I have been searching these forums for over an hour (lots of great info) to try an understand why I couldn't clone my Windows Vista from my primary internal drive to my new 1TB external drive. I found lots of great suggestions such as "try cloning from the rescue disk instead of Windows" or "try creating partitions (which I did - I created a 200GB and 800GB partition - my plan was to use smaller partition for Windows Vista and larger partition for backup images) and then restore your image onto smaller partition."
I'm paraphrasing, of course, but they seemed like really great suggestions to others with the same issue, as I have seen so many other people posting on this forum trying to accomplish something similar. I have a rather small (about 74GB) primary hard drive. I have a larger 200GB internal drive that I only use for storing projects, videos, downloads, stuff like that, but I needed something big for backups. So I purchased a Western Digital 1TB My Book Home Edition (which I love) and the Acronis True Image Home 2010 (which I also love). Then I came up with a rather unoriginal idea (as I found this out by reading these forums) that I would partition the external HD into a smaller 200GB and larger 800GB partition. The smaller I could install a whole new Windows OS (another Vista Ultimate x64 or Windows 7, although I haven't yet purchased Windows 7, it was just an idea) and the larger partition would just be for backup images using Acronis True Image 2010.
I thought it was a great idea. Wow, my own virtual world that I could destroy if I wanted because it was not real! My real windows would still be on my smaller 74GB primary HD. I guess I thought I could create my own virtual playground where anything goes. First I tried installing Windows Vista from my installation disk and was told "Cannot be installed onto a USB or IEEE 1394 hard drive." Then I thought, "What if I used Acronis to create a clone disk onto my external drive that I could boot from?" If I wanted to later upgrade to Windows 7, I could do so as now I am working from my external HD - my virtual playground!
To my dismay I find out that cloning wipes out all my previously created partitions on my external HD. This includes my backup partition. I was eager to try this so I went ahead with it, and thank God I didn't do any damage to my primary HD, because the clone didn't work. I tried it 3 times, each time it got to about 75 or 77% completion before the PC tried to reboot and I saw nothing but a flashing cursor and a black screen. I rebooted again and was relieved to find out that my Windows had not been destroyed (especially considering the fact that I just wiped out all my backups). I tried this 3 times with the same result. Again I am so lucky I didn't destroy everything!
Then I recently read the words which should be posted everywhere in CAPS for retards like myself that say, "YOU CANNOT BOOT WINDOWS FROM AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE!!!" My God, do you know how many people, including myself, do not know this?! Then why would you even be given the option of cloning onto an external HD? Why, in my case, did the progress only get to about 77% and then reboot? Isn't the whole point of cloning so that you CAN boot from the destination? You are basically moving info from the source to the destination so that you can now boot windows directly from desired destination, right?
I guess I would like to finish by asking, "Was my idea totally crazy, and if not, why can't we do it?"