Disk cloning NVMe drives - veteren level - best cloning software?

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  1. Posts : 19,215
    W11+W11 Developer Insider + Linux
       #11

    cgilley said:
    Count Mike - you said "Better than direct cloning is to make full disk backup with a program like Macrium Reflect and then restore it to new disk while keeping the backup. MR is also very good at direct cloning."

    Explain. As a consultant, time is very much money. Having a spare device on my shelf gives me almost zero downtime. Why would I want to spend the time restoring to a new device, etc.? Honest question.
    Well for one, making a backup using MR for instance is more versatile, I make one . mrimg file on internal disk during backup process and than I can copy it to another, offline disk, at my leisure to have double backup and keep it doubly safe.
    Directly connected disk is faster than external, backup SW uses less resources and finishes sooner than thru USB of any speed and I don't have to insert and take out external drive right away. Same goes to just copy .mrimg file to external drive. That way I can even play a game or do some work during that time without even noticing it's impact to performance.
    As I also have Insider windows version on another SSD, I can backup either disk while booted to either windows.
    Not entirely related to that but I also have all games installed on separate SSD and I occasionally make simultaneous backup of OS and that disk, making only one .mrimg file for both at same time. That way, if disaster strikes any of those and I have to restore either of them I don't loose connection between OS and games as installing a game or any SW to separate disks leaves some files and registry entries on OS disk. If those two disks are not synchronized it would break their connection and render most games/SW useless and would have to be reinstalled.
    So as I see it, making a backup like that can potentially save great amount of time (and nerves).
    May seem like professional deformation but I spent long time of my working life streamlining factory production and it got under my skin for everything, I even streamlined making coffee.
    Last edited by CountMike; 21 Jun 2020 at 14:01.
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  2. Posts : 17,281
    Windows 11 Pro
       #12

    cgilley said:
    Count Mike - you said "Better than direct cloning is to make full disk backup with a program like Macrium Reflect and then restore it to new disk while keeping the backup. MR is also very good at direct cloning."

    Explain. As a consultant, time is very much money. Having a spare device on my shelf gives me almost zero downtime. Why would I want to spend the time restoring to a new device, etc.? Honest question.
    There are a couple advantages of imaging vs. cloning.

    1. Compression. An image file will take less space than a clone.
    2. Portability. An image file can be stored in any location that has the space for it, and stored in multiple locations. Biggest plus for this is off-site storage ability via a network connection.
    3. Multiple images can be stored at the same storage location. Let's say you do weekly backups and keep 1 month worth of backups. Using imaging this can be accomplished with 4 complete backup image files on the same drive, or it can be accomplished with 1 full image, and then 3 smaller incremental backups on the same drive. With cloning, you would need 4 separate backup drives to accomplish the same thing.

    What is the advantage to a routine of rotating backups? You have an undetected file corruption that occurs, partial drive failure or virus. You do your clone to your backup drive after that undetected file corruption occurred. You have now backed up the corrupted file(s). If you are doing a rotating backup, hopefully when you discover the file corruption, and you also discover that your most recent backup contains the same corrupted file, you can now go backwards through you previous 3 older backups and find the one made before the file corruption occurred.
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  3. Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Professional
    Thread Starter
       #13

    And that's why I asked :) all excellent points. Thank you.

    Back in the days of SATA (before truly high speed usb), I had 4 drives that I rotated between each other and the bank. I'll have to re-think this a bit.
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  4. Posts : 26
    Windows 10 Pro ver. 1909
       #14

    cgilley,
    I find it cheaper to buy a external M.2 enclosure and use my cloning software. That way I don't have to open the laptop body and retrieve the M.2 to place in the dual-docking station for cloning, And with the cloning software I can clone/restore in both directions w/o removing any M.2 drives. Clone S/W is $40 and enclosure is $25 --- both re-usable indefinitely.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    MyDigitalSSD M2X Portable USB 3.1 Gen 2 M.2 PCI Express SSD External Enclosure Adapter w/USB-C and USB-A Cables (Fits ONLY NVMe PCIe 2242/2260/2280) - MDNVME-M2X-USB
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  5. Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Professional
    Thread Starter
       #15

    garuda - this is the way I just did it. However, I had a very bad experience with MR, external drives, drive cloning etc a year ago. It all had to do with UEFI secure boot.
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  6. Posts : 1,020
    Windows 10 Pro 20H2 19042.572
       #16

    Since the OP @cgilley wants to improve his cloning performance, maybe he needs to look further into Macrium Reflect. (Note this is only available in the PAID version). But check it out -> Rapid Delta Clone - RDC - KnowledgeBase - Macrium Reflect Knowledgebase Could be worth the cost.
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  7. Posts : 31
    Windows 10 Professional
    Thread Starter
       #17

    I think what I need to do first is to really understand UEFI and how it interacts with Windows. As I said before, backup and cloning software are only good if you can get the devices to boot. My last saga, no one could explain why or the how of UEFI, just do these magic juju things and seriously, hope for the best.

    Not acceptable in my book.

    For now, my laptop is back up, runs fine with the new NVMe and no UEFI. But I'll save this post.
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  8. Posts : 17
    Win 10 Pro
       #18

    Question... does anyone know if you can clone-back-up an NVMe SSD drive to a regular SATA SSD drive, that if the NVMe drive 'dies', you can plug in the SATA drive and clone back over to a new NVMe drive, and then remove the SATA drive? Would that work? Thinking of the expense of NVMe drives, and now having so many SATA SSD drives around.

    garuda said:
    cgilley,
    I find it cheaper to buy a external M.2 enclosure and use my cloning software. That way I don't have to open the laptop body and retrieve the M.2 to place in the dual-docking station for cloning, And with the cloning software I can clone/restore in both directions w/o removing any M.2 drives. Clone S/W is $40 and enclosure is $25 --- both re-usable indefinitely.

    Amazon.com

    MyDigitalSSD M2X Portable USB 3.1 Gen 2 M.2 PCI Express SSD External Enclosure Adapter w/USB-C and USB-A Cables (Fits ONLY NVMe PCIe 2242/2260/2280) - MDNVME-M2X-USB
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 19,215
    W11+W11 Developer Insider + Linux
       #19

    Blast2020 said:
    Question... does anyone know if you can clone-back-up an NVMe SSD drive to a regular SATA SSD drive, that if the NVMe drive 'dies', you can plug in the SATA drive and clone back over to a new NVMe drive, and then remove the SATA drive? Would that work? Thinking of the expense of NVMe drives, and now having so many SATA SSD drives around.
    Exactly same and under same conditions as the other way around. Any eventual drivers for particular NVME will be dormant on SATA drive. Same goes for HDDs too. Still... full OS disk backup instead of cloning is even better.
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  10. Posts : 17
    Win 10 Pro
       #20

    Thanks, I was asking because I've started doing some gaming (lol, I bet I'm older than some of the fathers of the players out there) and i started paying attention to fan cooling to reduce heating of the NVMe drive (now maxing out at 40-43*C instead of 55*C because of placement of the GPU/fans right over the heat sink for the NVMe drive), the CPU (still reaching 75-80*C on some cores), and GPU (now <60*C). So I wanted to make sure my NVMe is backed up.

    I'll have to investigate 'full OS disk backup instead of cloning', but it seems more complicated. I saw the reasons (i.e., multiple file backups can be saved on a single disk as opposed to full disk clones, each taking up an entire disk).

    CountMike said:
    Exactly same and under same conditions as the other way around. Any eventual drivers for particular NVME will be dormant on SATA drive. Same goes for HDDs too. Still... full OS disk backup instead of cloning is even better.
      My Computer


 

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