Image or clone the hard drive? Best option?

  1.    #1

    Image or clone the hard drive? Best option?

    Would appreciate your help!

    Have a Toshiba Satellite L655 laptop (one morning the laptop with Windows 7 upgraded itself to Windows 10). Would like to use Macrium Reflect Free to create an image of its hard drive. Have no clue whether I need an image or whether I need to clone the hard drive. It all depends on what could happen to the laptop??? This is unpredictable.

    It is my understanding, that with Macrium Reflect Free you can make a single, full image of the hard drive. (However, creating scheduled images, whether incremental or differential, require the paid plan.)If data is corrupted, or, the PC becomes infected with malware, you can restore from the drive image, if the PC still boots properly and takes you to a blue screen with an option to restore your PC from an image backup.

    However, if the hard drive is failing, can one use a drive image to set Windows up on a brand new hard drive?Will this involve a secondary process that is normally saved on a separate flash drive?

    Prefer to do either an image or a clone, but not both. Which one would be the best to do?

    Thanks for your assistance !! :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    #2

    Macrium Reflect includes an option to make a rescue drive either on a USB flash drive or a DVD. When your hard drive fails, and the computer will not boot at all, you would boot it from the USB rescue flash drive or DVD and it will load directly into Macrium Reflect. Then you would restore the image to a new hard drive or SSD from the external drive or network location where the image was stored when you created the image.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    #3

    Thanks for the info, NavyLCDR!

    Does the USB flash drive need to be formatted as FAT 32, or NTFS?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    #4

    The Macrium Reflect Program will format it for you. But it will come out as FAT32. Alternatively, if you want a more versatile recovery drive with more utilities on it, Kyhi's Recovery Tools includes Macrium Reflect:
    Windows 10 Recovery Tools - Bootable Rescue Disk - Windows 10 Forums
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    #5


    The USB was already FAT32, so all is good.

    Have a great week!! :)
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    #6

    As another alternative, @cottonball, you can partition an external hard drive as GPT partitioning - create a FAT32 partition at the front of it, copy the Macrium Reflect rescue drive or Kyhi's recovery tools to the FAT32 partition. Make an NTFS partition following it to hold the image. You can then boot the computer from the FAT32 partition and restore the image from the NTFS partition, all in one, with no need for a rescue USB flash drive. That would be for a UEFI computer.

    I think you can do the same for a legacy BIOS computer, but the hard drive must be in MBR type partitioning, and the boot partition would be marked as active.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    #7

    Cloning's primary function is to make a copy of hard drive, so disks can be swapped.

    Image Backups primary function is to recover system to SAME drive. It can also be used to indirectly clone a new drive.

    For backup purposes, system image backup is what you need as more flexible and backups are compressed taking less soace, and you can have multiple backups at differnt stages to suit (full or differential).
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    #8

    Thanks for the info cereberus!

    Just want to make a single, full image of the hard drive.

    To create scheduled images, incremental or differential, it is my understanding, would have to upgrade to a paid plan.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    #9

    cottonball said: View Post
    Thanks for the info cereberus!

    Just want to make a single, full image of the hard drive.

    To create scheduled images, incremental or differential, it is my understanding, would have to upgrade to a paid plan.
    The free version has schedules and differential backups. Diffs are slightly less space efficient but for most domestic users this is barely noticeable.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    #10

    Thanks cereberus,

    Will keep that in mind.

    Have a great week!!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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