3134: clone vs create disc image

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tere sita
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I would like to know if I should I clone or create an image of a disc that I'm having problems with. The disc has been very slow, lots of error messages, etc.

I'm not concerned about having a bootable disc, because I have the recovery discs that came with the computer.

So, I want to wipe the disc clean, and set it back to factory settings with the original software that came with it, and then I want to add my own software and files and data that were in the original disc.

It seems to me that if I clone the disc, I'll be making an identical copy of the

disc that is not working right,  and of course, I don't want to have a copy of a messed up disc.

Is this correct?

  So, if I make an image of the disc instead, after I erase the disc and get it back to its factory state,

will i be able to put back all of my applications, and files and folders that I had in the original drive?

Any suggestions, tips and instructions will be very much appreciated.

thanks!

jgt1942
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It sounds like you are near the end of life on the HD. I'd suggest the following:

  1. Immediately make a full backup of the entire HD using TI. Also make sure you create the TI Rescue and Recovery CD.
  2. As a FYI step Download a trial of Hard Disk Sentinal from www.hdsentinel.com and see what it has to say about the health of the drive.
  3. Try running CHKDSK /R on the drive you are having problems with. This is Microsofts utility that will attempt to mark defect sectors and make some repairs. In a pinch it is a good tool but it is not the best tool. (Click Start > Run, type CHKDSK /R and click OK or run)
  4. If you want to attempt a salvage of the drive run SpinRite (see www.grc.com/intro.htm). I've used this several times to save myself with a defective drive. It is MUCH better than running CHKDSK
    1. I don't think there is a trial
    2. You want to run level 4 (I think this is the deepest analysis and repair level)
    3. Depending on the state of the drive and the size of the drive processing time can range from a few hours (e.g. 24 hours) to weeks. Yes I did say weeks (ouch). Within two minutes of running it will report an estimate of the processing time and this will be updated throughout the life of the run. If it encounters a bad sector the estimated remaining time can jump to some large number.
    4. I had one PC (this is no longer true) that was devoted to running SpinRite and I process all of my HDs on this system. At the time I had over 60 HDs and found two that were so bad I threw them away. I now have Windows Home server installed on this PC thus I do not have a system devoted to SpinRite but may pickup another cheap desktop just for this purpose.
    5. This may get you to the state where you can continue with the old drive.
  5. Use TI to clone the drive to a new drive. The problems from the old drive will NOT be transfered to the new drive.
  6. Power off the system, remove the old drive (just unplug it) and attempt a boot with the new cloned drive. If all is OK, power off the system and remove the OLD drive.
  7. If you really want to be on the safe side (there are numerous degrees of safe) I'd suggest installing RAID1. This is where at least two drives (should be the same size) are run in parallel and one is a mirror of the other. If one fails, you are notified, you shut down, replace the defective drive, reboot and the RAID1 rebuilds the new drive and mirrors it with the existing drive. Today most motherboards (or at least a lot do) support RAID1. If you want to purchase a RAID card I'd suggest a 3ware card (see http://3ware.com/3ware_home.htm. I've had the best luck with them but I'm not super experienced in the area of RAID controller cards. But their support is outstanding.
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Scott Hieber
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Supposing you can eventually fix existing disk errors and then replace the Hdisk , you still want to get a backup. IF the disk has errors or wonky files then that's what the clone or backup file is going to contain. Still it helps to have a backup even in such a case so that if your medicinal attempts go badly, you can get back to your starting point. 

 

The main advantage of a clone is that it's a faster restore -- but you only get one disk image per cloning--the target holds one clone image. The advantage of a backup image to file is that you can fit many on one hdisk so it's more economical to keep a series of backups -- something that comes in handy when a hdisk starts acting up -- yesterday's badkup might have the same disk errors as your hdisk but the backup form say 5 days ago might not -- so you can restore the one from 5 days ago and then copy out of the more recent images any later dat/doc files you need.

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tere sita
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 Thanks guys for the quick feedback and information.

I didn't mention this in my first post because, frankly, I was a bit embarrassed about it.

I believe the problems with my HD started when I started messing around with Registry Cleaners that I was trying out.

Since then, my computer has been buggy. This is why I want to erase and re-install, and start over.

In preparation for the erase and re-install, I have run CHKDSK on the drive twice, I have run antivirus three times, and I've also defragged the drive.

The drive is healthy, just mixed up.

The system, a Vaio notebook, is shipped with the VAIO Recovery Wizard  in a  5 GB hidden partition. I can perform the System Recovery using the Recovery Wizard to re-install the original Operating System, all the Sony Software and the Drivers. I have also created the set of Recovery Media Discs from the Recovery Wizard to have as backup for the future.

My plan is to run System Recovery using the Recovery Wizard to reinstall original OS, Software and Drivers.

Then, from either the Clone or Image BackUp that I create with Acronis, (I haven't decided yet which one), I will add my own software and data to the clean drive.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe this plan should work to get my system back to running smoothly.

My concern is I am still not sure which is the better choice for my particular situation: Cloning or Backup Image.

Now that you have more detailed information about my issue, what do you all think I should do? Clone or Backup Image?

thanks in advance! I appreciate everyone's help.

 

jgt1942
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I've picked a few items from your post:

  1. "My plan is to run System Recovery using the Recovery Wizard to reinstall original OS, Software and Drivers." OK this is good and will return your system to the original state as you received it. I just did this myself and hopefully the final step will complete today.
  2. "Then, from either the Clone or Image BackUp that I create with Acronis, (I haven't decided yet which one), I will add my own software and data to the clean drive." There is no provision in TI to selectively reinstall your software. If you plan to reinstall software from the installation CD then this will work. From either a Clone HD or Image Backup (TIB file) you can restore the data.
  3. It is a matter of preference as to restoring from a Clone drive or TIB file. I prefer TIB files just because (for me) it is easier assuming you have a small amount of data. In fact I make an ISO image of all my CDs and install from the ISO image. I use UltraISO (see www.ezbsystems.com/ultraiso) there are numerous other applications you can use rather than UltraISO and in the past I used others but I really like UltraISO. HOWEVER - if you use the image you will perform a Files and Folder recovery. I'm currently running a F&F restore and it is SUPER SLOW, in fact it is the pits with respect to performance. Keeping this in mind if you have a large amound of data it would be best to restore the data from a cloned drive. Your system may be confused at boot time if you have the cloned drive attached (the cloned drive is bootable and depending on how your system is configured to boot it may see the USB drive first), I suggest attaching the clone drive after the system has booted.

    FYI - I'm in the process of running a F&F recovery of about 250GB of data and it is super slow using the beta 2010. It has now been running almost 16 hours and per the progress screen it has another 12 hours to go. Knowing what I know now I would have restored a huge chunk from the TIB file in a different manner (see below) and restored the critical stuff via F&F. Until my process completes I'm not sure if the F&F will do what I'm expecting and get me back to the system state of 08/09 the day i shot myself in the foot and screwed things up.

    Once you have a TIB file using TI (I'm using beta 2010) you can start Ti and open the TIB file and see the contents just as if you are using Windows Explorer and then copy from the image to your hard drive. I did this last week for a small subset of data (about 10GB) and it worked great.

    If you got the time make a clone and a TIB file. Try both and report your findings.

 

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Seekforever
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From my understanding:

The existng OS is screwed up from registry editing or whatever (doesn't matter).

Either an image or a clone will result in you having a screwed up OS backup so it isn't worth worrying about - they are both no better than what you have. If it makes you feel better to have one then by all means create it in case the rebuild fails for some reason.

Important thing is to get your personal data files off the partltion before it gets blown away. This can be done by a simple Windows Explorer copy assuming the system isn't so screwd up it doesn't work. It is a lot safer than stuffing the files into a properietary container file created by a flakey system.

tere sita
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  From my understanding ...

    when I do a System Recovery, I will be reverting the drive to original factory settings, including the OS and any other Sony

  software that came with the computer.  I am not  going to copy the OS from the clone or image to the clean drive. The clean drive will get

a clean OS like the one when I got when i received the computer, minus the updates which I'll have to install.

  Like I said before, I've tested the hard drive and there are no errors, no viruses, everything cheks out fine.

 thanks.

   

tere sita
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  John:

  I created a TIB file yesterday and, as you say, the contents are much like contents in Windows Explorer. I was planning on just copying and pasting whichever folders I use most from the TIB file in the external disc to the clean disc. I'm not going to copy the entire TiB file to the clean disc right away.  I'm not too clear though on one thing you said:

You say that I can only copy the original factory software that came with the system and files and folders. But why can't I copy the software that I later added on to my system, such as Photoshop, Microsoft Office, Firefox, etc? Can't i just copy and paste the those folders and files contained in the Program Files folders? The applications themselves are also inside the folders inside Program Files. Is that not the whole point to doing this?  - to making a clone or a TIB file - so that one can make a smooth transfer from one disc to another, without having to install all the individual applications I added later, most of which I don't even have dics for anymore?

And finally, does the F & F recovery take longer than the actual creation of the TIB file?  Because it only took me about four hours to create the TIB file yesterday, and I copied not only my files and folders from the main partition, but I also copied the 5gig partition which contains the Sony's System Recovery, which I'm planning on putting back in the clean drive as well.

Thanks for the help!

 

 

tere sita
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sorry for the double post

DwnNDrty
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The reason you cannot simply copy the folders of the applications you installed is that all applications add important lines into the Registry, without which, they would not run properly.  So you must re-install the applications in order for them to re-insert those lines into the Registry.  Data files made by those applications you can copy.

jgt1942
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ref "You say that I can only copy the original factory software that came with the system and files and folders." I did not mean to imply you could copy the original factor software - this will be accomplished by your restore of the HD to factory. When you complete this action your HD will look just like it did the day you purchased the system.

ref "But why can't I copy the software that I later added on to my system, such as Photoshop, Microsoft Office, Firefox, etc? Can't i just copy and paste the those folders and files contained in the Program Files folders?" NO - I agree with DwnNDrty regarding your software installs. You MUST reinstall all of the software that was not on the original system. Some applications create folders where they store data in places other than your documents folder and for this reason you need to either clone the current drive or create a full backup (TIB file). Most often you are not aware of these other locations until you reinstall and then go to use the application and discover that your data is missing. If you have either a clone drive or TIB file you can the recover this missing data by a simple copy. But you cannot copy the "registry" entries, this is done by the software install, sorry about that.

ref "I also copied the 5gig partition which contains the Sony's System Recovery, which I'm planning on putting back in the clean drive as well." This will be automatically recreated for you when you perform the Sony restore.

ref " does the F & F recovery take longer than the actual creation of the TIB file" YES - MUCH MUCH longer this is why you only want to selectively restore via the F&F method. I'm still running my F&F, so far it has been running about 23 hours and TI shows an estimate of 10 hours remaining. As I near the end it seems to be taking longer. Based on my limited experience only usser F&F for "small" recover where small is about 10GB.

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tere sita
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  ref " I did not mean to imply you could copy the original factor software - this will be accomplished by your restore of the HD to factory. When you complete this action your HD will look just like it did the day you purchased the system.-

  I know you didn't imply that, no worries, I got what you meant.

  ref "You MUST reinstall all of the software that was not on the original system. Some applications create folders where they store data in places other than your documents folder and for this reason you need to either clone the current drive or create a full backup (TIB file) --

  Okay, so I can't copy applications, but you say if I create a Full BackUp (TIB file), I can ?

 Isn't that what I just did yesterday? I thought I created a TIB file yesterday, or is there a different kind of TIB file that I need to make?

Obviously a clone won't work in my situation.  So, exactly what kind of TIB file do I need to create in order to be able to put back my programs and applications and all that they need to run in the new disc? 

 What I did yesterday was this:

From the Home page in Acronis TI 2009, under  "What Would You like To Do?", I clicked on "Back Up - Create a BackUp of your Data"

That took me to the next page, under "Data To BackUp Selection", I clicked on " My Computer  - Create an Image of the Entire Disk or Partition."

Next, I selected the Source Drive - Source Selection: is "Partitions to BackUp"

Next, I Target Select:  is "Create New BackUp Archive"

The "Summary" window said, 1.Creating Partition Image -- 2. Saving Partition Structure.

Then I clicked on the "Proceed" button below. "Run task Now" was checked.

By doing this, did I not create a Full BackUp (TIB file)?

If I did, isn't this what I have to do to be able to copy my applications and all their necessary files to the clean drive?

Or am I not understanding something?

Thank you, guys, for your help and patience.

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tera sita:

What you did to create a .tib file was correct - however, you made a backup of a broken system. If you restore this backup you will again have a broken system, exactly like it was at the time of the backup. For this process to work properly you must make a backup when the system is in good working order.

The advice you've been getting is correct. You must reinstall all of your programs after you recover the system to factory state. There is no way around this.

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Tatou
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 Tera sita

How many disk drives do you have? 

If it was me just to be on the safe side before I reinstalled the computer back to factory default I would make sure  I made a copy of any critical data files such as documents, photos, spreadsheets, music to either an external drive or at least to a different partition than the system partition.

See this on the old forums for a guide http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=168165 for how to use ATI

Critical data files can be also backed up by just copying to another drive.

 

 

 

 

 

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Seekforever
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I think I would get them right off the drive. Unless you know what is going to happen for certain, there is a chance the "factory state" restoration will affect the whole HD state which would include partitioning and the loss of all data on the drive regardless of where it is.

jgt1942
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tere sita - ref "Okay, so I can't copy applications, but you say if I create a Full BackUp (TIB file), I can ?" Sorry but the answer is NO - you CANNOT copy the application but you can copy the data related to this application.. I see that you created a full backup (this is the TIB file) and as suggested by KOLO you have a backup of a broken system. It will be used to recover DATA only (application, your documents folder, pictures, etc.)

At a highlevel your next steps are:

  1. Use the Sony recovery CD to take your HD back to factory state, e.g. the day you purchased the system.
  2. Get all the latest windows updates
  3. Reinstall your critical applications
  4. Reinstall TI
  5. Start TI and open the TIB file, now copy data stuff from the TIB file to your newly restored HD. This will be like having two Windows Explore windows open and you copy stuff from one to the other. NOTE - You want to KEEP this TIB file until you are sure you have ALL THE DATA copied to your newly rebuild HD. In general I keep such for several months or until I need the space.
  6. NOTE - if you are using MS Office and Outlook, find the Outlook PST file (for me it is



    Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Microsoft Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE Microsoft

    /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;} C:\Users\jgt\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook) - copy this folder from the TIB file to your newly created HD BEFORE you start Outlook on the new HD. This will save you a lot of grief with respect to Outlook. Also note in this path (C:\Users\jgt\AppData\Local\Microsoft) you may have other MS stuff you want to copy to the new system, example I have a LOT of templates i created for PowerPoint, Excel and Word.

     




  7. Reinstall the remaining applications. Most likely you will go back to the TIB file for more data.
  8. In general it will take me 2-3 LONG days to rebuild my system. I actually have a document I've created to help me through the process. The document is not as up-to-data as I'd like but it is still a super help.
  9. Now that you have the new HD where you want it make a full backup (TIB file). I'm a bit anial about my filenaming of my backups, for example I have on a LAN drive a series of folders "Y:\BU\Acronis" and in the Acronis folder I have a folder for each of my system and in a folder I have all of my backups for that system, example "W700-2009-0809.tib" which is my full backup for my W700 system created on 20090-0809. thus it "should be easy for me to roll back to an earlier date if necessary.
  10. Now if you really want to do it right and have an extra HD. Restore the latest TIB file to the fresh HD. If it works you have a good chance of recovering in the future.
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Tolique X
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Do a full BACKUP of your system - this is it! It is much better and stable than clonning!!!

tere sita
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  Okay, thanks everybody. I understand.

  I was under the impression that if I did a full backup I could also retain my applications and copy them back to the clean drive.

 But I see now that this is not possible. I'll have to dig up the application discs, if I have them.

   And after I have everything installed in my new healthy drive, I'll make a back up of that healthy drive.

  thanks again.

 

Scott Hieber
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Not to take you too literally but just to reinforce an important point: don't make one backup, continue to make several. Decdide how many days worth of day you can afford t loose and then, make a backup at least that often The more of these old backups you save, the more liekly you are to have one that is good. Consider the situation you jsut had with a disk that goes wonky for software and not hardware reasons. Once the disk had gone wonky, every backup contains the wonk. Any backups that are made pre-wonk, however, can be used to restore to pre-wonk status. Thus the benefit of series of backups made over time.

good luck.

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Thanks!

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