Cloning hard drive

Discussion in 'Backup and Security' started by intradaybill, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. I just installed an identical 500 MB WD hard drive that was designated E: on an XP SP3 machine.

    By the way, HD prices have tripled and a shortage is along the way.

    I want to clone my C: drive to this one for obvious reasons. I have some questions for those who have done this:

    1. What is the easiest way of doing it? I have Acronis Home 2011 but I was never sure about its reliability.

    2. If I clone to drive E:, I read some place that I have to remove it otherwise it will lose the data. Is this true?

    3. Anything else I shoudl know?

    Thanks a lot guys. I appreciate your help.
     
  2. GTS

    GTS

    If you want to do a one-time clone (rather than a constant mirroring) then I see no issue with using Acronis. The only reason you would want to remove it is if you wanted to keep physical separation (e.g. not have the backup drive located with the original) and the chance that a hardware or software issue could render both drives damages (e.g. sata controller goes crazy, virus causes both drives to be wiped)

    If you plan on not keeping it physically installed the easiest way is to buy an hard drive dock (e.g. thermaltake) so you can insert the drive into the dock, make the clone and then put the drive away for safe keeping.

    Edit: Yea, hard drive prices have gone crazy...no black friday specials this year I bet
     
  3. I already installed the drive. I am not sure what will happen after I clone it and remove it though. Maybe I should just unplug the SATA cable and remove power cord.

    Do you know if Acronis will remove the E: label and make that also a C: drive. In that case the drive should be removed immediately after the cloning. Acronis' manual is the worse I have ever read.
     
  4. GTS

    GTS

    Yes, unplugging the data and power cables would go a long way to protecting it.

    Drive letter assignments are the job of the operating system, each drive has a unique serial number so the OS should be able to tell the difference between the two drives even though they are cloned. If you want to be sure you can change the volume label on the cloned drive so you would be able to recognize it easily.

    If you are worried that you might accidentally boot off the clone drive instead of the original then I would check the BIOS settings - that would choose the boot device order ... again your best bet is to do what you said and not leave the cloned drive attached once you are done cloning.
     
  5. Bob111

    Bob111

  6. Spunky

    Spunky

    Have you watched the news for the last month or so. Do you think that just maybe the floods in Asia might have something to do with this?
     
  7. Catoosa

    Catoosa

    I have been using free WD utility software for this for about 15 years with no issues. I keep the clone copies on the shelf. All drives installed in removable hard drive trays for easy swapping. I have 2 or 3 hard drive bays in each PC. The cloned copies have bailed me out of many otherwise disastrous problems of all sorts.
     
  8. Thanks GTS.

    My computer now recognizes the new drive as E: and it is formatted. If I clone using Acronis I gather that the new drive will be also set to C: primary so I must remove it before re-booting. Is that the case in your experience?

    I guess I could just replace the old one with the new one after cloning to see if it is working properly, right?
     
  9. GTS

    GTS

    No, you can't have two C drives, barring an unusual configuration if you reboot in this condition the original drive should still come up as C and the cloned drive should still be E. If the PC boots off the cloned drive instead then the clone will probably be C, the original drive will probably be labeled D (presumably you have a DVD which will be E)... this is unlikely as it would mean the clone drive is attached to a sata port that is higher up in the BIOS boot order.

    [/B][/QUOTE]I guess I could just replace the old one with the new one after cloning to see if it is working properly, right? [/B][/QUOTE]Yes, this is definitely a good idea to make sure the cloning process works the way you think it will.
     
  10. Use Casper XP to make backups. Recovered in seconds from disasters by just switching to a backup. Some programs have to have a new password but most don't. Product does what it is supposed to.
     
    #10     Nov 14, 2011