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Standard User cheshire_man
(knowledge is power) Sun 24-Jan-16 18:18:39
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What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


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I know asking the best is, well, asking for a multitude of This is the best answers. But...

Both these cases were using standard Win 7 utilities.
  1. Had problems restoring a Win 7 image to a laptop after having a Win 10 system on it. It decided to go into an interminable disc check afterwards for no valid reason that I could see.
  2. Couldn't restore an HDD partition image to a new SSD volume.
I like to take an image from time to time but if the image is as much use as a waterproof tea bag, then it's a waste of time, effort and possibly money.

So, accepting I may have to spend some money, what is the best, most user-friendly, most capable, of the various products out there?

Tony
We have more and more laws, and less and less enforcement
Standard User Pipexer
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 24-Jan-16 19:18:19
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
For all its annoying marketing faults and such, Acronis is very difficult to beat!

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Standard User longedge
(committed) Sun 24-Jan-16 20:33:57
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: Pipexer] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Pipexer:
For all its annoying marketing faults and such, Acronis is very difficult to beat!


It didn't work for me. I Googled the error condition/message that I got "Kernel Panic etc." and saw I wasn't the only one. I also have Paragon HD Manager Suite and that worked up to a point i.e. it cloned the drive onto a new one but when I put the clone in my laptop and tried to boot from it nothing happened.

I tried various settings for efi and mbr settings and with secure boot on and off all to no avail and I've given up.


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Standard User micksharpe
(legend) Sun 24-Jan-16 20:41:23
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
Try Easeus Partition Master. There is a free edition. I quite like Easeus's software.

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Standard User Banger
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 24-Jan-16 21:15:24
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
Ones I see being recommended are Aomei Backupper and Macrium Reflect Free. Aomei does a Partition Manager which can clone for free also but apparently Macrium Reflect can clone too, but I only use it for imaging, it can fix boot problems too. Dont forget to make a bootable DVD/USB for Reflect.

Tim
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Standard User zyborg47
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 24-Jan-16 21:16:27
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
For image and cloning i am now using Macrium reflect for basic cloning and image back up it seems to do the job and it is free. You can pay to get more features.

No partition software with it, but you can adjust the partitions if you clone onto a larger drive.
Paragon Partition manager is pretty good, the free on is basic but does the job, the same as EaseUS Partition Master is also good.

I did swear by acronis, but after two images became corrupted, I am not sure if I would like to trust it again.

Adrian

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Standard User cheshire_man
(knowledge is power) Sun 24-Jan-16 21:26:47
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: Banger] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Banger:
Ones I see being recommended are Aomei Backupper and Macrium Reflect Free. Aomei does a Partition Manager which can clone for free also but apparently Macrium Reflect can clone too, but I only use it for imaging, it can fix boot problems too. Dont forget to make a bootable DVD/USB for Reflect.
Perhaps I used the term clone incorrectly. I really meant the ability to take a copy of a system, either for security purposes or to be able to put it onto another disc (spinning or otherwise), and restore it as appropriate.

The real question - as with any backup/security policy strategy - is Does it actually work?; without testing you can't be sure. That then begs the question how do you test?
In reply to a post by zyborg47:
For image and cloning i am now using Macrium reflect for basic cloning and image back up it seems to do the job and it is free. You can pay to get more features.

No partition software with it, but you can adjust the partitions if you clone onto a larger drive.
Paragon Partition manager is pretty good, the free on is basic but does the job, the same as EaseUS Partition Master is also good.

I did swear by acronis, but after two images became corrupted, I am not sure if I would like to trust it again.
I'm not really concerned about partitioning software, it's the imaging/cloning ability I'm really interested in.

Tony
We have more and more laws, and less and less enforcement
Standard User Banger
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 24-Jan-16 21:34:09
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
Macrium Reflect free for imaging. Youre mixing up terms. Imaging for backup, cloning for disk to disk transfer.

Tim
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Standard User RobertoS
(elder) Sun 24-Jan-16 22:13:24
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by cheshire_man:
I'm not really concerned about partitioning software, it's the imaging/cloning ability I'm really interested in.
From what I've seen repeatedly over many years, seeking to combine the two is not something you should attempt. As I remember it Paragon is good at the partitioning aspect but I think there are or were better dedicated tools for that.

File (including system and hidden) full system backup by Acronis I believe to be quite robust. Image backup from any supplier I have always regarded with great suspicion. Too many variables to deal with at the low level when looked at in conjunction with partitioning.

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Standard User TinyMongomery
(fountain of knowledge) Sun 24-Jan-16 22:41:06
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
I've always used Paragon's utilities for partitioning, image backups, and cloning and they have never let me down yet. Free versions of their utilities for each of these uses is available.

I think many people have difficulties with newer versions of Windows because they do not appreciate that you really need to clone the whole disk (or at least the MBR and the hidden partition), not just the main Windows partition (normally C:). Failure to do so makes it difficult to restore to a bootable image.
Standard User zyborg47
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 24-Jan-16 23:14:34
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: Banger] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Banger:
Macrium Reflect free for imaging. Youre mixing up terms. Imaging for backup, cloning for disk to disk transfer.


Reflect can do both, i used it to clone my own SSD onto another SSD, just a shame it all went pear shape last night for some reason, but that is nothing to do with the cloning. i also used it on Saturday to clone a drive for a work colleague and it work fine.

once i get this machine back up and running as it should be I will be using Reflect to make image back up.

Adrian

Desktop machine now powered by windows 8.1 pro 64bit, no dreaded metro, laptop by Linux

Plusnet FTTC
Standard User zyborg47
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 24-Jan-16 23:23:30
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: TinyMongomery] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by TinyMongomery:
I've always used Paragon's utilities for partitioning, image backups, and cloning and they have never let me down yet. Free versions of their utilities for each of these uses is available.

I think many people have difficulties with newer versions of Windows because they do not appreciate that you really need to clone the whole disk (or at least the MBR and the hidden partition), not just the main Windows partition (normally C:). Failure to do so makes it difficult to restore to a bootable image.


Four partitions for UEFI for some reason, on windows 8.1 I have a recovery of NTFS 300MB, one that is fat32 100MB, which is UEFI, then a 128MB which is not formatted for some reason and then the 223GB NTFS main partition. So all of then would need to be cloned or copied to the image.

Now on a mates machine that just have a normal bios, Windows 8.1 only makes two partitions just like XP used to.

Adrian

Desktop machine now powered by windows 8.1 pro 64bit, no dreaded metro, laptop by Linux

Plusnet FTTC
Standard User longedge
(committed) Mon 25-Jan-16 10:27:56
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: zyborg47] [link to this post]
 
The drive in my laptop (Sony VAIO) has got 4 partitions - 2xrecovery (1.44GB & 34.87GB), 1xEFI (260MB) and Primary NTFS (894.23GB). There is unallocated space of 261MB. I cloned the disk to replicate this exactly but it didn't work and I wonder if the unallocated space is in fact being used in some way when the laptop boots.

For now I am using Windows File History to backup my files and documents to an external drive. I know that works as I can manually locate, copy and open files that are in the backup folder on the external drive. If push comes to shove I've got installation media for all the software I use.
Standard User Chrysalis
(legend) Thu 28-Jan-16 05:39:48
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Re: What's the best disc/partition cloning/imaging software?


[re: cheshire_man] [link to this post]
 
for windows i recommend macrium, and there is a free version which is adequate for most people.

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