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When you clone your hard drive do you backup your operating system also?

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January 3, 2014 1:26:17 PM

I was wondering how I could backup my entire hard drive in case of complete failure. This includes the operating system as well as the files that I may have on it. Does cloning the hard drive accomplish this?
a b G Storage
January 3, 2014 1:33:52 PM

Yes, you make a complete clone of the drive which includes everything.
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a b G Storage
January 3, 2014 1:35:23 PM

There are two types of "cloning" - the first takes a complete snapshot of everything on the drive, and stores it in a "single file". The second is when you connect a second drive (identical drive) and copy it sector by sector to truly make an exact copy.

The first method just requires a drive that is larger than the image (i.e. if you have a 500GB drive, and 200GB is used, you need larger than 200GB to restore the image). Both of them will effectively "clone" the drive and give you a replacement.
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January 3, 2014 1:40:37 PM

ronintexas said:
There are two types of "cloning" - the first takes a complete snapshot of everything on the drive, and stores it in a "single file". The second is when you connect a second drive (identical drive) and copy it sector by sector to truly make an exact copy.

The first method just requires a drive that is larger than the image (i.e. if you have a 500GB drive, and 200GB is used, you need larger than 200GB to restore the image). Both of them will effectively "clone" the drive and give you a replacement.


Is disk imaging the same thing as the first type of cloning? If so does disk imaging also backup the operating system? Does the second method require a hard drive of the same size even if you have not used all of the space? Which method would be most effective? Thanks for the help.
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a b G Storage
January 3, 2014 1:51:39 PM

Disk imaging is virtually the same thing. Disk imaging is usually referred to when you are creating the single file backup to restore. The cloning is when you have two drive ready to go (the copy has to be equal or greater in size), and you directly copy from one drive to the other.

Disk imaging is more of a "backup" - although most cloning software will allow you to make this image. Here are a few options (absolutely free):

http://clonezilla.org/

http://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm

Both are free for non-commercial use.
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a c 906 G Storage
January 3, 2014 1:53:59 PM

Yes, IMO Ronin is describing Disk Imaging in that first type.
Yes it backs up everything that was imaged. Its possible to only image an individual partition (just as its possible to only clone a partition) so you only have a copy of what you created.

Since Cloning would create a duplicate drive of the one you cloned from; I beleive Drive Imaging provides a better backup solution. Imaging creates a file and you can store multiple images on another disk (internal or external) whereas cloning would use the whole disk, giving you only 1 backup copy, and potentially leave in in a bad situation if you inadvertently cloned damaged files and hadn't realized it yet.

I hope that makes sense.
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