Preferred "disk cloning" software?

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batpot
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Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by batpot »

Another random question for the brain trust...

It's been years since I've needed to do something like this, and I am way out of the loop. Western Digital used to offer free software that was adequate, but it would only work if you had a WD drive.
I'll be upgrading a couple PCs, one from 256 to 512, and another from 128 to 256, and would like to clone the current contents to the new larger drives w/out creating separate partitions.
What is the best (free/cheap) software to do this?
Luke Duke
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by Luke Duke »

Copy/Paste
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bostondan
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by bostondan »

I'm not sure if copy/paste was meant to be a joke, but that definitely won't work for what you need.

After a lot of research I settled on Macrium Reflect for my Windows machine. The free version works surprisingly well. I use it to create a clone of my drive daily and weekly.

On the Mac I use Carbon Copy Cloner, but that isn't the question you asked...
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” - Elie Wiesel
Nyc10036
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by Nyc10036 »

batpot wrote:Another random question for the brain trust...

It's been years since I've needed to do something like this, and I am way out of the loop. Western Digital used to offer free software that was adequate, but it would only work if you had a WD drive.
I'll be upgrading a couple PCs, one from 256 to 512, and another from 128 to 256, and would like to clone the current contents to the new larger drives w/out creating separate partitions.
What is the best (free/cheap) software to do this?
Because you are cloning to a larger hard drive you need to be certain that the free software you want to use has that capability.
cholan
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by cholan »

Looking at the size of the hard drives you describe, it appears that you are installing SSDs. I have done this on several computers (with Samsung Drives and included software) with ease. You just need a cable which will probably cost a few dollars on amazon.
Good luck.
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Chip
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by Chip »

I'm using the free WD software that you mentioned to make disk clone backups. It's a low feature version of Acronis Drive Image. It works great for my needs, though there is a bit of a learning curve. I had a drive that began to fail and was able to boot from my cloned disk backup without a hiccup.

I don't know what's out there now, but I know that two years ago Seagate offered the exact same Acronis software as WD, for use only with Seagate drives. Perhaps the manufacturer of your new drive offers something similar.

It's not what you asked, but those seem like pretty small drives, unless we're talking SSDs. I have 1 TB drives that are a few years old....
core5
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by core5 »

I would get a hardware-based drive cloner like this: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... -_-Product

I've actually succeeded in saving the contents of a failing drive using the one I bought. It's a bit level copy, so the only thing that changes is the hardware serial ID and part ID. Windows will check for it, but reactivating the O/S license following the clone was pretty easy.
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by lazydavid »

Chip wrote:It's not what you asked, but those seem like pretty small drives, unless we're talking SSDs. I have 1 TB drives that are a few years old....
Given that the sizes in question are all mutiples of 128GB, these are definitely SSDs. Sizes are defined by the number and size of NAND chips, which come in powers of two, so these drives may have 16, 32, or 64GB chips, in appropriate counts to add up to their capacity. spinning hard drives tend to be marketed in nice round numbers, so the drives in question here would likely be 120 or 160GB for the smallest one, 240 or 320 for the mid-size, and 500GB for the largest.
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queso
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by queso »

+1 for Macrium Reflect.
MathWizard
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by MathWizard »

Apricorn sells a device designed just for this, which works while the system is running
on the old SSD. It includes a cable to connect the new USB drive.

https://www.amazon.com/Apricorn-Noteboo ... 983NA?th=1

I bought one and have used it several times.

There are cheaper ways, but this was extremely easy.
ubermax
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by ubermax »

Acronis Drive Image
chrisdds98
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by chrisdds98 »

I bought an SSD drive recently and the cloning software came with it (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IA ... =UTF8&th=1)

I didn't realize that when I bought it, and if it didn't have the software I was going to use this guide and the free software they recommended: http://www.howtogeek.com/199068/how-to- ... r-an-hour/
lightheir
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by lightheir »

You can usually use the software that comes with the new SSD - they work very well.
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batpot
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by batpot »

Thanks; Macrium seems to be a winner. Will follow that HTG guide, thanks.
Yes these are SSDs, and no, I don't need any external devices.
guitarguy
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by guitarguy »

Ahh...another reason I love my MacBook.

No software required. :twisted: :mrgreen:
sawhorse
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by sawhorse »

I've used Clonezilla.
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bnwest
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by bnwest »

guitarguy wrote:Ahh...another reason I love my MacBook.

No software required. :twisted: :mrgreen:
Time Machine rocks.

If this sort of thing is a big deal to a consumer considering a home PC purchase, this is the deal maker for the Mac.

I looked into the best Windows solution awhile back. The best I came up with is that you can create a disk image backup via native Windows backup utils and then you can mount that image in Windows as a virtual machine. Never got it to work though (aka did not work the first time ;))
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by bostondan »

bnwest wrote:Time Machine rocks.
I actually really dislike Time Machine. Yes, it's way better than any built-in Windows options, but I found it slow and clunky. I also disliked that I could not control it to any significant degree. I have since disabled it.

Instead, I use the following backup method, which has worked flawlessly for my laptop and my wife's laptop:

- CrashPlan remote backup: Unlimited cloud backup, never deletes files even if deleted from your computer, uploads efficiently with data de-duplication, can do versions as frequently as every 15 minutes, can backup up to 10 computers for one low monthly price).
- CrashPlan local backup: Same program, but does another backup to an external drive hooked up to my Windows machine that I use as a media center. I keep fewer versions and allow it to remove deleted files eventually to limit disk usage. Local backup allows for me to more rapidly access a backup file. If a version is not on the local backup, it will definitely still be on the remote backup.
- Carbon Copy Cloner (weekly and nightly): This makes a bootable clone of my hard drive to the drive connected to the Windows machine. I do this using a sparseimage that can be used to quickly restore my entire computer if the drive fails. I do weekly and nightly versions because sometimes it takes a few days to realize something has gone wrong with my computer.
- Carbon Copy Cloner (intermittent): I keep a smaller external drive in my desk drawer. CCC reminds me occasionally to plug it in and it clones my drive. I can boot directly from this external drive if necessary. I do this backup so that I have one that is in a different location from the others and that is not constantly connected to a computer, which should reduce the likelihood of failure from overuse or power surges.
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” - Elie Wiesel
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by haywoodkb »

Clonezilla is great and the price is right. Highly recommended.
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by jhfenton »

bostondan wrote:
bnwest wrote:Time Machine rocks.
I actually really dislike Time Machine. Yes, it's way better than any built-in Windows options, but I found it slow and clunky. I also disliked that I could not control it to any significant degree. I have since disabled it.

Instead, I use the following backup method, which has worked flawlessly for my laptop and my wife's laptop:

- CrashPlan remote backup: Unlimited cloud backup, never deletes files even if deleted from your computer, uploads efficiently with data de-duplication, can do versions as frequently as every 15 minutes, can backup up to 10 computers for one low monthly price).
- CrashPlan local backup: Same program, but does another backup to an external drive hooked up to my Windows machine that I use as a media center. I keep fewer versions and allow it to remove deleted files eventually to limit disk usage. Local backup allows for me to more rapidly access a backup file. If a version is not on the local backup, it will definitely still be on the remote backup.
- Carbon Copy Cloner (weekly and nightly): This makes a bootable clone of my hard drive to the drive connected to the Windows machine. I do this using a sparseimage that can be used to quickly restore my entire computer if the drive fails. I do weekly and nightly versions because sometimes it takes a few days to realize something has gone wrong with my computer.
- Carbon Copy Cloner (intermittent): I keep a smaller external drive in my desk drawer. CCC reminds me occasionally to plug it in and it clones my drive. I can boot directly from this external drive if necessary. I do this backup so that I have one that is in a different location from the others and that is not constantly connected to a computer, which should reduce the likelihood of failure from overuse or power surges.
I use all three: Time Machine, constant backup of boot and data drive; Carbon Copy Cloner, nightly automated clones of boot drive and data drive; CrashPlan, constant backup of everything, including multimedia drive, but nothing bootable, obviously. (I also have a local mirror of the multimedia drive, which is itself a RAID5 volume.) The nice thing about Time Machine is that it keeps really old backups with enough space. My oldest Time Machine backup is from May 13, 2014.
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bostondan
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by bostondan »

jhfenton wrote:I use all three: Time Machine, constant backup of boot and data drive; Carbon Copy Cloner, nightly automated clones of boot drive and data drive; CrashPlan, constant backup of everything, including multimedia drive, but nothing bootable, obviously. (I also have a local mirror of the multimedia drive, which is itself a RAID5 volume.) The nice thing about Time Machine is that it keeps really old backups with enough space. My oldest Time Machine backup is from May 13, 2014.
I think perhaps the issue is that I was using Time Capsule, not a locally connected Time Machine drive. Time Capsule was obscenely slow even over gigabit ethernet and occasionally seemed like it stalled entirely.

I use a laptop, so having a drive constantly hooked up is not ideal (except for my intermittent clone backup) because I always forget to eject it first and have had this lead to a corrupt drive in the past. In Windows you can actually set a drive to allow for disconnecting without ejecting first (causes a slight performance hit), but you cannot do that on a Mac. If you could, perhaps I would use Time Machine again.
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” - Elie Wiesel
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by victorb »

Acronis Drive Image has worked very well for me. They just came out with a new version
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by jhfenton »

bostondan wrote:
jhfenton wrote:I use all three: Time Machine, constant backup of boot and data drive; Carbon Copy Cloner, nightly automated clones of boot drive and data drive; CrashPlan, constant backup of everything, including multimedia drive, but nothing bootable, obviously. (I also have a local mirror of the multimedia drive, which is itself a RAID5 volume.) The nice thing about Time Machine is that it keeps really old backups with enough space. My oldest Time Machine backup is from May 13, 2014.
I think perhaps the issue is that I was using Time Capsule, not a locally connected Time Machine drive. Time Capsule was obscenely slow even over gigabit ethernet and occasionally seemed like it stalled entirely.

I use a laptop, so having a drive constantly hooked up is not ideal (except for my intermittent clone backup) because I always forget to eject it first and have had this lead to a corrupt drive in the past. In Windows you can actually set a drive to allow for disconnecting without ejecting first (causes a slight performance hit), but you cannot do that on a Mac. If you could, perhaps I would use Time Machine again.
Ah, yes. I've heard that Time Capsule is a completely different beast, performance-wise. I've never used it. I have a late 2012 Mac Mini (2.6GHz i7). It sits next to a Windows machine I built for gaming a couple of years ago. Except for documents in OneDrive, I don't even bother backing up the Windows machine.
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by bnwest »

jhfenton wrote:I use all three: Time Machine, constant backup of boot and data drive; Carbon Copy Cloner, nightly automated clones of boot drive and data drive; CrashPlan, constant backup of everything, including multimedia drive, but nothing bootable, obviously. (I also have a local mirror of the multimedia drive, which is itself a RAID5 volume.) The nice thing about Time Machine is that it keeps really old backups with enough space. My oldest Time Machine backup is from May 13, 2014.
I am interested in knowing why you use all three. Are you filling functionality holes in Time Machine?
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jhfenton
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by jhfenton »

bnwest wrote:
jhfenton wrote:I use all three: Time Machine, constant backup of boot and data drive; Carbon Copy Cloner, nightly automated clones of boot drive and data drive; CrashPlan, constant backup of everything, including multimedia drive, but nothing bootable, obviously. (I also have a local mirror of the multimedia drive, which is itself a RAID5 volume.) The nice thing about Time Machine is that it keeps really old backups with enough space. My oldest Time Machine backup is from May 13, 2014.
I am interested in knowing why you use all three. Are you filling functionality holes in Time Machine?
1. Time Machine is automated and comprehensive for my boot and data drives, historic, but it requires time to restore. It would take a few hours to restore a complete backup.
2. Carbon Copy Cloner is automated and comprehensive for my boot and data drives, but the clones are re-written every night. There's no history. But the clones are immediately bootable and usable. I would have zero down time.
3. Crashplan is offsite. It includes all of my data, my programming projects, my photos, and my video library. The video library is mirrored at home and on a RAID5 box, but it represents years of work. I wouldn't want to lose it in a fire. It is not bootable, obviously, and 8.4TB would take a long time to restore, even with a 1Gb Internet connection. (Crashplan's restore speed is nowhere near that fast, so it would be the limiting factor.)
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Kenkat
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by Kenkat »

Another vote for Acronis
genjix
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by genjix »

Clonezilla open source
goGators
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by goGators »

genjix wrote:Clonezilla open source
+1
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by rhoptry »

jebmke
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by jebmke »

I have used both Macrium and Clonezilla to take complete disk images and restored from both. I recommend keeping a spare hard drive and proving to yourself that the restore actually works and not just assume it will work and hope for the best when your hard drive dies.

For those comfortable with command line, you can also use Windows media (flash or DVD) to boot to WinPE and use the built in image capturing system (DISM). I use this for building and deploying customized Windows images. Windows has a built in system called Sysprep that you can use to strip out the hardware specifics and port an image to alternative hardware. These systems are not for inexperienced users -- the first time you try to use them you will probably fail.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
homerj15
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by homerj15 »

+1 for CloneZilla!!
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by BolderBoy »

For Win7 I just used the built-in app, then the built in disc management app to expand the partition to the whole disk.

I presume that Win10 has the same thing built into it. I did 3 PCs this way without trouble. (moved from HDDs -> SSDs)

When I did this for a WinXP machine, first I moved the HDD to the Win7 machine and did as described above, then moved the new drive back to the WinXP machine.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect
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bnwest
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by bnwest »

jhfenton wrote:
bnwest wrote:
jhfenton wrote:I use all three: Time Machine, constant backup of boot and data drive; Carbon Copy Cloner, nightly automated clones of boot drive and data drive; CrashPlan, constant backup of everything, including multimedia drive, but nothing bootable, obviously. (I also have a local mirror of the multimedia drive, which is itself a RAID5 volume.) The nice thing about Time Machine is that it keeps really old backups with enough space. My oldest Time Machine backup is from May 13, 2014.
I am interested in knowing why you use all three. Are you filling functionality holes in Time Machine?
1. Time Machine is automated and comprehensive for my boot and data drives, historic, but it requires time to restore. It would take a few hours to restore a complete backup.
2. Carbon Copy Cloner is automated and comprehensive for my boot and data drives, but the clones are re-written every night. There's no history. But the clones are immediately bootable and usable. I would have zero down time.
3. Crashplan is offsite. It includes all of my data, my programming projects, my photos, and my video library. The video library is mirrored at home and on a RAID5 box, but it represents years of work. I wouldn't want to lose it in a fire. It is not bootable, obviously, and 8.4TB would take a long time to restore, even with a 1Gb Internet connection. (Crashplan's restore speed is nowhere near that fast, so it would be the limiting factor.)
Thanks.

Time Machine meets my needs but ... I will think hard about Crashplan. Fire or theft would not be recoverable events unless I had an online backup.
guitarguy
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by guitarguy »

bnwest wrote:
guitarguy wrote:Ahh...another reason I love my MacBook.

No software required. :twisted: :mrgreen:
Time Machine rocks.

If this sort of thing is a big deal to a consumer considering a home PC purchase, this is the deal maker for the Mac.
Yes, Time Machine does rock.

But Mac also has a built in data migration tool for this exact purpose as well. So even if you don't use Time Machine on a regular basis you can still directly pull data to a new computer or new SSD (for example) extremely quickly and easily with no extra software required.

Anyhoo...I don't work for Apple. But I do like their stuff. :beer
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ThereAreNoGurus
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by ThereAreNoGurus »

I'd like to thank the posters who recommended Macrium Reflect.

I recently downloaded it. Piece of cake to use. Took clone back-ups and did a successful restore of one of my PC's.
wcshaff
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by wcshaff »

+1 for Macrium Reflect. Used it for several clonings, particularly when replacing standard hard drives with solid state drives.
sat24
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by sat24 »

batpot wrote:Another random question for the brain trust...

It's been years since I've needed to do something like this, and I am way out of the loop. Western Digital used to offer free software that was adequate, but it would only work if you had a WD drive.
I'll be upgrading a couple PCs, one from 256 to 512, and another from 128 to 256, and would like to clone the current contents to the new larger drives w/out creating separate partitions.
What is the best (free/cheap) software to do this?
I just used this software to clone my 350GB HDD to a 480GB SSD (it flies now!) - I was skeptical at first, but it worked like a charm.

http://www.todo-backup.com/products/hom ... ftware.htm
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whodidntante
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by whodidntante »

If you want free, there are linux live CDs that can clone a disk. I've done it this way, but I usually opt for a clean install of Windows and I keep my media on separate disks now.
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by toast0 »

victorb wrote:Acronis Drive Image has worked very well for me. They just came out with a new version
I've had issues with Acronis True Image which was bundled with a Crucial SSD; I didn't debug it, but with the software installed the SSD would stop working about 20 minutes after booting (including in the Windows PE environment where it copied data), which was pretty frustrating. I had better luck with Macrium Reflect free on a different computer I upgraded (which had different bundled software with different issues, but I don't remember which one it was).
anoop
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by anoop »

guitarguy wrote:Ahh...another reason I love my MacBook.

No software required. :twisted: :mrgreen:
+1

I did it with the Mac OS X's Disk Utility.
testing321
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by testing321 »

I used HDClone, free addition. It works going from a smaller to larger drive.
http://www.miray-software.com/products/ ... clone.html

I did the following.
Download and install software.
Shut down computer, open case, remove connectors from DVD drive and plug into new hard disk.
Restart computer, run software and clone drive.
Shut down computer, hook up DVD drive, switch drives.
Restart computer.
Inframan4712
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by Inframan4712 »

I use Time Machine to backup my 1TB MacBook Pro over wifi to my Time Capsule and don't have any performance issues.

For offsite backups, which I strongly recommend, I take my MacBook to work and Time Machine to a USB 3.0 connected 3TB drive that I leave at work. Alternatively I could have two USB hard drives and bring one of them at a time to do backups at home. Over USB this takes only a few minutes as these are incremental backups. And they're encrypted so no worries about losing the drive.

I wouldn't trust online backups ever to keep my data private or even accessible if I needed to restore from it. A friend of mine used Carbonite once to restore his data but it took 3 days. Not acceptable.

When I get a new MacBook I just use the built in data migration utility to copy everything over. So easy.
statman
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by statman »

Yet another vote for Clonezilla. Free, run it from CD or from a USB stick.
j9j
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Re: Preferred "disk cloning" software?

Post by j9j »

Clonezilla sounds like something to checkout.

I have used Macrium Reflect free version and it worked fine the times I have used it. It does have a slight learning curve on how to set boot drives.

Acronis is a great paid tool. I winded up buying it as it good value in auto backup/cone on installed machine, creates boot USB/CD for additional cloning options.
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