Windows 10: System Disk Image/Clone

Discus and support System Disk Image/Clone in Windows 10 Backup and Restore to solve the problem; There's been some discussion on this in another thread & having previously not been too successful in the past, I'd like to seek some advice. When a... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Backup and Restore' started by WightWalker, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. System Disk Image/Clone

    There's been some discussion on this in another thread & having previously not been too successful in the past, I'd like to seek some advice.

    When a disk is cloned it makes an identical copy to another HD; the idea being that if the one in use fails, then the cloned HD can be used. Because the identity of both HDs is the same, Windows will only recognise one, so I guess that the cloned HD is removed from the system after backup & fitted should original HD fail.

    When an image is created, this can be left as it is a file. Previously using Norton Ghost (doesn't register with Windows 8/8.1 or 10) I've experienced errors when restoring the image file.

    Another problem I've encountered is that the cloned HD has the same identity as the originalHD, so if at some later stage you want to use that HD (i.e. delete clone backup) Windows prevents it from being used. I've forgotten how to change the identity of the HD, but I guess that it shouldn't ve too difficult to find fro an internet search.

    WightWalker, Feb 3, 2015
  2. JimWynne Win User

    system backup

    A bit of clarification: Cloning pertains to disks, not single partitions. A clone is an exact copy of an entire disk. I use cloning as part of a three-deep backup process that also includes file backups and system images. I have a front-panel accessible
    drive bay and use a duplicate of my system hard drive to do cloning (see below). Cloning is fast (I use Acronis) and provides a solution that allows for immediate use of the cloned drive in order to get back up and running in the event that the system drive
    goes to hell.

    System Disk Image/Clone [​IMG]
    JimWynne, Feb 3, 2015
  3. Ivy336289 Win User
    Migration from Hdd to m2.SSD

    recovery partition can help you to restore your computer to a previous good state. you'd better migrate it.

    in Windows, there is no disk cloning software. if you do not want to use a third-party tool, you can use backup and restore (windows 7) to create a system backup on external drive,

    restore system image from external hard drive
    to SSD, change the location of HDD and SSD, set boot priority to SSD and boot from it.

    if that does not work, you can choose to reinstall Windows or use a disk cloning software to clone disk.
    Ivy336289, Feb 3, 2015
  4. badrobot Win User

    System Disk Image/Clone

    What do you mean windows prevents it from being used? How? Can you show a screenshot? I have been playing around with clones for the past few years without any issue using and re-using SSDs and HDDs. Windows will definitely see both drives. You just probably need to assign a drive letter to the other one so that you can see it on the explorer window.

    You can't use a cloned OS on another machine. That's for sure. But if it somehow worked, that would be illegal.

    But on the same machine, you can switch between cloned OS.

    I use clones as backup and if I want to experiment on something I knew will mess up the OS.

    As for image backups, Macrium Reflect free edition worjs 100% of the time.

    I rarely use the native system image creator on Windows.

    Here's a screenshot of a cloned Windows 7 OS on 1 HDD and 2 SSDs (Win 10 running as a host OS on another SSD). They are one and the same OS installations (clones) but all on the same machine. The test Win 7 on Crucial SSD is dual boot with Linux.

    System Disk Image/Clone [​IMG]
    badrobot, Feb 3, 2015
  5. Me thinks there are some dire misconceptions at work. (the Ghost in the machine?)

    Since 1997, I've been using the Ghost backup/restore/clone program.
    The very first time I used Ghost was in a little shop I worked in, where we used Ghost to clone a small HD to a larger HD.
    By the very nature of a Clone, it's 100% exactly like the original and will boot up and run on the same PC with NO problems whatsoever.

    I was given a Laptop PC, several years old, when the internal HD shot craps and the owner decided to just replace the little PC rather than try to get it fixed.

    I removed the bad HD and replaced it with one that I had used to test Windows 8.1 on my main Desktop PC. When I installed it into the Laptop and booted it up I was surprised and delighted to see it boot up normally and begin installing drivers for the new hardware. So the old story that a hard drive from one PC won't work in another PC, is more of an Old Wives Tale, than a fact.
    It can actually work great, if both PC's have the same type of CPU. In the case I mentioned here, both PC's had an AMD Athlon CPU.

    Now about Ghost: Ver. 2003 worked great on Windows XP, but stopped working in Vista and above, because of a different NTFS file structure. (so to speak). It would do a backup that could not be restored. Arggggh!

    So my own fix for that was to start using Ghost 11.5 (2005) the last DOS based version of Ghost that would run from a DOS boot disk. It's too large to run from a floppy disk, so I run it from either a Boot CD or Bootable Flash Drive.
    Just for fun, I even put it on a bootable SD Flash Memory Card. *Smile

    Ghost 11.5 will back up any OS from '98 to Win-10, with no problems. My software Guru tells me it will also back up Windows Server and Linux. A program expert from Symantec, who worked on the original Ghost, once posted on a forum that Ghost 11.5 does not exist. If it doesn't exist, does that mean that we can share it freely? Hmmmm!
    I wondered about that, so one day I did a Google Search for it and Lo and Behold, I found an ISO for a Ghost 11.5 boot CD.
    Go figure!

    To prevent any interaction between an original HD and a Cloned HD in the same PC, (a desktop, I would presume) just pull the power cable from the Clone drive. I actually have three hard drives in my Desktop PC. #One is my main drive, #Two is my Clone, and #Three is my test drive where I now have Windows 10, Pro, Technical Preview 9926 installed. Only one drive at a time is plugged in. Right now, I have drive #1 , with my main OS, Windows XP, plugged in and running. It never sees my other two drives.

    Hard drives I treat like Girlfriends....... never let one meet the other. Eh?

    Cheers mates!
    TechnoMage, Feb 3, 2015
  6. badrobot Win User
    TM, I mentioned that a cloned OS may work on another PC (like you said if the hardware specs are the same) but that OS may be not activated due to licensing issue. It is now a matter of how many machines you are allowed to run with your licensed OS.

    But if you were referring to tech preview of Win 8, that wouldn't be an issue. You can run tech previews (activated) on as many pc as you have.

    You can plug in as many drives as you can with different OSes. The only time you need to have them plugged in one at a time is when you are installing, repairing or restoring image of an OS. You can manually select a boot drive at startup.
    badrobot, Feb 3, 2015
  7. davehc Win User
    Agreed with the posts above. I have frequently cloned the Tech preview, , using an external Laptop HD. I have also completed the process from an SSD to a standard HD and vice versa. No problems - so far. I use Acronis, but I don't think the program used is an issue.
    davehc, Feb 3, 2015
  8. badrobot Win User

    System Disk Image/Clone

    Exactly. Right now I am using a hardware to clone (bare metal cloning). But Macrium Reflect Free Edition is also great for cloning. Also the Paragon Migrate OS which also automatically takes care of alignment.

    System Disk Image/Clone [​IMG]
    badrobot, Feb 3, 2015
  9. Hi

    This isn't really about cloned drives but I've used various back up programs over the years.
    I've used Norton Ghost (a number of different versions) Pargaon etc, and I've finally settled on EaseUS TODO Free backup and recovery.

    Not only is it free it is the easiest program to use that I've ever tried.
    I've made dozens of backups with it and it's never failed to restore everything exactly the way it was when I needed it.

    It makes it's own bootable restore disk, either Linux or Windows format, and it literally only takes a couple of clicks to backup or restore your computer.

    Sounds like I'm selling software but after having issues with many different programs that didn't always work when I needed them I'm really happy with this.

    A few days ago my sound went bad on my Windows 10 install, (unwanted driver update) it only took 20 minutes to have everything back to working perfectly again.

    Because I'm testing beta software with W10 I make a new backup every few days.
    This is so that I can get back to where I was if I need to, if I or Microsoft mess it up, (usually it's me).

    This works perfect.

    MikeHawthorne, Feb 3, 2015
  10. My Acer came with one HD 750 GB and I cloned it to a 120 GB SSD shortly after I purchased. I cloned the HD which was only 60 GB full and moved the HD to the second bay. The system booted to the SSD without changing anything in BIOS. The HD became my data drive. Next I cloned the 120 SSD to a 240 GB SSD and put the 240 into the 1st bay and it booted fine. I took the 120 SSD and put tit back into drive bay 1 and formatted it and installed the technical preview and it's working fine. I use Acronis True Image to do the cloning.

    I work in IT and we have an image we install on all machines that have our enterprise software on. We install that image on all machine and sometimes system get corrupt we re-image the machine. When we purchase a PC it comes with the current OS and we install the image of the supported OS. Our supported OS now is Windows 7.
    orlbuckeye, Feb 3, 2015
  11. Thanks for all responses.

    Maybe I'm confusing myself. The problem was when I took a Norton Ghost image of the OS & restored it to a different drive on the PC with the original HD still in situ as drive C. When the process was completed, Windows 7 produced an error message: This disk is offline because it has a signature collision with another disk.

    If either HD was removed, then each on it's own was visible in Windows.

    Running Diskpart, listdisk, select disk 'x', uniqueid disk returned an ID which was the same for both.

    Running uniqueid disk ID='NEW SIGNATURE' to an 8 digit number that was unique for my PC build on the Ghosted HD resolved the problem.

    I have not created a cloned copy of an OS to another HD using the utilities mentioned in this forum, so it must be that if these individuals have not experienced any problems, then disk cloning creates an identical copy of the OS onto the new HD without copying the ID otherwise it wouldn't work.

    Hope I've explained myself & my assumptions are correct.
    WightWalker, Feb 3, 2015
  12. caperjack Win User
    your copy of windows can only be used on only one computer at a time ,even if its the same computer ,its not going to allow you to duel boot the same OS with only one activation key if you had another copy [with its on key ]of windows on the second hard drive you likely would not have gotten the error
    caperjack, Feb 3, 2015
  13. meebers Win User

    System Disk Image/Clone

    My main OS is of course on C: I have a clone of C: on my D: drive. Both are SATA SSD's. When I reboot and choose D: to boot from, it then becomes C: when it runs. The computer does not know any difference, it is identical. Of course, if D: data is not updated frequently, you begin when you last saved it. (same for images)
    meebers, Feb 4, 2015
  14. I had W7 "spit the dummy" because 2 drives had the same signature (UUID?) after imaging.
    "This disk is offline because it has a signature collision with another disk"

    Disk Management fixed the issue in W7.
    • Right Click on the disc label on the left side.
    • There is an option in the context menu (I can't recall the name and I can't look it up as I'm in LM17.1 at the moment)
    lehnerus2000, Feb 4, 2015
  15. As meebers commented, you can, as I have, 2 HDs with the same build of Windows 7 & key, using the bios to boot into which ever one is required; should 'C' fail, then I've got immediate access to another on 'D' which when booted, becomes 'C'.

    I never use multiple boot options; on one occasion, heaven knows how it happened, the OS on the 'C' drive required files from the 'D' to function so if 'D' was removed, then 'C' wouldn't boot.

    Wasn't aware that the context menu (pointed out by lehnerus2000) had an option to overcome signature collisions with another disk ; as mentioned, I resulted to Diskpart to change the ID.

    But then surely this wouldn't be a cloned copy of the OS, unless the key is changed at a subsequent stage.

    As I only want to run one OS at a time, then there's no problem in using the same key,
    WightWalker, Feb 4, 2015

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