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Old 12-30-2013, 03:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Hard drive partitions

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Originally Posted by copiman View Post
Can you elaborate on going from a larger disk to a smaller disk?
CloneZilla will copy from a 256GB to a 500GB drive with no issue, but it will NOT go from a 500GB to a 256GB drive at all. The intended use is going from drive to another drive of equal size. Great for large company deployments where all the PC's are the same specs.

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Also, I want to image the drive because I was told if you clone the drive you have to swap drives to get what you want.
I don't know what you mean by "swap drives to get what you want"...

So you'll need a extra drive (of course) and an adapter like this (2.5"/3.5" drives) or this (2.5" only) to connect the secondary drive.

You use either program (or any program for that purpose really) to duplicate the drives.
If something terribly wrong happens, you use the same program to copy back, OR you can swap the drives...

In my mind though, this is really unnecessary. The copy operation is going to consume 30m-1.5hr easily and you'll most likely never need that kind of backup.

You can easily create a Windows Backup in Safe Mode before you start work on the PC. If things get so bad that you can't boot Windows, you can take their drive out, plug into a laptop with the above linked adapters and get personal files off, worst case scenario.

However, I've very rarely had an issue that couldn't be at least worked around through safe mode. I wrote up this guide a while back to clean off viruses, but in reality, that will get your PC as clean as you possibly can without a complete format of the drive, and there's not much out there that can prevent you from following the steps written.

I'm not saying that guide is the de facto cleaning process, but any PC I've fixed, repaired, or otherwise, I've followed those steps and always been able to get it to a workable state where I could then start the process of transferring files in prep for a format operation as a last resort. Copying the entire drive on a pooched PC is a waste of space, you'll eventually have to dig out their files anyway.


Again, you are free to do as you like, and the above mentioned adapters and programs will accomplish exactly what you want, but I believe that you'll eventually find that they're either not needed, too time consuming, or even unwanted by the customer (you're making a copy of all their files... you're also liable if they have illegal stuff and you even posses that copy).
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: Hard drive partitions

If I got this right, I can copy from a smaller dive (in the PC) to a larger drive (external). Then if needed copy back to the internal from the external. Is this correct?

What I meant about swapping drives was when you clone a drive you cannot copy back to the drive you cloned. You just swap out the drive. When you image the drive you can copy back to the drive. At least this is what I was told.

I am a student at a local tech college studying PC and networking, so I'm green at this time. I get PCs from friends and family to clean up and or fix to give me hands on. I just want to have a safe guard just in case I make matters worse. Worst case, I can at least configure the PC back to its original state when I received it. I have never used or performed a back up of any kind and would like to learn and actually do it. I have a PC that was given to me that has XP on it I can use as a test unit.

I have looked at Macrium Reflect and Partition Wizard. I think this will allow me to do what I need. I looked at TrueImage but it looks like it does not have a GUI and I'm not ready for that just yet.

Hope I answered your question. Sorry to be so long winded, but I believe communication is vital.

Thank you for the link to your write up. I will definitely read it to learn more. Just at a glance, I saw some things that I do, but there is more stuff, and I like stuff. Thanks again.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:09 PM   #13
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Default Re: Hard drive partitions

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Originally Posted by copiman View Post
If I got this right, I can copy from a smaller dive (in the PC) to a larger drive (external). Then if needed copy back to the internal from the external. Is this correct?

With EZ Gig IV, yes. It will allow you to copy from any size to any size as long as the data fits.
CloneZilla cries about sizes differences.

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Originally Posted by copiman View Post
What I meant about swapping drives was when you clone a drive you cannot copy back to the drive you cloned. You just swap out the drive. When you image the drive you can copy back to the drive. At least this is what I was told.
That's only true if your currently logged into Windows.

Using a boot CD (as is available with EZ Gig and CloneZilla), you can copy from external to internal, because those files are not locked, or in-use. You can make a copy to an external, seriously jack up the Windows install, and then boot from one of those and put the copy right back on the internal drive without any physical swapping.

I feel it important to note: With bootable programs, you should know which drive you're copying to and from. They won't be labeled as C and D, rather, they'll show sda1/sda2 or sdb0/sdb1 etc.

sda0 is going be the first available hard disk partition. If the C drive is the only partition, on the only drive in the PC, then it will either show as sda0 or sda1 (depending on the program).

Anything external (using a USB adapter) will show as sdb0 or sdb1. Make sure you confirm these along with the known size of the drive before starting a copy. The last thing you want to do is copy the wrong way.

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I just want to have a safe guard just in case I make matters worse. Worst case, I can at least configure the PC back to its original state when I received it.
Better safe than sorry at first, sure. Unless you're doing some hardcore deletion of file, then using the Windows Restore/Backup feature already available should be sufficient to restore any settings or registry state. Deleting files, then yes you would want an actual copy elsewhere.

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I have looked at Macrium Reflect and Partition Wizard. I think this will allow me to do what I need. I looked at TrueImage but it looks like it does not have a GUI and I'm not ready for that just yet.
I have not personally used any of those so wouldn't be able to comment. Some other members should be able to confirm their functionality though.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:29 PM   #14
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Default Re: Hard drive partitions

Thanks for the heads up on the drive names. Good to know. If I can, I plan on trying to do this New Years day. Will see how it goes.

Definitely want to be safe. Don't want to lose data and not be able to put it back. The biggie is they never have the app/program CDs. So if I lose Office or some other program, I'm toast.

Not familiar with the boot cd thing. Maybe they have information about that on their website. I just thought the software would simply back it up with a couple of clicks and then reload it back with a couple of clicks. In time I'm sure it will become easy for me

iPwn, thank you for your time. You have been very helpful. I will give an update once I try it. If you think of anything, let me know. I'm on here a lot. I learn a lot reading other post.
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Hard drive partitions

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Originally Posted by copiman View Post
The biggie is they never have the app/program CDs. So if I lose Office or some other program, I'm toast.
I keep pretty much every install I encounter, because you never know when or where you'll need it, and they're hard to come by. Just start building a library as you go.

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Not familiar with the boot cd thing.
Get familiar... there's an entire world of possibilities outside of the Windows GUI, and most of the 'really cool guy tech stuff' is done with programs you boot to, from a CD or USB. Most is Linux based, so learning about that entire structure would not be time wasted.

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Originally Posted by copiman View Post
Maybe they have information about that on their website.
They do. Along with YouTube videos, forums... info is all over the place for that kind of stuff.

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Originally Posted by copiman View Post
I just thought the software would simply back it up with a couple of clicks
EZ Gig has a Windows version that will allow you simply backup your drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by copiman View Post
and then reload it back with a couple of clicks.
That can't be done. Simply because you can't overwrite Windows files while Windows is running. For this operation, you have to boot from CD.

Good luck
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: Hard drive partitions

Well if you have a lot of stuff on the hard drive then going to a smaller drive it would not be able to copy it. I think you should just go with making an image of the hard drive saving it to an external drive then if something happens image the hard drive with the image that you created.

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