What Windows 7 clone software to use

Discussion in 'PC' started by mr.personality, Jun 21, 2022.

  1. mr.personality

    mr.personality Producer

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    Think my laptop's hd is on the way out. Opening from sleep or boot have gotten a few 'no bootable disk found' lately. Did some kinda test the other day which I tried to redo just now but I'll be damned if I already forgot what I did, lol. It gave me a result saying basically something like 'predict future failure = true'. Looked it up and if I read right 'true' is saying there's failure coming afaict. Although in the control panel disk area, it shows the partitions as 'healthy'.

    I ordered another hdd but in the meantime I'm doing a backup. I thought windows backup itself was a clone (I use a cloner on my macs) but it seems, as I just discovered, it's not.

    So what can anyone recommend for windows cloning? I see there are some free ones... AOMEI, Clonezilla, Macrium, EaseUS ToDo. Any of those good?

    Once I do get one to use, I take it all I'd need to do is stick the new bare drive into a usb dock and clone to it like I do on mac, correct?

    Thanks
     
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  3. Dvus I

    Dvus I Kapellmeister

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    HI,
    For me ...The EaseUS ToDo Backup is the best ...
     
  4. Plendix

    Plendix Producer

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    paragon and acronis are nice and comfy.
    I switched to paragon because its way more 'ok whatever'.
    clones xbox drives and any other stuff. acronis is picky.
    when booting from a linux startupsick you can use dd.
    or from a windows pe stick you can even use hddrawcopy. as long ad the new drive is larger.
     
  5. duskwings

    duskwings Platinum Record

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    i ve been using acronis true image for years, i recommend it, you don t eve3n need the laterst version to get perfect results
     
  6. fishnose

    fishnose Ultrasonic

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    EaseUS Partition Master. I clone my system disk once a month. Win 7.
    It's very powerful for all HDD purposes.
     
  7. trutzburg

    trutzburg Kapellmeister

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    Macrium Reflect (free), since I can access/browse the backup image with the Macrium mounting app (Macrium Reflect Utility Service) and extract files from there. I think Acronis can do that too, but last time (a couple of years ago) I looked, only the paid version (correct me if I am wrong), not the free WD edition (which works only If you have at least one WD HD running).
     
  8. kingchubby

    kingchubby Platinum Record

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    Macrium Reflect. The free version works fine.
     
  9. BuntyMcCunty

    BuntyMcCunty Platinum Record

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    Macrium Reflect, all day, every day. I've tried them all since the very early days of Ghost. Many of them I've run for years. Macrium saved my ass from a Ransomware attack. It got my hard drives but my Macrium backups were solid.

    I don't use the free one though -- I use the full version, warez release from a certain Russian tracker.
     
  10. SineWave

    SineWave Audiosexual

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    I use Clonezilla generally and it works perfectly, but it might be a bit hard to understand how to use it for you, so I think you might want to take a look at Acronis True Image, Paragon Backup, or Macrium Reflect. They are just easier to use.

    Since I'm on Linux most of the time, I do use command line DD a lot these days... Windows users don't know what they're missing out. Every image is just a little command away from being made or used, for free. :wink:
     
  11. mr.personality

    mr.personality Producer

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    Thanks guys. You've been a great help.:like:
     
  12. softice

    softice Kapellmeister

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    You won't find a more robust and easy to use backup/cloning solution than Terabyte: https://www.terabyteunlimited.com/image-for-windows/

    It's fast, it's solid, it never fails. You also got good customer support. It also has extended options if you really need that. Stuff like cloning drives to smaller or bigger drives or compacting space. Stuff most people don't need. But when you do...

    I've used them all. But this is definitely a company worth considering. Backs up Linux perfectly well, as well.
     
  13. BuntyMcCunty

    BuntyMcCunty Platinum Record

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    I used Terabyte for years too. I also liked Drive Snapshot. Both were solid contenders.
     
  14. softice

    softice Kapellmeister

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    Sometimes you just need to find the program that works for you. I have dual boot linux machines as well, so it's pretty essential I can restore properly. Terabyte is great in that you can use the Image for Linux bootdisk to back up your windows or you can use other windows bootdisks it makes up including Dos! It's never failed me on a restore.

    Eausus ToDo also was rock solid reliable and I used that for a couple of years as well. Really these days you can't go wrong with all the major ones named in this thread. Even free versions work well of some of the programs if all you want to do is a basic system backup.

    Another tool that does backups in MiniTool Partition wizard. I can't remember if the free version includes system back up - it might - but I use it for quick disk checking and basic partition management if needed. There are times when windows' built in Disk Manager doesn't work properly. It's got a few other little handy disk like utilities built in to it as well. I just use the free version as that already includes quite a few nifty little things. I'm pretty much settled now on Terabyte as I use it for boot management as well. There's some advanced features it has that I'm looking forward to checking out (making up a virtual disk).

    If people aren't sure what program they want to use out of all those mentioned, get a copy of Sergei Strelec's boot disk. It contains many backup and disk checking programs. And as it is a boot disk (I have mine on USB sticks) whatever program you use to backup with, you will be able to restore as well from there as it's built in to the boot disk itself. It's all very well and good doing backups, but if you don't have a live cd or recovery disk/usb already made up, then you'll have to faff around on other computers to make one. Even if your system is not totally borked you still need one to restore whatever 'image' you saved.

    Usually it doesn't come to that and you just want to find/recover some lost files. You can easily mount your image as virtual disk and then extract what you want from there. And apart from the ability to do that there is a dedicated file browser they include for looking up stuff/restoring certain files.

    But really, Macrium and Paragon and the other programs mentioned (apart from Clonezilla) are probably easier to use again. I'd say it is overkill for the average user (Terabyte). I don't know how much the other programs cost, but Terabyte is about 30/40 bucks and that included the suite for linux/dos/booting. The main program itself (Image for Windows) may only be about 20 bucks, so I don't know, it might cost a bit less than some others, so worth considering. A working backup solution is not a program you want to use pirated because you may just need that tech support one day if you have problems restoring an image. They've always helped me out with all kinds of problems, even if they are a bit grumpy!

    One last word of advice for noobs. Many programs provide incremental and differential backup. And while these can make sense in certain situations, for most casual users it's not a rabbit hole you want to get lost down. Sure they can save a bit of space, even time if you are in a hurry. But when it comes to restore them, unless you really know the difference between those two types of backup, and also in certain cases where you did more than one or two inc/diff backups, you can really get yourself in a mess and end up with an unusable image. Best to just stick to normal backups. Verify them after imaging also.

    Just make sure you keep a copy of your backup as well. It's not unheard of for the disk you copied to to go kaput or just stop working as well. And make sure that disk is not inside the computer housing that you are imaging the disk from. Power outages can be nasty and if you aren't using UPS or surge protector, then again it's not unheard of for all disks to get borked. Rare, but does happen. Computer outages and blackout and brown-outs are going to be increasing in frequency for just about everyone on planet earth in the coming months/years. So that is something to be mindful of.

    If you follow those basic disciplines, you'll be good to go - there's nothing like the feeling of having your hard work backed up, in duplicate and knowing you can rely on it to be restored perfectly if a disk crashes or you make a major change to your OS that it doesn't like. It once took me a whole week to install the Camel Audio Alchemy plugin with all its sound packs - real trial and error - and I knew if anything went wrong it would either take me another two weeks to figure it all out again, or I just wouldn't be able to do it as perfectly. I now have it working like a dream, and that installation is hard baked in to my OS on one of my more 'experimental' machines, shall we say.

    Where Terabyte comes in to its own for me and where I would recommend it would be to people that use Linux and dual and triple and quadruple boot. Also people backing up old WinXp and even win98 computers. I don't believe the latest versions of macrium or paragon even work on those machines any more - I don't know.

    Oh and one last thing. When you make up a boot cd/recovery disk, you should create a USB stick and a CD as well. Sometimes when a system really goes down you might lose the USB subsystem as well. It doesn't take much extra time and you know you are all covered should you ever need to restore your image.
     
  15. EddieXx

    EddieXx Audiosexual

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    its a true disgrace that microsoft cant have a decent backup solution available in w10, a f¤%¤ OS basic need is to be able to backup. the current implementation is like dragged straight out of the wc. apple is seamless when it comes to the OS backup, the rest of their "solution" for other devices suck

    but congrats on reacting in time, other-ways it would have been yet another tragic story of many around here .

    find it interesting though that people still use W7, i tried it on a spare machine a while ago, and i got only problems when it came to new hardware.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2022
  16. mr.personality

    mr.personality Producer

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    Thanks again guys. Have to confess, much of this windows details stuff is way over my head, heh. I use macs but use pc laptops for my day to day internet and hooked up to my tv to watch stuff I get online. My goal is simply to clone a new 2.5" hdd of the laptops hdd and then pop it in if and when it fails. That is the extent of my involvement with cloning.

    I decided to use free Macrium and cloned a new drive yesterday. Windows has some hoops to jump through that had me scratching my head a bit. New drives come already windows formatted, usually FAT in my experience but think this one was NTFS.

    First I was confused as to why the drive didn't automatically come up on the desktop or listed as as an attached drive in the computer start menu. Wound up dicking around, plugging & unplugging. Then I decided to look in the control panel disk management area and saw the new drive listed in the bottom bar graph area part, but not on the top.... just the pc's C drive was.

    I'd figure I probably need to format it again for some reason, but it wouldn't let me. I started looking at what other options were available in the contextual menu and saw this thing called iirc, 'simple disk'. Googled it and figured that might have something to do with it, although what I read about it was clear as mud to me, lol.

    Crossed my fingers and made it this simple disk thing. Success! Was able to re-format to ntfs, just to make sure of a proper formatting and satisfy a bit of my ocd, heh.

    Now here is a question I really need answering!

    While going through the cloning procedure, it wants me to assign the clone drive a drive letter. This confused the heck outta me..... the system needs to be the 'C' drive.... but if I choose the letter C, will this cause the cloning process to mess up cuz windows won't allow two C drives connected or some such windows type arcana. So I left it as 'E', which was Macrium's default choice for it.

    After a successful clone, was having doubts about the choice of letter designation.... should I have chosen C instead of E?

    So I googled it and again found answers that were again clear as mud and didn't find exactly the answer I was looking for.

    Q:: Some responses seem to imply that it doesn't matter what letter the cloning software will designate the clone, once you remove the old drive and plug in the new clone, windows will assign it as the 'C' drive. Is this correct? Or should I re-clone and designate it as 'C' this time?

    Unfortunately windows (at least 7 that I'm aware of) won't let you boot off an external usb so the only way apparently I can test the clone is to open up the lapton and plug it in... a bit of a hassle for sure. Think there's some windows wizardry work around to get a usb to boot but that stuff's way beyond me.
    As pointed out, I will also make a second clone copy onto a spare usb drive as additional backup. I assume the cloning software allows for one external usb drive to be the target while another same to be the destination, if it ever came to that situation?

    Much thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2022
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