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Acronis Question...

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I recently flew over 3000 miles for a work term and brought my desktop with me (I scattered the parts throughout my luggage). Now that I'm here and I have compy up and running again, my HDD is starting to squeek. I was about to run down to Best Buy to get a new one, but I realized my Windows 7 disk is over 3000 miles away!

Using OCN's trusty search tool I discovered a program called Acronis will allow me to transfer my OS from my old HDD to a new one if I buy it. My question is:

What does Acronis actually clone? And how?

Does it just scan my HDD for all the requiring OS files and copy them to a DVD? Or would it allow me to boot from a DVD instead of an HDD and then allow me to directly copy one HDD to the other.

I feel like putting a mini linux OS on a DVD and making it bootable would allow me to directly copy the contents of one HDD to the other. Wouldn't this be the most simplistic alternative?
post #2 of 3
Use this free software and follow this guide. The only requirement is that the new drive is the same size or larger. Good luck!
post #3 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by floodx View Post
I recently flew over 3000 miles for a work term and brought my desktop with me (I scattered the parts throughout my luggage). Now that I'm here and I have compy up and running again, my HDD is starting to squeek. I was about to run down to Best Buy to get a new one, but I realized my Windows 7 disk is over 3000 miles away!

Using OCN's trusty search tool I discovered a program called Acronis will allow me to transfer my OS from my old HDD to a new one if I buy it. My question is:

What does Acronis actually clone? And how?
Acronis is a disk imaging program - it does not copy individual files. Think of it like a camera- it takes a picture of the contents of the hard drive-(snapshot) then allows you to image that pic onto another hd.

Quote:
Does it just scan my HDD for all the requiring OS files and copy them to a DVD?
You can with the *full version copy the "image" (snapshot) of the contents of the partiton you have imaged from internal to internal, onto a external hd, to *floppy, usb, cd, dvd to a network share.

*Full version - Most ALL drives these days come with (you may have to download) a imaging program- some with a OEM copy of Arconis-
*Most OEM versions are crippled in which they may not have all the features as they are designed to copy the contents of one hd to another...
(EG" Most OEM apps do not have options to copy image to *floppy, usb, cd, dvd to a network share.)

*Floppy drive option may or may not still "be there"...

Quote:
Or would it allow me to boot from a DVD instead of an HDD and then allow me to directly copy one HDD to the other.
Acronis and other imaging programs (Full versions) have to be *"installed" first before (bootable) recovery media can be created. You install xyz program- then from within the app you have the option to A: Run the clone/imaging app from within Windows, or B: Create a bootable disc containing the app.

Difference between A, and B?
It is "best" to run any imaging program from a COLD-BOOT via bootable media instead of from within a OS as it reduces the chance of something going amiss.
(You create the bootable disc /media, shut down, then restart with dvd/cd or usb drive set as the first bootable device and run xyz app.)

*RE: Most apps need to be "installed first" before the bootable disc/usb drive is created. Be aware than on a "sick" hard drive you do not want to install any apps... you want to get your data OFF the drive ASAP!. Best in those cases to create the bootable media on another computer.

* On OEM copies of xyz app- these traditionally are the bootable type= EG they do not require a install.


Quote:
I feel like putting a mini linux OS on a DVD and making it bootable would allow me to directly copy the contents of one HDD to the other. Wouldn't this be the most simplistic alternative?
You could copy the files over- but the OS would not boot.

Besides the imaging app... What I'd do is to obtain a partitioning app (there are tons of free ones ) and partition the NEW drive, preferably before restoring the image of the old hd..

Partition drive:

Partition 1
60g= OS and normal apps (60 gb should give you plenty of room for OS and restore points- and allow headroom so MFT does not become fragmented- if you're a gamer- increase as needed- or put apps on partition 2)

Partition 2
APP drive = apps

Partition 3
DATA= DATA goes on this partition.
*Note you could combine #2, and #3 to simplify things., OR better yet #1 and #2 , with #3 DATA having it's own partition.

(Whatever you do keep your DATA separate from OS!.) Note that having a small OS/App partition, or partitions allow you to "image" those partitions- at least the OS partition via Win7's built in imaging app.)
*I prefer Acronis...

Another feature of Acronis.
I think it's called SecureZone... you have the option to not only image you images to another partition on the disc, external media- but also to create a OEM type on the disc "recovery app". At boot you have the option as with a OEM computer to restore you system. This feature is useful for those times you are traveling and need to restore computer to functioning state from say a virus.


*****************************


TIPS

If your current drive is sick you do not want to install ANY apps- Nor run any partitioning software on old drive. Best to create bootable media on another computer- image contents of OLD drive to new- then resize OS partition.
*While putting apps on it's on separate drive is optional- and itself comes in "handy" when the OS needs to be reinstalled- as your apps are "there"- some may run without a reinstall- whatever you do keep DATA separate from OS partition. Don't be a fool and have DATA on a OS partition... doing so is like having irreplaceable pictures/ items of /from your great-great-great grandparents in a room that catches FIRE on regular basis...
(For irreplaceable items- you store then in rooms with least fire risk.)


Before imaging= (on a good drive)

Disable system restore=
A: saves disc space (EG reduces image size)
B: Keeps viruses that hid in system restore from being restored...

Do full scan of HD for errors.
Do full A/V scan
If you have a bunch of ram- disable/delete pagefile
Defrag hd


PS: If you want to really be assured of a good image/install of the OS -which does not apply to your situation but is good poilcy in general terms, run some apps that test the hardware.
(EG: Stress-Testing, Burn-in-apps)

During the imaging=

Do not image during bad weather.
Have PC connected to UPS
Always select verify image.

BTW: Post back details of what you end up doing-


Hope the above helps.
Edited by WeAreNotAlone - 1/5/11 at 11:28am
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