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Old 22. Mar 2010, 01:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Clone vs Backup/Restore

My C drive become corrupted 2 weeks ago, and dozens of tools were unable to retrieve any of the data. Fortunately, I had much of it backed up by GFI, but lost my email. It took a long time to restore.
My question is whether it makes more sense to clone the C drive at regular intervals, or to go through the backup/restore process? I already have a spare 1TB HDD. The most recent GFI restore was not all that straight forward. Thanks.
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Old 22. Mar 2010, 05:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When you say "clone", I assume you are referring to "image"? Is that true?

Personally, I do both a backup and an image of my hard drive. In fact, I back up my documents, pictures, email, etc. to both an external drive and via online backup (Mozy free). Then, I also do an image backup (i.e. clone) of my entire HD.

Imaging is much more useful in situations like you mentioned. You can restore your entire HD bit by bit and it is exactly as it was when you imaged it. Backups are useful, as well, if you mistakenly delete a file or files or want to transfer files to a different computer. However, backups are just that....a backup of data. You can't use them to restore your HD to the way it was before.
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Old 22. Mar 2010, 12:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yes, Image is what I meant. Is the Image bootable, or is it used to restore the drive that got corrupted?
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Old 22. Mar 2010, 01:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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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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Old 22. Mar 2010, 02:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Am I correct that a cloned HDD is bootable immediately, but that a HDD image must be restored to make that HDD bootable? Also, do both of these methods alleviate the need to re-install programs? Thanks.
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Old 22. Mar 2010, 04:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bilvihur View Post
Am I correct that a cloned HDD is bootable immediately, but that a HDD image must be restored to make that HDD bootable? Also, do both of these methods alleviate the need to re-install programs? Thanks.
Yes, yes and yes.
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