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View Full Version : Cloning C drive, what software / method is best?



Intuition
05-31-2011, 10:28 AM
For some reason I can not get this right.

I am simply trying to replace my win7 C: drive (WD 5400 rpm 320GB) with a new (WD 7200 rpm 1TB). I want it to be the new C: drive. So I can just clone it and swap them out.

I have tried the acronis true image that WD offers. It won't let me select the destination drive... both formatted and unformatted (tried both).

It wont let me do the windows back up. I get to the screen to select the destination drive and it says its not a valid drive. Tried it both formatted and unformatted. Yet, if I load the drive up in win7 or XP64 I can format it and write files to it fine.

Any ideas on great drive clone / swap out methods?

Thanks... :D

stevecullum
05-31-2011, 11:19 AM
I know at work where that clone images all the time as a 'standard' setup, they have to use a tool to mask the MAC ID for the machine or they have trouble. Something to do with Windows licencing being locked to a particular set of hardware. Have you already removed the old C drive? EDIT: No by re-reading your message?

EDIT: Ok, perhaps the problem is that if your cloning the drive in the machine, it will then have two system C: drives and that presumably is not allowed...

Lito
05-31-2011, 11:31 AM
I use Acronis Disk Director Home to do my imaging and installing of new HDs. But I think you can clone it in True Image, but I bought my Acronis True Image and don't use the one included with WD drives.

In True Image, there should be a Tools menu, you need to go there and select clone disk. That should do it, but I am unsure what Acronis True Image will do with the extra space. In Disk Director, it gives you the option to copy the partition layout and expand it to use all the free space. AFAIK that might not happen with True Image, and it will literally clone the drive so you'll max out with a 320GB partition then the left over stuff will be unused and unpartitioned.


I haven't used it but I believe you can use Parted Magic:
http://partedmagic.com/doku.php?id=start

It does many of the tasks you would want a partition manager to do and it's free. But I think it will be a 2 step process, first clone with the clonezilla part of the liveCD, then use the partition manager to expand the size of the partition to the rest of the disk.

Edit: The two C: system drive thing isn't an issue. Once you are done coloning the drive, you shutdown and remove the other. It's ok to have 2 C: drives where one is a clone. It only matters which one is set to boot from in the computer bios. That one will be assigned C: and the other a different letter depending on how many HD you have in your system.

realgray
05-31-2011, 11:54 AM
Haven't used this (yet) but have heard good things.

http://www.clonezilla.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clonezilla

Matt
05-31-2011, 12:00 PM
These guys write solid software:

http://www.oo-software.com/home/en/

biliousfrog
05-31-2011, 12:34 PM
I used Acronis True Image to clone a HD for my girlfriend's computer...basically exactly what you're after, she needed a bigger HD.

It was as simple as putting the new HD in, click a few buttons in the wizard interface, let it run, shut down, remove old HD and restart.

They used to offer a full trial, 30 days or something...obviously after I'd used it once I didn't need the full product which seems to be a major flaw in their marketing but worked well for me :D

kalero
05-31-2011, 01:15 PM
That's solid software - probably a glitch in the works somewhere. This seems to have a few things to try:

http://kb.acronis.com/content/1515

Intuition
05-31-2011, 01:32 PM
Yeah its strange, Acronis totally sees the drive. As a matter of fact I can pick it as a source drive in the list. Not that I do. Then when I am asked which drive to pick in the destination list they are all grayed out. I can't select anything. Not my USB drives, my internals or anything.

They are all listed but nothing is selectable.

I am looking at HD Clone4 at the moment.

SBowie
05-31-2011, 01:38 PM
Maybe the drive has to be marked as a bootable drive first?

Strider_X
05-31-2011, 01:48 PM
Haven't used this (yet) but have heard good things.

http://www.clonezilla.org/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clonezilla

+1 For Clonezilla

I use it all the time. It can perform Disk to Disk cloning off a live CD.
Clonezilla live CD (http://clonezilla.org/clonezilla-live.php)

Also you should backup your HD and clone from the HD Image. You can never have to many backups.:thumbsup:

Cryonic
05-31-2011, 01:50 PM
use the System Rescue CD (http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page) and use a program called dd to copy one drive to the other.

dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb

as long as the new drive is the same size or bigger than the old drive, then dd will have no trouble copying the entire contents over, including the master boot record.

SBowie
05-31-2011, 02:07 PM
Another possibility: http://kb.acronis.com/content/1515

Lamont
05-31-2011, 06:38 PM
http://www.macrium.com/reflectfree.asp

Works perfect, works fast. And I use it on all my systems.

geo_n
05-31-2011, 06:51 PM
Do these softwares copy mobo, gfx, etc driver installations as well?

Dexter2999
05-31-2011, 07:00 PM
Making a "Mirror" should be sector for sector duplicaiton.

The only thing I don't get is how this works with software that uses a key generated from the hardware config. If you are changing the hard drive, this changes the key that is generated doesn't it? I seem to remember reading complaints about Windows Vista (I thnk it was) kicking back errors when the system changes too much. Like you upgrade the hard drive and the graphics card. Is this still an issue with Windows 7? I haven't heard much about it lately.

Lamont
05-31-2011, 07:11 PM
The only thing I don't get is how this works with software that uses a key generated from the hardware config. If you are changing the hard drive, this changes the key that is generated doesn't it? I seem to remember reading complaints about Windows Vista (I thnk it was) kicking back errors when the system changes too much. Like you upgrade the hard drive and the graphics card. Is this still an issue with Windows 7? I haven't heard much about it lately.I have not had an issue with this. The only application that gave me a problem was ZBrush, and a couple of plugins. But ZBrush has that problem fixed so it's not so sensitive. So far so good.

@ Geo_N - It does EVERYTHING. I have My OS installed with all updates to a point (as of the day I made the image) along with my adobe software, FTP and CD/DVD apps, Maya, Unity, some utility apps, ZBrush and Lightwave (w/plugins), MS Antivirus. All drivers for mobo, hardware. It's really clean. Windows does not need to be activated again. I do not have graphics card drivers installed as they change so much I don't want to install old drivers that cause issues with a new card.

So if I ever feel that I need a fresh start, I just pop in a CD and it restores from that image (from a hidden partition).

My windows profile is on another drive, so it's not affected or added to the image.

OnlineRender
06-01-2011, 05:52 AM
what happened to Dos and /xcopy :)

Lamont
06-01-2011, 06:33 AM
what happened to Dos and /xcopy :)255 characters in a file name max without workaround, too hands on, no scheduling, it might be tied to MS's file system... and it's DOS. Some of these apps can update an archive and only update the part that needs it. XCOPY just goes. I used XCopy to go from one dying drive to another (I did have some issue with file dates getting changed, and geoTiff metadata messed up), other than that, I would not trust it with my OS drive.

Lito
06-01-2011, 09:08 AM
Yeah its strange, Acronis totally sees the drive. As a matter of fact I can pick it as a source drive in the list. Not that I do. Then when I am asked which drive to pick in the destination list they are all grayed out. I can't select anything. Not my USB drives, my internals or anything.

They are all listed but nothing is selectable.

I am looking at HD Clone4 at the moment.

I had a similar issue where it grayed out a drive, did you format your drive? Because if you did and if you chose GPT partition table then I think many things dislike that new partition table style.

Also the WD version of acronis is based of True Image 2009. IIRC I had to upgrade to 2010 to get it to work properly in Win7. I had 2009 and wasn't going to upgrade and Acronis 2009 did seem to work, but after I patched to latest 2009 version Acronis made it so it wouldn't work in Win 7 and I was forced to upgrade. I believe they said it was some compatibility thing.

Also when cloning a C: drive it is possible to do it while in windows but you are better off with a bootable live disc. The Parted live disc I linked above is great, I tried it last night in a virtualbox. I used clonezilla, then I used their partition manager to expand the disc to the size of the full drive. Clonezilla does seem to have a flag to expand the partition during the clone to the full size of the new HD, but it didn't seem to work even though enabled it.

Intuition
06-01-2011, 09:35 PM
Well, I am reporting from my new cloned win7 setup.

I still mainly use XP64 for my 3d but my win7 box is my pro-tools / reason machine. I got the new mBox pro and was told that 7200 RPM drives were required for good performance. Somehow I bought 5400 rpm drives a couple years ago even though the oldest drives on this computer are also 7200 RPM drives. I guess the "deal" I got on the two new drives at Fry's electronics were really just because they were slower drives.

I finally decided to go with HDclone4. It successfully created the clone. But did not create the boot sector perfectly. Which I fixed by just inserting the win7 DVD and started the repair option. It manually added the boot sector.

I didn't lose my xp64 boot or my linux boot. The main boot sector is actually on the xp64 OS drive that has the choice options for xp64 win7 or fedora 13. When I select the win7 it then jumps to the win7 boot sector (which was missing) but once the dvd fixed the boot sector the other stuff was fine. My installs, programs are all working normally save for the reason dongle which did figure out it was on another drive so I had to re authenticate it. Pro tools didn't care because it only looks for the dongle attached to the machine matching the registered serial number.

Thanks for all the help. :D

AmigaNewTek
06-03-2011, 04:34 AM
Well, I am reporting from my new cloned win7 setup.

I still mainly use XP64 for my 3d but my win7 box is my pro-tools / reason machine. I got the new mBox pro and was told that 7200 RPM drives were required for good performance. Somehow I bought 5400 rpm drives a couple years ago even though the oldest drives on this computer are also 7200 RPM drives. I guess the "deal" I got on the two new drives at Fry's electronics were really just because they were slower drives.

I finally decided to go with HDclone4. It successfully created the clone. But did not create the boot sector perfectly. Which I fixed by just inserting the win7 DVD and started the repair option. It manually added the boot sector.

I didn't lose my xp64 boot or my linux boot. The main boot sector is actually on the xp64 OS drive that has the choice options for xp64 win7 or fedora 13. When I select the win7 it then jumps to the win7 boot sector (which was missing) but once the dvd fixed the boot sector the other stuff was fine. My installs, programs are all working normally save for the reason dongle which did figure out it was on another drive so I had to re authenticate it. Pro tools didn't care because it only looks for the dongle attached to the machine matching the registered serial number.

Thanks for all the help. :D

You can use Symantec Ghost to clone, disk, partitions, and so on...
Use a WinPE disk (2.0 and above) and use ghost32.exe . It's easy to use and fast. You can compress the disk too.

Bye