30718: Can TrueImage Do This? (clone / backup) (Solved)

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Michael Davis
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UPDATE: Subject Modified

I am only interested in the "clone" feature and sector by sector copy. I will be making use of the other features of TrueImage but it is the clone and sector by sector that are deal-makers or breakers for me.

Question 1:

I have a Solid State Drive I'd like to clone, as a baseline. I don't want to use any form of backup as they don't produce a perfect copy. When cloned, I want the 2nd drive to be an exact copy of the first (bit for bit). The drives are the same size.

When completed, I want to be able to simply remove the 1st drive (primary bootable) and put the 2nd drive in it's place, reboot and see no difference from the first.

Can TrueImage do that?

Question 2:

The documentation says that cloning can be used to transfer one system from one disc, to a larger drive. This implies that cloning doesn't require both drives to be the same size.

My question is can the program clone a larger drive, to a smaller drive, if the used space on the larger drive will fit on the smaller drive?

Question 3:

The documentation says that only the used data is transferred in cloning, leaving the unused part of the partition unallocated. I would like to expand the size of the drive, NOT create a 2nd partition.

Is it possible for the cloning to a larger drive and keep the unused part of the drive as part of the same partition that was just cloned?

Question 4:

The documentation doesn't actually say that cloning uses sector by sector copy. I assume it does. Does it? Cloning to me means "exact copy". Is that what cloning means in True Image?

Question 5:

The documentation also mentions disc images. Disc images and cloning are talked about in different parts of the documentation. When I think of "disc images", I think of a "file" that contains the "image" of another disc. But I don't know if that is what is meant by "image" in TrueImage.

What is the difference between disc image and cloning?

Summary:

Just in case I haven't been clear, what I'm trying to accomplish is to have my system OS installed, my applications installed, everything tested and baselined. THEN, I want to clone that SSD to a 2nd SSD, that can be interchangeable with the first, without any differences. That is, I can remove the primary SSD (boot drive), replace it with the cloned SSD (also made bootable) and the user couldn't tell which was the original and which was the clone. This is going to be my baseline backup drive, to get me back to square one, while testing my system.

Pat L
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Michael Davis wrote:

I am only interested in the "clone" feature and sector by sector copy.


So that you understand, clone is one process and imaging is another one. Both are done at the sector level. You don't need to use the sector by sector option (this only adds the unused sector to the process).

Quote:
I will be making use of the other features of TrueImage but it is the clone and sector by sector that are deal-makers or breakers for me.

Question 1:

I have a Solid State Drive I'd like to clone, as a baseline. I don't want to use any form of backup as they don't produce a perfect copy.


This is not true. Doing an image is as good as a clone to produce a perfect copy. The difference is that the information during the imaging process is stored in a TIB file, waiting to be restored to a disk, while during a clone, the same information is directly restored to the other disk.
Quote:

When cloned, I want the 2nd drive to be an exact copy of the first (bit for bit). The drives are the same size.

"Bit for bit" is really hard to do between 2 different media if not just because of reading/writing limitations. It is very rare that users need to achieve this.
Quote:

When completed, I want to be able to simply remove the 1st drive (primary bootable) and put the 2nd drive in it's place, reboot and see no difference from the first.


If you want the user to see no negative impact of the change of disk after cloning/restore, then you don't need bit for bit, or sector by sector.
Quote:

Can TrueImage do that?


With the requirement above, yes.

Quote:

Question 2:

The documentation says that cloning can be used to transfer one system from one disc, to a larger drive. This implies that cloning doesn't require both drives to be the same size.

My question is can the program clone a larger drive, to a smaller drive, if the used space on the larger drive will fit on the smaller drive?


Yes. As a note, whenever there is a change in disk size, it is better to use the manual versions of the cloning and imaging features of ATI to control what ATI does with each partition.
Quote:

Question 3:

The documentation says that only the used data is transferred in cloning, leaving the unused part of the partition unallocated.

.
Cloning or imaging (when you don't select sector by sector), just copies the used sectors. Unused sectors are not copied. Depending on the option chose, the size of the partition (including used and unused sectors) can be changed. If they are laid out on the new disk in a way that not all the disk space is used by these partitions, you will be left with unallocated space (unallocated is different from unused, as you know)

Quote:
I would like to expand the size of the drive, NOT create a 2nd partition.

Is it possible for the cloning to a larger drive and keep the unused part of the drive as part of the same partition that was just cloned?


When you clone, you can alter the size of the partition that are being cloned. Either you can extend them to take advantage of a bigger size disk, or you can shrink them, provided that you have enough space to move the used sectors data.

Quote:

Question 4:

The documentation doesn't actually say that cloning uses sector by sector copy. I assume it does. Does it? Cloning to me means "exact copy". Is that what cloning means in True Image?


Cloning does result in an "exact copy" at the user level (all the information is there, including sector-level data and partition information)

Quote:

Question 5:

The documentation also mentions disc images. Disc images and cloning are talked about in different parts of the documentation. When I think of "disc images", I think of a "file" that contains the "image" of another disc. But I don't know if that is what is meant by "image" in TrueImage.

What is the difference between disc image and cloning?


As I explained before, both are using the same technology. Both are reading the same data. Imaging will store this data in a temporary container (a TIB file), cloning will immediately restore the information on the other disc. The result of a clone is a disk, the result of a disk and partition backup (image) is a TIB file. You can boot on a cloned disk. You have to restore the image on a disk to use it in a computer.

Quote:

Summary:

Just in case I haven't been clear, what I'm trying to accomplish is to have my system OS installed, my applications installed, everything tested and baselined. THEN, I want to clone that SSD to a 2nd SSD, that can be interchangeable with the first, without any differences. That is, I can remove the primary SSD (boot drive), replace it with the cloned SSD (also made bootable) and the user couldn't tell which was the original and which was the clone.


Then you need a clone (because you want to be able to put your old disk back). If you would be OK but first having to restore the data on your disk to go back to your previous state, you would use a disk and partition backup. Doing backups of this type allows you to have different snapshots over time and pick the one you want to go back to. With a cloning process, you would have to have as many hard disks as restore points to achieve the same benefit.

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Michael Davis
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Thanks, that helps me understand.

Like I said, I will use backup. But I wanted a fool-proof backup (baseline) that I could verify (i.e. actually test). By having the 2nd drive, I can perform the clone and then just swap drives to verify everything works. I have found on other "backup" software may problems when it gets time to restore a backup. Not everything is saved. Attributes, permissions, system files, files that were opened, etc.

A clone seems to suggest a snapshot (although I realize bit-by-bit really isn't likely due to many reasons) or mirror of another drive. Having two drives means the primary baseline can be tested, with zero risk, without having to over-write files, and then find something went wrong. It's worth it to me just to get another SSD, for this.

I can also test the "image" file, the same way. I can create a backup image, create a recovery disc (I assume I will need one), then remove the primary drive, install the new SSD, and see if I can restore the "image" to the new SSD. That also allows me to test this backup AND keep my original primary SSD untouched.

Pat L
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Michael Davis wrote:

Thanks, that helps me understand.

I can also test the "image" file, the same way. I can create a backup image, create a recovery disc (I assume I will need one), then remove the primary drive, install the new SSD, and see if I can restore the "image" to the new SSD. That also allows me to test this backup AND keep my original primary SSD untouched.

Exactly. That is the best approach. In fact, just booting on the recovery CD and restoring a couple of files (the recovery CD allows you to extract a specific for restoration) will give you a high level of confidence that your backup will work for restoring. Of course, the ultimate test is to actually restore the disk/partition.

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GroverH
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Michael wrote:
I can also test the "image" file, the same way. I can create a backup image, create a recovery disc (I assume I will need one), then remove the primary drive, install the new SSD, and see if I can restore the "image" to the new SSD. That also allows me to test this backup AND keep my original primary SSD untouched.

Item #1 at this link offers a guide in how to restore the backup to a smaller or larger disk.
http://forum.acronis.com/forum/29618

Having a full backup image of your entire disk is also important before performing any cloning operation--due to the risk factor. During the cloning, mistakes can be made in disk selection; or the process freezes and all data lost on reboot; or other hardware issues. Having a full backup image provides a safety valve in case the cloning operation causes loss of source. Whereas during a restore of backup, the source is not attached so not at risk.

Michael Davis
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I got my 2nd SSD last night. I got the 256G Samsung 830. I currently have the 128G Samsung 830, with Windows 7 Professional installed on it, and a few applications.

Tonight I will be trying to backup to an image file to my DVD drive (and make it bootable), then remove the 128G drive, install the 256G drive in it's place, then restore to the new drive, from the bootable DVD.

I don't plan on changing any partition sizes but I do want my new disc to have access to all of my drive, as one single partition. I'm planning to use the backup discs and partitions, and selecting the entire disc. Will that give me what I want, or will it turn my 256G drinve into a 128G? I guess I'll find out tonight. I don't think I can hurt anything, since I can always go back to my first drive.

As I mentioned above, I want to use sector copying vs files and folders. I assume full disc backup does that.

Pat L
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To prepare your restore do the following:
- print a screenshot of the windows disk management console,
- shutdown your computer after your backup that includes all these partitions,
- change your disks,
- boot on the recovery CD,
- restore each partition separately, in the same order they were on the older disk (the printout is handy)
- don't change any partition size as ATI shows you the default layout before restoring, except the C:\system partition, that you can extend to take advantage of the bigger size (or any user created partition),
- make sure that ATI proposes a 1MB space before the first partition for disk alignment,
- don't change the drive letters (although the recovery disk will use drive letters different from windows - this is an artefact of the Linux OS, not to be "corrected"),
- no need to reboot between each restore
- finally, restore the MBR+track0 alone, and select restore disk signature,
- voila!

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Michael Davis
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This is really turning out to be a pain, using TrueImage, but I'm not giving up. I have been having nothing but trouble using he clone. I tried a FULL disc backup then restore using Bootable Media. I restored C: drive and it couldn't boot, because the master boot record couldn't be found. Then I repeated this and restored C: first, without checking MBO and Track 0. After that restore, I repeated this but this time only checking the MBR and Track 0. It seemed to restore but upon swapping drives after owering down, it still couldn't boot.

Here are my screenshots of the disk managmenet console AND the screenshot and the recovery summary page. My summary page doesn't show the 1M area but it was mentioned on another screen.

Any clues there?

PS: This thread was just my initial question. I have started another thread on my actual problems. That thread is dealing with "clone" but this backup recovery isn't working either. This is typical of all backup systems. Not really enough specific and detailed documentation. I even had Tech Support take over my computer (via remote connection) and they couldn't get this to work.

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tuttle
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Forget using Clone. Concetrate on performing Backup, Restore and Validation. A full disk backup is far more useful and flexible than a clone.

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Michael Davis
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No offense to probably a good suggestion but "cloning" is why I bought the tool in the first place. I paid good money for 3 licenses.

Besides, as you can see by my post, Backup and Recovery isn't working either. If I can't see the SDD, it can't recover. So, fixing one will allow both to work. If the produce is so problematic that one has to "forget" about using some features, they need to lower the price. ;)

When I started this, at least I could see the new SSD. After Tech Support took over my computer and updated to the new build, I could no longer even see the new SSD, from the bootable media. It is visible and usable from the Win7 OS, so I know it's there. That is why I attached the screenshot showing it.

I'll use Backup and Recovery, when I can get it working. But I want all the program to work; not just part of it.

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You can achieve the same effect as Clone by using Backup and Restore. But, Backup is safer and more flexible. So, you'll still be able to achieve what you want, but in a better manner.

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Michael Davis
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Why are you debating the issue of which is better? I want to use it as it's supposed to work. I know Backup and Restore is "supposed" to work. But clone and Backup are two different animals. Each has it's own use. And I have tried it and it's not working either. But, I want them both to work. I'll use each as appropriate. your comments are really off-topic to this thread, since a licensed user has an expectation that the product will work as advertized. Spinning this off onto a completely different topic, is counter productive.

I posted above that Backup and Restore isn't working. That is the point of this thread. I'm trying to solicite help on getting it to work; not debate which is better.

Here is where I'm at with backup and restore

1) Before the latest update (6154), I could see my new drive.
2) I Restored my FULL Backup
3) Everything restored but it wouldn't boot. I got the error that master boot record was missing
4) I repeated this and restored first partition C, without checking MBR and Track 0
5) Then, I repeated this and restored MBR and Track 0, without checking the main partition C
6) Same problem. Wouldn't boot
7) Then tech support updated to build 6154
8) After the update, the bootable loader could no longer see my NEW SSD, so it's now impossible to select that new drive as the destination for restore

This is where I'm stuck, on Backup Restore. I have created anohter thread for clone problem.

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It's not a different topic. I understand what you want to achieve and, based on my experience, I'm advising that Backup and Restore is a better method of achieving your goal. If you focus just on Backup and Restore, then the situation is simplified.

I'm not defending the product, not saying that all features shouldn't work. I don't work for Acronis, I'm just a user offering free help. If you don't want the advice, that's fine.

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Michael Davis
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But I am trying to use Backup and Restore. Where is your help on that point? I'm an engineer. I expect things to work the way they are designed. When they don't, I look for solutions; not workarounds.

I'm going to start a new thread to discuss the differences between backup and cloning. From my experience, they are different animals, and have a different purpose. We can debat those in that thread. http://forum.acronis.com/forum/30790

In this thread, I'm hopeful of hearing from people who might know what I surely must be doing wrong. Because Backup and Restore isn't working

tuttle
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When you performed the backup, and the restore, did you select the checkbox for the entire disk (as opposed to selecting individual partitions)?

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Michael Davis
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I was just getting ready to give the steps.

1) I did a FULL disc backup. I assume that saved the master boot record. Correct?
2) Then, I booted using the bootable media
3) I selected the source backup file
4) I selected the destination file. I did this in two passes.
Archive Selection: I selected the backuped data
Recovery Method: Whole disc and partition
What to Recover:
Disc 1 (NOT checked)
NTFS (Local SSD)(C:) (CHECKED)
MBR and Track 0 (NOT CHECKED)
FTFS (System Reserved) (NOT CHECKED)
5) I restored the NTFS (Local SSD)(C:) first
6) Then, I repeated this and checked ONLY the MBR and Track 0
and restored it.

Then, I rebooted, and got the same master boot record not found. I did this restore in two restore operations. When I checked the disc by booting back to windows, the actual file data was there, just not the MBR stuff.

If there is a different more detailed set of instructions, feel free to point out where I made the mistake. I'm all for finding where I made the mistake, because I surely must have. a lot of people use this and I'm sure the problem is on my end.

The one thing I noticed, if you look at the disc4 image above is that the image shows only a single partition and not the smaller 1M that is shown in the user's guide. I believe that is where the MBR goes. I also realize that this was the screen shot for clone but I'm just showing it to show that there is something changed about my disc. I used the TrueImage ADD disc, to prep this for use. It did claim to be reserving 1M at the beginning, however it doesn't appear to be there, in that screenshot.

HOWEVER, that said, after the update to 6154, by the Acronis TechTeam which did the update by remote, I can no longer see my new SSD, from the bootable media. So, I can't even repeat this, until I find out why that drive is no longer visible from the boot media. I see it when my system boots and I can see it from the window environment and even backup restore sees it from the windows environment, just not from the bootable media.

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As I stated in post #4. referring to item #1 at this link.
http://forum.acronis.com/forum/29618
If you follow this procedure, I believe you would be successful in creating a bootable replacement.

To recap those procedures,
1. Install the 256 in same location and connector inside the computer as the original.
The 128 could be located elsewhere.
2. Boot from the CD. Select the backup which includes the C and the system reserve partition.
3. Your attachment shows System Reserve to be the first partition and is the active partition.
Select and Restore the System Reserve partition making sure the 'free space before" has a 1 mb setting and also making sure the partition is marked as active. Do not change the 100 mb partition size.
The "free space after" would have a 119.14GB or close
Perform the restore but do not reboot.
4. Select the "Local SSD" partition to be restored. Make sure the partition type has NOT been changed to Active
Also checkmark the track0/mbr block to be restored.
5. Click Next and on the screen where you select the 256 as the target, also checkmark the "Recover disk signature". The Local SSD partition should consume all the space.
6. Click proceed. Afterwards, shut down and remove the data cable from the 128 so only he 256 is seen by Windows on first bootup.

Caution:
As the 256 has data & partitions, it needs to be cleared before the restoring. The space should show as unallocated without partitions or drive letters. Hopefully, the "add new disk" option will suffice. Be sure to delete the existing partitions off the 256 before proceeding with any restore or cloning.
----------------------------------------------------

If cloning is your preference, do not use the Automatic method.
1st choice would be to use the Manual method with "as is" as the move method. After cloning completed and tested, then the free space could be assigned to drive C as a later transaction using either Windows 7 or another partitioning utility such as Partition Wizard.
2nd choice would be to use the Manual method and "manual" as the move method. This method would enable to make sure the 1 mb "free space before" setting is there; plus you could resize or confirm to make sure the partition size has consumed all space so there is no "free space before" or "free space after."

After completion of cloning, the first bootup after cloning should be with only the 256 connected. Windows must not see two identical bootable disks on first boot after cloning or restoring.

Note1: in my opinion, I believe the manual "as is" cloning offers the best choice (see note2) for having the target disk be as close to the source as possible. In several recent instances, the only cloning method to be bootable has been the manual cloning method using the "as is" move option with later space allocation if the target was a larger disk.

Note2: In most situations, the minor differences between the source disk and the restored or cloned target has been minute and not-noticeable but it should be noted whatever cloning or restore method you use, the target will not be an exact identical copy as the program makes changes not controllable by the user.

Michael Davis
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Tada!

I used your "Restore a TIH2012 Backup to a larger or smaller disk". Works great, when one follows the directions ;)

This failed a few times, before I got everything figured out. I've been through the process a number of times and now can do it in my sleep.

I have managed to backup my 128G SSD, to a verified backup. Then, I have restored it onto my 256G SSD. Perfect copy, as far as I can tell.

The problem was that I was omitting one little step. ;) The one that said to check the "Recover Disc Signature". When I recovered the backup with that checked, it worked like a charm. Thanks to tuttle for hounding me into using Backup. ;)

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Michael Davis wrote:
Thanks to tuttle for hounding me into using Backup. ;)

LOL. Thanks for letting us know. I will continue to advocate for Backup & Restore and against Clone. There are so many reasons why Backup is better than Clone. Many problems would be avoided if people would just ignore Clone and do Backup instead.

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