Part 1 - Is burning an image of my hard drive the same as making a clone?
Part 2 - I have an intel 256gb SSD drive as my primary, i have a seagate barracuda 500gb as backup. I want to clone the SSD
to the HDD. Both are internal drives currently connected to my motherboard. The barracuda is formatted and 100% empty.
"Is burning an image of my hard drive the same as making a clone?"
No, because the contents of a drive image are not readable by Windows without using the imaging software which created it. Also, an image of an operating system is not bootable until it's restored.
A clone is made by copying the partitions from one hard drive directly to another hard drive so you then have two hard drives with exactly the same contents, both in a readable form (and both are bootable if it contains an operating system).
Where an SSD is concerned, you need to make a clone, not a drive image. This is because of complications that can arise when restoring the image back to the SSD, in cases where Windows and it's boot files (the boot manager) are on two separate partitions, as is often the case with Windows 7 (and some OEM Vista installations).
See this: http://www.ehow.com/list_7554282_problems-cloning-ssd-d...
If your Windows and it's boot files are on the same partition (in other words, if the Windows partition is the 'active' partition) the above problem won't arise.
I just want to make an exact clone of my current SSD onto my current HDD. Both are connected to the motherboard, I don't have a drive cloning dock, and the USB to SATA wire can't power a mechanical hard drive.
Sounds like a job for Disk Copy - download and create a bootable media (either cd or usb drive), shut off computer, make sure both drives are connected, boot to disk (cd or usb depending on the method you selected) and copy the partion.
Is this so You can have two HDDs to Boot to, using a boot menu to select which drive boots. This is what you will have if you "Clone" your SSD to the HDD.
If You are tring to protect yourself in the event the SSD must have the windows installation re-installed, then you want to place an Image of the SSD on the HDD. JUST use windows backup program (located in control panel under system (Windows 7 NEW feature). Should you need to "re-install" windows on the SSD, IT is very quick and painless, just pop in the Windows Installation disk and select repair, then restore using an image file - 10 To 15 min later you rebbot and everything is just like when you made the Image.