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Old 22. Mar 2010, 01:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Wales, UK
Posts: 1,174

In backup terms -

"Clone" actually means an exact copy of your main HDD is created using a second HDD. Then it's just a case of physically removing the first HDD and replacing it with the new one and you are good to go. Mostly used for replacing an old HDD with a newer one, though can also be used for backup purposes by exchanging one HDD for another in rotation.

"Image" is also an exact copy of you main HDD (or individual partitions) but which is usually stored as one large archive (usually on an external HDD). This needs to be restored to either the original, or another physical HDD using some sort of recovery method, before becoming operational again. Individual files can usually also be recovered individually from an image if required.

It's usually a good idea to also keep an extra copy of your important personal files etc. created on a separate media e.g. DVD as added insurance against their loss.

The choice is yours though most people seem to find imaging the most convenient method but the ease of use of the different programs available for this can vary widely.
Have a read of this page - best-free-drive-imaging-program
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