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Old October 13, 2008, 06:51 AM
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Default Disc cloning software?

I have 2 identical hardrives 500GB Western Digital SE16's. I used to dual boot between Vista 64 and XP 32. I never boot into XP anymore so I'm going to lose it.

My OS's crapped out so I need to reinstall at this point, OS, programs, data, everything. Yup, a long day ahead.

I want to put everything on one drive and clone it to another. I am hoping to find a free bit of software that will allow me to once a month just copy it all exactly as is and physically remove the 2nd drive. I would like it to work as if let's say my HD were stolen by aliens I could just pop in my other drive and be up and running instantly.

I've been reading around but it's a little over my head in some ways. A lot of the programs talk of restoring (I want to replace not restore), or they store it compressed or as xml files etc. I can't get into my OS at all so I don't know how I could restore even if I had a back up. The Windows CD won't even get past loading to do a repair, it just restarts over and over. Now if I had an exact copy from a month ago I could be up and running now instead of bothering you good people.

Is what I want to do possible? I would like to just lose 1 months data at most and have an almost instant re-up time (as long as it takes to pop in the 2nd drive).

If this is possible but the freeware options suck could you recomend software for less than $100 that would do this.

Thanks in advance,
Rob
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Old October 13, 2008, 07:05 AM
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WD make a free cloning software as part of the Data LifeGuard suite : WD Support > Downloads > SATA Hard Drives > WD Caviar Black

It's basically a custom version of Acronis True Image, one of the best in the world and it's totally free as long as one of the drives you want to clone is a WD, which is the case for you.
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Old October 13, 2008, 07:10 AM
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I did come across that in my search but it lists

Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows ME
Windows 98SE
Windows 98

as the supported OS's. I'm running Vista 64 so i don't think it will work.
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Old October 13, 2008, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FreqE1 View Post
I did come across that in my search but it lists

Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows ME
Windows 98SE
Windows 98

as the supported OS's. I'm running Vista 64 so i don't think it will work.
Ignore that, pick the CD version, which is a bootable ISO. Burn it and restart to boot from the CD then it will be in its own OS to do the cloning. It doesn't care what OS and it does support NTFS without problems.
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Old October 13, 2008, 07:16 AM
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Thanks a lot, from reading about it, it does exactly what I want so now that I know it'll work with Vista I'll use it.
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Old October 13, 2008, 09:35 AM
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True Image is also available form Acronis as a stand-alone free app. There's also software that came with your gigabyte board, but I'm not sure if it's any good.
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Old October 13, 2008, 11:15 AM
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At work we use Norton Ghost 9 for all of our cloning. For our most commonly bought PC we have a hard drive with Ghost images on it and we use that to load the OS onto all of the new PCs. Takes less than 30mins to go from parts to fully operational computer. Ghost is a bit annoying to use, but it has yet to fail us.
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Old October 13, 2008, 03:44 PM
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Seagate uses the same Acronis TrueImage Home engine, one of the best, also the FULL version uncrippled - I use it all the time, it is fast too - the only thing missing in this software is a feature to compare a 1:1 clone but otherwise it's great - You can also make a special boot CD/DVD out of it ! 1:1 clone means it makes an identical copy of your HD, including all partitions and everything else.
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Old October 13, 2008, 06:57 PM
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Acronis true image + 1.

Best for me, free and works great. I used for a backup and an image and worked great.
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Old October 13, 2008, 09:09 PM
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Thumbs up to Seagate also for regularly updating it as well
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