Noel

Drive cloning: Help! How can I do this?

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Howdy,

I have a situation I don't know how to deal with. I would like to clone my C: drive to a new SATA drive, and I would like to reformat my current C: drive and use it for a data drive in the same box as the cloned drive will live in.

I plan on using Acronis (Seagate's DiskWizard). I understand if you try to boot to XP Pro with TWO identical drives set up as boot drives bad things can happen. So, how the heck can I reformat my original drive?

Thanks in advance for your expertise.

Noel

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Just plug in the second drive. Clone original drive to the 2nd drive.

Remove original drive (take it offline). Connect 2nd drive to where original drive was connected.

If everything starts, well and good. If not, just do an XP installation, exit it when it asks you to accept the license agreement (takes few minutes to reach there) and your mbr will be fixed and you can boot into 2nd drive.

After this, connect the original drive as secondary drive. And just delete its partitions from XP Disk Management and create a new partition. That should be all. Nothing bad can happen when identical drives are plugged in. If you have different partitions, XP might letter them wrongly... Just check in Disk Management.

M.

Howdy,

I have a situation I don't know how to deal with. I would like to clone my C: drive to a new SATA drive, and I would like to reformat my current C: drive and use it for a data drive in the same box as the cloned drive will live in.

I plan on using Acronis (Seagate's DiskWizard). I understand if you try to boot to XP Pro with TWO identical drives set up as boot drives bad things can happen. So, how the heck can I reformat my original drive?

Thanks in advance for your expertise.

Noel

Edited by 6_6_6

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Just plug in the second drive. Clone original drive to the 2nd drive.

Remove original drive (take it offline). Connect 2nd drive to where original drive was connected.

If everything starts, well and good. If not, just do an XP installation, exit it when it asks you to accept the license agreement (takes few minutes to reach there) and your mbr will be fixed and you can boot into 2nd drive.

After this, connect the original drive as secondary drive. And just delete its partitions from XP Disk Management and create a new partition. That should be all. Nothing bad can happen when identical drives are plugged in. If you have different partitions, XP might letter them wrongly... Just check in Disk Management.

M.

Thank you M. The cloning went fine so I will take your suggestion.

One other question if you know: is it possible to clone a whole drive that is in one partition, and is bootable, to a 2nd drive twice its size and partioned into two equal partitions of same size as the original bootable single drive? I'd like to make a copy as a back up of my new bootable drive. Thanks again . . .

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I would make an image as backup on another disk. With somewhat decent imaging software you can make incremental or differential backups this way.

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Yes, it is. That is what I do once a month and do not bother with backups and all.

But the difference is... My backup drive does not contain any other additional data. I would not trust any disk management utility writing/modifying partition information on a disk where I have information I need.

Like HMTK suggested, you can make an image to one of those partitions. This way you can use compression as well and make image size smaller. So you have:

Disk 1 (200 GB)

1 partition, 200 GB, 150 GB used

Disk 2 (400 GB)

2 partitions, 200 GB each partition

Now when you make an image of Disk 1 to Disk 2 Partition 2, that partition will have the 150 GB image and 50 GB extra space for you to use. Or if you use compression, that disk will compress 150 GB data to say 100 GB data... and you will have the exact image of Disk 1 and have another 100 GB free on Disk 2 Partition 2.

M.

One other question if you know: is it possible to clone a whole drive that is in one partition, and is bootable, to a 2nd drive twice its size and partioned into two equal partitions of same size as the original bootable single drive? I'd like to make a copy as a back up of my new bootable drive. Thanks again . . .

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Please forgive my ignorance!

I don't know what the difference is between a clone and an image. I can tell you exactly what I'd like to have accomplished, then perhaps you can point me the right way . . .

Here's the scenario. I actually have 3 drives: 2 250Gb SATAs, and 1 500Gb SATA.

I have a nice complete installation of XP of all the basic programs I use, ready to rock n roll, on the 250Gb drive #1. The other two drives are currently empty.

Eventually, I want to install Vista 64 on the 2nd 250Gb drive. I've read up on some issues with dual booting these two OS's, so hopefully I will get that going ok.

What I have no idea about is how I can use the 500GB drive to make a clone of EACH of my two 250 drives, and have either or both of those copies be bootable, so that in the event of a crash of drive 1, I can just set the 500gb drive as the boot drive and start up from there. Is this doable, or is it too complicated or problem prone? It seems like it could be either impossible (can you have the 2nd partition on the 500gb drive boot, and the first partition too?) or problematic.

Anyway, I really appreciate the guidance from people who understand the issues.

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To clone a disk is to make a full copy to another disk. An image is a single file with the content of an entire disk (or partition).

There's no use in cloning your 2 separate drive to 2 partitions on another drive. You also need the master boot record to boot from that third disk and since you need 2 MBR's and have only 1 disk... Just make 2 images on that second disk and restore them when one of your OS disks goes bad. You can even make a single image from the 2 disks you boot from - I think :)

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Motherboards built in the last 2 years have an option to boot form a specific partition or disk. Use that option to boot into OS from a specified partition/drive and thn formatc from OS teh other partition/drive, on Asus motherboards its F8.

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Motherboards built in the last 2 years have an option to boot form a specific partition or disk. Use that option to boot into OS from a specified partition/drive and thn formatc from OS teh other partition/drive, on Asus motherboards its F8.

Thanks for that Oliver.

Really? From a partition on a drive? Cool!

Now, here's a biggie: I can see with my ASUS board (P5E) that you can select the boot drive. So, is there ANY interaction or interdependencies when you have two completely separate drives and you select one or the other to boot from? This might be the safest solution: just boot either drive. But my question is, if I install Vista now, after disconnecting my XP drive during the Vista install, and I boot to EITHER drive, will the OS that boots know there is another version of Windows on the machine? If so, then this will have issues. What do you know?

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Motherboards built in the last 2 years have an option to boot form a specific partition or disk. Use that option to boot into OS from a specified partition/drive and thn formatc from OS teh other partition/drive, on Asus motherboards its F8.

Thanks for that Oliver.

Really? From a partition on a drive? Cool!

Now, here's a biggie: I can see with my ASUS board (P5E) that you can select the boot drive. So, is there ANY interaction or interdependencies when you have two completely separate drives and you select one or the other to boot from? This might be the safest solution: just boot either drive. But my question is, if I install Vista now, after disconnecting my XP drive during the Vista install, and I boot to EITHER drive, will the OS that boots know there is another version of Windows on the machine? If so, then this will have issues. What do you know?

I was under the impression that a partition had to be marked Active to be able to boot from it, or is that an outdated notion?

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If you don't mind, might I suggest not to keep working on 2 OSes at the same time?

Use one and stick to it. There is no compelling reason for any regular user to keep running 2 OSes apart from the fact that your problems will be double -- finding drivers, finding software, setting up stuff, customizing, modifying, etc. Then again even more hassle with arranging drivers and utilities for 32 bit, then 64 bit, etc.

If you are keen on migrating to Vista, I might advise you start working on Vista 64 and sort your problems out while using it and forget about XP and spending time to back it up, cloning it and so on. Your XP programs would probably work without modifications on Vista 64 -- just setup and install... Drivers might take a while to sort out... And you might get BSODs that eventually you will find out how to prevent / circumvent... But then again, we face similiar problems with every new OS we start using. For this matter, I might say investing vista would be wise, and spending more time for XP would be waste (assuming you want to move to Vista eventually).

As for me, I went back to 2003 Server x64 after using 2008 Bloatware Server x64.

Just a humble opinion. What do you think?

M.

Please forgive my ignorance!

I don't know what the difference is between a clone and an image. I can tell you exactly what I'd like to have accomplished, then perhaps you can point me the right way . . .

Here's the scenario. I actually have 3 drives: 2 250Gb SATAs, and 1 500Gb SATA.

I have a nice complete installation of XP of all the basic programs I use, ready to rock n roll, on the 250Gb drive #1. The other two drives are currently empty.

Eventually, I want to install Vista 64 on the 2nd 250Gb drive. I've read up on some issues with dual booting these two OS's, so hopefully I will get that going ok.

What I have no idea about is how I can use the 500GB drive to make a clone of EACH of my two 250 drives, and have either or both of those copies be bootable, so that in the event of a crash of drive 1, I can just set the 500gb drive as the boot drive and start up from there. Is this doable, or is it too complicated or problem prone? It seems like it could be either impossible (can you have the 2nd partition on the 500gb drive boot, and the first partition too?) or problematic.

Anyway, I really appreciate the guidance from people who understand the issues.

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