Question about cloning a drive  


  1. Posts : 14
    windows 10 pro 64 bit
       #1

    Question about cloning a drive


    Hi,
    I am wanting to do a fresh install of Windows 10 pro, i have a ton of Music related applications that i would rather not go through the process of reinstalling and activating etc etc
    Could i clone my C drive (that's my OS drive) and then do a fresh install of Windows 10 and then put that cloned copy back on and everything would just work ?

    If not how would you approach doing this with the least amount of hassle?

    And also any recommendations for cloning software to use, hopefully i can put the cloned copy onto one of the my other drives while i do the fresh install and then drag it back onto my OS drive

    Thanks for reading

    Dan

    Version 10.0.18363 Build 18363
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 4,453
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #2

    danbottomburp said:
    Hi,
    I am wanting to do a fresh install of Windows 10 pro, i have a ton of Music related applications that i would rather not go through the process of reinstalling and activating etc etc
    Could i clone my C drive (that's my OS drive) and then do a fresh install of Windows 10 and then put that cloned copy back on and everything would just work ?
    Short answer, no. The clean install won't recognize the software installed on the old drive.

    danbottomburp said:
    If not how would you approach doing this with the least amount of hassle?

    And also any recommendations for cloning software to use, hopefully i can put the cloned copy onto one of the my other drives while i do the fresh install and then drag it back onto my OS drive

    Thanks for reading

    Dan

    Version 10.0.18363 Build 18363
    I thought there'd be a tutorial, but I don't spot one.

    My recommendation:

    Get backup software than can create an image of your C: drive on one of your other drives. It also needs to be able to create a USB bootable rescue drive. I believe that the free version of Macrium Reflect can do that. Macrium Software | Macrium Reflect Free I use Acronis True Image (not free). Some drive makers have a downloadable version of backup/cloning software that will only work if the target drive is one of theirs.

    Create the USB rescue drive.

    Use the Windows version of the software to make the C: image.

    Power down the PC.

    Swap drives.

    Boot using the USB rescue drive.

    Restore the image to the new drive.

    Shut down.

    Boot into the new drive. (Prayer optional.)

    It can get a bit more complex if the new drive is smaller than the old (say, going from a spinner to an SSD). As long as the new drive is large enough to contain the actual contents of the old drive, it should be OK.

    Just to complicate matters, it's also possible to directly clone one drive to another. That requires that both drives be connected to the PC at the same time. That works as well, but the procedure I recommended leaves you with an image of C:, which you should already have anyway.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 56,672
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #3

    The Image route in your case is the easiest, in your case. Cloned drives both hooked up at the same time can run into drive SID collision issues, meaning the BIOS sees them both as they same drive, and goes bonkers. Image it instead, with Macrium (preferred) or some other. After your clean install, the Image File (Macrium) can be "mounted", just like a drive, and you can use Explorer to browse thru it and copy anything you want to your new C: boot drive.

    As and added comment..... if you are intending to clean install to the new C: boot drive, there is really no advantage whatsoever to clone anything. It's basically worthless as a cloned drive. You wouldn't turn around and clone it back to the clean install C: drive, so....... use Imaging instead.

    And what Bobkn said about the Free Macrium.... yes it has all the Rescue Tools and is more than sufficient.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 14
    windows 10 pro 64 bit
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Ahh ok,

    So lets see if i am understanding this correctly, i make an image of my C drive (that's my OS drive and contains all my important stuff) and then it gets saved to my USB drive, i remove the USB drive once complete and then do the fresh install on the C drive, and then i plug the USB drive back in and can just copy stuff from there to the new install on C ?

    Sounds ideal, is the Macrium limited or can it do all that on the free edition?

    Many thanks for your replies

    Edit* i installed it, can you explain the correct option i need to create the image ?

    Dan
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 56,672
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #5

    danbottomburp said:
    Ahh ok,

    So lets see if i am understanding this correctly, i make an image of my C drive (that's my OS drive and contains all my important stuff) and then it gets saved to my USB drive, i remove the USB drive once complete and then do the fresh install on the C drive, and then i plug the USB drive back in and can just copy stuff from there to the new install on C ?

    Sounds ideal, is the Macrium limited or can it do all that on the free edition?

    Many thanks for your replies

    Dan
    You are correct on all you have asked.

    Here is an example using data from my machine.

    The folder where I store images on an external drive. I right click the image I want to Explore (Mount)

    Question about cloning a drive-2020-01-09_15h37_59.png

    click Explore and Macrium asks "Which partitions?" I choose C and the option for elevated access.

    Question about cloning a drive-2020-01-09_15h38_24.png

    Macrium "Mounts" the image file as a virtual drive and assigns a drive letter, and opens it.

    Question about cloning a drive-2020-01-09_15h38_42.png

    I can now browse thru anywhere and copy anything to anywhere. No writing to image, it would only be temporary (different subject).

    I then go to MY PC, right click the drive, click the Macrium option and Unmount.

    Question about cloning a drive-2020-01-09_15h44_22.png

    All done.
    Last edited by f14tomcat; 09 Jan 2020 at 16:06.
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 4,453
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #6

    danbottomburp said:
    Ahh ok,

    So lets see if i am understanding this correctly, i make an image of my C drive (that's my OS drive and contains all my important stuff) and then it gets saved to my USB drive, i remove the USB drive once complete and then do the fresh install on the C drive, and then i plug the USB drive back in and can just copy stuff from there to the new install on C ?

    (snip)
    You could do that for data, but not for installed programs.

    (Some programs are "portable", and don't require installation, but that is slightly unusual.)
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 1,242
    Windows 8.1, Win10Pro
       #7

    Folks are right in that you can not copy or reinstall the Apps from the clone image -- there are simply too many pieces for each App that must be migrated to just the right folder.

    But, I would like to suggest you look into EaseUS ToDo PC Transfer. I used this a while back and found it to be awful -- it failed to migrate lots of stuff. But then, I bought a fresh copy a few days ago and used it to migrate a Win7 install to a new Win10 PC -- and it was great! It found and migrated everything I selected, without any issues at all. Plus, the new interface is very easy to use and allows for lots of customization.

    And the best part was that they were offering it for a reduced price for the new year -- so that makes it even a better bargain.
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 1,621
    Windows 10 Home
       #8

    MarkP, can you give more details about how successful EaseUS Todo PCTrans Pro was and is. I'm thinking about getting the $70 version before end of day or during this weekend.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 14,008
    Windows 11 Pro X64 22H2 22621.1848
       #9

    But then, I bought a fresh copy a few days ago and used it to migrate a Win7 install to a new Win10 PC -- and it was great! It found and migrated everything I selected, without any issues at all. Plus, the new interface is very easy to use and allows for lots of customization.
    Sounds like Mark gave a full Thumbs up to me.

    Ebay - EaseUS Todo Pctrans Pro 11 - The Easiest PC Transfer Software (lifetime Key)

    Brand new: lowest price

    $38.89

    Free Shipping

    Get it by Mon, Jan 27 - Thu, Jan 30 from Bad Salzdetfurth, Germany
    •   Brand New condition
    •   30 day returns - Buyer pays return shipping

      My Computers


  10. Posts : 29,600
    Windows 10 (Pro and Insider Pro)
       #10

    danbottomburp said:
    Ahh ok,

    So lets see if i am understanding this correctly, i make an image of my C drive (that's my OS drive and contains all my important stuff) and then it gets saved to my USB drive, i remove the USB drive once complete and then do the fresh install on the C drive, and then i plug the USB drive back in and can just copy stuff from there to the new install on C ?

    Sounds ideal, is the Macrium limited or can it do all that on the free edition?

    Many thanks for your replies

    Edit* i installed it, can you explain the correct option i need to create the image ?

    Dan
    You didn't say why do you want to clean install Windows. If you have so many app installed, and want them all back, try

    Repair Install Windows 10 with an In-place Upgrade

    Keep Macrium and Image you made. Always good thing to have
      My Computers


 

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