (12 years of fixing other peoples computers, and maintaining my own) it's better to start fresh with the new drive by installing the OS clean, add the programs you want, and migrate the files you want from the old drive to the new drive. Take the time now to do it right and you'll have a happy install for years to come, which is handy because in a couple years you'll need to wipe it again. :)
 

AllanD

TRS Technical Staff
TRS Technical Advisor
Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Messages
7,899
Reaction score
120
Points
63
Age
59
Location
East-Central Pennsylvania
Vehicle Year
1987... sorta
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
'93 4.0
Transmission
Manual
the only with installing "clean" is that these are fairly recent installs (<2weeks)
and re-activating installs is something I really dread doing... it doesn't always
go smoothly (if at all!)

and ther is absolutely nothing wrong with these installs that I need to fix.

It's simply that they are on the wrong physical HDDs
and Moving them shouldn't be such an aggrevating issue.

If it were a Vista install on a Dell or an XP install on any brand computer
(unless the system had a copy of MS office) I wouldn't give a damn.
but then again I also wouldn't have any trouble cloning it....

It also impaires my ability to make a cloned backup copy of the install.
(spare HDD's I've got)

Making another "clean install" doesn't solve my issue

I install the OS in a seperate partition (for Win7 or Vista about 60gb)
if I then make a clone there's no "opening an iso" or any of the other
complications.

I like setting things up so that when I have a problem I can fix them
with a screwdriver. Swap in another drive and worry about what the
problem was... later (or never!)

And FWIW I've found software that works.

Something called Clonezilla made a working clone (one that would boot) on the first attempt.
 
Last edited:

fastpakr

Forum Staff Member
Forum Moderator
Article Contributor
U.S. Military - Veteran
V8 Engine Swap
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 6, 2007
Messages
5,980
Reaction score
1,116
Points
113
Location
Roanoke, VA
Vehicle Year
1999
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
285/75-16
I was just reading through your post and preparing to suggest Clonezilla. I've been meaning to try it for a while, but at the moment Acronis is still working relatively well for us. Used Ghost for several years before that.
 

AllanD

TRS Technical Staff
TRS Technical Advisor
Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Messages
7,899
Reaction score
120
Points
63
Age
59
Location
East-Central Pennsylvania
Vehicle Year
1987... sorta
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
'93 4.0
Transmission
Manual
I was just reading through your post and preparing to suggest Clonezilla. I've been meaning to try it for a while, but at the moment Acronis is still working relatively well for us. Used Ghost for several years before that.
No version of Ghost that I have will copy the "paging file" hidden in the system partition, thus it won't reliably copy a vista system.

Only the newest versions of Acronis will copy a Vista partition with
it's hidden "Paging file" and "Crash dump", but ony the very newest edition will copy the hidden partition used as "system reserved space" (an unlettered partition.

And SFAIK neither Norton or Ghost will copy these partitions AND assign the "Active Partition" correctly so the system will boot (this is about details in the Master boot record.)

I now have two HDD's that will boot my notebook and the computer simply cannot tell them apart.

Now the fun begins on my Desktop system...


Clonezilla would have been my fourth try but I simply couldn't get the download page at Clonezilla.org to work.

So I went on down the list of suggestions and after exhausting them all (and generating great frustration)
I came back to clonezilla

AD
 
Last edited:

AllanD

TRS Technical Staff
TRS Technical Advisor
Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Messages
7,899
Reaction score
120
Points
63
Age
59
Location
East-Central Pennsylvania
Vehicle Year
1987... sorta
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
'93 4.0
Transmission
Manual
Macrium seems to create a compressed copy.

What I was after was an identical copy, on an identical harddrive.

No decompression etc... system recovery by Swaping in the backup HDD

I tend to look for HARDWARE solutions to major issues, having all the same "stuff"
Primarily NOT my data (Documents, Pictures, Music & Video) but rather my system
setup and the windows installation itself

Data is backed up redundantly, the old rule of IT is that any data you do not have multiple
copies of is data you are trying to prove you don't mind losing (forever!)

Keeping a second Hard drive has always seemed to me to be a better solution than
compressed backup files that must then be installed.

I can change the HDD in my notebook in about 15seconds more time than it takes to
shut down and restart It's literally two screws that hold the HDD "Caddy" in place and
I have my "backup drive" on a spare caddy...

system recovery that can literally be accomplished in seconds is always better than one
that can take hours or days.

I have TWO backups for my desktop system drive.
that is NOT counting the two copies of my Vista install or
the copies of my XP install....

My prefered method of "dual-Boot" (or in my case "Tri-boot")
is simply swapping out the OS drive and restarting...

Frankly anything short of a fully functioning clone of your install on any computer
does not protect you from a mechanical failure of your system Hard drive.

A laptop generally only has ONE hard drive and in essence they are all simply waiting
to die... Yeah, they'll only be "mostly dead" as opposed to "irrecoverably dead"
but if you have to reinstall the OS you are essentially starting off from zero all over again.

In IT paranoia is a good thing.

the problem is that many people aren't paranoid enough.

Isn't it much better to have a spare tire instead of a patch kit?


AD
 

tecwizrd

New Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
Messages
30
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Location
Ardmore, Alabama
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9L
Transmission
Manual
I'm late to the game.

I want to put a vote in for Clonezilla. I used it this week to clone Windows Vista to 125 machines. Did them in groups of twenty. It took 11 mins per group from start to finish.

Clonezilla only saves the used bits of the hard drive, not the whole drive. Most fresh Windows images are around 15gigs. When done saving the image you can restore the image to any hard drive that is the same or bigger than the original drive. The unused space on the new drive can be folded into the C: drive under Vista and Windows 7. On XP you will have to use partition magic or something to manipulate the partitions. You can also use the free space as a D: drive.

In your case you can use the Clonezilla live cd. It boots from the cd and then you tell it what drive to image and where to store the image. I use a 32gig thumb drive to store the image on. You can even create a live usb thumb drive to use. You then have the image on a thumb drive, so you boot to usb and then restore the image to the hard drive. This is a very fast and reliable way to recover a system as well.

If anyone needs some clarification, PM me.
 

AllanD

TRS Technical Staff
TRS Technical Advisor
Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Messages
7,899
Reaction score
120
Points
63
Age
59
Location
East-Central Pennsylvania
Vehicle Year
1987... sorta
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
'93 4.0
Transmission
Manual
"Partition magic"? No

I prefer either the native disc management included in Win Vista or 7

OR to use something called "Parted magic" NOT to be confused with partition magic.

"Parted Magic" DOES have a "slick user interface" but though it claims to clone an OS I never got it to produce a working Win7 clone. it is still a useful partition resize tool

BTW, a Vista install "upgraded" t win7 doesn't have that pesky system reserved partition that a clean install win7 install does.

Lastly I will ALWAYS have an XP computer around... because XP will let you create FOUR "Primary partitions" on a given HDD, with vista or Win7 any partition after the third partition is an "extended partition" that in turn is part of a "Logical drive"

So I always create a fourth partition (if needed) with the native disc management of an XP system.

AD
 

tecwizrd

New Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2010
Messages
30
Reaction score
2
Points
0
Location
Ardmore, Alabama
Vehicle Year
1986
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
2.9L
Transmission
Manual
You are right AllanD. "Parted" is the tool I had in mind, when I typed "partition magic". most live cd's have parted as the disk tool of choice. Clonezilla uses it to work with storage devices.

on a philosophical level... I don't like OS's that won't allow more than one partition for system and data files. One of the reasons I prefer Linux over Windows, is the ability to layout a file system as I see fit. I often run seperate partitions (i.e C: D: E:) to wall of data, secure important system files and make backing up much more efficient.
 

AllanD

TRS Technical Staff
TRS Technical Advisor
Joined
Jun 1, 2001
Messages
7,899
Reaction score
120
Points
63
Age
59
Location
East-Central Pennsylvania
Vehicle Year
1987... sorta
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
'93 4.0
Transmission
Manual
My Win7 install has a total of four partitions on the boot drive.

It just required a few tricks to get the fourth as a "normal" "primary partition"

The first partition is the unlettered "system reserve partition"
the second is the "main" OS partition (60gb) the third is a small
partition (3gb) that is exclusively for my stand alone e-mail program
(this partition is approximatly 15times the size it needs to be to store
15 YEARS of archived e-mail)

E-mail programs tend to be "dirty" as far as creating fragmentation

the last partition is for data, on my computer it's specifically a "Backup"
of my 160Kbit/Sec mp3 library

Multiple partitions aren't a problem getting a total of FOUR "Primary" partitions under Vista or Win7 was as either OS creates the fourth partition as a "Logical drive-Extended partition", so I simply create that LAST partition with the drive connected to an XP system...

AD
 


Top