Zinger

Cloning software

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Does anyone know of a decent software package for cloning say a Windows installation from my HDD to an SSD? I'm not sure if this is feasible, sizewise and if it will actually cause a problem with running Windows later. Cheers.

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As well.... I use that program exclusively in testing to ensure of exact software installations on the evaluated drives.

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Is cloning illegal? I mean the system will be copied exactly, with all the serials of the programs from the source disk.

Can we make cloning as backup?

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If you have a license for the OS it's legal.

What I understand with serial numbers, especially for Windows OS, is that the SN is good only for one computer. I didn't thought that we can use the same SN for a number computer as long as we own all of those computers. Please enlighten me.

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Based on what I know this is legal:

Clone SSD from HD

put SSD in your system.

Boot from SSD

Format HD / Put in Closet

And this is NOT legal

Clone SSD from HD

put SSD in your system.

Boot from SSD

Put HD in a different system

The microsoft licenses are for 1 copy of the OS on 1 PC (Unless you have a corporate/site license then its different).

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Back to the question of cloning software...

Those of you that responded seem to be fans of Acronis TI, but I have read that it doesn't respect sector alignment e.g. the 4k sectors used in many SSD's.

Does anyone know if this is true or not?

I've just bought an SSD anbd would love to clone rather than re-install my OS on it. I typically use Clonezilla with ntfsclone or partclone but I'm open to using anything that will get the job done right. Unfortunately I'm not very knowledgeable about sector alignment so I'm weary of doing something I don't understand well.

Perhaps someone can enlighten us?

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I just cloned a drive and checked alignment and it was good. There's software to fix the alignment if need be.

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I just cloned a drive and checked alignment and it was good. There's software to fix the alignment if need be.

Thanks Brian. When you say software to fix alignment, can you be specific about some? I have heard of paragon alignment tool only...

If there is something that works, then I could, presumably restore a partition image with clonezilla and then use such a tool to re-align to partitions.

Thanks for any advice!

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The Paragon tool is the ubiquitous option...drive manufacturers have branded versions. Western Digital for instance calls theirs WD Align. I think they all offer something. But yes, alignment for an SSD is critical to its endurance.

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The Paragon tool is the ubiquitous option...drive manufacturers have branded versions. Western Digital for instance calls theirs WD Align. I think they all offer something. But yes, alignment for an SSD is critical to its endurance.

Thanks! I found that the branded versions are crippleware e.g. Wd align only works on wd 4k drives. Not on wd standard format drives or other brand 4 k drives.

Fortunately I found an online calculator for the offsets at:

http://www.techpowerup.com/articles/other/157

And I also learned how to do the alignment with gparted, so I'll be saving my money. Paragon charges $30 for the tool or $80 for the partition management suite. I think they must be insane!

Now I just have to study the clonezila partition restoration options a bit to make sure I don't screw up there. This is the first time I'll be using it on a disk other than the one where the partition image came from (I usually use it to recover messed up configurations over themselves).

If I manage it, I'll post them here in case anyone's interested.

Edited by dkazaz

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You really just need it for the 4K drives in certain situations, that's why the WD tool works as it does.

I'd definitely be interested to see what you get with those other tools - please start a new thread with screen caps if you can.

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I guess I'm the only one here who's still hardcore enough to be doing it all on the command line eh?

All you need is diskpart (built in windows tool) and dd (free gnu tool ported from *nix). Does all the partitioning, aligning and cloning. And all completely free.

Edited by qasdfdsaq

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I guess I'm the only one here who's still hardcore enough to be doing it all on the command line eh?

All you need is diskpart (built in windows tool) and dd (free gnu tool ported from *nix). Does all the partitioning, aligning and cloning. And all completely free.

Not the only one but yes, I like it too cause it's free :)

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I also do my cloning on the command line using dd and fdisk, I only clone certain partitions and dd helps me make sure I can set it up in cron so that everything is done in the background at some time in the middle of the night when I'm likely not to be on the computer.

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