Cloning or imaging the HDD?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by the_randomizer, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    I've been doing some reading on cloning and imagine software for HDDs, one being more for backup purposes, and one for swapping out an old HDD for a new one, but this leaves me with a few questions. Being somewhat paranoid about the data, I'm trying to go about the best method of completely backing up my data without having to go through the hassle of reinstalling and reactivating my Windows machine. Does one absolutely have to have more than one HDD inside the tower to be done, or can it be done via USB 3 or an eSata connection with an external drive?

    I do have two HDDs in my computers, one is for the OS and all my data, the other is just data that I copied over the months, but I didn't actually clone or image. I guess the real question is, should I image, should I clone? External HDD via USB or eSata/HDD enclosure? I want to have peace of mind knowing all the vital data is safe and not have to go through a tedious process of recovering it.

    I only ask here because it's both software and hardware related; hardware because it involves my HDDs, but software because I need a good program to do all this; if this is the wrong section, I do apologize.

    I don't even know what's the best way to go about using eSata.
     
  2. DarkGabbz

    DarkGabbz Resident XBOX Guy

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  3. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    I guess what I'm trying to figure out is which method is best, whether or not I can use an external HDD (USB or eSata), and if it would for sure be able to restore things back to normal without any issues.
     
  4. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    I have used clonezilla over network before, works pretty well actually. But yeah you should also be able to pipe it out over anything that Linux sees as a hard drive (so most things that are not that horror that is MTP or PTP). Not sure what is faster between USB3 and esata right now but if it is USB2 then esata it is, or network (I find it far easier to share a directory or set up a FTP server or something).

    Also one of the many little truisms of backups/data recovery -- backups are just data until you restore it so make sure it you do a test restore on some other hard drive if you are going down this path.
     
  5. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    AFAIK
    USB 3.0 is about up to 5 Gbps while eSATA is up to 6Gbps
     
  6. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Er... I don't have Linux, and I'm not adept at using it at all, nor do I have a network set up, like, at all... What about Windows? I currently use Windows 7, so, Clonezilla doesn;t really...suit my purposes since it's Linux only. The thing is, I have 800 GB or so of data that I need to back up, network would not be ideal, I'd need to get a fast way to clone/image the data to another drive, and again, no Linux, can't use it.

    Should I use USB 3.0 HDD or get a new HDD with an eSata cable and enclosure?
     
    Last edited by the_randomizer, Sep 27, 2016
  7. RevPokemon

    RevPokemon GBATemp's 3rd Favorite Transgirl

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    eSATA for the performance
     
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  8. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    You don't need Linux, clonezilla is based on Linux and runs off a liveCD (backing up a working drive that the OS is running from is a tricky prospect after all) but happily reads and writes to NTFS drives, handles Windows installs and all that jazz -- I use it for Windows laptops, computers and servers all the time. It is however Linux at its core and limited to what Linux can do, which is most things and most of those better than Windows but you might have something strange so I mentioned it anyway. Equally it is a GUI program rather than a distro that happens to have some tools on it that you get to launch first (if you are thinking like downloading one of those WEP cracking distros and using that then nothing close to it).
    No worries on not having a network, most people do have something here and if you are getting concerned about caddies then networks bypass much of that so I mentioned it. If you have a second computer and buy a $5 router at goodwill or something you can still do a local network, you don't even need the router but it is easier than messing with windows connection sharing and the like. 800 gigs is fine for even 100mbps network really, if I was going to be doing weekly full images or something then I would bump it to gig ethernet or possibly go to fibre/fiber but for a one shot affair and then keeping up as time goes on it is doable in a sensible timeframe (19 hours or so, gigabit is just under 2 hours). http://www.t1shopper.com/tools/calculate/downloadcalculator.php if you want to play with different backup sizes.
     
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  9. FaTaL_ErRoR

    FaTaL_ErRoR AKA ŦƕƎ ƠṀƐƝ

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    Last edited by FaTaL_ErRoR, Sep 28, 2016
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  10. migles

    migles Mei the sexiest bae

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    my dad works for nintendo.
    i bouight a sandisk SSD and the instructions to replace the pc hdd were basically this
    clone the disk and swap.
    i think it even recomended macrium reflect (i use macrium btw, it's a really good tool)
     
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  11. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    What if I don't have an extra cable for the HDD's power supply, is it feasible to back it up to a 1 TB USB HDD (USB 3.0)? I only ask because I don't have an extra SATA HDD at the moment, a recent repair for my car is about to set me back today. I do have a 1 TB USB as I mentioned. And don't I need to run the software via USB boot or something since it contains my OS?

    I guess the question is, which is better? Cloning or image if I'm going to use USB? I assume it'll be a helluva long time to back it up.
     
  12. DarkGabbz

    DarkGabbz Resident XBOX Guy

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    Fun fact inside external usb hdd´s are normal sata drives.
     
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  13. the_randomizer
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    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    Sorry, I've been up since 4:20 this morning and my brain isn't working. What I meant to say is, given that my primary HDD with Windows 7 is the one that I need to back up, don't I need to run the clone/imaging software outside the OS (USB booting)? I only
    ask because I would think cloning an HDD from the OS drive to the external drive would create some kind of issue and/or make the computer throw a tizzy fit. I would use that Live CD method, but there's only one issue, I had to sacrifice the power cable to my DVD drive in order to use power my second HDD, so..yeah. I may just have to image and not clone to the USB drive. What say you?