Disk Cloning Utility Softwares

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  1. Posts : 180
    W10 22H2 primary, W8.1 secondary

    Disk Cloning Utility Softwares

    I recently tried such software to clone an MBR disk where W10, W8.1, and a data partition are, but from the cloned disk only W8.1 could boot and the W10 partition could not be activated to boot to W10. Note that I used partition-based cloning or I cloned the three partitions one by one.
    Is there any utility to clone a disk with dual OS systems?
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  2. Posts : 4,161
    Windows 11 Pro, 22H2

    Certainly, but you might consider just cloning the entire disk rather going partition by partition. My disk imaging software of choice is Macrium Reflect.
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  3. Posts : 2,169
    Windows 11 Pro (latest update ... forever anal)

    Macrium Reflect is the forum's favourite. No longer available directly from Macrium website (although it's still available from Macrium, just need special link that was posted somewhere else in this forum ... if only I'd've bookmarked it like I told myself to do .... ) but can still download directly from MajorGeeks (may have to run an update immediately after installation)

    Multiple forums across the internet are plagued with users experiencing problems with the cloning process option, much many more than have to seek help for the alternative image > restore process (same software, just a coupla extra steps). If cloning fails (again) try image > restore option.
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  4. Posts : 4,627

    probably just need to fix the bcd entry.

    in win8.1 open admin cmd prompt and type

    bcdboot ?:\windows

    use the win10 partition letter instead of ?
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  5. Posts : 8,126
    windows 10

    Often disk maker supply a free clone for their drives which is better as its designed for their drives I know Samsung is very good on their drives
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  6. Posts : 180
    W10 22H2 primary, W8.1 secondary
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, everyone for responding.
    I have two questions when MBR drive cloning is done by Macrium:
    1) Does the destination drive inherit the way the source drive is partitioned?
    2) Can both two OS partitions on the cloned disk be activated? In other words, can the active partition be switched between W10 and W8.1?
    Last edited by churin; 09 Mar 2023 at 20:19. Reason: To make sentence more readable
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  7. Posts : 4,161
    Windows 11 Pro, 22H2

    As the name implies, the destination disk will be a clone of the original. In other words, all partitions, OSes, etc. will be transferred over.
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  8. Posts : 4,627

    Only one partition on an mbr disk should be active.

    The active partition should contain bootmgr and a folder called boot which contains the bcd store among other things.

    the information in the bcd store tells bootmgr where the operating systems are.

    BIOS > MBR > PBR on the active partition > bootmgr<>bcd > winload.exe > Windows

    the bcd store will tell bootmgr the disk signature and partition offset for each operating system entry that is in there.

    if you look at it with bcdedit, it shows you an alias that you can understand, either a mount point ( drive letter ) or a symbolic link like this \Device\HarddiskVolume2

    so that single bcd store on the active partition can have entries for operating systems on different partitions on the same disk or on partitions on other disks.
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  9. Posts : 180
    W10 22H2 primary, W8.1 secondary
    Thread Starter

    SIW2 said:
    Only one partition on an MBR disk should be active.
    I am aware of that. My question is if another system partition on the drive can be activated. Note that the question is about the destination drive or the resultant clone disk.
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  10. Posts : 4,627

    My question is if another system partition on the drive can be activated.

    when you say "drive" I presume you mean disk.

    the active partition that contains the boot critical files is the system partition.

    Not sure what you are asking.

    If, for unknown reasons you want to make a different partition the system partition, then mark it active ( primary partition only ) and create the boot critical files on it using bcdboot command.
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