First a Blessed Christmas to all.
You know it's the time of the year when family members gather and guess what, you appear to be the most knowlegeable within the family on computers and invariably you end out helping with a myriad computer problems. Sigh !
Anyway, for some years now, I have used Ghost (cannot remember which version but I know it's not version 9 or 10 but even older) to image my harddisk (and that of a few family members- I make them buy a harddisk to do that) so that I can restore the system partition easily with the backup image.
Basically, this is the process I take with one key basic assumption.Basic assumption:
You cannot trust imaging software that runs in Windows
since there are so many things and services running in the background when Windows is running)
1. I use my Desktop to boot up Norton Ghost (which basically runs in Dos Mode from a Diskette) and copy the entire System partition from one harddisk to another harddisk through an IDE to IDE interface.
2. I then put the "cloned" harddisk into the laptop and boot it up to make sure it works.
Sometimes, there's a problem and I have to Fix the MBR with Fdisk.exe before it will reboot.
If it can reboot and run properly, I know the Ghost image is fine and I keep the cloned harddisk away for a rainy day as an "insurance policy" so I don't have to spend hours reinstalling from scratch.
Unfortunately, I have a close relative who returned this year with a new laptop and one with a SATA harddisk and my Desktop only have an IDE interface.
So my cloning equipment using Ghost and an IDE interface is now stumped.
Does Acronis True Image V7 really clone a System partition while running Windows XP Pro (or XP Home) on it - ie is my basic assumption that you cannot run a cloning software in the computer A while trying to clone the System partition of computer A.
If my basic assumption is wrong, then effectively I do not even need a Desktop to clone my laptop system partition. All I need then is a USB Drive (with a SATA interface) to plug another harddisk into the laptop and use Acronis True image to clone the system partition onto the harddisk in the USB Drive. Once cloned, I assume that I can then place the cloned SATA harddisk into the laptopn and reboot it successfully.
Another question - Assuming I can do the above, will the cloning process be very slow through the USB 2.0 connection. (When I use the IDE to IDE connection via the desktop, the ghost cloning process can take say 30mins for a 25GB partition).
Any advice would be appreciated.