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Author Topic: How to clone large HDDs?  (Read 6450 times)
crono
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« on: January 28, 2007, 12:48:41 PM »

Hi Guys,

my primary HDD with the OS's installed (XP and Debian) is slowly, but surely, going to die. my HDD-Life SMART Monitor tells me it is 74% OK which is for me way to low for ignoring it Sad I got a second - unused - drive (self model). I want to put it in my external case 1 and the new HDD in the external case 2 and copy it (Lowlevel) with my laptop 1-to-1. Is this possible (with all the partitions an the bootmanager...)? If the  Linux Ext3 partition is the problem I would leave it, but Windows should be cloned the the other disk. Backing up an image to DVD is not an option (160 GB) an a total new Installation should also be avoided. Any Ideas?
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tinjaw
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2007, 01:02:49 PM »

That is standard. Any disk cloning software will do the trick. A low-level copy doesn't care what is on the drive. If the laptop also has linux you can just use dd and copy it. If you don't have copy software and are looking for free, try DriveImage XML.
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crono
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2007, 01:12:53 PM »

That is standard. Any disk cloning software will do the trick. [/url].
Really? Cool - I only knew Imaging tools, which do it "one partion to one big binary file" way. Thanks - I will try DriveImage XML
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Crush
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Hello dude!

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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2007, 01:16:00 PM »

The the Free Edition of HDClone: http://www.miray.de/de/products/sat.hdclone.html or Hard Drive Copy http://www.freeware-downl.../downloaddetails/809.html
I tried different HD-Backup-Software and also use Drive Image that´s till now the fastest and most reliable Backup-utility.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2007, 01:20:53 PM by Crush » Logged
tinjaw
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2007, 02:19:34 PM »

That is standard. Any disk cloning software will do the trick. [/url].
Really? Cool - I only knew Imaging tools, which do it "one partion to one big binary file" way. Thanks - I will try DriveImage XML
I guess I should elaborate, as I wasn't too clear on that. Depending on what software you use, it may require to make an intermediate file. I'm not sure if it holds true, but I consider cloning to be making an exact copy, regardless of the method used, be that directly disk to disk or via an intermediate file. DriveImage XML is one of the later. Ghost will do both. There are plenty of others.

However, let me say that I prefer the latter because this way I have an image of the drive if I every need to recover from a crash. I figure that if I am going to spend the time cloning it, I might as well keep a copy.
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lanux128
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2007, 09:19:37 PM »

i use XXCLONE (Freeware, for personal use) most of the time.. it is a product of Pixelab (the makers of XXCopy) & even works in Windows mode..

Quote
        * Makes a self-bootable clone of Windows system disk.
        * Supports all 32-bit Windows (95, 98, ME, NT4, 2000, XP).
        * Can restore the self-bootability in many cases. It takes only a minute to run.
        * The Pro version is ideal for daily backup.
        * Supports common internal disk drives (IDE, SATA, SCSI).
        * Supports external USB/FIREWIRE drives (good for a laptop).
        * Competes with Norton Ghost, DriveImage, MaxBlast.
        * Much faster than any of them in typical daily backup.
        * Need not go to the DOS mode.   Operates in regular Windows environment.
        * Simple to use by novices.   IT professionals think it's great.

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patthecat
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2007, 01:13:11 AM »


TeraByte Unlimited (http://www.bootitng.com) offers CopyWipe as free software.  This just performs whole drive copying to another or whole drive wiping to "shred" data so it is unrecoverable.  It comes in DOS or Windows version.

For copying options you can: 1. Scale size proportionally from the original to the larger drive; 2. Straight copy of used sectors; 3. Raw copy of both used and unused sectors.

A users manual is available so you can read about its features before downloading CopyWipe.  The manual also shows how to make a bootable disk / cd with CopyWipe on it.

I use BootItNG and Image for Windows also from TeraByte Unlimited for my imaging/cloning needs (paid version).  The company has a very active and knowledgeable technical forum.  The interface for their products may not be pretty but they get to the point, albeit technically oriented, does its job very well, and is not bloated with extra "features".

patrick
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f0dder
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2007, 03:21:56 AM »

If the drives are the same size, simply booting from a linux livecd and doing dd if=/dev/HDx of=/dev/HDy should do the trick (setting a largeish blocksize is probably a good idea, though). If cloning to a larger disk, it's probably a good idea to use some dedicated tool...
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2007, 03:52:14 AM »

Also have a look at Drive Snapshot, http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/, which allows for this kind of cloning.  There is a 30 fully functionnal version available, you can always try.

Snapshot has the unique ability to be able to exclude files/directory from the saved image, handy if you have a lot of multimedia files you want to backup separately or transfer elsewhere, while retaining the structure of your original HDD.  At restore, excluded files are created, but only contain zeros.

The differential mode of snapshot is also extremely powerful.

Last benefit : it doesn't require an install, the executable is 190 kB large and fully functionnal.
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PPLandry
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« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2008, 07:26:57 PM »

My Acer laptop HD (5 years old, IDE 40GB) is showing signs of wear. It seems to have problems reading some areas of the disk and gives me a "blue" screen followed with a major crash, at times. I have an 80GB IDE portable drive which I could swap (2 years old).

I'm considering using XXClone. Is this still a good choice? It won't strickly speaking make an image, but simply copy all files and make it bootable, optionally copy the Disk ID. Will that guarantee that the end result will work when I install that 80GB HD into my portable? Fully configured for all my 100's of applications?

Should I go with a true image software?

The fact that some areas are not readable, will that cause problems with XXClone?

Thanks for helping a "software" guy with this hardware question.
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Darwin
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« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2008, 07:44:32 PM »

I don't know that there is a guarantee that this will work and that you'll be good to go, but something like True Image (from Acronis) should be able to clone your drive in under an hour. I *understand* that if you toss the old drive in the freezer in a ziploc bag over night, it will increase the chances of recovering all of your data. Google this tip for more complete instructions/explanation...

The nice thing about imaging software is that you can create bootable discs, meaning that you don't have to further stress the failing drive by installing anything on it (assuming that you have a backup computer to create the disc with!).

So, er, I guess this is where I admit that I haven't got a clue about XXClone  embarassed

EDIT: clarified what I don't know about freezing electronics!
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 07:48:52 PM by Darwin » Logged

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mouser
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« Reply #11 on: August 20, 2008, 07:50:11 PM »

Quote
The fact that some areas are not readable, will that cause problems with XXClone?

thats a good question, and no way to know until you try.

here is what i would do:

FIRST:
copy all your data files using normal copy methods.

ONLY THEN:
proceed to making a drive image or drive copy.
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4wd
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2008, 07:54:41 PM »

My Acer laptop HD (5 years old, IDE 40GB) is showing signs of wear. It seems to have problems reading some areas of the disk and gives me a "blue" screen followed with a major crash, at times. I have an 80GB IDE portable drive which I could swap (2 years old).

It should be noted with laptops that if you set a 'Harddrive password' in the BIOS, it's a good idea to remove it BEFORE you clone the drive.

You can then set it back AFTER you have installed the new drive.

Quote
The fact that some areas are not readable, will that cause problems with XXClone?

Or if there is no data in those areas, use a program that doesn't read them, eg. TrueImage NOT in Sector-by-Sector mode.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 07:58:26 PM by 4wd » Logged

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Darwin
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« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2008, 08:09:30 PM »

Hmm... googled the freezer trick myself and this was the first 'hit':

Quote
Freezing a hard drive can be used in data recovery, but will only fix the hard drive for a short period of time. If the drive is spinning (you will hear it turning) this is not the method to use, this method is best suited for data recovery cases where the drive is not spinning. If the drive is spinning it not physically damaged so it is a problem that should be approached through other methods.
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PPLandry
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« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2008, 08:13:49 PM »

Hmm... googled the freezer trick myself and this was the first 'hit':

Quote
Freezing a hard drive can be used in data recovery, but will only fix the hard drive for a short period of time. If the drive is spinning (you will hear it turning) this is not the method to use, this method is best suited for data recovery cases where the drive is not spinning. If the drive is spinning it not physically damaged so it is a problem that should be approached through other methods.

Thanks for the link"

My hard disk is still functional, so I'll wait before freezing it...
« Last Edit: August 20, 2008, 08:15:24 PM by PPLandry » Logged

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lanux128
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2008, 08:38:03 PM »

I'm considering using XXClone. Is this still a good choice? It won't strickly speaking make an image, but simply copy all files and make it bootable, optionally copy the Disk ID. Will that guarantee that the end result will work when I install that 80GB HD into my portable? Fully configured for all my 100's of applications?

i used XXClone about 1.5 years ago when i bought a new hard-disk. you just have added the new hard-disk, run the program and follow the prompts. as it name suggests it's best for cloning a hard-disk instead of back-up purposes. in fact, i like the way it puts the user in full control.

in your case, where there unreadable sectors, it's best to clone 1st then see how things pan out. smiley
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f0dder
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« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2008, 09:33:37 PM »

My Acer laptop HD (5 years old, IDE 40GB) is showing signs of wear. It seems to have problems reading some areas of the disk and gives me a "blue" screen followed with a major crash, at times. I have an 80GB IDE portable drive which I could swap (2 years old).

It should be noted with laptops that if you set a 'Harddrive password' in the BIOS, it's a good idea to remove it BEFORE you clone the drive.
Shouldn't be necessary - if you can boot the system and the disk password is entered, you'll be getting the right data. AFAIK, it's not like you're going to get scrambled data if you don't have an authenticated disk; you will simply be denied access to it. ATA disk passwords != full-disk encryption smiley
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« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2008, 09:46:38 PM »

Thanks for your help, in the end, the old HD was too unstable that trying to copy it was not possible.

I installed the newer 80GB IDE into the portable, and ran the recovery disk (5 years ago, manufacturers were kind enough to give us CD's).

I'm back on my feet, with a larger HD and a "very" clean PC. It will take some time to install everything and tweak it, as usual with a new PC, but that is life... I'll probably not invest too much time, as this got me thinking that it is probably time for a new PC anyway. I'll get it running, catch up on some work and start shopping.

At least, I had a recent backup and the old drive is now in the housing, so I can still read from it.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 09:49:33 PM by PPLandry » Logged

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f0dder
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« Reply #18 on: August 21, 2008, 09:57:24 PM »

At least, I had a recent backup and the old drive is now in the housing, so I can still read from it.
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4wd
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« Reply #19 on: August 21, 2008, 10:25:37 PM »

It should be noted with laptops that if you set a 'Harddrive password' in the BIOS, it's a good idea to remove it BEFORE you clone the drive.
Shouldn't be necessary - if you can boot the system and the disk password is entered, you'll be getting the right data. AFAIK, it's not like you're going to get scrambled data if you don't have an authenticated disk; you will simply be denied access to it. ATA disk passwords != full-disk encryption smiley

I didn't say it was but on my 5 year old Acer laptop if you specify a HD password in BIOS it locks that harddrive to that motherboard by way of the hardware IDs.

You would find that you could no longer boot the system and the data on the drive is no longer accessible by that laptop, (as normally installed), as you said.

The above caused a new motherboard AND harddrive to be installed under warranty in my laptop.

I had a HD Password set when the following happened.

The motherboard developed a fault, so it went in for repair.  They replaced the motherboard, only the laptop would now not boot because the drive and motherboard ID no longer matched for when the password was set.
So, not realising this (because I forgot to tell them and remove it - which I couldn't anyway because of the board fault), they replaced the drive as well.

Result: a new motherboard, drive and lost data.

I was just lucky that it was less than 7 days old and apart from installing a couple of apps I hadn't had much of a chance to fill the drive.

All in all, much easier to remove the password beforehand when cloning or doing a full image backup.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 10:31:24 PM by 4wd » Logged

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f0dder
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« Reply #20 on: August 21, 2008, 10:50:38 PM »

4wd: that's obviously a case where you can get pretty messed up, indeed. But that's quite a different procedure from a simple clone smiley

Btw, sucks that they replaced your drive as well. AFAIK, all drive manufacturers have master reset codes they can use, so you didn't have to lose data just because the board fried.
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Darwin
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« Reply #21 on: August 22, 2008, 08:57:33 AM »

4wd - that is indeed a frightening story! Thanks for sharing it/warning us! Nice to know, though, that there are likely master reset codes (which makes sense) - gives one some ammo if ever faced with this (assuming, of course that the service centre communicates with the customer).
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germanboys
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« Reply #22 on: October 12, 2010, 02:54:24 AM »

Have you try Smartbackup , i use it every week!

I think a Raid is very good for people how need his files..
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