HD CLONE question

Started Sep 16, 2013 | Discussions thread
dwalby Veteran Member • Posts: 5,318
Re: HD CLONE question

malch wrote:

Timzee wrote:

I have a notebook with a 320GB HD which has 2 partitions. An OS partition "C" and the main data partition "D". I suspect the HD is getting a bit flakey and would like to clone it to a new 500GB drive. Going to try the Macrium software as I've read a number of favorable comments about it for cloning a HD.

Does the program see both C & D partitions so I end up with all the data on the original 320GB drive on the new 500GB drive with both partitions in place?

Yes. Macrium will allow you to clone the whole drive (including Master Boot Record, C and D).

You also have the option of imaging individual partitions, but cloning the whole drive is what you need at this point.

If you don't have a third drive around to store the partition images on, then cloning is probably your best option. But, since I assume your notebook only has one drive bay, you'll need some way to have both disks connected to the notebook to do the cloning.

If you have a third (USB) drive, then imaging each partition separately might be faster, depending on how much of the 320GB drive is used. Imaging only copies the sectors that are used, cloning copies every byte one at a time whether its used or empty, so the amount of data transferred during an image restoration is generally less than a clone, and could be a lot less. Restoring partitions also allows you to resize the partition upon restoration, so if you want to enlarge either or both partitions on the new, bigger drive it will allow you to do that too when you restore to the bigger drive. With cloning you'll get an exact copy of the 320GB drive and have to repartition the other 180GB after doing the clone.

Not sure how familiar you are with the imaging process, but there are some subtle things to watch out for when imaging your OS to a new drive. Store the partition images on the third (USB) drive and create a boot disk for Macrium. Then replace the old drive with the new one in the notebook drive bay and boot into the disk environment and restore the partitions to the new drive from the USB drive while running the Macrium boot disk. Don't try to restore the partitions to the new disk with the old disk still in the system running the OS, you can get drive letter assignment issues that cause boot problems after you swap the new disk into the laptop. I believe cloning also avoids the drive letter confusion issue, but I've never cloned a new drive, I've only restored images onto a new drive.

When restoring images you'll also have to restore the MBR, which should be something Macrium saves when you image the original partitions.  Then you can create and resize the partitions during the restoration process.  With a clone operation the MBR and partition tables will be copied from disk A to disk B directly, so no additional steps are required for that.

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