Windows 10: Clone OS to second hard drive to boot in case of primary drive failure Solved

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  1. Posts : 347
    Windows 10 home 1709 16299.192
       19 Feb 2017 #1

    Clone OS to second hard drive to boot in case of primary drive failure


    I've read up on creating dual boot setups, and for a while had a second system on a partition of my only hard drive. Gave that up as unwieldy and installed a second disk for backups. I propose to install a copy of my OS on the new disk as a partition. Couple of questions:

    1. When the primary drive fails will it be possible to boot to the second system?

    2. Can I clone the entire system partition or will I have to reinstall a selection of software as needed?

    tcebob
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    19 Feb 2017 #2

    If you choose to do a Clone of your OS HDD to a secondary HDD, not an image file, When the main OS drive fails, you can replace it with the Cloned HDD. It will be a mirror image of he OS drive, programs and all, from the day it was cloned. It will not have any newer files or programs added after the day the clone was made.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 1,879
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
       19 Feb 2017 #3

    That`s an excellent idea, do you plan to keep the cloned drive running or will you remove/unplug it from the system ?
      My ComputersSystem Spec

  4.    19 Feb 2017 #4

    If you clone it and leave it plugged in it can give problems as you have 2 drives with the same disk signature. With a clone you only have one copy if you image it will compress so you can keep several copies but you would need a drrive to image it back to you can shedule a image so its done auto so it uptodate
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 1,879
    Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
       20 Feb 2017 #5

    I would use a ssd to clone to, when you`re done, test the clone then remove it and put it right back in the box and put it in the desk drawer.

    As long as your main drive is still running fine you could re clone in the future.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 347
    Windows 10 home 1709 16299.192
    Thread Starter
       20 Feb 2017 #6

    Thanks, all. So I can't clone to a partition, it would have to be a whole disk. The word "clone" refers to an entire disk.

    But I can install a second OS on the partition as a dual boot. Now, if the primary drive fails, will the pc automatically boot to the alternate OS or is there a method to do so?
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 190
    Windows 10-Pro 64bit
       20 Feb 2017 #7

    tcebob said: View Post
    ...
    1. So I can't clone to a partition, it would have to be a whole disk. The word "clone" refers to an entire disk.
    2. But I can install a second OS on the partition as a dual boot.
    3. Now, if the primary drive fails, will the pc automatically boot to the alternate OS or is there a method to do so?
    1. No, you can clone (copy) to a partition.
    2. Yes.
    3. No but depends on the "failure" & no, not for you. Server versions might have this capability.

    Cloning as a backup is not the best solution. Creating images is preferred because they use about half the space, so you can keep more than one. You can create images weekly or bi-weekly or monthly, whatever you choose. I use Macrium Reflect Free.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 347
    Windows 10 home 1709 16299.192
    Thread Starter
       20 Feb 2017 #8

    yes, I'm looking at Macrium as we speak.

    So, in recap, a dual boot drive will not be bootable if the primary drive fails.


    Oh, well . . .
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  •    20 Feb 2017 #9

    tcebob said: View Post
    So, in recap, a dual boot drive will not be bootable if the primary drive fails.
    Yes, it will, if it has a FAT32 EFI System partition on it (for UEFI computers) and the BCD points to the OS partition on the drive.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  • Posts : 347
    Windows 10 home 1709 16299.192
    Thread Starter
       21 Feb 2017 #10

    Far as I can tell I'm Bios, not UEFI. So I will assume it won't work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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