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Standard User cheshire_man
(knowledge is power) Fri 17-Aug-12 13:30:19
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How to image or clone a Windows XP laptop


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I have an oldish Dell laptop with XP installed. It is likely that that programs and data on it will not be needed. But...

I'm considering wiping the HDD and reinstalling XP but would prefer to ensure it can be reinstated to its current state. And I'd also like to be able to get at all the data independently.

The HDD is c.60 Gbytes with a total of about 14 Gbytes used.

To deal with the second requirement first. I could, presumably, copy the data folders, My Documents, and any other data folders, to an external drive.

As for the first requirement, what's the best way of going about it and what (preferably free) software would do the job?

Tony
Standard User GeeTee
(committed) Fri 17-Aug-12 14:42:26
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Re: How to image or clone a Windows XP laptop


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
I have used Clonezilla several times to both clone and image hard drives. Worked perfectly.

http://www.clonezilla.org/

Edited by GeeTee (Fri 17-Aug-12 14:43:28)

Standard User cheshire_man
(knowledge is power) Fri 17-Aug-12 14:50:46
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Re: How to image or clone a Windows XP laptop


[re: GeeTee] [link to this post]
 
Given that there's about 14 Gbytes of data on the drive I presume a DVD can't be used, or can the image span discs?

Can use an external drive though having it on optical disc(s) has portability advantages.

Tony


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Standard User GeeTee
(committed) Fri 17-Aug-12 15:29:31
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Re: How to image or clone a Windows XP laptop


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
I've never attempted taking an image directly to DVD always to external drive or flash USB, so I have no idea if it would support spanning multiple DVDs on the fly.

I'd be inclined to write the image file on an external drive and then use something else to handle splitting it and wrting it out to DVD.
Standard User 4M2
(experienced) Fri 17-Aug-12 15:38:32
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Re: How to image or clone a Windows XP laptop


[re: GeeTee] [link to this post]
 
For cloning a drive don't you need a drive of the same or perhaps larger capacity? Or can you make an image of only the required XP OS files etc.?

Edited by 4M2 (Fri 17-Aug-12 15:40:13)

Standard User GeeTee
(committed) Fri 17-Aug-12 16:09:03
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Re: How to image or clone a Windows XP laptop


[re: 4M2] [link to this post]
 
Yes - if you ever come to restore a clonezilla image back to a disk - the disk needs to be the same size or larger than the originally imaged disk - even if the actual amount of data stored is much smaller.

One technique to mitigate the impact of this is to defragment the partition and then resize it down to close to the size of the actual data on it. Then take an image of the now smaller partition.
Standard User 4M2
(experienced) Fri 17-Aug-12 16:32:56
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Re: How to image or clone a Windows XP laptop


[re: GeeTee] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by GeeTee:
One technique to mitigate the impact of this is to defragment the partition and then resize it down to close to the size of the actual data on it. Then take an image of the now smaller partition.


Thanks - I didn't know that one could do that: I thought that if the XP OS occupied a partition then it couldn't be resized.
Standard User cheshire_man
(knowledge is power) Fri 17-Aug-12 16:35:31
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Re: How to image or clone a Windows XP laptop


[re: GeeTee] [link to this post]
 
I was more thinking that it may be required to reinstate the driver contents back to the original PC so that wouldn't be a problem.

Having checked further there's no data on the PC, it was all held on the servers at the location the owner used to work (she was given permission to take the PC with her when she left). There's lots of specialist programs though, including the Welsh language extensions to MS Office grin.

Tony
Standard User GeeTee
(committed) Fri 17-Aug-12 17:11:09
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Re: How to image or clone a Windows XP laptop


[re: 4M2] [link to this post]
 
It's been a long time since I used it but I don't think XP comes with any tools capable of resizing its own base partition (Win7 does).

However it's possible to resize it using the likes of a GParted Live or SystemRescueCD disk. The GParted partition manager will happily resize NTFS. Care needs to be taken to resize by moving the end point of the partition rather than the start, and a thorough defragment In XP before starting is a good move.

XP will run a chkdsk at the next boot/

I've never had it go wrong on me, but resizing partitions should not be taken lightly and a backup of the contents should always be taken before doing it. e.g. Something as simple as a brief power cut in the middle of the resize procedure will leave a very broken mess on the disk.
Standard User 4M2
(experienced) Fri 17-Aug-12 17:30:33
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Re: How to image or clone a Windows XP laptop


[re: GeeTee] [link to this post]
 
Right - I use EMP http://download.cnet.com/EaseUS-Partition-Master-Hom... for that kind of work but that was with a drive that I wished to reformat and wanted to remove a NTFS partition. I setup the drive (which had XP installed on it) in an external enclosure, removed the partition and reformatted the whole thing NTFS.
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